Favorite Finds!

Just sifting through the superfluous and sleuthing out some smart stuff, so you don’t have to...

(Super lighthearted roundup this week! Fun Memorial Day weekend material, since this is the season where moms are juggling ALL THE THINGS (no joke – we’re like circus clowns about to freakin’ drop the balls).

VERB energy bars
a palm-sized pick-me-up

Fave New Snack to Pack (it’s caffeinated!) VERB Energy Bars are like mini bars of mommy magic. They’re gluten-free, vegan, and mostly organic 90-calorie energy bars that claim to have the same amount of caffeine as a cup of espresso (except in this case it’s from organic green tea caffeine). I could totally see grabbing one of these when I have zero minutes in the morning (no time for a daily brew!) or keeping one in an office desk for a mid-afternoon slump pick-me-up. I tried all three flavors – I really liked the Salted Peanut Butter and the Simply Cocoa and will plan to re-order those. You can try all three flavors for just the cost of shipping by going to their website, and the orders get shipped to your door. Three young entrepreneurs putting yummy goodness into the world – sign me up.

Blister-free flip flops

Favorite Fashion FindREEF Ginger flip flops – What’s a Memorial Day favorites round up without a pair of flip flops? This is less a “find” and more of a “seasonal re-discovery.” The REEF Ginger flip flops have been my go-to flop for years, and if you have not tried them, I’m here to say that you can walk NYC for hours or an entire amusement park with these suckers and NO BLISTERS. That’s saying a lot for someone who struggles to find comfortable shoes. There’s something about the weave of the soft poly on the straps and the arch supportive rubber bottoms that makes them super wearable. Plus, they look good with everything from jeans to leggings to dresses (not too clunky). They come in a variety of colors (for around $28) and can be found at multiple retailers (including surf shops), on their website, or Amazon. Bonus points if you can find the slim ginger studded version from last year, which kinda make me feel like I’m wearing a version of the Valentino slides I can’t afford.

Favorite PodcastDad and Buried, by Mike and Pete – For a light and funny listen, this podcast is a laughable, brutally honest parent perspective by two sarcastic, snarky Brooklyn-based dads. Put it on as you shuttle around in your car – it’s like you’re grabbing a drink with friends after an exhausting, stressful, expensive and unrewarding day as Mom or Dad. The episode titles reveal the tone of the content – the most recent is “The Playtime Paradox: How can playing suck so much?” and ones prior to that are titled, “Are pet moms the same as a human moms? Also, what’s wrong with everyone? and Traveling with Kids- Fun times!!!” To be clear, they love their kids. They just hate parenting. Follow them on Instagram @dadandburied and listen the the podcast when you are feeling bedraggled. You’ll feel a kinship. [No, you never feel this way? Bull-doody :-)]

Fail-proof false lashes

Fave Innovative ProductLashbinder – It’s lash-tastic, people! When celebrity make-up artist Cassandra McClure witnessed how many clients struggled with applying false lashes themselves, she decided to create a product to make the process fool-proof. Literally, FOOL PROOF (because I just tried it and I’ve never put on fake lashes before in my life, and I didn’t glue my lids together or anything- LOL). It’s a little clipper that hold the lashes evenly while you apply your adhesive and then helps you to place them evenly on your lid and hold them in place until you release. You can purchase it for $29.99 on the website (lashes and glue not included). Feeling fancy.

Great photos, interesting features

Favorite Read – Have you come upon the fabulously styled read, Atelier Doré? What a fun collection of articles compiled by some amazing artistic minds and headed by notable French photographer, illustrator and author Garance Doré! From style photos, to lifestyle (When in Napa…), to features (feng shui, anyone?), to beauty (digging this roundup of non-toxic nailpolish), I love when a new post pops up in my feed reader.

Fave Inspiration (If you are also a writer or pursue ANY type of artistic talent, you MUST watch this). It’s comforting. It’s inspiring. It’s everything. I’ve been watching it since David Shiyang Liu created it eight years ago, with the words from distinguished radio personality Ira Glass (who I’m sure said it and felt it way before that) – such timeless advice. [Now that I’m new to blogging, I felt like I needed to watch it again. Stick with me- in the words of Glass, “I’ll fight my way through it!”]

Liu’s representation of Ira Glass’ words on creativity

*Note: If you are receiving this post by email, you may need to visit the site to view this embedded video.

All opinions in this post are completely my own… I started this blog in April 2019 (so about three seconds ago) because I love to share… obvs nothing is sponsored – If you love what you read, share the link! Moms are all each other’s best resource.

Till next time! xoxo TheMomReno


Favorite Finds!

The amazing marble mosaic art installation by Ann Hamilton on the WTC-Cortlandt street subway platform –
I got off the train a stop early just to stare at it.

Just sifting through the superfluous and sleuthing out some smart stuff, so you don’t have to...

Favorite PodcastThe Classy Career Girl by Anna Runyan – This podcast, which complements the blog that Runyan started in 2010 to inspire greater career fulfillment, is an easy listen and always leaves me motivated and informed. This link will take you to a roundup of her best episodes, including “How to Find a Job You Won’t Hate” (#47) and “Daily Habits of Highly Successful People” (#66). Her site has won multiple accolades and reaches millions of women every week – she’s even been named in the past as one of Forbes Most Influential Career Sites. Whether you are a SAHM, a WAHM, a mom with a side hustle or a full time executive, there is value to be had. Greater career fulfillment – who doesn’t want that???

Fave Fashion Find – As a big fan of both brands, The Outdoor Voices x Madewell collaboration has me pretty excited. Their limited edition, contouring, color block collection just launched this week on both the Madewell site and the Outdoor Voices site (and in stores), and I’m sure it will sell out FAST, so hop to shop if you are interested. They’ve got flattering seams, sweat-wicking fabric, and perfect Spring color vibes. One note to designers from this slightly self-conscious consumer: I’d like a few more darker tushies on these bad boys. I strive to feel more confident in pastels, but right now I’m feeling more bad-ass with a darker backside (I snatched up the one navy/charcoal option on sight). That said, if you are looking for of-the-moment, happy Spring athletic gear, search no more. [I have requested permission to use a collection photo and will sub this image once granted- for now, click on the links to see it! I didn’t want you all to miss out.]

Fave Insta-InfluencerHitha Palepu with her On the Go – 5 Smart Reads recommendations. What can’t this woman do? She is a mom (of a preschooler and a newborn- I mean, NEWborn), a CEO of a pharmaceutical company, an active angel investor in companies, a luggage packing maven with a published book (How to Pack) and, you know, in her spare time, she likes to keep the rest of us informed of timely, important news. [You can’t see me, but I’m bowing to her right now.] I first learned of her thanks to Grace Atwood and Becca Freeman on the Bad on Paper podcast they recorded (thank you!), and I’ve been reading her links ever since. She highlights worthwhile articles that you may not have caught otherwise, rather than the usual, over-hashed stuff. Follow her daily posts on Instagram or SIGN UP for her weekly newsletter… You’re smarter already.

Fly-away hair, begone!

Fave Useful Item – Ok, we need to talk about the HairFeel finishing stick. (Don’t be a hater- this is not a “clean” product.) I bought one when I saw an ad (I bit), having ZERO expectations for it to hold up. It’s AMAZING and in my purse. It works on all the weird flyaway hairs above my part line and it works for my daughter’s plentiful face-framing flyaways, and it does it all without making us look like we should be trying out for a production of Grease. I used it to touch up my daughter in the recital dressing room yesterday, discussion ensued, and I’m pretty sure her dance instructor is ready to buy stock in the company. It claims to be “made of natural plant extract and contain(s) no harmful chemicals” on the package, but I don’t really subscribe – this is not one of my super-clean recommendations – it does have silica (but you’re not inhaling it), phenoxyethanol preservative (but it’s hair, not skin) and “essence” (what?), but frankly, the rest of the list isn’t bad and I was expecting a whole lot worse from a heavily marketed product made overseas. The site was having a 50% off sale the last time I checked, making it $12.99. If the ingredients turn you off, using a matte pomade product or lightweight gel applied with a clean spoolie brush might give you a similar effect.

Favorite Read: In October 2018, James Clear published an article on his website titled, “When the 80/20 Rule Fails: The Downside of Being Effective,” which explores the difference between efficiency (getting more things done) and effectiveness (getting the most important stuff done). I found my way back to it since his recently published NYT best-selling book, Atomic Habits (free download of Chapter 1 on his website, and a good price on Amazon right now), has been the audio book I’ve been listening to while running errands this week. The article explores the upsides and downsides of the 80/20 rule (that the “small number of things accounts for the majority of the results”) and how to best optimize your skills and opportunities moving forward. Efficiency and streamlining are some of my favorite topics to read about, probably because I desire to do a better job of them myself. As a mom with a penchant for perfectionism, I’m always trying to fit in “all the things” and at the best of my ability, and I’m sure a lot of other moms reading also operate in this vein. I don’t even have a problem saying “no” to other people when my schedule is too busy – but I DO have an issue with saying no to myself when get mired in the details of something that’s not of optimal importance. It’s a worthwhile read (or re-read).

Favorite LaughModernMomProbs on Instagram is making me giggle this week – feeling like we are all part of the same mama tribe. There’s been more than one post this week that’s made me shout an audible, “Yes! Ha, absolutely!” Her tag states she’s “celebrating parenting in the modern world, one meme at a time.” Looks like she might be based in NYC – maybe part of why I (and other Tri-state area moms might) love her.

All opinions are totally my own… I started this blog in April 2019 (so about three seconds ago) because I love to share… obvs nothing is sponsored – If you love what you read, share the link! Moms are all each other’s best resource. Till next time! xoxo TheMomReno

Favorite Finds!

Wall art outside the Johnny Was store on Wooster Street in NYC

Just sifting through the superfluous and sleuthing out some smart stuff, so you don’t have to...

First off, a huge Happy Mother’s Day to everyone!

Second guessing your sparkles – how socially conscious are your cosmetics?

Fave Media Link: If you are looking for a site with some quick, compelling reads and you are not familiar with Refinery 29, they have been getting things right lately. There’s fashion, entertainment and beauty roundups to spare, but they’ve also been publishing some deeper digs. like the eye-opening exposé article, The Makeup Industry’s Darkest Secret is Hiding in Your Makeup Bag (revealing child labor mica mining in India). Lots more social responsibility in their coverage lately, and I’m thinking that’s a great thing.

Fave Fashion Find: – I came across Lisi Lerch’s chic and affordable accessory line after following Alexa Anglin on Instagram – not only are her earrings on trend and reasonably priced, but I love her backstory – she left the Wall Street world to pursue her creative passion and fill a void in the millinery market (affordable, fashionable hats), and then became a mom specializing in unique jewelry. (A second, less affordable find this week is Longchamp’s Mademoiselle Studded Leather Camera Bag ($495 at Nordstrom) – it’s not happening for me but someone buy it so I feel better – or so I can borrow it – LOL).

Fave Insta-Influencer: Vani Hari, aka @thefoodbabe, is a NYT best-selling author who is dedicated to descrambling food labels and teaching the masses how not to be duped. She pulls back the mask on the many products masquerading as natural, healthy options- I would go so far as to call her a modern muckraker and a brave consumer advocate. I’m greatly admiring her courage in standing up to big corporations and challenging their attempts to muddle the public’s knowledge, and I learn from her Instagram posts every time. Her book, Feeding You Lies, can be found on Amazon in hardcover or for the Kindle. It’s in my cart.

Fave Useful Item: Warmer weather is upon us, so the shout out goes to France Luxe’s L. Erickson Grab & Go Pony hair elastics ($18 for a tube of 15). These are not new and many of you may know of them already, but if you don’t, they are life-changing. I’ve given up using all my other elastics for both my daughter (who has fine, flyaway hair) and myself (fuller, naturally curly hair) – these are by far the most comfortable, effective and stylish of the bunch. They come in a variety of colors and are a bit pricier than what I would ordinarily pick up at the drugstore , but also half as likely to get lost. You can find them at specialty boutique stores, a full array of colors on their site, or a smaller selection of 8-elastic tubes on Amazon ($10).

Do you need a measles booster shot?

Fave Hot Topic Answers: The conversation outside my daugher’s gymnastics class this past week amongst parents revolved around the resurgence of the measles, and what’s required to be protected against it. Here’s a link to the CDC website with the FAQ. In short, the answers are: Kids should be following their vaccination schedule and receive two doses, properly spaced. No, you don’t need a booster as an adult if you are confident you received both doses as a kid. Yes, you can take it again if you are unsure that you got both doses way back when – it’s not worrisome to get an accidental third dose.

Fave Laugh: The Accidental SuperMom on Instagram is hysterical and has three young kiddos to gather material from. Her blog is filled with equally funny writing, and also identifiable perspective (like Past, Present and Future Mom). If you have young kids and are feeling the motherhood mayhem, she is the best comic relief. Here, she lists “What We Really Want for Mother’s Day.” Sing it, sister.

(All opinions are totally my own… I started this blog three seconds ago… so obvs nothing is sponsored) – If you love what you read, share it! Moms are all each other’s best resource. Till next time! xoxo TheMomReno

Friday Favorites!

It’s Friday! The blogosphere seems to decree this as roundup day, so I’m planning for a weekly collection of links that I can’t wait to share and weren’t mentioned in other posts this week.

Today, I’m sifting through the superfluous and sleuthing out some smart stuff, so you don’t have to.

Image by obpia30 from Pixabay

Fave Media Link: Timing isn’t Everything, Everything is Timing – At least it is according to Daniel H. Pink, the bestselling author of When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. I discovered this book after listening to his interview with Paula Pant on her Afford Anything podcast (episode #188) and I immediately downloaded it to my Audible account. The premise is how our circadian rhythms can have a tremendous effect on the outcome of our experiences and our decision-making capabilities – fellow nerds out there, it’s FASCINATING. Did you know that medical issues at hospitals increase measurably in the afternoon? He states in Pant’s recording that “anesthesia errors are four times more likely at 3 p.m. than at 9 a.m.”! I am seriously not scheduling another doctor’s appointment or pivotal business meeting until I finish listening to it. It’s available on Amazon in whatever format you enjoy most.

Fave Fashion Find: Short Mama Sneaker Boot – I’ve been getting a literal lift from these Linea Paolo Felicia Wedge Booties, ($119.95 at Nordstrom) and being only 5’2″ on a good day, I’ll take all the help I can get! They are casual enough to throw on with a pair of jeans and a tee, but give you the leg-lengthening confidence boost of a dressier shoe. I can run around doing errands in them and they don’t hurt my feet. For the record, the appearance is trendy sneaker but the fit feels more boot-like (pic is the Black Perf Nappa option). They are not too narrow and somewhat reasonably priced (to boot). See what I did there? LOL

Fave Insta-Influencer: I started following @nourishingalex on Instagram and the uber-healthy vegan bowls that she creates are inspiring this cooking-challenged gal to actually put together well-rounded lunches. That’s an accomplishment. I am creative in other spheres, but… I’m pretty awful at making a decent lunch. You gotta check out her food porn.

Foreign chocolate of my dreams?

Fave “Spotted Item”: So I was at Subaru picking up something for our car when I spotted THIS BAR on the check-in desk. Choc-O-Low? I immediately started quizzing the gal that works there about it and she said her friend brought it back from the UK for her. It says on the back that it has 80% less sugar than standard dark chocolate bars and it supports responsible cocoa farming. But it does have malitol, so maybe stomach upset? Someone send me an overseas link to this sucker. I don’t know how it tastes (have any readers tried it?), but I’m wondering if I can build this treat into my argument for why I need to get back to London as soon as possible.

Fave Article of Interest: On April 26th, the New York Times published this article in the Upshot – “Women Did Everything Right. Then Work Got Greedy: How America’s obsession with long hours has widened the gender gap” – it explores how even though women are more educated than ever, jobs are requiring professionals to be constantly on call and women are often being the ones to step back to run the family show (having married their intellectual equals). The article quotes Harvard economist Claudia Goldin, who stated, “Women don’t step back from work because they have rich husbands… They have rich husbands because they step back from work.” Talk amongst yourselves.

And just for laughs: Ok, to lighten the mood, you MUST follow @momtransparenting on Instagram. She’s been making me laugh out loud every day this week.

(All opinions are totally my own… I started this blog three seconds ago… so obvs nothing is sponsored) – Till next time! xoxo TheMomReno

Little Efforts, Here and There.


Some links and items that have been helping me make a greater effort towards intentional living this week: