What I Want My Daughter to Know About True Beauty

I was a newly minted New Yorker, fresh from a two-year stint on an island, trying to find my way in a big city when stopped by a women’s magazine in Union Square.  They snapped my photo and asked me to describe what I viewed as my best physical feature. Without hesitation, I responded my hands. Not because I particularly liked how they looked, but because in them I saw my mother.

with mamaMe and my Mama, Summer 2014

Perhaps the most important beauty lesson my mother imparted was to find and spread true beauty in the ways in which you live. I was led by the light in her eyes when she helped and served others, and from the glow that radiated as she gave from her heart.  The hands that I always see within my own are perhaps most well known for their work with suffering humanity.

It is my greatest hope that she will continue to receive glimmers of the kindness and compassion that she has demonstrated to others.

Although my mom was never into beauty products, I view the umbrella of beauty as a positive avenue to take care of myself.  I strive to teach my impressionable daughter that a woman can be strong, empowered, and smart with whatever form of self-care she pleases.

I’m well aware, that I am my children’s most profound example, with values and messages practically formed by osmosis. The Dove brand reinforces this message, representing realness in beauty while striving to foster self-esteem among women and girls.

The new Dove Beauty Stories campaign celebrates the beauty habits and advice that are passed down from mother to daughter and encourages women to share their beauty stories to celebrate the women who have taught them to live beautifully.  A survey they commissioned actually found that most women trust the women in their lives more than celebrities for beauty tips and advice.

I hope to have this influence on my own daughter.  Human and flawed – I make mistakes.  But my body image issues consciously shifted the moment that I gave birth to a baby girl.  In many ways, I never felt more feminine and powerful as a woman.  Growing, birthing and sustaining life gave me a new perspective on my femininity, body image, and incredible capabilities.

My seven-year-old daughter is a joy-spreader.  She exudes unfading beauty and innocence.  I want her to feel beautiful and empowered by her magnificent inner light, compassion and capabilities.  And for her, I vow to continue to silence my inner critic – and stand guard while drowning the sea of voices murmuring: Beauty, that’s only found in how you look.

Pippa and Julie dresses

This post is sponsored by Dove via The Motherhood.  Thank you for reading.  Please join in sharing your #BeautyStory while celebrating the real women who inspired it.


A Modern Day Superhero Birthday Bash

 This post is part of the #PartyReddi campaign sponsored by Reddi-wip.  Opinions, as always are my own.  Thanks for reading!

Our little guy is approaching his fifth birthday and desperately need to know “HOW MANY MORE DAYS?!!!”. While one month may not be soon enough for him, I have enough time to plan his summer bash.  We’re all for simple and fun kids’ birthday parties – and in that spirit we styled a cool monochrome-themed birthday dessert bar, fit for the modern day superhero.


With a cost-conscious focus on minimal prep time,  I grabbed all of the food, toppings, Reddi-wip® and some needed supplies at our local Walmart.  Here’s how the desert bar was set-up in a hot-after-school-matter-of-minutes.

  • Go for individual cake bowls. In lieu of baking a birthday cake, serve mini strawberry angel food cake bowls.  Simply follow these easy steps:
  1. Prepare macerated strawberries by washing and slicing strawberries, and then sprinkling with sugar.  Cover in a bowl and refrigerate overnight.
  2. layer Reddi-wip, macerated strawberries, a slice of angel food cake and repeat.
  3. Celebrate with Reddi-wip by adding delicious dollops! Have fun helping the kids select toppings.
  • Go for premade! Picking up an angel food cake at the Walmart bakery cuts party prep time in half.  And right now, Walmart is offering a free smash cake with any bakery purchase of $14.98.

#partyreddi reddi-whip simple kids birthday party dessert bar

  • Serve no-fuss desserts.  In addition to the individual cakes – serve no fuss options like mini chilled chocolate milk jugs. Simply stick the milk in the freezer to chill a few minutes ahead of time for a frosty taste.  Also, go for options like pudding served in mini bowls.
  • Set up a toppings bar with options like blueberries, raspberries, granola, sprinkles and Reddi-wip.  Use this coupon to grab a $1.00 savings on any two Reddi-wip whipped topping products 6.5oz or larger with the purchase of fresh berries.
  • Personalize the party theme. Our little guy dreams of developing his own super powers!  Adding unique superhero masks to the dessert bar helps to pull the monochrome theme together.  And this age group will love morphing into superheroes while enjoying tasty treats!
  • Stick to the plan.  A fantastic budget friendly party is absolutely possible with the right preparations! Stick to your budget and enjoy the festivities and togetherness that will live on in your little one’s memories.


This simple kids birthday bash is easy and fun with a Reddi-wip party staple offering more birthday party for less!  We like the fact that it’s a healthier alternative to the food-colored options typically served to this age group, and a delicious, creamy alternative to other oil-based toppings.  With real dairy cream as the #1 ingredient, it’s a great party treat – even when the kids are caught red handed!


WIN IT! We’re excited to offer one lucky reader a $50 Walmart gift card to get #PartyReddi for that spring or summer birthday bash!  To enter, simply visit the rafflecopter below.  US only and best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales


As soon as the characters hit the massive stage, at opening night of Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales, a chorus of children shouted for Micky Mouse. I watched little feet kicking with excitement in stadium chairs, and costume-clad arms raising up a sea of light up toys.  As special effects fired up the magical […]

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Engaging Kids In Social Good

food bank donations with kids

It’s never too early to try to teach children about social good. When impressionable young minds learn about the most pressing issues of our times, it helps spark their passion for social justice, innate empathy and interest in making the world a better place.  We believe in the power of raising solid citizens through prioritizing […]

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The Puddle Jumper

childhood joy found in rainy days

Save a few hot summer days, rainy days are not my favorite.  I understand their importance, but it’s still challenging to avoid becoming hyper-focused on the daily logistics of trudging along with kids in tow. There was a time that I welcomed inclement weather with a smile.  I remember my red floral umbrella, puddle stomping, […]

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Hilton Garden Inn Garden Getaway Tour

Hilton Garden Inn Garden Getaway Tour

From exciting family adventures far away from home, to romantic weekend getaways and spontaneous staycations – Hilton Garden Inn has set out to inspire travelers to make those vacations happen. They’ve just kicked off a national Garden Getaway Tour offering amazing giveaways, including an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii! To showcase the vibrancy and garden […]

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