LA Mommy Blogger Tribe Luncheon, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Burbank, CA – New EnLIGHTened Entrees® Menu

LA Mommy Blogger Tribe Luncheon, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Burbank, CA – New EnLIGHTened Entrees® Menu

This post is in collaboration with LAMBT for BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Burbank, CA. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All photos taken by me, Vanessa Torres, unless captioned otherwise. Thank you so much for your time and support. Enjoy!

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Do you need 4 fun & easy steps
to brighten a mommy’s rainy day?

You do? Great! Because the girls from LA Mommy Blogger Tribe (LAMBT) and I discovered all 4 of them at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse in Burbank!

Follow along below to find out how you can help out your mommy friend… hey, this could even be for you!

1. Call your amigas and head over to BJ’s!

Yes, getting to BJ’s is the first step! The SoCal-comfort, with attention to detail warmth welcomes and serves you – whether you arrive alone or with a large party of your favorite gals!

So, schedule child care, do you hair, add some mascara to your lashes, and find your favorite rainy-weather comfy-chic outfit to head out the door!

LAMBT was fortunate to have BJ’s in Burbank invite us to experience their new EnLIGHTened Entrees® Menu on Sunday, February 10th just in time to celebrate Galentine’s Day a few days early!

Do you celebrate Galentine’s Day? This was my first time celebrating and I had a blast! Proof? This was a three-hour lunch! haha Time passed by so quickly!

Photographed from left to right: Naza (@sweet.p.and.sky), Suzie (@happymessmom), Erika (@asocalwayoflife), Rosie (@thehustlingmama), Vanessa (@lifeoftorres), Danica (@thememoirsofamommy ), Cecily (@hollymomtress ), and Marie (@beautifulday_blog).
Photo provided by Naza Holliman.

2. Order drinks to get the fun started!

21+ and over and please have a designated driver.

Even though not all of us enjoyed an alcoholic drink, the rest of the girls did, and they were super satisfied. Not only with the taste, which is the most important, but with the presentation! Look at these pretty party enhancers!

If you prefer to eat your calories instead of drinking them, I have a solution for you!

For the days where water just doesn’t cut it for you and would like to splurge a little. You can enjoy BJ’s Oasis® Amber.

This light beer is under 160 calories and just won an award at the 2016 North American Beer Awards or you can try BJ’s Lightswitch® Lager at under 140 calories per pint. Most beers are over 200 calories per serving!

LAMBT-BJsBurbank-Luncheon-Vanessa-Life-Of-Torres-Blog
Photographed left to right: Suzie, Rosie, Erika, Danica, Naza, Vanessa, Cecily, and Marie.
Photo provided by Naza Holliman

3. Order appetizers and entrees that will satisfy cravings and not leave you stuffed with guilt!

“At BJ’s we’ve listened to our guests who want ‘better for you’ options. Comfort food is great, but some of our guests find more comfort in our myriad of options to meet their special dietary needs…

Because we believe it’s not what you take out that makes it better for you, it’s what you put in it.”

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse

Below you will see a few of the tasty dishes our host, Leanne, curated for our table, from the EnLIGHTened Entrees Menu®, after kindly asking us of possible food allergies and dietary preferences.

Best Beginnings® Appetizer Combo
Spinach and Artichoke Dip | Avocado Egg Rolls | Boneless Wings
Best Beginnings® Appetizer Combo
Mozzarella Sticks | Avocado Egg Rolls
Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts
Crisp, lightly fried brussels sprouts | Big Poppa Smokers’ Desert Gold seasoning | sweet sriracha crema
Enlightened Seared Ahi Salad
Sashimi-grade ahi tuna | baby field greens | napa cabbage | romaine | red bell peppers | tomatoes | avocado | pickled cucumbers | cilantro | spicy wasabi |crispy wonton strips | red + green onions | rice wine vinaigrette
New Enlightened Blacked Chicken Zucchini Noodles
Blackened chicken breast | zucchini noodles | red onions | mushrooms | fire-roasted red peppers | green onions | creamy alfredo | San Marzano marinara | parmesan cheese
Enlightened Pacific Pole Soba Noodles
Sashimi-grade ahi tuna | buckwheat soba noodles | poke sauce | carrots |
pickled vegetables | soy ginger sauce | wasabi guacamole | crispy wonton strips | green onions | sesame seeds
Vegan Lentil with Ancient Grains Soup
Hearty lentil soup

From all the delicious food that was delivered to our table by Leanne and her kind staff, I was picking out what I could eat from the dishes since I’m vegetarian.

…and then here comes Leanne surprising me with their Vegan Lentil with Ancient Grains Soup! Friend, I was so grateful! This soup was savory and hit the spot on this cold and rainy day!

There aren’t many restaurant just yet where you’re able to find steak dishes and vegetarian and vegan options, plus gluten-free meals! And not only that, but they are accommodating to their guests with food allergies and/or sensitivities! BJ’s you’re the MVP!

Happy Galentine’s Day Mommies

While enjoying our savory meals we updated each other on our children’s most recent silly escapades, learning achievements, and opened-up about challenging moments we have encountered recently or overcome. It’s amazing to have a tribe you can confide in with an open heart and mind.

And in the same level of care, we discussed and listened about our success and hiccups with our individual businesses. Moms Supporting Moms. Can it get any brighter?!

Cheers to enlightening our lives with like-minded humans!
Boomerang provided by Naza Holliman.

4. Come back and enjoy
Ballast Point Tap Takeover!

Tuesday, March 19th at 6pm! Come alone, bring a friend, or your mom and enjoy award-winning brews in a great atmosphere at one or both of the grand bars at BJ’s in Burbank!

If you feel like you’re not a “beer person” not to worry! You can take this fun opportunity and find the right beer for you with the expertise of one of the bartenders, or you can order any other drink from the beverage menu and still enjoy a great time!

The gals and I are planning on returning to join in the Ballast Point Tap Takeover – “Tap Tuesdays!” If you see us, please say hello!

Ballast Point Tap Takeover is Featuring:

  • Brut IPA, Bone-Dry India Pale Ale
  • Ballast Point Lager, Lager
  • Passing Haze, Hazy Session India Pale Ale
  • Grapefruit Sculpin, India Pale Ale with Grapefruit
  • Barrel Aged Victory at Sea, Imperial Porter aged in High West Bourbon & Rye Barrels
Seriously, the detail in the bars’ woodman-ship is gorgeous!
And there’s large flat-screen TVs throughout the restaurant and at the bars for your extra entertainment!
Photographed from top to bottom and left to right: Leanne, Cecily, Rosie, Marie, Naza, Erika, Danica, Suzie, Vanessa.
Photo provided by Naza Holliman.

We are thankful to our hosts for not only providing the gals and me with a place to disconnect from the mundane mommy duties (like laundry and dishes) and to connect with each other as mompreneurs with passions and goals, but also for providing us with a complimentary opportunity to learn of and experience their new EnLIGHTened Entrees® Menu!

For most moms, eating out is an adventure in itself, especially with kids (I mean, we pack half the nursery in the diaper bag when venturing out of the house!), so it’s great to know, that we will be taken care of when we enter their doors with not only healthier food, but super-foods, too!

Have you been EnLIGHTened®, yet?

Let me know in the comments and share this awesome new BJ’s menu and Ballast Point Tap Takeover event with your friends and family!

Love,

Love-Vanessa-LifeOfTorres-Blog-

P.S. We were each sent home with one of their famous Mini Pizookie® desserts for our kids!

And it gets sweeter…

Earlier in our luncheon, while discussing future yummy menu options, I had mentioned that my 2.5-year-old daughter, Ellie, loves quinoa and Leanne surprised me with some to take home to her! So thoughtful!

FYI: This is the Enlightened Vegetarian Quinoa Bowl and we both enjoyed the flavors so much!

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
107 South 1st Street, Burbank, CA 91502
(818) 557-0881 – Instagram @bjsburbank
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., Monday through Thursday
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., Friday

10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., Saturday
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., Sunday

Valet (cash only) and self-parking lot provided.

Take-out/curb-side pick-up, and delivery through online and BJ’s App orders.

4 Easy Ways One Product Helps You Fight Adult Acne

4 Easy Ways One Product Helps You Fight Adult Acne

This post is not sponsored. I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes; and all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you so much for your time and support. Enjoy!

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4 Easy Ways One Product Helps You Fight Adult Acne. Treating adult acne on the go just got easier! www.lifeoftorres.com by Vanessa Torres
BareMinerals-Blemish-Rescue-4 Easy Ways One Product Helps You Fight Adult Acne. Treating adult acne on the go just got easier! www.lifeoftorres.com by Vanessa Torres

As an adult, some days you just feel the need to wear makeup when up against stress-causing flare ups. Even though, not so deep down, you’re really thinking, “WHY? Why am I still having to deal with pimples going into my 30s!” Insert dramatic yell emoji here —> !!!

Nevertheless, life goes on and you have to go out in public! The best option is clean makeup.

The last thing you want to do is cake-on heavy foundation to try (emphasis on the try) to hide the blemishes and only end up irritating your skin some more.

I’m glad Influenster provided me with the bareMinerals Blemish Rescue Skin-Clearing Spot Concealer complimentary for testing purposes last month because wouldn’t you know it…

My face surprised me with a new flare-up on my chin in the beginning of the new year just in time for the concealer’s arrival. (I’m blaming it on my standing 3-year KonMari Refresh ritual I perform every 6 months). And let me tell you, this pimple was not sparking any joy!

You can insert the eye-roll emoji here —> !!!

I was especially excited to test the bareMinerals concealer because if I found that it would actually conceal the blemish while treating it, I would no longer fret (as much) about being up close and personal with someone during a conversation while I had a red-glaring flare-up on my face. You mamas know how it is!

After 3 weeks of consistent use in January – I’m a believer.

I was not totally convinced the first week. I mean, the blemish was still there, even though I’m sure it was performing all of its acne-fighting powers for me! But, you know how you low-key hope for miracles when you first start using a new product? haha

By the second week, the blemish was not red, nor irritated, or dry and itchy! Always a good sign. And by the third week, the blemish was on its way to blending into my surrounding skin!

Please note, I did not use any other acne medication during the testing period.

“Featuring Salicylic Acid, Kaolin Clay and Sulfur paired with Mushroom Stem and Licorice Root Extracts to help soothe and fade the look of scars.”

bareMinerals, The Power of Good
BareMinerals-Blemish-Rescue-4 Easy Ways One Product Helps You Fight Adult Acne. Treating adult acne on the go just got easier! www.lifeoftorres.com by Vanessa Torres

There are ten mineral-rich full coverage shades to chose from, which is pretty awesome for an acne spot concealer!

I received shade Tan/Dark 4.5N. This shade worked well, but I think a shade lighter, such as Med/Tan 3.5C, would have blended much better with my skin tone, especially since I was only using a tinted sunscreen on most days because being barefaced (with sunscreen) is my favorite! Especially when just hanging out at the park or the public library with my two-year-old daughter.

Super awesome little surprise was having a hidden sharpener within the concealer stick! One less thing to carry in the diaper bag when you’re on the go. Worked well, too!

4 Easy Ways One Product Helps You Fight Adult Acne. Treating adult acne on the go just got easier! www.lifeoftorres.com by Vanessa Torres

Inserting happy dance with spirit fingers emoji here —> !!!

4 reasons
to keep a bareMinerals
Skin-Clearing Spot Concealer
in your handbag:

  1. Salicylic Acid Medication: Don’t just hide it, treat it!
  2. Matte Finish: Yay to not having a shinny pimple!
  3. Full Coverage: It can totally do double-duty and be used anywhere on your face to prevent future breakouts!
  4. #CleanBeauty: Made from cruelty-free skin-improving minerals and botanicals! Basically, it’s good for your skin!

(You just never know when you’ll be unpleasantly surprised with a pimple.)

Now I’m left with the need to test the other three products in the bareMinerals Blemish Rescue collection! (Influenster: Why didn’t you send all four?) There’s the Blemish Rescue Primer, Concealer, Loose Powder Foundation, and its very own charcoal-infused Seamless Buffing Brush!

I think, if I would have been able to use all four Blemish Rescue collection products during the testing period, there would have been a whole better and faster skin-clearing experience.

Have you tried any of the products in the bareMinerals Blemish Rescue collection? Are you an adult still coping with acne?

Please don’t make me feel like I’m the only one and let me know in the comments!

Love,

Love-Vanessa-LifeOfTorres-Blog-


Shop The Story

LA Mommy Blogger Tribe Brunch, Joe’s Cafe, Granada Hills, CA – Homemade American-style Dishes with a Twist

LA Mommy Blogger Tribe Brunch, Joe’s Cafe, Granada Hills, CA – Homemade American-style Dishes with a Twist

This post is in collaboration with LAMBT for Joe’s Cafe and all thoughts and opinions are my own. All photos taken by me, Vanessa Torres, unless captioned otherwise. Thank you so much for your time and support. Enjoy!

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Ping! My instant messenger softly sounded in the background as it shared the sound-waves with “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack, as I water-colored with my two-year-old daughter on the kitchen floor, dubbed our art studio. A few hours later (or was it days?), because #MomLife, I checked my messages. It was Naza!

Super-excited, she shared of how much she had enjoyed an unexpected breakfast date with her husband at Joe’s Cafe, and she would love for as many of us from the LA Mommy Blogger Tribe (LAMBT) to attend our next monthly brunch there!

The way she described the creative menu and the warmth of the customer service – I was in!

Come On In!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Lunch Room Entrance
Joe’s Cafe
17823 Chatsworth Blvd., Granada Hills, CA 91344
Breakfast & Lunch: 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Sunday (Lunch starts at 11:00 am)
Dinner: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Thursday through Saturday

Happy Hour: 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Thursdays

Street parking, with additional parking behind Joe’s Cafe establishment.

Delivery available through Postmates, Grubhub, and Doordash.

Are you ready to dive into a menu overflowing with authentically “homemade” and craving-filling dishes created by owners, Chef Joe Wheterbee and his business partner and wife, Aliceon?
Yes? Me, too!

But First, Coffee!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, coffee, creamer, best customer service
Destiny pours the much needed hot and freshly brewed coffee for the mompreneurs.

My friend! Here are a few of fun facts I learned while at Joe’s Cafe:

  • Chef Joe won the Food Network’s “Chopped,” on the last episode titled “Dread and Breakfast”, which aired in 2014;
  • Joe’s Cafe was recently featured on an episode of Travel Channel’s “Food Paradise;”
  • You can enjoy live local music at Joe’s Cafe on scheduled Friday and Saturday nights;
  • And if laughs are your thing, check-in with Joe’s Cafe for their next Comedy à la Carte for “a delicious night of stand-up;”
  • They have an Instagram account: @JoesCafeGH and use the #FoodDoneGood

How awesome is that!

There are so many sweet and savory breakfast and lunch options to choose from, and there’s also a variety of hot & cold drinks. Beer and wine for the 21-and-over, but I’m a sucker for the traditional breakfast staple: fresh-squeezed orange juice!

As I reviewed the menu, I did notice that Joe’s Cafe does not have plant-based diet friendly options; however, vegetarians may have better luck, especially ovo-lacto-vegetarians.

Parents: there’s a kids menu!

You can find the staples: chicken tenders, grilled cheese sandwich, and mac n’ cheese.

These protein-stuffed pancake balls pictured below are perfect for kids, too!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Fried Sausage Pancake Balls
P-Cake Balls
Sausages dipped and fried in pancake batter, and served with maple cream.

Small Details

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Pouring Water

I absolutely appreciated the environmentally-friendly paper straws, the farmhouse-chic mason jars, and the large & beautiful green reusable water bottles, and the tiny glass milk bottles for the milk and/or creamer for the coffee!

Plus, cacti plants for decor here and there around the cafe – my favorite!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, breakfast menus

Below are a few photos of our flavorful “homemade” American-style dishes.

Not pictured is Rosie’s order, Ojan’s Junk (a pancake sandwich with two eggs, a sausage patty, smoked Gouda cheese, sliced tomato, and house ranch) – the Food Network’s “Chopped” winning dish!

You’ll have to check it out!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Breakfast Croissant
Croissant Sandwich
Thick bacon, fried egg and smoked Gouda cheese on a buttery croissant with optional avocado.
Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Ericka Castanos
Pork Belly Eggs Benedict
Toasted buttery garlic bread with heirloom tomato, basil, pork belly, and poached egg topped with hollandaise sauce, with optional Avocado.
(Photo taken by Ericka Castanos)
Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Ericka Castanos
Stuffed French Toast
Local French loaf bread stuffed and grilled with fresh berries and cream cheese.
(Photo taken by Ericka Castanos)

Foodie!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Mommy Bloggers

We’re bloggers!

You know we had to take the mandatory aerial photo of our aesthetically pleasing dishes – the taste did not disappoint either. Look at that not-so-basic avocado toast!

I also noticed Gouda cheese and bacon seem to be a staple in most of the dishes. Are you a fan of Gouda cheese? This was my first time trying it!

Naza speaks to LAMBT members regarding goals, Joe's Cafe, Vanessa, Life Of Torres Blog

Being able to spend time reflecting on January, and sharing our goals and plans for February with the LAMBT while enjoying great food was the best!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Naza Holliman, Vanessa Torres, Tyler E. Johnson, Rosie Nguyen, Tiffanie Westgor, Ericka Castanos, Raquel Harbin, Suzie Boluarte, Kelly Short, and Lara Scott
LA Mommy Blogger Tribe Members (from left to right): Naza Holliman, Vanessa Torres, Tyler E. Johnson, Rosie Nguyen, Tiffanie Westgor, Ericka Castanos, Raquel Harbin, Suzie Boluarte, Kelly Short, and Lara Scott. (Photo/Selfie taken by Naza Holliman)

Homemade Desserts

Desserts made from scratch, just like the rest of the food on the menu.
Not pictured: the chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting! Enough said.

Ready for Super Bowl LIII 

As soon as you walk into Joe’s Cafe the excitement for this weekend’s Super Bowl LIII (Sunday, February 3, 2019) is evident!

The dessert pantry is decorated in Patriots’ gear (and Joe’s Cafe merchandise available for purchase)!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Patriots Fan

Aliceon may not be a New England Patriots fan, such as her husband Joe, but she’s the real MVP at Joe’s Cafe!

#WomenSupportingWomen #LAMBT #CommunityOverCompetition

BTW, Go Rams!
(Welcome back to LA!)

Joe's Cafe co-owner, Aliceon, expertly gives the members of LAMBT the sweet run-down of the breakfast and lunch menu, the history of Joe's Cafe, and the inside scoop of what's baking next for this Spring! (Photo taken by Ericka Castanos)
Joe’s Cafe co-owner, Aliceon, expertly gives the members of LAMBT the sweet run-down of the breakfast and lunch menu, the history of Joe’s Cafe, and the inside scoop of what’s baking next for this Spring! (Photo taken by Ericka Castanos)

As mompreneurs, having a tribe of women to lean on is essential, and as a member of the LA Mommy Blogger Tribe, I look forward to our monthly brunches, not only to help support my fellow mommy bloggers, but also our local small business, such as Joe’s Cafe.

It was such a treat to get to know Aliceon during our brunch! This multi-tasking new-mompreneur (Yay!) attended to her guests, prepped and baked fresh desserts, and still made time to have real conversations and pose for a Boomerang with our mommy tribe! Aren’t Boomerangs so much fun?!

Shout out to Destiny for her attentiveness and sweet, yet sassy sense of humor – she was Joe’s Cafe first hire and I can see why she’s a valued member of the team. Everyone was awesome!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Naza Holliman
LA Mommy Blogger Tribe Members (from left to right): Ericka, Vanessa, Tyler, Tiffanie, Naza, Lara, Rosie, Suzie, Kelly, and Raquel with Aliceon and Destiny.

Here we are after much deliberation and great laughs:
Mommies with their creative spirits and bellies full.

Thank you Joe’s Cafe for hosting us!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Lifestyle Photographer

Friend, I hope you stop by at Joe’s Cafe and enjoy the warm and casual environment, and deliciously creative “homemade” menu. Would you like to visit?

Don’t forget to leave a comment and share this post. Your feedback fills my creative cup to share even more with you!

See you on the other side of the camera lens!

Love,

Vanessa's Blog Signature

P.S. How stinkin’ cute is it when restaurants provide clean water bowls for your doggies?! All the heart-eyes!

P.S.S. Subscribe to our Life Of Torres newsletter tribe to be the first to know of our LAMBT brunch adventures and get the scoop on the next place in Los Angeles you should go have a foodie experience!

& follow LA Mommy Blogger Tribe on Instagram @LAMommyBloggerTribe



Shop My Look

#TeachItMamas Body Love Workshop

#TeachItMamas Body Love Workshop

This post is not sponsored. Thank you so much for your time and support. Enjoy!

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lifeoftorres2018_teachitmamas-body-love-workshop-pin

On Monday, October 15, 2018 Alex Andrade, founder of Teach It Mamas, hosted a Body Love Workshop, alongside three other empowering mamas: Crystal Dominguez, founder and artist at Crystal Domi, Rachel Carrillo, founder and photographer at L.A. Momma Photography, and Mary Carrillo, founder and educator at Maryposa Essentials, the workshop emphasized the need for women to self-care, love, and accept.

I attended Alex’s first community event back in May 20, 2018. You can read all about my experience here.

We met for the Body Love Workshop (Workshop) at 6:00 PM at Makers Mess, located on 602 N. Hoover, Street, Los Angeles, CA (Silver Lake), just around sunset.

Let me share with you, I took a moment before the Workshop to take in the beauty of nature and let my gratitude sink in.

I was grateful to have made the Workshop a priority and to have the support of my loving husband. To avoid the after-work traffic, I drove to my husband’s place of employment to drop-off my daughter with him and take off to the Workshop from there.

Earlier in the day, I had productive day of biking for bonding, cleaning the house, and getting ready for the workshop — physically and mentally. Is anyone else a social introvert with anxiety? 🙂

Nothing better than a gorgeous sunset overlooking the city to ease into a group setting and calm the nerves.

However, there was nothing to worry about! The atmosphere was welcoming from the moment I hugged Alex “hello!”

As we finished setting up, and the ladies started arriving, you could already feel that the night’s group was going to connect and love on each other.

There was mingling and whispers of support, while enjoying sweet snacks, infused water, and even some adult drinks (I’m sure this helped relax any nerves).

lifeoftorres2018_teachitmamas-body-love-workshop-5

I contemplated where to sit. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and sat in the middle of the group, instead of the corner — my personal favorite.
Anyone else go for the corner of the room?

Plus, I loved how the sunlight was coming in gorgeously bathing the studio walls, furniture, and beautiful women in the room.

lifeoftorres2018_teachitmamas-body-love-workshop-27

At each seat, the ladies could find a beautiful spiral-bound journal and pen for them to embrace journaling, during and after the Workshop. Journaling has becoming a form therapy for me. It used to be scrapbooking. I would love to merge the two!

The journal was beautifully decorated with custom art by Crystal Dominguez. The art piece was simple and inclusive. Isn’t that how we should be with ourselves?

Yet somehow we inevitably learn to get into our head, over analyze, and criticize our every thought and move; it’s much more complicated and discriminatory.

lifeoftorres2018_teachitmamas-body-love-workshop-12

How do we ground ourselves enough to focus on our inner positive voice, yet energize to be able to do all of the things?

Mary shared a great option for just that! Essential oils!
All while holding her months-old daughter in her arms (…and breastfed later on while standing tall and loving — that’s her superpower.

From her personal experience, she has found that essential oils have been able to aide her during the most common cold symptoms to heart-wrenching life experiences.
We thank her for opening up her wounds to share with us the power she has experienced with essential oils.

Nature has been able to help us since the beginning of time, yet I do not think it has been this easy to access its goodness. You’re just a few drops away from mental healing, and that sounds amazing!

Do you use essential oils?

Crystal has found that journaling and art is one of the best therapy options, as well as the best method to revolt against society’s unrealistic body expectations for women, and a creative way to empower and inspire women to heal and live their best life.

Crystal shared a future project of hers with us: A journal for your thoughts, while also providing space to color-in beautifully drawn women-empowering designs. Two-in-one goodness.

I’m looking forward to seeing the final product!

I love all of this! As you can see from the photo below, so did Alex!

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All the ladies in the room were able to share their body love journey: struggles and wins, ranging from when they were children to that very moment sitting at our table.

The conclusion is always the same. We all have different body compositions, but in the end, we are all dealing with the same conflicts. Let’s make like Elsa, and let it go…

We are stronger together.

We took a moment to choose a word we felt defined our body that night. Without giving it much though, I felt the word ‘Resilient’ appear in my mind’s eye. I wrote it down without hesitation.

And on my Crystal Domi Worksheet I quickly answered the question before moving on to the next phase of our Body Love Workshop:

How do you see yourself?

“I love my journey of self-acceptance. Turning thirty years old and becoming a mother has blessed me, not only with a healthy baby girl, but also with the blessing of self-love. Having this gift now allows for me to truly appreciate it. I would have taken it for granted as a teen and as a twenty year old. Thank the Lord for knowing His time.”  — Vanessa Torres

How would you answer this question?

We were to take our chosen word and bring it to life in our portrait session with the talented photographer, Rachel.

In this phase, we were granting ourselves permission to allow our body and all of the feels to be the center of attention in our portrait. Take up space!

I cannot wait to view the final edits of our portraits and admire the Resilient body that I am blessed with. I have to admit, I was feeling sassy during the portrait session, and I know for a fact that the light came from within and from the positive vibrations around all of us in the studio. We were empowered.

lifeoftorres2018_teachitmamas-body-love-workshop-49

Inspired by the night’s heart-felt stories. Here’s a small round-up of some of my favorite body-positive quotes:

  • “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” – Brene Brown
  • “Health isn’t just about what you’re eating. It’s about what you’re thinking and saying too.” – unknown
  • “In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” – unknown
  • “Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own.” – unknown
  • “I’ve put up too much, too long, and now I’m just too intelligent, too powerful, too beautiful, too sure of who I am finally to deserve anything else.” – Sandra Cisneros

Do you have a favorite body-positive quote?

Remember, the lesson is to self-care, love, and accept where you currently find yourself in your journey of growth. Don’t wait until tomorrow, or when the timing is “perfect.”

And in the spirit of Teach It Mamas: Teach, Learn, Connect, Empower.

Teach it mama!

Love,

P.S. Subscribe to our newsletter tribe to see my sassy portrait! Are you curious?

P.S.S. Little awesome inside scoop:

Teach It Mamas was nominated to be able to utilize Makers Mess through their first Move-in Mondays giveaway! This is where Makers Mess allows members of the community to nominate their friends to take over their empty studio every third Monday of the month. How amazing is this of Makers Mess! That’s what I call paying-it-forward.

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L.A Mamacitas “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” Pumpkin Decorating Party

L.A Mamacitas “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” Pumpkin Decorating Party

This post is sponsored in collaboration with L.A Mamacitas. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you so much for your time and support. Enjoy!



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My Ellie and I took a mini road trip on Monday, October 8th to the Montebello Town Square. We were invited to attend the L.A Mamacitas “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” Pumpkin Decorating Party hosted at the Robles Pumpkin Patch Festival!

The family-owned Robles Pumpkin Patch Festival not only has pumpkins (obvi), but they also have a jumper play zone for multiple age groups (#momapproved); a super cute petting zoo with bunnies, goats, pigs, chickens, and even a pony; many snacks, including popcorn and candy apples; and all of the instagramable photo ops for the whole family!

Having fun with my Ellie and my fellow mami bloggers, and their super cool kids, at the Robles Pumpkin Patch Festival totally has me looking forward to attending the early showing for “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” this Thursday! All U.S. showings start on Friday, October 12, 2018!

Both, my husband and I, read the Scholastic Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine, as kids in the 90s, and love that now the Goosebumps Monsters are in comedy-adventure movies!

Low-key, wouldn’t you like a R-rated Goosebumps movie for us 30-something-year-olds who grew up reading the original series? Just an idea my husband had. I mean, Ken Jeong is already casted, and Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy still scares me! Yep!

Don’t you feel the same?

I was so excited to attend the pumpkin decorating party, as this would be my little girl’s first time decorating a pumpkin!

She happily chose our pumpkins and then we joined the rest of the mamacitas and kids to decorate — some of us may have been distracted by the yummy donuts and pizza generously provided by L.A Mamacitas.

Last year Ellie was a one-year-old and was too tiny to join in the festivities. This year, she was able to participate in the Halloween tradition and was introduced to Goosebumps!

I look forward to handing over my R.L. Stine book collection to her! Yes, I have not donated my collection after two decades — they’re ready for her!

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Ellie and her friends decorated their pumpkins with silly faces, stickers, and colorful rhinestones.

However, she took to the awesomely designed “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” movie poster and explored with patterns and compositions to add her own bold and  abstract designs to it! ; )

Don’t you find joy in letting your kid’s imagination run wild?

I love when Ellie creates wooden-block buildings and street-chalk masterpieces. I can already imagine the spooky adventures she will author as she brings Halloween to life à la R.L. Stine!

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Thankful to @la_mamacitas for sponsoring this post and being awesome at organizing fun-filled family events in our community for moms and kiddos! And thankful to you, for riding along the nostalgic train with me on this post. Seriously.

Let me know when you go see “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” and your thoughts in the comments section below!

Find me on Instagram @LifeOfTorres and hashtag #GoosebumpsMovie and #LAmamacitas — we can both go down memory lane together!

Love,

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P.S. Here’s a sneak peek inside the complimentary promotional swag bags!

We will definitely use the tote bag for trick or treating in a couple weeks. I felt like a kid, again, with the pencil pouch goodies and bookmarks (I collected those, too!). Wouldn’t you?!

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Goosebumps 2 Haunted Halloween Official Movie Poster
Only in theaters October 12, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Goosebumps, Sony Pictures

 

Tips for Fun and Safe Biking with Toddlers!

Tips for Fun and Safe Biking with Toddlers!

This post is not sponsored, but does contain affiliate links to products I love.
If you purchase something with these links, you are helping support this blog and my family at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your time and support!



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Did you love spending quality time in the outdoors prior to having children?

You don’t have to wait until they’re past five years of age to continue that part of your life. Thanks goodness!

Continuing to exercise activities that bring you joy and a great dose of healthy endorphins should be celebrated and shared with your child. You will be setting an excellent example of self care.

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There are many ways to bond with your child outdoors throughout their life, but I’m sure actual bike riding wouldn’t have been on your list during their infant and toddler years! No training wheels needed!

⇒ You always wear a well-fitting helmet! ⇐

Child should wear seat belt, use foot rest, and have a good backrest for stability!

It brings a smile to my face to know that I can share this experience with my Ellie — going tandem!  ¡Pa’lante! Let’s go!

It’s a personal choice, if you decide to bike ride with your child rear mounted vs. front mounted.

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Let’s explore the pros and cons!

REAR Mounted Child Bike Seat

PROS:
  1. Age ranges from nine months (they can hold their head up) through six years old
  2. Maximum weight is 40 lbs. regardless if over six years old
  3. Parent has more range for leg movement for peddling
  4. Compatible with more bike models
CONS:
  1. Parent is not able to see and verify child’s well-being without stopping
  2. Parent is not able to try to protect child in a fall or accident
  3. Child faces their parent’s back/No view of scenery
  4. Lack of interaction for bonding

FRONT Mounted Child Bike Seat

PROS:
  1. Ability to try and protect child in a fall or accident
  2. Child faces the front and is able to view scenery
  3. Interaction and bonding is increased
  4. Bike ride has more stability
CONS:
  1. Age ranges from nine months (they can hold their head up) through four years old
  2. Maximum weight is 35 lbs. regardless if under four years old
  3. Parent has less range for leg movement for peddling
  4. Not easily compatible with many bike models
  5. Child may want to steer handle bars

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If it’s a short ride, I do not bring along a small backpack with the essentials, but I do wear this super lightweight waist pack to carry my home/car key, chapstick, a small snack, and my phone for the music (and emergency calls). Ellie loves to sing and dance as we ride!

We enjoy a special Spotify playlist we created for Ellie. The playlist includes her Top 5 Jams: The Wheels on the Bus, Let It Go, Elmo Slide, Recuérdame, and The Greatest Show… yep, I bet you didn’t see that song coming! She has inherited our love for musicals!

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I usually ride 5-7 miles to find a different park each day we bike ride. For the most part, I look up park locations before heading out the door and let a family member or friend (and always my husband, if he’s not with us) know where I’m heading!

However, there have been times, I’ve encountered a small community park during my travels and decide to stay for a while. For the longer rides, make sure to always bring water with you, there may not be a working water fountain at your destination.

I believe that by having the end destination be a fun place to play and learn will allow your child to be more excited during the bike ride, and less fussy!

Libraries, museums, beaches, indoor play areas, they all work great, too!

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Once at the park, we both stretch out our legs and back, and then run to the jungle gym!

You best believe I’m the mom running around with her child, and suddenly not being able to outrun their tiny little legs! haha

Until it’s time to bike ride back home (or to the car)!

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I have to share that Ellie chose her outfit this morning — this little lady loves her skirts! She was sporting her t-shirt and leggings, when she spotted the skirted-overalls on the “too small” pile of the closet. I will let you know, these overalls are size 12 months, but they can definitely still be worn over cute leggings!

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I swear she enjoys her bike rides (or anything for that matter) a lot more, when she gets to choose her outfit!

I hope these fun tips allow you to safely venture out and bond with your child on a nice bike ride and enjoy the blue skies, green landscaping, and the sounds of our world!

Don’t forget the snacks!

Love,

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Comfort Riding: