Moms Rise Community Launch Party – Moms Supporting Moms and Rising Together

Moms Rise Community Launch Party – Moms Supporting Moms and Rising Together

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

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Inclusivity Matters

What an amazing feeling to have been selected along with other moms to attend the Moms Rise community launch party!

Moms Rise is a new community, founded by Nancy Lozano-Stecyk and Nadia Hernandez, bringing together moms of different cultures, lifestyles, careers, and educational backgrounds to share their unique talents and help each other network and rise together.

Moms gathered on Saturday, November 10, 2018 for a fun-filled afternoon of yummy food, grown-up drinks, creative vision board making, and bonding with new mom friends!

“We believe that education, awareness, collaboration and support can help ease the challenges in motherhood.

Every mom deserves the opportunity to reach her goals whether that is personal, professional, business or in her role as a mother.

We are here to cheer you on and provide you with resources. We encourage you to use this platform and share your challenges, wins, dreams, & goals.

Together we will rise.”

Nancy Lozano-Stecyk and Nadia Hernandez, Moms Rise Founders

Self-care is found beyond the spa

Moms shared their time away from family, their private visions for their future, highlighted their strengths and goals, and allowed themselves to a few hours of self-care.

This time may seem as a simple craft moment, but the thought process it takes to truly make an actionable vision board is priceless.

The keyword is action. What are the steps we must take to make these visions tangible? And can we combine our resources to make them happen?

Yes, we can!

“We wanted a space where diversity and inclusion are embraced.

A safe place for all moms to come together for support and empowerment. Where education and community are easily attainable.

We have so much to learn from each other and so much to gain from our alliances.”

Nancy Lozano-Stecyk and Nadia Hernandez, Moms Rise Founders

Here are a few of the powerhouse women who presented their vision boards during the Moms Rise launch party:

Lorena Mendez-Quiroga
Documentary Filmmaker, Journalist, and Human Rights Activist

This night allowed us to see how powerful and unique our talents are because they’re a reflection of our individuality, but also how we face the same struggles of fear, doubt, and imposter syndrome in our daily lives.

Here I am, also owning my space:

Vanessa Torres
Business Administrator, Photographer, and Blogger

Thank you Yesenia Medoza-Menchaca
for taking my picture.

Take up space!

Sometimes all we need is one person to let us know that we are welcomed at the table to muster up the courage to continue working towards making a dream a reality for ourselves and our family.

Yes, we can make our own table and hustle hard alone, unfortunately sometimes we have to, but is it not more fun and productive when you have a team of humans at your table that just get you and want the best for you?


Plus, you can pay it forward and help your team do the same! There’s room for everyone at the table.

Moms Rise Community Launch Party, Saturday, November 10, 2018

United Diversity

Moms raise children, whether working in or out of the house (because all moms are working moms!), attend school meetings, medical appointments, we run businesses, we take care of the house, cook and bake, plan birthday parties, landscape the backyard, organize the paperwork, take the car out for maintenance, and pay the bills on time! These are all skills!

Before becoming amazing moms we were amazing women.
We still are.

Moms Rise seeks to help moms take inventory of their skills and services they can share with other moms in their community.

By connecting with each other we are able to support these skills and services for successful growth.

How many times has someone told you, “What? I didn’t know you could do that? I wish I would have known! I would have asked for your help, heck, I would have hired you!”

Isn’t that something? Your skills and talents are needed and wanted.

Moms Rise will build a directory with your specialty and contact information, so others that need you can find you! How awesome!

Moms Rise Together

We all know moms are powerful and we can do anything we set our mind to, but the message Moms Rise wants to make clear is that it’s much easier and rewarding to make dreams happen together as a community.

We must come together to encourage, listen, support, and lift each other up.


Go on to Instagram and follow Moms Rise to keep a lookout for their website launch, future networking events, educational workshops, and the first annual momference in 2019!



P.S. Are there any mom groups that have allowed you to see and own your true potential and helped you make strides in your visions and goals? Share with me!

#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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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).


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.


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.


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!



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.


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!


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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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 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.


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.


Let’s explore the pros and cons!

REAR Mounted Child Bike Seat

  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
  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

  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
  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!




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!


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)!


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!



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Safety First:


Comfort Riding:


Avenue Mama Super Self-Love Saturday: A Gathering for Women to Stand in Their Light

Avenue Mama Super Self-Love Saturday: A Gathering for Women to Stand in Their Light

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. Enjoy!

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Only two months into 2018 and I already know this will be a year of pure growth for me — low days included!

I was having one of those low days, when Super Self-Love Saturday was announced and described as a “morning to refuel yourself, practice self-care, and dive into self-love and self-compassion. Disconnect from the hustle and bustle of life and join a community of like-minded women.” I just knew I had to attend! Plus, I had been following Avenue Mama on Instagram and really felt I had to meet its founder, Annie Vovan, in real life and give a her hug after so many virtual fist pumps and high-fives! Have you experienced that type of human connection before?

Our morning began with introductions, while enjoying a few tasty homemade tidbits by Annie and her adorable children — how awesome is that! The women easily approached each other and seamlessly came and went within multiple circles of conversation. It was beautiful to see and experience.

The Super Self-Love Saturday hosts, Avenue Mama founder, photographer, and former pharmacist, Dr. Annie Vovan, and Embraced Podcast host and psychologist, Dr. Whitney Dicterow, led the women into the studio to begin the event.


We began with a Self-Care Yoga Session lead by Rachelle Tratt. Her personal story, her choice of music, inspirational quotes, and yoga movements, all energized the room. So enjoyable! Do you practice yoga? I enjoyed that towards the end of the session she allowed us to have a moment to take our practice at our own pace, so we could concentrate more on our personal intention(s).


We then transitioned to Self-Love Journaling led by Annie. We sat in a healing circle on these lovely and comfy bohemian-styled pillows with our gifted flowered-journals adorned with the quote “She believed she could. So she did.” Love it! Annie shared her story and slowly and organically opened-up a space for vulnerability without judgement. We went around the circle as every woman in the room shared a portion of herself. I learned, we have many journeys throughout life and sometimes we have multiple journeys working simultaneously with each other.


During our self-love journeys, we need support and guidance for ourselves, so Embraced Podcast host, Whitney, taught us the Pillars of Self-Compassion through mindful meditation. I have always found meditation simple, yet not easy, to say the least. The challenge is to stay in the moment of each present breath — however, your mind is always wandering! And that’s just it, you shouldn’t react and become frustrated. Allow yourself grace and compassion. Getting to know yourself deeper brings many emotions, but also clarity for your future-self.

From there, there’s only pa’lante! We must keep moving forward!

At the end (or is it the beginning) superfood snacks were provided by Philosophie founder, Sophie Jaffe, a Los Angeles-based health and wellness expert (insider scoop: she has worked with George Clooney!). The nutritious smoothies she prepared for us were a great way to replenish our bodies and minds.

The day’s event was hosted at WMN Space (10764 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232); and it couldn’t have been more perfect!

WMN Space Founder and doula, Paula Mallin, says, “WMN Space is a conscious space for women to gather in service to their own healing as an offering to the community. The intention of WMN Space is to support women wherever they are on their journey of womanhood and motherhood. We offer healing modalities that include; doula services, spiritual counseling, pre and postnatal classes, bodywork, massage therapy, workshops and women’s gatherings.”

Avenue Mama Super Self-Love Saturday and WMN Space coming together was the best collaboration for the women in attendance — the healing energies were aligned.

I have seen time, and time gain, that finding people whom share common ground with you bring calmness and provide support for your self-care. The relationships that are formed are not forced, and they assist with positive reinforcement of personal growth.


— unknown

What I have learned:

Making yourself a priority is not selfish.

Taking small steps to embrace every season of our lives is key. How many times have we heard, “It is not a sprint, it is a marathon.” We must take our time to evaluate all the components, in and out of our home, that make up who we are and who we are becoming.

It is okay to create space between something or someone that does not positively serve you, or your family.

However, I must say, do not allow this journey, to seek love for yourself, bring you more stress and anxiety.

Getting closer to self-acceptance is a life journey you can enjoy.



“you carry
so much love in your heart.
give some. to yourself.”
— r.z.




“Choose, everyday
to forgive yourself.
You are human, flawed,
and most of all
worthy of love.”
— Alison Malee




“Allow yourself to transform
as many times as you need
to be fully happy and free.”
— yung pueblo


vanessa of life of torres blog after avenue mama super self love saturday session with yoga mat and gift bag

Here I am after the Avenue Mama Super Self-Love Saturday. I could feel my inner light shining and I wanted to document it. This is a photo taken by my lovely iPhone timer and Ford Edge.  ; )

Taking a few minutes each day to yourself will make a world of difference for you!

Don’t forget to love yourself, amiga. Remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup.




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The following photos have been provided by Annie Vovan of Avenue Mama:


This Is 32

This Is 32

¡Hola Amiga – Buenos dias!

It’s my birthday today and I have been looking forward to this day since mid-Spring!

I set my heart on blogging and today is the deadline I gave myself to publish my first post. I brainstormed a plan for my emotions. I had to. I’m a private and conservative person. I’m a social introvert. Therefore, my main goal was to take small steps towards opening up my emotions and life into the world wide web via the internet and getting my feet wet with the online world these past seven months.

Here I am, curled up in the corner of my grey faux-leather couch, wearing my favorite comfy and perfectly worn-in yoga outfit, and the sound of the not-so-silent, yet calming night in the background, as I type away on the recently sanitized black keyboard of my Mac laptop.

Did I mention it’s 5:00 AM and I have, yet to snuggle and fall asleep next to my wonderfully warm husband, since laying my daughter to sleep for the third time tonight? There goes the idea of uninterrupted work while they sleep. Sadly, her sleep is being broken as she’s still recovering from the awful tummy flu my husband and I also experienced during the Thanksgiving weekend; however, I am completely grateful that she’s now eating, her cheeks have warmed up in color, and the sparkle in her eyes is returning.

Mental note to thank my husband in a couple of hours for hearing her cry this time and comforting her. I didn’t have to walk up the carpeted stairs for the fourth time, but yet, again, I wouldn’t have bothered me to hold her close to me like when she was a newborn and being allowed a peek of her long and curled eyelashes in the dark, thanks to the soft fluorescent street light coming in through the bedroom window.

This night is actually perfect for writing and publishing my first blog post! A reflection of my 32nd year of life on my actual birthday. Cool! Is it cool, say cool? Anyway. I’ve officially been awake for 24 hours. My weekday alarm just went off on my Fitbit. 5:15 AM. I have today, Friday, off from work. You know, because it’s my birthday. Thank goodness.  How proud I am of myself today as I look back and can list the many accomplishments under my new and ever-evolving “Vanessa: individual, mami, wife, daughter, friend, and neighbor” belt. Individual. That’s the one I felt I had lost this past year as I focused on excelling at being a mami and wife, so I promised myself I would  begin to intentionally regain myself one day at a time. Better and wiser. And more fun and energetic because I have a toddler to entertain! Can I get an Amen!


Mid-Spring 2017. That’s when my Instagram blogging account was born. There’s something so intensely therapeutic about connecting with another mamá who can read your words and understand not only what you’re trying to express and free from within under a curated highlight-reel of photos, but actually be able to emotionally place themselves in that very moment you so vulnerably shared with her, and let’s be real — the world — because she has been there. Multiple times. Under a different name and a different roof, but with the same great womanly heart. El mismo gran corazón de mujer.

The sweet orange and yellow sorbet sunrise rays are forming and peeking slowly through the sheer ivory living room curtains. I forgot to close the window panels after dinner. I’m glad. I can’t help, but smile, as I sip on my lukewarm, almost cold, ginger root and cinnamon stick boiled tea, flavored with a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of ground turmeric root, on this crisp 56 degree fall morning. Bienvenido diciembre. We were waiting for you December. We are now 24 days away from celebrating Christ our Lord, but meanwhile, we can follow along with fun and memorable family traditions of decorating our Christmas tree with most of our familia on their tippy-toes, having our Elf on a Shelf surprise us with her mischievous, yet silly behavior every morning, and welcoming all the possible arts & crafts. My DIY lover raise your hands up in the air!

Cheers to all the new moms as they join me in embarking in the journey to regain their new and improved (and completely sleep-deprived) self after baby. We’re strong, and behind us are more strong women cheering us on for when we have great achievements, but especially in moments of doubt.

*Note to Self: Love yourself. Allow yourself grace. Allow other women grace.

Please let me know how I may serve you better as we take this journey together.

Cheers to publishing my first blog post on deadline & happy 32nd birthday to me!