Super Undies: Washable & Reusable Pull-On Potty Training Pants

Disclaimer: I was provided with a sample of Super Undies Pull-On Potty Training Pants for review purposes. No other compensation was received.  All opinions are my own. 


Potty training has always been a challenge for us. It is for many special needs families. After a few years and lots of patience we have achieved day-time success! But we still struggle at night. When Norrin turned 8 years old I decided that this was the year we were going to achieve night-time success. But like all other things autism, things don't always work on a time table. It's still a work in progress.

So when I was approached by the folks at Super Undies, I was eager to give them a try. 
Super Undies are a line of washable and reusable Pull-On and Snap-On potty training pants are completely waterproof through the wet zone, but made with super stretchy side tabs for easy on and off action. The undies come in a variety of bright colors for both boys and girls and are most like real underwear, which makes for an easier transition from diapers into the potty training mindset. 
What I liked about them: I like that they are machine washable and reusable, as night-time pull-ons can become costly. Something that families can purchase once and keep using is sure to be a money saver. After a night of use, I rinsed them out in cold water before washing them. I didn't put them in the dryer. I was impressed with how well they washed and were ready to use again.

What I didn't like about them: I don't like that they are machine washable. Because in the mornings as I'm getting ready my kid ready for school and myself for work - the last thing I want to do is rinse out a soaked pull-on so that I can machine wash it after work. It just didn't work for me.

Who would I recommend them for: I would suggest Super Undies for kids who understand the concept of night-time dryness who wake up if they begin to feel wet. 

Ultimately, I really liked the Super Undies product and I wish that it would have worked better for us. My kid's just not ready. I am sure one day he will be, but just not now. 



For more on Potty Training check out my posts on Parents:

Potty Training Your Kid with Autism: 6 Things Parents Should Keep in Mind 
Nighttime Potty Training Your Autistic Child: 6 Things You Will Need to Begin


Disclaimer: I was provided with a sample for review purposes. No other compensation was received.  All opinions are my own.

The Best Pointy Toe Flats EVER! {I Gotta *SpeakUp* About Them}


Before I get into my favorite pair of pointy toe flats - SpeakUp by Nine West - a little back story: 

If you've known me for a few years, you'll know that I used to work in retail. During my retail years, I bounced around a lot. But one of my favorite places to work was Nine West (mid 90s). There are quite a lot of perks about working retail, including flexible hours and discounts. In addition to these perks at Nine West - employees were also provided with a free pair of shoes every season. You guys - FREE SHOES! Who wouldn't love that? 

Back then my favorite flats was the Sharday. They were super cute loafer type shoes. I had them in black leather, black suede, brown suede and cream. And they were always my 3rd pair to bring out to a customer. 

I don't know how they do things now at Nine West but when I worked there we always had to bring out at least 3 pairs of shoes - even if the customer just asked for one. This was to bring up our UPTs (Units Per Transaction - for those who don't speak retail) and since we worked on commission we usually brought out multiple pairs to ensure a sale. We brought out the shoe they asked for, a shoe that was similar and a shoe that we liked. I had a knack for selling Shardays. Because I was usually wearing them and since I was on my feet all day, running up and down stairs - women believed me when I told them they were comfortable. 

Fast forward to 2013...I was looking for a cute flat to wear to work. I had been searching and searching for a pointy toe flat for months with no luck. And then I saw them in the 59th & Lex store window: SpeakUp. Without a blink, I walked in and asked for a size 9. As soon as I slipped into them, I felt like Cinderella at the ball. They were perfect. 

I chatted with the sales person and mentioned that I used to work at Nine West and that I actually interviewed at that very store. He pretended not to believe me when I said that I interviewed back in the 90s. (Bless his heart.)

I walked out with three pairs of shoes: 2 pairs of SpeakUp - Natural & Black Patent - and a pair of pointy toe flats (copper) but those hurt my feet so I won't talk about them.

I loved SpeakUp so much that I went back a few months later and bought the green and another natural patent. I wear these shoes ALL THE TIME. To work, to go out with girlfriends, out with Norrin, date night, out on errands and blogging events. They look great with skinny jeans, pants and skirts & dresses. (I love wearing them with dark denim skinny jeans, a tee and a blazer.) I love that they are a pointy toe flat because it looks dressier than a round toe. Speakup is the ideal shoe for a busy gal on the go who wants to be comfy & chic. And I'm ready to purchase a few more colors...




I am an Reward Style affiliate - if you click & purchase on the images below, I get a bucks when you make a purchase.


10 Reasons To Love Fall in NYC


We had a fun Summer but Fall is here and I am ready. We didn't do everything on our Summer Bucket List but there're things that can be really done all year - especially during the fall. And I LOVE Fall in New York City.
  
10 Things I Love About Fall

Scarves. I am all about my scarves. They are my favorite accessory and can transform any outfit. It can be the pop of color you need or a subtle statement.

Cardigans. I love walking out on a cool day with a cozy cardigan and a chunky scarf. Cardigans pretty much go with anything but I think they are especially perfect with skinny jeans and cute flats.

Good Hair Days. Bye bye summer humidity and hot days! After months of sun and swimming, I've been repairing my locks with Neutrogena Triple Repair hair products. I love wearing my hair loose and fall is the perfect season to do just that.

Apples. Apple picking in New York is a short drive away. I can't wait to go apple picking, make apple pie and caramel apples!

Crunchy Leaves. I'm like a big kid - stomping and crunching leaves. I love the colors of fall leaves too. It's nice going on long Sunday drives and enjoying the foliage.

Crisp Air. I love long walks or going out for a run and breathing in the crisp air. I'm not out of sweating from the heat and I'm not rushing to get out of the cold. The crisp fall air relaxes me. The other night I slept with the windows open. The cool breeze, all snuggled in my fuzzy blanket to keep warm - it's the perfect way to be lulled to sleep.

Hot Coffee. While I'm walking in that crisp fall air and stomping through crunchy leaves, a cup of hot coffee is perfect.

Cooking. I have a small kitchen that gets really hot. It's the reason why I hate cooking in the warm summer months. But on Sundays, I love cooking with all the windows open - letting the cool air in.

Pumpkin EVERYTHING. Because. PUMPKIN! Do not even get me started on Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin munchkins - they are my weakness.

Lazy Weekends at Home. During the summer, I have this need to just get out and do something. The fall I begin to hibernate. I like cuddling on the sofa watching movies and eating home cooked meals. Fall reminds me to slow down.

What do you love about Fall?

{Tissue Alert} This @Sears Video Will Make You Cry & Want To Hug Your Dad #MoreToYou #MasDeLoTuyo #ad

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored campaign post in collaboration with Sears and Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions are my own.


This is me with my parents on graduation day back in 2013. I was the first in my family to receive a Masters Degree. Neither of my parents are very emotional or expressive people but I knew they were proud of me on that day. 

Growing up my dad rarely attended any of my school functions - he worked a lot and had limited time off. Now that he's retired, he attended both of my college graduations and Norrin's pre-k graduation. 

My dad also helps out with childcare and picks Norrin up from the school bus a few times a week. And I like that my son has the time with my dad that I never had.

Now I love my dad but I don't typically get emotional over him. We just don't have that kind of relationship. But when I saw the latest installment of Sears video series called More To You featuring surprises with real people, based on real tweets from people who want to give more to the ones they love - I LOST IT.

And I mean...ugly cry lost it.      

In the video, Sears visits Jasmine, a young woman who wanted to do something special for her hard working father. Little did Jasmine know that he had a surprise for her as well. 

While watching I was reminded me of my dad and how he loved to build. And I thought of the wooden toy chest he made for me when I was a little girl. It stored my dolls, my diary and other prized possessions. More than 30 years later, I still have that toy chest and could never bring myself to part with it. It was made out of love by a man who has a difficult time expressing his feelings.

The video makes me want to do something special for both my dad and my mom - the people in my life who worked so hard to give me everything I needed. I would love to be able to do more for them in thanks for all they have done and continue to do for me.

Watch the video & share it! And when you're done - go hug your dad or the person who has dedicated their life giving More To You!      


Want Sears to give more to you (and your loved ones) like they did for Jasmine and her dad? Tweet @Sears with #MasDeLoTuyo (or #MoreToYou) and Sears just might give more to you.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored campaign post in collaboration with Sears and Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions are my own.

Start a New Birthday Tradition with Elf On The Shelf {Recap of #NicheParent14 Meet Up in NYC}

Disclaimer: As a Niche Parent Ambassador, I helped coordinate the event and received an Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition gift bag for attending the event. And as a Niche Parent Affiliate I will receive 10% of all sales (including packages) from any purchase made through affiliate link and $200 off my family conference package purchase. No other compensation was received. And as always all opinions are my own. 




One of my duties as a #NicheParent14 Ambassador was to co-host a meet up. Last month we organized a fun blogger event for #NicheParent14 with Elf on the Shelf! The meet up was at Dylan's Candy Store in NYC and it was the perfect venue! 

We adopted "Elfie" two Christmas' ago and it's been a special Christmas tradition for us.  Christa Pitts - the daughter of Carol Aebersold and sister to Chanda Bell, co-authors of Elf on the Shelf - attended our #NicheParent14 meet up. Christa talked about how the Elf on the Shelf came to be published - even after several rejections - and it was inspiring to hear. As a writer, I appreciated hearing about the determination to see their vision on the bookshelves.

Since Elf on the Shelf helped Norrin understand Christmas magic, I knew Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition would be fun for him too! And I think it would be helpful for many kids with autism
The Elf on the Shelf®: A Birthday Tradition tells the little-known story of how Santa’s finest helpers celebrate birthdays at the North Pole—and how you can invite your scout elf to share that tradition with YOU! Each kit includes special instructions for inviting your scout elf for a birthday visit, and a festive birthday outfit for your scout elf to slip into before the big day! Also available—the Birthday Countdown & Game and the Birthday Chair Decoration Kit.
Check out the Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition items! 

Elf not included with the book & festive birthday Elf outfit
Count down to the big day with the Birthday Countdown & Game

 Make the day extra special with the Birthday Chair Decoration Kit
If you purchased a copy of The Elf on the Shelf®: A Birthday Tradition, you’ve already helped Santa to bring clean water to a child who doesn’t have it. $1 from the sale of each copy of the book will be donated to charity: water in their work to end the global water crisis.


Read how Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition can help kids with autism - click HERE.

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Elf on the Shelf is a #NicheParent14 sponsor! Register for the Niche Parent Conference at Walt Disney World on Oct 16 - 18 click here --> http://bit.ly/NPC14lqf

Disclaimer: As a Niche Parent Ambassador, I helped coordinate the event and received an Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition gift bag for attending the event. And as a Niche Parent Affiliate I will receive 10% of all sales (including packages) from any purchase made through affiliate link and $200 off my family conference package purchase. No other compensation was received. And as always all opinions are my own. 

The #PurplePurse: Helping Women Recognize Domestic Violence & Reclaim Financial Independence | #ad

Discloser: This is a sponsored campaign post in collaboration with Allstate Foundation® and Latina Bloggers Connect. As always, all opinions are my own.

Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is making it fashionable to talk about domestic violence and the financial abuse that traps women in abusive relationships. The program ignites fundraising for more than 140 national, state and local domestic violence organizations. Funds raised will support life-changing financial empowerment services to help domestic violence survivors build safer lives for themselves and their families. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse aims to break the cycle of violence in our nation – one family at a time.
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It seems like you can't turn on the television these last few weeks without hearing the words "domestic violence." I haven't watched the entire elevator video of Ray Rice knocking his then fiancee, Janay Palmer, unconscious but I've seen enough. The video - though shocking - is an unfortunate reality for many women. Domestic violence affects 1 in 4 women in her lifetime – that’s more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined. And while two-thirds of Americans believe that domestic violence is a serious problem, very few discuss it.

The Ray Rice footage has sparked a national debate among women and men. And I am actually appalled at the number of female fans who continue to support Rice and condemn Palmer for marrying him. Because with the conversation is also the question: Why didn't she leave?

We claim to be a modern society, yet the victim of domestic violence is still held just as accountable as the abuser.

Most people only associate physical abuse with domestic violence. Yet, financial abuse happens in 98% of all cases of domestic violence and is one of the most powerful ways to keep a victim trapped. It's the reason why so many women stay. Because they do not have the financial resources to break free from their abuser.

One of the things my mother and madrina instilled in me was the importance of being financially independent, especially after marriage. "Always keep a small bank account with a few dollars for yourself - just in case," they advised. At the time, they never said what "just in case" meant but now I know. Neither one of them wanted money to be the reason to stay in an unhappy marriage/relationship. 

I feel fortunate to be in a healthy and happy marriage. But I also know I am not financially bound to it. I have my own small account and squirrel away a few dollars each paycheck. Not every woman can say the same.

That's why the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is so critical. Not only does it aim to openly discuss domestic violence and financial abuse, but it provides important tips and tools to help women recognize domestic violence and financial abuse, talk about it and end it.

It's time go beyond the water cooler conversation of Ray Rice and domestic violence - let's take action. You can help ensure domestic violence survivors – likely someone you know – aren’t financially trapped in an abusive relationship by joining the Purple Purse Challenge. Open your heart and wallet to stand up for survivors and the organizations that serve them at PurplePurse.com.

The Allstate Foundation is investing more than half a million dollars in the Purple Purse Challenge. The more donations each nonprofit gets, the more it can compete for Allstate Foundation incentive funding. Go to PurplePurse.com between Sept. 2 and Oct. 3 to join the Challenge and help a nonprofit near you

If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Discloser: This is a sponsored campaign post in collaboration with Allstate Foundation® and Latina Bloggers Connect. As always, all opinions are my own.

7 Ways to Support Your Spouse Train for the NYC Marathon

The countdown to the NYC Marathon is on! There are 49 days left until Joseph runs across the 5 boroughs - 26.2 miles. 

I get tired just thinking about it. I am not a runner. I don't get the whole runner's high. I run 2 miles and I want to cry. I just came home from the gym and did 2 miles on the treadmill. And I'm trying really hard not to whine about it. 


But Joseph likes running and it's been his personal goal to run the marathon. He's actually been training for it (on and off) over the last four years - somehow life has always gotten in the way of him running.

Earlier today he ran the NY Road Runners tune up race - 18 miles (3 times around Central Park). As I type this, he's laying on the sofa watching the Giants, icing his legs. 

I am so proud of him, seeing him work so hard to achieve this goal. And while I don't understand the runner's mentality - I want to be as supportive as possible. Especially since he's been so supportive of me all these years. 

So if there's a special runner in your life - here are 7 ways you can support them while they train for a marathon.
    
Give them guilt free time to train. Training can be intense and it takes time. Blocks of time. For us it's meant sacrificing our weekend outings or cutting them short so that Joseph has time to run. It's kind of tough since Joseph is the driver and I depend on him to take me out but so far we've managed. 

Show up at the big race. Nothing says support like showing up. I will be there on the day of the marathon cheering him on as he crosses the finish line! 

Buy them things that will help their training. Training will put wear and tear on the body. Ask them if there's anything specific that would make things easier for them - like KT Tape & Body Glide Balm. The KT Tape has been really helpful for Joseph. And the balm helps with chaffing - but vaseline works well too. 

Remind them to hydrate hydrate hydrate. Staying hydrated is super important. But sometimes it's easy to forget. I keep water bottles in the fridge and I remind Joseph to drink up throughout the day.  

Have a cool/ice bath waiting for them when they return. I always ask Joseph how long he'll be out. Just as I think he's about to come home, I fill the tub with cool water and cubes of ice to soothe his aching muscles.   

Encourage them to go out and run on those days they don't want to. After a long day of work sometimes the last thing Joseph wants to do is go out and run. Or he feels guilty about going out and leaving me to take care of things around the house. But I assure him that I'll be fine and that I want him to run.   

Give them time to recover after a long run. Give them to veg on the sofa or go to sleep early. Their bodies need to recuperate.

I'm not a runner but I know Joseph appreciates when Norrin and I join him on race days. Sometimes it's nice for us to run as a family. And every so often, we do. 

What kind of support would you want when training for a marathon?


Macy's at the New Bay Plaza Mall Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month #HHM

FTC Disclaimer: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post about Macy's Hispanic Heritage. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own. 


September 15th is the beginning to Hispanic Heritage Month and Macy's is choosing to celebrate HHM at the new Bay Plaza Mall in The Bronx. The event will feature live discussion with Latina celebrities Jasmine Villegas, Julie Sarinana of Sincerely Jules, and Kika Rocha! I am super excited to hear what these ladies have to say about fashion, culture and building their brand. 

When I was growing there wasn't much emphasis on Hispanic Heritage Month. And there certainly weren't many Latino celebrities, influencers or writers. As a proud Bronxite (for more than a decade), with so much Hispanic Heritage to celebrate I love watching my borough grow and provide more opportunities for its residents. Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate and recognize our culture, history and all things Latino. It's important that this young generation of Latinos know that there is a world of possibilities waiting for them. They need access to Latino influencers so that they can hear first hand about their journey and what being Latino/Latina means to them. I love and appreciate that Macy's is providing the opportunity! 


Following the discussion, enjoy a live performance by Jasmine V, a special fashion presentation and meet the influencers! Plus, with any $25 or more purchase during the event receive a Hispanic Heritage Month swag bag featuring Jasmine V's lastest EP "That's Me Right There (ft. Kendrick Lamar)!"

Hope you can join me!    

Event details
Bronx, NY
Macy's Bay Plaza 
Friday, Sept. 19 at 6:30pm

Don't worry, even if you do not live in The Bronx/NYC there will be other opportunities to meet Latina celebrities Jasmine Villegas, Julie Sarinana of Sincerely Jules, and Kika Rocha. To learn about more Macy's Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15 - Oct 15) events around the countrybit.ly/MacysHHM


FTC Disclaimer: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post about Macy's Hispanic Heritage. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own. 

Alone at the Playground


It was the last week of summer vacation. And I took a few days off from work to spend with Norrin. With Joseph at work, Norrin and I stayed local. We had been avoiding the playground for weeks but with most of the neighborhood kids back in school, I knew Norrin could have the run of the place. 

As a kid I loved going to the park, meeting up with friends and making new ones. Making friends and playing came easily to me. For my kid? Not so much. 

Too many children overwhelm him. He doesn't have the social or play skills and language like typical boys his age. He's getting too big to play with the younger kids. And most times, he isn't interested in playing with the neighborhood kids. 

So we avoid crowded playgrounds. It's too much for him. And if I'm going to be honest...it's too much for me. 

A crowded playground means I have to hover and keep a close eye. I have to prompt Norrin to be mindful of the smaller children. I have to ignore the bigger kids - and some adults - who stare when Norrin starts flapping his hands or talking to himself. And I have to hear kids say, "Oh he's back again" and watch as they move away from Norrin because they think he's "weird."    

But being alone at the playground gives us both freedom. I can sit down and relax. He can run and flap and talk to himself if he wants. Or I can run around with him rather than hover and worry about him bumping into other kids. 

I can cheer him on and tell him what an awesome job he's doing on the swings. Because I know how much work he put into learning to kick and pump his legs. And he's free to show off for me. I like seeing him smile with pride. 

Being alone at the playground means there is no pressure to play. If there is another child there, Norrin has an option. Sometimes he'll choose to play and sometimes he'll say no. I'm okay either way. I know that friendship is precious and I am grateful my son has one or two kids he calls friends. And I love that Norrin is part of a baseball team and has a sense of camaraderie. But I never force friendship on him.

While we have friends and family who care for Norrin, there is a loneliness and isolation to our lives that I've learned to accept. Being alone at the playground is not only something I've accepted, it's something I look forward to. And I think Norrin does too. It's a special time just for us.    
  

Rosie Perez Joins The View & Other TV Shows I Can't Wait to Watch This Fall


Last night I read that Rosie Perez will be joining The View this FallFor years, the Latino community has urged The View to bring a Latina to the table - as a c0-host, not just a guest. And I think Rosie Perez is the ideal voice to add to the show. I have been a fan of Rosie for years especially after reading her memoir Handbook For An Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother and Still Came Out Smiling (With Great Hair)

Last year when Jenny McCarthy joined The View it caused quite the stir in the autism community and I'm happy to see her go - not that I ever watch The View. But for Rosie Perez I'll watch because I am interested in what she has to say. Rosie Perez is smart and funny and fearless. Rosie is a fierce advocate for children's rights, immigration and the LGBT community. Rosie Perez and Whoopi Goldberg - I can't wait to see that dynamic! The View returns on Monday, September 15th on ABC at 11am EST.  

***
Now that I have Rosie Perez & The View out of my system. Can I just say, I am ready for Fall TV to start again. I am tired of having nothing to watch after Norrin goes to sleep. There's nothing on my DVR and I'm all binge watched out. This summer I've binge watched Sex and The City  (the entire series and the first movie), Boardwalk Empire (though I'm still stuck on season 3) and Orange is the New Black. I have tried to get into House of Cards but I can't.

I've said goodbye to my all-time favorite show: How I Met Your Mother. I ugly cried during the series finale. And I still can't believe it's not returning. 

And I also stayed True To The End and stuck it out with True Blood even though it got so incredibly stupid. 

Like I said, I'm ready for my favorites shows to return. So...what other TV shows am I looking forward to watching? 

Once Upon a Time. This the show I'm looking forward to seeing the most! Especially since they are introducing Elsa from Frozen. Last night I even started to watch it from the beginning. 

The Comeback. Okay - if you haven't seen The Comeback on HBO. WATCH IT! Lisa Kudrow is hilarious - she'll make you laugh and cringe. I just happened to binge watch the first season (from 2005) in a moment of late night boredom. The Comeback was originally cancelled but they are bringing it back. And I can't wait to see what Valerie Cherish has been up to.

Parenthood. It's the final season and I know I will be ugly crying throughout the entire thing.  I know some autism parents don't always agree how Max is portrayed but I really do appreciate how they have evolved. 

Law & Order: SVU. I am obsessed with SVU and could watch marathons of it. And also - Danny Pino is super easy on the eyes. 

Scandal. I didn't start watching this show when it started but I couldn't keep away from the hype around it. But I got sucked in the White House love triangle and Olivia's family drama. 

The Big Bang Theory. This is one of the few shows that my husband and I enjoy watching together. Even Norrin likes the opening theme song and will watch for a bit. This is the show that makes me laugh no matter what kind of mood I'm in. 

The Walking Dead. This is the show that keeps me up at night. Because all I can think about is what we would do if we lived in a zombie apocalypse. I probably wouldn't last long.    

Modern Family. I love Modern Family! It's another show that Joseph and I watch together. And I love Sophia Vergara. I think she's smart and funny. What I like about her is that she's a beautiful woman - she knows she's beautiful but she also doesn't take her beauty that seriously. 

What shows are you looking forward to watching?   

Mama’s Losin’ It
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