Traditions & Homemade Wisdom: My Mother's Beauty Secret {#Aveeno | #ad}

Disclaimer: This is sponsored post in collaboration with AVEENO®Aveeno is celebrating mothers, grandmothers and other women who shaped our lives by Sharing Traditions and Homemade Wisdom. All opinions and thoughts are my own. 
My Mother & Me - January 2014
On chilly mornings my mother made me eat a bowl of oatmeal before school. "It's good for you," she said. As I grew older, my mother shared many things that were good for me including her beauty secrets and skincare routine. They were simple really, as basic and natural as oatmeal.

My mother is  68 and when people meet her, they always comment on her youthful appearance. Her skin is smooth,  clear and translucent. 

My mother has spent the majority of her life taking care of others - me and my siblings, my dad and for the last 15 years she's cared for her parents. In my grandmother's final years, my mother walked to and from the nursing home every day. She fed her, bathed her and moisturized her skin. When my grandmother died, everyone talked about how good she looked - how her skin looked beautiful. Now my grandfather is in the same nursing home. My mother visits him almost daily. But no matter how many people my mother is responsible for, her skin is never neglected. 

My mother's beauty secret is all about skincare. She doesn't wear a lot of makeup. And as I started wearing makeup, she always reminded me that makeup was useless if I didn't take care of my skin. She stressed the importance of washing my face twice a day and taking off my makeup at the end of the day. And always moisturize after showering. Healthy skin, is clean and moisturized skin. 

I remember her taking a handful of oats (from the same container she made our morning oatmeal) and mix it warm water. She'd apply it to her face like a facial cleanser. I used to think it was kind of gross.  

I turned 39 in September and taking care of my skin is more important than ever. These days, my daily skincare routine is a reminder of my childhood and my mother. Using AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Lotion and AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Body Wash, is the perfect combination for my lifestyle. Aveeno's Daily Moisturizing Body Wash and Lotion contain oatmeal to relieve dry skin and replenish skin's natural moisture. 

I absolutely love the Body Wash, the fragrance is light and feels luxurious at the end of a long day. I also like that I can use it as a shaving lotion - it makes my legs feel silky smooth. After my showering, I apply the Moisturizing Lotion. It absorbs quickly and doesn't leave me feeling greasy. It's long lasting so it keeps my skin moisturized the entire day. I also use the Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF - it's ideal for the warmer months when my skin is exposed. 

And recently I started following my mother's evening routine of her oatmeal facial wash. It's pretty amazing.         

I may not eat a bowl of oatmeal every morning but oats are part of my daily skincare routine. And it's good for me


Disclaimer: This is sponsored post in collaboration with Aveeno. All opinions and thoughts are my own. 

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place {Giveaway}

Disclaimer: I am a Sesame Place Blog Ambassador. I was not compensated for this post but I have been provided with a 2014 Season Pass for myself and complimentary admission for my family.


Yesterday we visited Sesame Place for the opening day of A Very Furry Christmas. We love Sesame Place during the Holidays. It's festive and not as crowded. We rode on some rides - including Oscar's Rotten Rusty Rockets and The Honker Dinger Derby for the first time. Norrin loved the Rusty Rockets! We drank hot chocolate and strolled up and down Sesame Street. We enjoyed the holiday decorations and took pictures with Santa Claus. (Check out our Instagram pics!) We didn't stay long enough to see the evening parades or see the park lit up at night. But the Christmas season just started and we will be back before the year ends. I love Sesame Place at night during Christmas. 

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place® is a festive, family-friendly celebration with everyone’s favorite Sesame Street® friends in Langhorne, PA. The park is transformed into a one-of-a-kind Christmas wonderland with millions of twinkling lights, festive decorations and whirling rides including the new Cookie’s Monster Land featuring five rides, a three-story net climb and a soft toddler play area. Guests will enjoy special Christmas shows, savory Christmas menus, super holiday shopping and a visit with Santa in his Furry Workshop.     A Very Furry Christmas is from November 22 to December 31 on select days.
A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rules
Winner is responsible for travel, parking & all other personal expenses 
-- You must leave a blog post comment to be eligible to win - it is a mandatory entry.
-- Winner will be selected via 
-- Tickets are for A Very Furry Christmas and must be used by December 31st. 
-- Winner MUST respond within 24 hours or another winner will be selected  
-- Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia 
-- Must be 18 years of age or older at time of entry

Please Note: If you don not see your comment come up, try commenting from a desktop rather than on your phone or iPad. However, Atypical Familia is not responsible for Internet and/or technical difficulties during commenting process

For additional information - including dates and times - regarding Sesame Place A Very Furry Christmas please visit:

Disclaimer: I am a Sesame Place Blog Ambassador. I was not compensated for this post but I have been provided with a 2014 Season Pass for myself and complimentary admission for my family.

A Smile Can Make a Difference | #SmilingItForward with Tylenol & Children's Health Fund #ad

I have received information about the TYLENOL® SMILING IT FORWARD™ program from McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., the makers of TYLENOL®. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post for Latina Bloggers Connect.

Last Sunday I was invited to brunch with Doctor Aliza Lifshitz, Tylenol and the Children's Health Fund to learn more about how to keep my family healthy and smiling through cold and flu season. (I didn't plan on attending the event with Norrin. It was one of those last minute things that couldn't be helped. But that's a story for another time.)

We were taken on a tour of the Children's Health Fund Mobile Medical Clinic. Traveling between The Bronx and Manhattan, I've seen the mobile clinics before. 
Founded in 1987 by singer/songwriter Paul Simon and pediatrician/advocate Irwin Redlener, MD, Children’s Health Fund is a national leader on healthcare for vulnerable children. Children’s Health Fund has a fleet of 50 mobile medical clinics serving hundreds of locations across the country, including schools, community shelters and homeless shelters so that every child in need has a chance to be healthy and ready to learn. Over 27 years, the organization has provided more than three million healthcare visits to disadvantaged children, often in places where doctors and healthcare providers are in short supply. For more information about Children’s Health Fund, visit
The bus was spacious, bright, inviting and clean. We talked about the level of services the children and families receive. Each mobile clinic is affiliated with a hospital and the dedicated doctors of the mobile clinics examine patients at little to no cost. If a patient has a long-term medical condition, they are connected to a hospital for further treatment. No one is ever turned away if they don't have the means to pay. 

Having a kid with autism, I value my heath care insurance. I don't know what those early years would have been like without them. And when he gets sick, I either take him to his pediatrician and/or run to the store and buy a bottle of Tylenol. These are the things that many parents take for granted.  

Not everyone has access to medical insurance, not everyone has the means to run to the drug store and buy a bottle of Tylenol. It's wonderful to know that the Children's Health Fund makes it possible for patients to be treated and provided the care they need.  

Dr. Aliza recommends that anyone over 6 months old get a flu vaccine (we all have ours). Here are a few takeaways regarding cold and flu season from our chat: 

Anything over 99 is a fever. 

Keep kids hydrated & don't bundle them up too much if they experience chills. 

The flu starts with a chill, fever & soreness. 
People can die from the flu, they will not die from a cold. 

Don't overdue vitamin supplements. 
Fruits and veggies, all a healthy diet, is so important to stay healthy!

Here's how you can Smile It Forward!

Between June 23, 2014 and November 30, 2014, McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC,Inc., the makers of TYLENOL® is inviting anyone 18 and older to upload a “smile” photo on the TYLENOL® Facebook page. Each approved “smile” will trigger a $1 donation from TYLENOL® to Children’s Health Fund, with a minimum donation of $75,000 and a maximum donation of $100,000. Review Terms and Conditions for complete program details.

I shared our “smile” photo to the SMILING IT FORWARD™ Facebook app and you can do the same here:
A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on

I have received information about the TYLENOL® SMILING IT FORWARD™ program from McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., the makers of TYLENOL®. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post for Latina Bloggers Connect.

Melissa & Doug Toys Make Great Gifts for Kids with Autism

I will never forget the Christmas before Norrin was born. I was in my 8th month and getting Norrin's room ready for his January arrival. I was in a store and saw a Melissa and Doug wooden stacking train. I thought it was adorable and I wanted my son to have it. That was the first toy I bought Norrin. And I loved the way train looked on the bookshelf in his room. To me, it was a perfect little keepsake.

Since then Melissa and Doug has been a part of our lives especially after Norrin's autism diagnosis - when pretend play and imagination became a skill that needed to be taught. They were the brand that our first Early Intervention therapists always recommended to us. And there was a toy for everything he needed assistance - pretend play, fine motor skills, hand/eye coordination. 
Melissa and Doug offers an assortment of toys - at every price point - to choose from ranging from ages birth to 8+. But the crafts have been my favorite! They are perfect for uncrafty moms like me. They are easy enough for Norrin to do independently and he's so proud when he's finished. And they make wonderful keepsakes. I try to keep them on display in his room but he loves playing with and looking at them.  

I love giving/recommending Melissa and Doug as gifts because they are toys that serve a purpose.  And I thought I'd share some of our favorite products and a few that are on our holiday wish list.       


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. However it does contain an affiliate link which means I'll get a few cents if you click on the link and purchase. 

The Bronx Mom Who Inspires Me #3Mpact

You never know the impact someone will have on your life when you first meet them. Five years ago, when I met Lizette Hernandez I had no idea that she would be the woman who would build a Bronx field of dreams

Our boys attended the same school and we met during an open house. We were tired from work and weary from everything else. Autism was still something so new and we didn't have much to say, even though we had so much on our minds.

We spent the next few years exchanging hellos, catching up and sharing resources. Living in The Bronx resources for kids with autism are limited and usually required extensive travel to other areas. 

Two summers ago, we discovered a special needs baseball team. Baseball was part of our culture and we wanted our boys to have the opportunity to take the field like any other kid. The team was in Westchester and not the right fit. 

While Joseph and I decided not to return with Norrin, Lizette took matters into her own hands. Her son, Donovin, wanted to play baseball and she was determined to make it happenAnd since there wasn't a baseball league for kids with autism in The Bronx, Lizette started one: The Bronxchester Challenger League.

In the spring of 2014, Norrin, Donovin and more than 50 other Bronx autistic kids took the field and played baseball. At the end of the season, each kid walked away with a trophy. Parents walked away with a dream fulfilled.

When your kid is diagnosed with autism, it feels like life is cut short and all hope is gone. There are things you think your kid will never have the opportunity to experience.

When I saw the Latina Mom Bloggers email seeking stories of people who inspire you through their extraordinary community work for the Positive Impact Awards nomination process - I immediately thought of Lizette and what she has done.

Five years ago, I could have never seen myself as a baseball mom. But I was there every Saturday afternoon, eagerly anticipating Norrin hitting a home run. After each game there was always a parent (myself included) thanking Lizette, hugging her, crying with gratitude and happiness.  

Lizette is like so many Bronx moms hustling to make ends meet. She didn't let money or time or work get in her way to fulfill her son's dream. With fierce determination Lizette  raised enough money (through raffles and donations) so that parents wouldn't have to pay out of pocket for anything - not even the uniform. Lizette saw a need and she worked to fill the void. She created a judgement free place for kids with autism to play while giving parents a reason to hope and a moment to cheer. How can anyone not be inspired by that? If Lizette can gather a group of parents to put together a baseball team - who knows what else can done for our kids. 


The nominations for the 2015 Hispanicize Positive Impact Awards are now open. If there is someone in your community who has made a difference nominate them there -

The Product That Made Me Give Up On Nighttime Potty Training

If you've been following our parenting journey, you know that nighttime potty training has been a bit of a challenge. But you know what? 


You heard me. I have given up on nighttime potty training Norrin. 

And it's all because of our latest discovery while shopping at Target - GoodNites Tru-Fit. Well it's not the latest discovery. We've been using GoodNites Tru-Fit since late September.

I started nighttime potty training last January when Norrin turned 8 years old. I decided it was time. 

We tried going without nighttime pull-ups. 

We tried a potty training alarm.  

We tried stopping liquids after a certain time. 

We tried waking Norrin up at midnight. And at 1 AM. 2 AM. 3 AM. You get the point.

We tried a washable and reusable underwear which sort of worked...Okay. Not really. It was a hassle for me. But it may totally work for you and your kid(s). 

I didn't like the idea of a nighttime disposable pull-up because Norrin was getting really big. He mastered day time potty training years ago so he knows when he has to go. If he woke up at night - he'd use the bathroom, pull down the pull-up and it would often tear. (Pull-ups are expensive!) If it didn't tear, it would leak.

For months I refused to put on a pull-up thinking, he'll get it eventually. He didn't. (Well that's not true. He'd wake up wet in the middle of the night, change his clothes and then come into our bed.) And changing and washing sheets every single day was getting my nerves. Ain't nobody got time for that.

That's why I love GoodNites Tru-Fit. It's really the best of both worlds for us. It gives Norrin the independence to pull on and up his underpants. In the morning, if he's wet I just remove the insert and toss it. If he wakes up in the early hours of the morning and he's wet, I remove the insert and leave him in the underpants (he'll stay dry at that point). And if he's dry - I reuse that bad boy. I mean I put him to bed clean, so if he's dry - it's still clean. Why should I waste it? 

What I really appreciate is that I toss the insert and wash the underpants. No more washing sheets daily. I don't have to soak and rinse the underpants before putting it in the wash. It's so easy. The only thing is that I wish they came in size bigger than L/XL. 
{TIPs: We also use GoodNites Disposable Bed Mats. AND GoodNites Tru-Fit underpants are great for travel because the pad inserts take up little space in your luggage!}    
It took Norrin a few years to be potty trained during the day. And it may take a few more for him to be trained at night. So I'm not going to stress out about nighttime potty training any more. I know Norrin is on his way. He'll get it. In his own time. When his body is ready. GoodNites Tru-Fit's helped me remember that.

How's your nighttime potty training saga going?

GoodNites products can be found at Target!

From time to time I am provided with complimentary products to write about. This isn't one of those times. I love sharing items that I've purchased with my hard earned dollars that work for our family. However this post does contain an affiliate link - which means I will get a few cents if you shop at Target.

The Bronx is Beautiful (My Instagram Street Scenes)

Fourteen years ago (on October 31, 2000) I drove across the Triboro Bridge to The Bronx. I was born in Manhattan and raised in Queens - moving to The Bronx completely on my own was both scary and exciting. When I told family, friends and even strangers about my move they all said, "Nobody moves from Queens to The Bronx." But this Queens girl did. And it's the best decision I ever made. 

A few weeks after moving to The Bronx, I met Joseph - a life long Bronxite. We eventually moved in together, got married, had a baby.

I walk down the street and I know my neighbors - maybe not by name but their faces are familiar - and we exchange smiles. Everyone knows Norrin's name or some kind of variation  (Norris, Norman, Norrance,) of it because people have a hard time saying Norrin. The Bronx was once unknown territory for me and now it's become a place of familiar. The Bronx has become my home. And it's beautiful. 
A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on

A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on

A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on

A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on

A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on

A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on

A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on

A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on

A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on

A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on

A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on

A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on

A photo posted by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez (@laliquin) on
Copyright © 2013 Atypical Familia