Life by Cynthia: May 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

My Life in Fast Forward. May Days Gone Too Soon.

Since entering motherhood I feel like my life has been whizzing by in fast forward.  I can hardly believe that the month has ended!

May is one of my favorite months out of the year.  It is the month that we celebrate Mother's Day, the month that I became engaged, and the month that I celebrate my birth.  The days this month seem to have flown right past me. Our son is growing up so fast and I'm aging even faster! I can hardly believe that I turned 42 years old this year!  I'm in denial.  I'm fighting the aging process and trying to hang on to what is left of my youth.

We had a beautiful afternoon in Coronado to celebrate Mother's Day.  The Coronado Ferry Landing is one of our favorite spots! Our son and I had so much fun flying a kite together.  It is the perfect place to fly a kite and to enjoy the beautiful weather & scenery.  It is definitely a memory that I will keep forever.  I am so grateful to have a photographer in the family! My husband always surprises me with great mom & son photos. I cherish them all!

Taking a moment to pause with my son.

June is also one of my favorite months!  It is the month that our son was born and when we celebrate Father's Day! This year we will be attending a June wedding too!  Very exciting! I love weddings! I'm really looking forward to the month ahead!  I hope to stop and smell the roses this upcoming month as my May days went by much too soon.

How do you slow down? Are Moms even allowed to?

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Life These Days with The Dailey Method 60 Day Challenge

I have been MIA for a little while here on the blog.  I have a great reason for it.  I am taking care of my health and fitness. This is a HUGE deal for me as a now 42 year old mommy.  I have made it my priority to take better care of myself.   I have been participating in the 60 Day Challenge thanks to our friends at The Dailey Method Rancho Bernardo-Poway who have generously allowed me to practice at their studio at no cost to me.

My goals aren't to hit a certain number on the scale, or to fit into a bikini for the summer.  My motivation for participating in the challenge with The Dailey Method is simple:  I want to preserve my health and improve my fitness.  As an advanced maternal aged mother I have concerns about being as fit and active as I can be for our young son.  By the time he is in his teens, I'll be in my fifties!

For the past few weeks I have been surrounded by a diverse group of ladies.  I've been having so much fun and finding tons of motivation.  The instructors are all amazing and the women taking classes (some of whom are pregnant) truly inspire me. I've also been very sore, struggle with scheduling and traffic to get there, and miss out on a bit of family time when I'm gone. It's all a trade off but I am thankful that it is paying off.  I am eating better, feeling stronger, and know that these improvements also benefit my family.  Mom's tend to take care of everything and everyone to the point of not taking care of themselves.

So here is a fun rundown of things I'd never imagined myself to do or say!

  • I hang out at The Stall Bar. (Mommy at the bar 4 times a week?! Well - not THAT kind of bar)
  • I've been in a room full of with women with balls between their legs! (TDM Balls that is!)
  • I've also been "back dancing" with these women AND once in a while we water ski together!

It sounds pretty racy, right?! Well all of the above mentioned items are all G rated and take place during my one hour of me time at The Dailey Method Studio.

Seat work is my favorite since I am trying to rebuild my rear that has atrophied!
Thigh work is my nemesis.
Abdominal work is a huge challenge.

In addition to getting stronger, I can feel my posture improve.  I am more conscious of my body alignment.  I still make the ugly strained faces during those tough moments and I haven't quite found that graceful state in my practice BUT I do give it my all each time. And I am much improved from my first try! Thankfully, I get tons of encouragement and correction from the professionally trained team of instructors.

The Dailey Method Rancho Bernardo-Poway Instructors
Photo Source: Facebook

Disclosure:  I have partnered with The Dailey Method Rancho Bernardo-Poway to share my experiences with the 60 Day Challenge.  I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions contained in this post are solely my own.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Working Mom Blues Made Better with Michael Bublé

Music is a wonderful way to get me through long work days. My current soundtrack: To Be Loved by Michael Bublé.  I received a free copy of To Be Loved for review purposes.  First off, I need to tell you that I was already a Bublé fan to begin with. Naturally, I was thrilled to get my copy!

To Be Loved, out now, finds the Grammy winner covering songs by Frank Sinatra, the Bee Gees, Jackson 5, Elvis Presley, Van Morrison, and more. In the mix of cover songs are four original songs co-written by Bublé.

1. "You Make Me Feel So Young"  
2. "It's a Beautiful Day"
3. "To Love Somebody"
4. "Who's Lovin You"
5. "Something Stupid" (Feat. Reese Witherspoon)
6. "Come Dance with Me"
7. "Close Your Eyes"
8. "After All" (Feat. Bryan Adams)
9. "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" (with Naturally 7)
10. "To Be Loved"
11. "You've Got a Friend in Me"  
12. "Nevertheless (I'm in Love with You)" (Feat. The Puppini Sisters)
13. "I Got It Easy"    
14. "Young at Heart"

If you haven't been keeping up with Michale Bublé - you might find it interesting that he is a first time dad.  I'm a sucker for a family man!  As a first time mom I know how much becoming a parent changes you.  I thought it was sweet that he wrote "Close Your Eyes" about his wife. It is one of my favorites from this CD.  It is lovingly written to honor to ALL of the women in one's life! This CD is full of music that I can listen to with our son and not have to worry about inappropriate lyrics! Family friendly for sure!

Speaking of family, I have an amazing husband and I am Mommy to a nearly 3 year old son. I work full time outside of the home.  I try to balance it all but have come to realize that I'm only human and don't always find that balance.  Some days are tougher than others. but I can make the workday more pleasant with some tunes.

I can listen to the entire CD without feeling compelled to skip through any tracks, with the exception of one which I will explain in a moment.  If you know me, then you know that I can be pretty fickle and will breeze right past a song that irks me.  My husband can attest to that when I am in control of the radio stations!

I like "old fashioned" music - the style that I grew up listening to as introduced to me by my parents.   Music that evokes images and emotions. You know... the ones that have lyrics that you can clearly understand and sing along to. Don't get me wrong, I have quite a range of  "likes" when it comes to music.  I have different soundtracks that I personalize to suit my mood.  Some days I want to get up and dance, sometimes I like songs to motivate me to run on the treadmill,  other days - to make me sing out loud diva-style when driving alone in the car.  Then there are times at the office that I need something to get me through my day!  No matter how bad my day at work is going - listening to this CD cheers me up! No more working mom blues!

Michael's CD transports me to mellow moments with his smooth voice. Perfect for listening to at work to get me humming along and cruising through the work day.  As I mentioned earlier, only one of the tracks is a bit hard for me to listen to.  That is Track 5, "Something Stupid" featuring Reese Whiterspoon.  It is just not a favorite of mine.  She has a nice enough singing voice I suppose. I find myself distracted by it though.  I could have done without this duet.  When I hear her I immediately get images of  her movie "Legally Blond" and from there I get her chripy character stuck in my head. I tune out for a moment until the song ends.

I have to say that I cannot help but smile when listening to You Make Me Feel So Young.  Thank you Michael Bublé,  I feel so young! I just celebrated my 42nd birthday but I feel like I'm 24, well at least while I listen to the song!

If you have a little one like mine that LOVES Toy Story 3 - then you too have seen it a million times!  When I hear You've Got a Friend in Me, I can't help but think of the movie and my son!

One good song can really transport you on a special trip down memory lane!  I can tell you a story about each song from To Be Loved and some of the memories that it brings to mind - but I don't want to bore you!  Check out the CD and see where it takes you!  You can get your copy of To Be Loved through Amazon or iTunes if you are too busy to venture out to the store!

Thank you for visiting! I want to get to know YOU!  Now you must tell me the title of your all time favorite song & why!

Disclosure:  I have partnered with One2One Network for this campaign. I received a free copy of the album to facilitate my review. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I'm A Rookie To Blogging And Benefiting From Blog Conferences

Image Source:

Blog conferences, both big and small, are a wonderful way to learn valuable information and for finding inspiration.  Last month I received an invitation from The SITS Girls to join an evening of networking and education. The event was held at the Hotel Palomar Los Angeles | Westwood and was sponsored by Invisalign. I said YES immediately. I have been contemplating attending Bloggy Boot Camp for a couple of years now. This was an opportunity that I would not pass up.  I was thrilled to take part in this invite only gathering!

The event was a "Mini" version of Bloggy Boot Camp.  This "mini" session packed a MIGHTY punch!  It was a condensed, fast paced wealth of information. I loved it. Tiffany & Francesca are passionate, genuine, and smart women.  I left the evening feeling inspired.  After spending time with these ladies, I wanted to be a more passionate, genuine, and smart blogger. When you expose yourself to great people, some of that greatness finds a way of rubbing off on you.

In my limited experience with blog conferences I have learned many "do's and don'ts", "how-to" ideas, tips for this and tips for that. All valuable advice. Most include instruction on how to work with brands, SEO, and what you need to do to make your blog better.  To me, the primary focus is on the business of blogging. Confession: I'm a little slow to go on the whole blog improvement movement.  I understand the value of all of the tips that I have been given, but  I admit that I take baby steps.  I'm not in a huge rush for blog success. I don't mind going slow.  I'll get there. At my own pace, I will get there.  I already juggle working full time, family life, and trying to preserve my 40 year old self so that I can be around longer for our preschooler! My son needs me and loves me so much more than my blog ever will. Perhaps when our son gets a little older I'll have more time and energy to implement all of the things that I learn along the way.  That being said, I don't mind not having a professional blogger status. I am enjoying my spot on the team as a rookie blogger!  I'll make my rookie mistakes along the way and as long as I learn from them, I think I'm good.

I'm thankful to Tiffany & Francesca for sharing their wisdom.  I felt that they did a great job in discussing the business end of blogging AND bringing focus on the personal side of blogging.  I love the relationship based tips. These are the lessons that meant the most to me and will help me to be a smarter blogger:

  • When working with brands: OVER deliver.
  • Communication: worried about a deadline? Be honest.True story: I was working on my first sponsored post for The SITS Girls when my grandmother passed away. I had a deadline looming. I couldn't remember when it was due, I couldn't locate the email detailing the project... I was a mess. I was honest. I managed to finish my project in time (a little bit early in fact).  Their compassion and concern meant so much to me!  I saved the email from Francesca because during that tough time - she eased some of the pain.  If you need help, ask for help.  Don't drop the ball.
  • Be in the moment.  You won't have anything interesting to blog about if you don' have a life.  Keep (and stick to) office hours. Check email at a set time. Be present when with your family.
  • Don't post just for the sake of posting.
  • Have "the talk" with your spouse about what your blogging goals are.  Have that dialog. True Story: My husband used to get SO ANNOYED with me when I would spend the wee hours of the night (after our boy was asleep) "playing" on my computer. Now he knows that I am working not playing. He sees that I can (and have) earned income, that I enjoy interacting with fellow bloggers, and that as a family we have the opportunity to attend fun events.  Having him on board = priceless!
  • Earn your way there!  Instead of wondering why & how other bloggers get wonderful perks like trips to amusement parks, great gadgets, the newest "this & that"...  Just go out and EARN the money with your blog so that you can PAY for those things yourself!  Bravo.  No more blogger envy here. Well... a little blogger envy. Honestly some of the perks that I have heard about are just oh-so-enviable!  For exclusive invites to events and parties... you can't really buy your way into those.
  • Pay it forward!  If an opportunity is not a fit for you, recommend someone that you know that would be.  You would be helping out a friend as well as the organization looking to find a match for their campaign. Good Karma goes a long way!

I belong to a few online groups on facebook.  Over time you get to know a lot of interesting people.  A highlight of the evening was meeting my online pals face to face! I met Mary: Let's Play OC who always has the greatest family adventures, and fellow San Diegans: Brianne: Bri Geeski who is a talented designer, and Amanda: Sunny Vegan who an inspiration for healthful living!  I made a new friend too! Ferly: Gifts We Use has a lot of great organizing tips & tricks!   I'm kicking myself for not snapping photos of us together!

After attending my first blog conference in 2011 I have made it my goal to attend at least one conference every year. I've been to BlogHer 2011 in San Diego and Blogalicious 2012 in Las Vegas. Thanks to The SITS Girls I have my 2013 mini "conference" under my belt!  Soon I will attend my first online blog conference: The Blog Workshop 2013.

BlogHer 2011 Photo Credit: Asher-Sears Photography

I'd love to know more about your experiences with Blogging, Conferences, and Networking. One day maybe we will meet at a conference!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fitness In My Forties Is A Challenge

Thanks to our friends at The Dailey Method, I am participating in the 60 Day Challenge To A Lifestyle Change at the Rancho Bernardo-Poway studio. I am one of many determined individuals that have accepted the challenge!

A little bit about me:  I am a first time Mom on the verge of turning 42 years old.  I will be celebrating on May 19th!  Being an "older mom" to a nearly 3 year old little boy while working full time away from home takes a lot of energy!  The day to day grind can take a toll.  It would be a lot harder if I didn't have the support of my dear husband.  My mother is also a hero in my life!  She lovingly looks after our son when my husband and I are both at work.  I have to say that even with my super squad to help me - I had still let my health and fitness drift off into oblivion!  I know that I am not the only mom that has.  It is time for change! When I tried my first class with The Dailey Method in March I knew instantly that the 60 Day Challenge was a MUST for me!

The Dailey Method combines ballet barre work, core conditioning, stretching, and orthopedic exercises into a one hour class. The workout is challenging. My goal is better overall health.  My mission in this challenge: 30 classes in 60 days, focusing on a plant based whole foods diet, as well as various weekly challenges. It is one of the best investments in myself that I have made.  It takes time and commitment as well as big changes in diet and mindset. It helps to have support.  I am not doing this alone.  With the help of my barre buddy Melissa, I keep myself accountable and push myself to go!  Though our schedules don't allow that we meet at class at the same time, I know that I don't want to let her (or myself) down so I get myself to class!

Challengers check in and keep track of their completed classes on a challenge board.  Oh how I love the sweet satisfaction that I get when I put a check by my name and get one class closer to my goal!  I have been keeping a journal of my progress and will be sharing more about my experiences with you in future posts.

Studio owner Stephanie Firenze and her team are an amazing source of guidance and motivation.  These ladies are dedicated to their craft.  You may find yourself working out right alongside them when they are not teaching class.  I love that! As a challenger you have access to a facebook online forum comprised of 100 members that are also involved in the challenge.  It is a wonderful resource for sharing the journey.  I've laughed (who saw the plank/elephant photo?), been motivated by, and received food tips by this great group!

The Dailey Method Rancho Bernardo-Poway Instructors
Photo Source: Facebook

A weekly menu plan (recipes & shopping list included) is made available to help participants stay on track! We also have/had options to attend a Nutrition Workshop, a Cooking Class, and a Pampering Spa Day with a Meditation Workshop. I am sure that there are even more great things to come before the challenge ends!

Disclosure:  I have partnered with The Dailey Method Rancho Bernardo-Poway to share my experiences with the 60 Day Challenge.  I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions contained in this post are solely my own.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mom's Night Out

SD Mom’s Night Out Mother’s Day Event at Roppongi La Jolla | May 9, 2013

May 9th is National Mom's Nite Out.  Will you be celebrating?

SD Mom's Night Out is hosting a Mothers Day celebration at Roppongi in La Jolla CA.  As a member of the Invite Committee for the event I hope to encourage you join us! If you are not in the San Diego area I'd love to hear about what you have planned in your town.

As a first time mom I had apprehensions about going out.  I can count on one hand the times that I have ventured out on the town sans hubby and baby for a Girls Night Out.  My husband is supportive but I've always had such a hard time getting myself to get out and go.  I work full time outside of the home and feel like I never have enough time to get things done once the work day is over or that I have enough time to spend with my family.  I miss our son like crazy since I am at the office all day.  My husband  and I have so much fun with our little guy! My "free time" should be spent with my hubby & son. Guess what I've learned? They are perfectly fine with me being away.  No reason for mommy guilt.

Thanks to SD Mom's Night Out I have learned to let go a bit and let my hair down.  I appreciate the opportunity to socialize with other moms. Even prior to joining the Invite Committee I had invited my friends, sister, and sisters in law to join me for past events.  We had a blast at the 1 Year Anniversary Party and the Fitness Event with Jeremy Jackson. THIS time I'm bringing MY Mom too!  I can hardly wait.

The SD Mom's Night Out Invite Committee with Nicole Prieto, Roppongi PR & Marketing Manager

The evening’s event will feature chocolate and wine pairings compliments of Chuao and Constellation, light appetizer fare, mini spa treatments with Evian Salon & Spa, a fun evening to mix and mingle with friends and much more.

The Invite Committee had the opportunity to visit Roppongi for a tasting.  The venue is great, the food is absolutely delicious, and I must mention that there will be prizes! The person that wins the $100 Gift card to Roppongi will be one lucky lady!  I loved all of the food that we sampled. Chef Michael McDonald is amazing!

Roppongi_Logo ID 1074
When: Thursday, May 9, 2013, 7-9pm

WhereRoppongi La Jolla, 875 Prospect St  La Jolla, CA 92037 | (858) 551-5252
Parking: Complimentary parking in underground parking lot on Fay Street (first come first serve). Valet Parking $8.

For more details about the event visit: SD Mom’s Night Out Mother’s Day Event 
Enter Promo Code LBC for $5.00 off.

promisewalk-sdThis event supports Promise Walk for Preeclampsia San Diego.The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™ supports the mission of the Preeclampsia Foundation. They provide patient support and education, raise public awareness, catalyze research and improve health care practices for millions of mothers and their babies every year who are impacted by preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Straight Talk: Braces Then, @Invisalign Now #INVStraightTalk #Ad

Thanks to Invisalign and The SITS Girls I had the opportunity to learn about advancements in teeth straightening via Invisalign Teen Straight Talk. A Mini Bloggy Boot Camp sponsored by Invisalign was held in Los Angeles on April 20, 2013. In addition to learning about ways to better our blogging skills, a group of 50 or so Bloggers were invited to an open forum in which we were able to speak to an experienced orthodontist as well as actual Invisalign Teen patients and their parents.

I am a former two time "brace face".  I wore the standard bracket type of metal braces in my teens.  As a young adult I stopped wearing my retainers so I opted for teeth straightening AGAIN with adult braces because I feel great when my teeth are straight! I'm more confident, happy, and ready to "smile out loud"!  I only wished that I knew about Invisalign then!  Far removed from my teen years (at nearly 42 years old): I am looking into Invisalign for myself! Why?! During pregnancy I had some dental issues and will be needing straightening yet again.  This time to close some spacing/gap issues.  That is another post in itself so I'll touch on that at another time.  As a working mom spending 8 hours a day at the office - time is precious. Fewer appointments equals less time missed at work and more time to be at home with my family. If your child needs treatment that would also mean less school time missed to go to the orthodontist.

After hearing about the benefits of Invisalign treatment I am happy that I have options for straightening my teeth.  I do not have any plans to be a metal faced mommy!  Invisalign is virtually invisible! Looking at my old photos with braces & wire retainers shows just how old fashioned metal bracket braces are...

The teen years were tough for me.  I had extremely crooked teeth caused by crowding.  I was self conscious when I would laugh & smile.  I was uncomfortable to the point that I would very rarely laugh without holding my hand over my mouth. I don't want our son to feel compelled to do that. I'd like to say that my son gets his happy grin from me! Which may mean that he will likely need teeth straightening one day.

This is one of my favorite photos of my son.  I'm thankful that my husband captured this moment last summer.  I want him to smile this way well into his adult life! I don't ever want him to feel self conscious about his teeth the way that I did. I am excited to know that the options in teeth straightening today are much better than when I was a teen. Generally kids should receive an orthodontic screening at around age 7. According to the orthodontist on hand to answer our questions, treatment for straightening should begin when the majority of permanent teeth have erupted. Our son has many years before his first orthodontic screening but I am prepared.

During the session a pair of teens had the chance to share with us their experiences with Invisalign.  These kids were confident, well spoken, and had great smiles!  I wish that I had that much poise when I was their age!  Their actual before & after photos that we were shown were remarkable!  I asked both teens if they experienced any effects on their speech such as lisping - both stated that they did not have any difficulty at all when wearing their plastic aligners.

Braces Then, Invisalign Now

The drawbacks of metal braces are something that I am familiar with from first hand experience: discomfort with metal brackets, food limitations, brackets popping loose requiring additional appointments to the orthodontist...

I've learned that with Invisalign you can eat normally by simply removing the aligners during mealtime. Food getting stuck in my braces was one of THE WORST parts of having them.  Which leads to the issue of brushing & flossing - it took time, patience, and some skill to get the job done! The Invisalign system uses a series of clear aligners made of lightweight plastic that sit smoothly on the teeth allowing for a more comfortable fit and they work as effectively as traditional metal braces.

There truly are so many benefits in choosing Invisalign vs. Braces. I would love to share them all here but there is so much information that I don't think that one blog post would cover it.  To learn more about the Invisalign Treatment Process please visit: How Invisalign Works.  You can also get in touch with Invisalign on Twitter or Facebook for answers to your specific questions.

Traditional Metal Braces. Photo taken in 2005 when we were dating.

Licensed to Wed in 2007 and wearing my retainers

 Engagement Photo Session 2007
All Smiles!
Are there health benefits to smiling? I think so!

Whether or not you believe that there are health benefits - one thing that I have learned for certain is that is that I feel so much better with a smile on my face.

There are people out there with naturally straight teeth - are you one of them or did (do) you need help too?  Teeth straightening isn't all about vanity/cosmetic purposes. Healthy teeth and gums can affect your overall health & immunity!  Teeth that are not aligned properly are harder to clean which can lead to periodontal disease. It can also create abnormal amounts of stress on the teeth and jaws leading to premature wear.

Have you or someone that you know used Invisalign? If so, what was the experience like? I'd love to know your opinions!  I have my sights set on having my very own Invisalign Smile!

Disclosure: I am sharing this sponsored post in partnership with The SITS Girls and Invisalign Teen . All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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