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It’s Your Birthday! Enjoy a Free Birthday Gift From Sephora

Birthdays…Another year around the sun…another year to celebrate your BAD self! I never understand when people don’t want to celebrate getting older. I like to look at it like this… yasss babe look at everything you have accomplished, and look at you go with your wise, old self. I believe in birthday months and take joy in all the perks from free workout classes, to cupcakes, and even a free teeth cleaning my dentist! Let’s be honest I really look forward to my free birthday gift from the Sephora Beauty Insider birthday program.

If you are a Sephora Beauty Insider member (trust me you should be) and it is your birthday month you get to choose a free, complimentary birthday gift! This month you can pick between the Kat Von D mini set, filled with line’s best selling items like her tattoo liner, setting powder, and high pigmented creme lipsticks or try the Drunk Elephant mini set that includes the Beste Jelly Cleanser and Protini Polypeptide cream.

If you are a VIB or Rouge member in the Sephora Beauty Insider program, you get even more perks! On top of the Kat Von D and Drunk Elephant mini sets you also have the choice of adding 250 bonus points to spend on anything you like from the Rewards Bazaar OR you can choose the surprise online-only mini set option. Sephora just revealed that its new surprise gift is a Jo Malone mini set (these online options are available only for a limited so run…don’t walk to Sephora)!

So naturally since I spend large amounts of time stalking beauty and skin care items at Sephora I am a VIB. So during March, my birthday month, I got to choose one item from these three mini sets: Kat Von D, Drunk Elephant, and Jo Malone, or the choice of receiving 250 bonus points.

I was thrilled about the Kat Von D mini set, because it has three items to try! I used the translucent setting powder to hold my makeup in place, gave myself a winged eye in under 3 minutes with the tattoo liner (which I should get a gold medal for), and completed my look the Lolita Studded Kiss creme lipstick. I had never used any Kat Von D products before and I loved the rich pigments and long lasting wear!

I’ve always heard about Drunk Elephant products from my dermatology patients at work. They are always a big hit due to the fact that their products never contain the “Suspicious 6”. Meaning all items are free of essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrances/dyes and SLS. The Beste Jelly Cleanser and Protini Polypeptide Cream left my skin feeling glowing and hydrated. If you have dry, sensitive skin you will love this mini set.

Lastly, I have always been a huge fan of Jo Malone perfume. This mini set came with the Peony & Blush Suede fragrance. It is perfect for spring time with its light and airy notes made of red apple, rose and jasmine. I am always really picky when it comes to perfumes, but this one was a hit.

Not a member of Sephora Beauty Insider program yet?? What are you waiting for!? Go enjoy some serious perks and pamper yourself during your birthday month! Sign up in store or online at Sephora.com/Rewards !

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5 MOMS RECREATE ICONIC OSCARS RED CARPET LOOKS WITH THEIR KIDS

With the awards season coming to an end, the upcoming Academy Awards on Sunday will be a day filled with Old Hollywood style glitz and glamour. Celebrities will flock to the Oscars red carpet with the intention to dress to impress and I am here for it. I am also here for the women of Hollywood who use their voice to fight for equal pay, for the inclusion of more female and ethnic employment on film sets, and to support the survivors of sexual abuse, harassment, and assault. That just got deep quick…but hang in there it gets really cute in a minute.  We wanted to honor some of these courageous babes by recreating some of their most beautiful red carpet looks with our children.
So together 5 Moms took on the task of recreating iconic looks from the past Academy Awards with their kids. This goes beyond the usual twinning pics we all see all over Instagram because each look was chosen for a specific reason. Scroll down to see why!
1. JLO
“I never saw anything resemble my South Asian attire when I was growing up, so when JLo graced the Oscars red carpet in 2003 in this vintage Valentino, I felt a sense of familiarity and pride that my heritage was somehow being acknowledged through this sari-inspired gown.”- Ami Desai, Beauty & Lifestyle Expert and Mother of 2 
2. Gwyneth Paltrow
“I chose Gwyneth’s iconic pink Raplh Lauren dress in which she claimed the Oscar for her 1998 role in Shakespeare in Love. Not only did she look like a walking fairy tale, but she also speaks up for what she believes in, like equal pay. It’s important for me to teach my daughter the same values. Life is not always going to be inclusive, easy, or fair. I want my daughter to know that if she works hard she can achieve her dreams, Yet, as women we can stand in support of one another and cheer each other on to the finish line. Also what better way to life lessons than through fun and fashion.” Abigail Ochse, Founder of The Chic Mamas and Mother of 3
3. Halle Berry
“For me, the Oscars are defined by these emotional speeches, historic wins and iconic fashion moments. In 2002, Halle Berry hit all 3 and I’ll never forget that moment. I had to recreate it with my 3 year old daughter!” Orly Shani, DIY expert and Mother of 2
4. Angelina Jolie
“The oscars are able to capture glamour, talent and reward all in one night, and what an amazing message to send to my daughters. Focus on your dreams, bust your butt and be glamorous & classy while doing it!” –Pamelyn Rocco, Owner of Bashery & Co and Mother of 2
5. Jennifer Aniston
“Jennifer Aniston is such a role model and my all time favorite celebrity. From being the boss lady that she is to overcoming so much in her personal life, I truly admire how she handles herself with such grace. I think it’s important to not only teach our daughters, but our sons the importance of pursuing your dreams no matter what life throws at you.”
Mel Baltierrez, Founder of Mel Rod Style and Mother of 1
The Inspiration: Vanity Fair Hollywood Editions by Annie Leibovitz
When this vision came to mind, I immediately called Ami Desai… we threw it together in two weeks and it was worth every minute of research, recreating 5 looks for Moms and kiddos,  running around down town for fabric, pinning together make shift dresses,  and the bribing to get all the children to look at the camera! We pulled it off and I could not be more proud of the finished product.
A huge thank you to this amazing team:
Photography: Dexter Carrington 
Styling: Jordan Maiava
Pamelyn’s Dress: Mimi Tran Designs
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3 No Cook, Healthy Recipes In Under 10 Minutes

We are well into 2019 and I’m keeping on track with my intentions for this year. One of them involves eating with intention rather than dieting or depriving myself of certain foods. I was turned onto this subject by a fellow blogger and love the concept it creates around the relationship we have with eating. It teaches you to eat with a balanced mindset and to view your food as a way to fuel your body and mind so that you are the healthiest, best version of yourself.

I partnered with Farmer John to bring you three simple, no cook recipes are that healthy lunch choices and ready in under 10 minutes! I usually find these quick recipes on Pinterest and then tweak them to add in my own ingredients and foods that my family will enjoy. I chose to use Farmer John Lunchmeat  since it is packed with protein and delicious flavor. You can substitute any of their lunch meats for the original ham that I used below, like their Smoked Ham or Black Forest Ham for a bigger flavor.

Farmer John products are available at local grocery stores including Smart & Final, Stater Brothers, Albertsons, Ralphs,  Northgate and my second home, Target. If you’re looking for a family-friendly weekend activity, join Farmer John on Sunday, February 17th at the 41st Annual L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Run/Walk & Kiddie Run. It is an event held to promote health, fitness and cultural awareness in the greater Los Angeles community. Farmer John will be serving up their delicious new breakfast sausage links at the finish line. For more information and to register, visit Firecracker10k.org.

 

Recipe: Ham Cucumber Rolls

Ingredients:

Farmer John Classic Ham

1 Large Cucumber

Pesto (or you can use hummus, ranch, etc.)

Cheese of choice

Spinach

Carrot Strips

Red Bell Pepper

Salt and Pepper

  1. Peel thin strips of cucumber with a vegetable peeler. The strips need to be thick enough to hold the fixings in the middle of the roll, but you need to ensure they are thin enough to roll.
  2. Lay strips out on wax paper and spread pesto over each one (you can also substitute pesto for hummus, or mustard).
  3. Layer cheese, spinach, carrot strips and bell peppers over each cucumber slice.
  4. Top with Farmer John ham slices.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Roll each cucumber slice and secure with a toothpick (depending on the thickness of the roll, you may need more than one or two toothpicks to secure them.)
  7. Enjoy!

Recipe: Ham Chopped Salad

Ingredients:

Farmer John Classic Ham

Iceberg Lettuce

Grape Tomatoes

Hard Boiled Egg

Avocado

Red Onion

Dressing:

Lemon Juice

Olive Oil

  1. Rinse lettuce and finely chop lettuce leaves
  2. Roll 4-5 Farmer John ham slices and cut into 2 inch sections.
  3. Dice grape tomatoes, hard boiled egg, avocado and red onion.
  4. Fill salad bowl with lettuce.
  5. Layer each topping side by side.
  6. Mix together 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice with 1/4 cup olive oil to make a healthy salad dressing.
  7. Enjoy!

Recipe: Ham Kabob Sticks

Ingredients:

Farmer John Classic Ham t

Iceberg Lettuce

Grape Tomato

Green Olives

Persian Cucumber

Cheese cubes

Wooden Kabob Sticks or Large Toothpicks

  1. Roll Farmer John ham slices and cut into 2 inch sections.
  2. Cut lettuce into small sections.
  3. Thread ham sections onto wooden stick, followed by cheese, lettuce and other vegetables in an alternating fashion.
  4. Enjoy!

For more product information and recipe inspiration, visit www.FarmerJohn.com.

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How I Keep My Babies on Track When We Travel…

Family holiday vacations can be full of unforgettable memories, but as we know traveling with the kiddos can be a real challenge. I try several things to ensure that the twins stay on schedule and have the same diet when we visit a new place.  They have especially sensitive stomachs and they usually don’t take well to overly preserved foods high in additives or sugar. So I pack the boys their Healthy Times organic mixed grain cereal wherever we go.

The cereal comes in in a convenient resealable pouch (which is also why I love it for traveling!)  and has the vitamins and minerals the twins need for brain development, strong bones and teeth, and a healthy immune system. Plus it’s dairy and soy free with all Non-GMO organic ingredients.

Also can we talk about the fact that Healthy Times is a legacy brand that was started by a mom in her kitchen back in 1980  who wanted to provide nutritious food for her children without refined sugars, preservatives or additives… can I get an AMEN! I love supporting women in business and companies that give back. Healthy Times not only commits to creating quality products, they also commit to supporting non-profit partners like Feed the Children. Feed the Children exists to defeat childhood hunger. It is one of the largest U.S.-based charities and serves those in need in the U.S. and in 10 countries around the world.

So the next time you are looking for  healthy, organic, natural foods for your kids… go to Healthy Times and help give back to others in need. They carry many different items from cereals, toddler formulas, teething biscuits, and cookies to natural bath and body care products for your littles. Happy Holidays and Happy Traveling!

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The New Way To Shop With Trunk Club Clubhouse

Raise your hand if you live for sweater weather, pumpkin spice everything and the beginning of the holidays! My favorite season is almost upon us… Fall! One thing I always strive to have in my closet are transitional pieces that can carry me from summer to fall. I look at them like investments and true staple items for my wardrobe. Think dresses used for layering, cropped jackets, and booties. The problem is I don’t always have the time (ahem I have three children) to shop for them and call me old fashioned I actually enjoy being able to try on items before I purchase them!

You might have heard me talk about Trunk Club a few times before on the blog or social media channels. I started using their service over a year ago and it is amazing. If you’re not familiar, Trunk Club is a personal styling service for men and women, perfect if you don’t have much time to shop, or you are looking for help from a stylist. You can shop with Trunk Club in person at one of their six Clubhouses (Boston, Chicago, Dallas, DC, LA, and NYC). The layout and the decor of each club house is seriously to die for. You are offered a refreshment from the bar the minute you check in for your appointment and are given your own private fitting room. These are not your average fitting rooms and the attention to detail is impeccable. Seriously, you will want to move in… or hire their interior designer!

 

 

Prior to my appointment my stylist, Simone and I brainstormed on the transitional items I was looking for and then she pulled together several pieces for me. When I arrived there was a clothing rack full of the most beautiful clothes calling my name. I enjoyed a mimosa, while Simone curated outfits for me complete with bags and jewelry.

 

I often have a really hard time trying on clothes and I usually ponder over purchasing things. The reality is I buy things in the wrong sizes and impulsively purchase items I bring home only to wear once. My friends literally make fun of me for this! At Trunk Club, Simone found the perfect fit for me, showed me how to style items several different ways and even pulled clothes I normally wouldn’t pick out for myself. Going to the Trunk Club LA Clubhouse made me feel like an actual princess for a day! I left with new outfits I could wear now and during the colder weather as well. It was a full day of shopping success! Find a Trunk Club Clubhouse near you and experience the fun for yourself! You will thank me!

 

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I’m aging and here is what I am doing about it!

 

One of the first questions I get as a dermatology nurse is when do I need to start caring from my skin and what treatments do you use??

 

My answer… it is never too early to work on your skin care game and we shouldn’t even begin talking about treatments until we get your every day skin care products in check! The truth is we start aging as early as our 20’s and your skin’s repair mechanisms actually start slowing down around age 25. So the point is we could all use a little help so that we look damn good through the decades…right? Since facts don’t lie what you are putting on your skin now will determine how it looks later on. So NOW is the time to invest in anti-aging treatments, but that doesn’t mean it has to break the bank!

 

I’ve partnered with La La Daisy, a site that brings you the products you love for a fraction of the cost. They carry a multitude of high end skin, hair and makeup products at no additional mark up. I’m talking all the same products you would find at Sephora, Ulta or the Dermstore for less! This is the perfect starting point for stocking your skin care product arsenal! Use code Thechicmamas for 15% off your order!

Now let’s get down to the crucial tid bits you want to know! Here are my tried and true skin care tips for anti-aging!

 

  1. Always wash your face morning and night, even in between if you do something like hit the gym. Going without washing your face leads to sweat, makeup, and oil clogging yoru pores. This leads to dilated pores and a dull appearance to your skin. Unless you need a medicated wash for acne, find a gentle cleanser.
  2. Eye creams are a must! The skin around the eye area often is one of the first places to show age. Right now I am loving this Elastiderm Eye Cream.
  3. Find a serum that helps accelerates cellular turnover and thus aid in anti-aging. Serums that contain retinol to regenerate the skin and vitamin C to help moisturize and fight free radicals. I always ensure my face is damp prior to adding serum and I add water to my fingers before pumping out the product.
  4. SPF… the skin care product of all skin care products. You will always need to apply sun screen every morning. I have so many patients that I am treating for sun spots all along the left side of their faces or their “driver’s side”. They never thought they needed sunscreen while driving in the car!! SPF should be your BFF.
  5. Find a great moisturizer and then boost it with some hyaluronic acid (as long as you are not acne prone). Hyaluronic acid is a big drink of water for your skin and will boost your moisturizer while protecting your skin’s barrier!
  6. Remember your hands, neck, and chest need love too! I apply most of my skin care products to all of these areas as well! They need SPF too!

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Why you need to love your post partum body…

The internet is an amazing thing that allows you to connect with people and research the heck out of life. Yet it also has the ability to us a great disservice in regards to social pressure to keep up with what appears to be the norm. One of the most unrealistic messages I have seen lately is in regards to women and bouncing back to their pre-baby forms. After having my twins I actually had to… gasp…unfollow some accounts with hashtags like #prebabyweight or #mombodygoals. I know those women work hard for that amazing physique but women do not need the pressure to remove all traces that they just gave birth! So I’ve partnered with Icon Underwear to share some ways I am owning my Mom Bod, dealing with some post baby issues and still loving myself along the way.
1. If you follow me on Instagram than you know I have talked about all the joys that come with motherhood. We are magical unicorns that birth humans, and it is an experience you will never forget! You know what else you will never forget?  The first time you pee your pants when you laugh, sneeze or try to workout! The last bootcamp I was at I had to tell the instructor that I could not do one more burpee because II literally just peed my pants (don’t judge me…it happens!). I don’t let a little leakage deter me from living a healthy lifestyle post partum. I found Icon undies that provide absorbent, comfortable and cute underwear. They have several styles ranging from hi-waisted, hip huggers, bikini and thongs…ain’t no granny panties here. Use code ABBY 5 at Icon for $5 off your first pair.
2. Do you realize the stress your body endured for you to carry a baby or multiples for up to 9 months? Then your body went through the marathon that is childbirth! So obviously your body has changed! My twins are 7 months old and to this day I still wear maternity clothes. I have hips and a butt, and some pretty stretched out skin in places. I tell myself every morning that if I am strong enough to birth three kids… well I am officially a badass and my new body is beyond strong. It is possible to be strong and healthy while having curves! I suggest putting these mantras on post its and sticking it to your bathroom mirror or computer to remind yourself of how magical you are!
3. Pregnancy doesn’t only change your body, it can also cause some unexpected changes to your hair! Usually once your hormones balance out after  baby, there is a dip in estrogen which causes you to shed the hair your body held onto while you were pregnant. I am talking clumps of hair coming out people… and short randoms hair sticking up all over your head! I actually embraced this one and used it as me time! I got a sitter, and off to the salon I went for a cut and color. Even if you don’t have the time to swing that, go to your drugstore, buy a hair mask and sit in the bath having 5 minutes of alone time. Thus caring for your self and your hair. Don’t worry new hair growth is happening, it just takes a minute to catch up!
4. Your feet might swell during pregnancy, and stay bigger even after your delivery. I was a size 8 my entire life until I had children. My doctor relates this to the relaxing of ligaments during pregnancy that can cause your feet to spread. For some people the change is permanent, but not for everyone. I am now a proud size 9… and apparently it is here to stay. Silver lining, I sold some of my shoes to put towards new pairs that actually fit. After all who doesn’t like shoe shopping!
Remember to be kind to yourself. Remember that you created life from that gorgeous body! Remember that I am here to completely show you what real life Motherhood looks like! Remember to appreciate that extra curve, dimple and even when you pee on yourself (trust me it’s gonna happen)… after all look at what your body has given you… that precious little baby!
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Making Parenting Goof-Proof With Ezy Dose Kids

Brace yourselves, winter is coming and by winter I mean runny noses, coughs and colds. Being a nurse you would think I have anything health care related covered. Yet when it comes to my own kids I have had many #momfails when it comes to illnesses and ailments in my household. So let me just share with you my top three:

 

  1. When Willow had her first fever, I was that Mom who was calling the pediatrician at 2am asking how much medicine should give her. Only to realize I had lost the syringe to administer the medicine with. Nothing like ripping apart your medicine cabinet with a screaming baby in the middle of the night.
  2. If you are a parent I am sure you have had to use a device to suck the snot out of your kid’s nose at some point. Yes… I actually just said that… you will do anything for your kids am I right?? Our doctor told us to use this device in which you suck the snot out of your child’s nose through a tube. My husband and I might have done rock, paper, scissors to see who would take on this joyous duty. Needless to say, I ended up being assigned to the task, while my husband started dry heaving in the corner.
  3. I remember using a syringe trying to administer medicine into Willow’s mouth when she was baby. In my mind I was delicately putting tiny drops into her mouth, but instead I squirted the entire contents into the back of her throat causing her to cough, choke, and gag. Serious Mom fail.

In the moment these were all highly anxious situations in which I felt ill equipped and completely unprepared to care for my sick baby. Looking back now all I can say is you live, you learn and you need to laugh along the way to survive. Also, you need to stock your house with an arsenal of products to fight the never-ending runny nose phase my kids will most likely be in from October until March. With school back in session and the cold season fast approaching Ezy Dose Kids comes in handy and it is just that, easy. They have innovative products that help you make your little ones all better and make parenting a sick child goof-proof.

 

Ezy Dose Kids lets you take the worry out of tending to your children with amazing products like the True Easy Syringe that lets you precisely measure medicine down to the last drop. Where was that syringe when I needed it at 2 am?!

 

Oh, and they created a Nose-Pals that helps clear congestion. But Nose-Pals is the only product that allows you to BLOW into the device to create a suction. No more fighting over who has to suck the snot of your kid’s nose.  Which personally I think is a game changer for those with a weak stomach!

 

They also have a Medi-Pals that helps the medicine go down so your child doesn’t gag. The Medi-Pals unique split nipple design that dispenses the liquid down the inside of your child’s cheek. So therefore no more accidental choking your child with medicine…I know my kids are somewhere thanking the heavens for this one!

 

Ezy Dose Kids literally has you and your children covered for whatever germs come your way. Click here to get a 20% off the Ezy Dose Kids items on Amazon and learn more at Ezydosekids.com.

Photo Credit: Kate Hauschka 

I’ve partnered with Ezy Dose Kids on this post, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

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My Healthy And Quick Salad Recipe

Since sharing my journey to get back in shape and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I have received several messages from my followers on Instagram asking me to post more recipes. So here we go!!!  This has been my go-to salad recipe that I make for lunch or dinner. It can be used as a side dish or you can easily add any protein to it, like salmon or chicken.

It is quick, only requiring five ingredients and is so simple that even Willow knows how to make it (she also loves to eat it…#momwin).

Ingredients:

  • Tomato
  • Cucumber ( I use English or Persian cucumbers depending on which is in my fridge)
  • Avocado
  • Lemon
  • Salt


Directions:

  1. Cut cucumber into halves
  2. Dice tomato
  3. Cube avocado
  4. Add all ingredients to bowl and mix
  5. Squeeze half a lemon over entire contents and stir
  6. Salt to taste!

Let me know if you try it and tag @thechicmamas so I can see your yummy salad!

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Shop The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale With Trunk Club Women

 

How many times do you look in your closet and say I have nothing to wear? Or maybe you just need a little help putting together a completed look.

How does a personal stylist sound? Someone that hand picks a tailored selection of clothes and accessories just for you based on your style, input and sizes.

Let me share a little something with you that I have been using to create many of my looks for the blog and everyday life. Trunk Club Women is a service that sets you up with your own personal stylist to help you build your wardrobe essentials! You can chat with your stylist online or in person at one of their six Trunk Club Clubhouses! I just had the best time shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale with my stylist this past week at the Culver City Trunk Club Clubhouse.

 

 

How it works:

 

You share your size, style and fit preference with your personal stylist, who then hand picks specific items just for you! From clothes to jewelry to handbags, or even sunglasses, your Trunk Club personal stylist curates looks according to your input.

 

I told my personal stylist, Alex, that I was looking for fun summer and fall trends from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale (starting July 20th through August 5th there are tons of great deals during the Anniversary sale, starting from 25-50% off)! I also made sure to emphasize the type of fit I prefer or which body part I wanted to showcase. Since I am getting back in shape post babies, I like to show my arms and wear more loose fitting tops and dresses to flatter my post baby body.

Alex put together a preview full of items based on the above information from the sale and talked me through how to pair them together or with my existing closet. When you request a Trunk online, the curated Trunk preview comes straight to your email with photos and pricing where you can give feedback and/or swap things out before it ships. This time I went to Trunk Club’s LA Clubhouse, where I met Alex in person and let me tell you it was amazing!! She handed me a mimosa, and we tried on all the things!!! It was amazing to meet my stylist in person and try on so many looks. I scored on some awesome discounted pieces all from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. So this year, skip the scrolling, pamper yourself and make an appointment at your local Trunk Club Clubhouse (located in LA, Chicago, Dallas, NY, Boston, and Washington, DC!) to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary sale! Sign up for Trunk Club here!

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