Author Archives: hwdadmin

“Think Positive” Say it with me…”Think Positive!’

It’s January and I already learned something new, this “New Year”. I definitely have the potential to be happier in 2018 than I was in 2017. How do I know? Like any other goal, I can’t sit idle, eat a bunch of Oreos and wait for a pocket full of optimism to appear, I have to work towards finding it. Just to be clear, I’m not saying I’m miserable, but I can admit that being a mom opens up a whole new door of questioning and anxiety. Is my son making friends? Is my daughter confident enough? Am I too involved with my children or am I not involved enough? Did I set the alarm? Did I just offend that other parent? Scattered, uncertain thoughts like these can definitely become a buzz kill in the circle of happy parenting. Thankfully, I recognize the need to CHILL OUT in order to live a happier, healthier and stronger life. Here’s my simplified 4-step plan to becoming a more positive person, partner and parent.

Find Your Jam:
We all need a motivational mantra to get us out of our brain funk. Whether it’s singing lyrics to an encouraging ballad, reciting a quote to build up inner strength or rocking out to your favorite fight song, don’t underestimate the power of positive words. Create a parenting play list to help boost your mood and motivate yourself with out getting overwhelmed or psyching yourself out. One quote that keeps me upbeat is written on the wall at a local hair salon. It reads, “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely,” by Roald Dahl.

Set Clear Expectations:
One of the biggest pitfalls of completing a goal is not seeing results as quickly as you want. Once you muster up enough courage to lose weight, start a new business, or ask for a raise–you instantly expect success. If you don’t receive that positive feedback you easily become discouraged. Recognizing fear is a major factor in self-sabotage. Expect obstacles and distractions, but keep moving forward. A great way to calm nerves is working out, meditating or even getting a massage (also helpful for maintaining a feel god attitude).

Laugh it off:
You ate too many carbs, you made a mistake at work, you yelled at your kids for screaming “Mooooom” when they really had a good reason for calling you. You have a choice, you can beat yourself up and throw a major pity party or you can find some humor in these social blunders and not take the mishaps so seriously. Eliminating the emotional reaction and searching for some comic relief will help calm you down from overreacting and quitting your goal.

Get Real:
Who says you only have 12 months to complete your mission? According to U.S. News and World Report, 80 percent of resolutions are dissolved by the second week of February. Ditch the pressure people! Whenever I have a moment of weakness I always imagine what I would say to my child if he or she were having the same issue. Doing this technique helps bring me back to reality and puts matters into perspective. Just like friendships, marriage and parenting –staying healthy and happy is a job and you have to work at it everyday.



5 Tricks To Make Your Summer Last Longer

Summer Isn’t Done. Phew! 5 cool ways to kick back and still have fun in the sun.
From hunting for lost treasures in the sand to searching for the greatest treats on land–
Lifestyle expert Terri Alpert, Founder and CEO of Uno Alla Volta shares her most favorite summer staples. Here’s 5 creative tips that can send us moms back to the beach instead of back to school shopping all month long.

Reveal Your Sole:

There’s nothing better than walking on sandy beaches with a cute pair of flip-flops and what trendsetter doesn’t want to show off their feet in a pair of Havaianas? These fun flops come in hundreds of different styles and eye-popping colors for adults and your kids. You can even custom make your own style! Since its creation in 1962, Havaianas created a loyal fan-base for their comfort and unmistakable design. Alpert loves the Slim Organic White/Silver ($28), and little fashionistas will love the Kids Slim Pop Sandal Rose Gold ($20). Choose from an ice cream sundae print with a golden spoon embellishment or a popcorn print with a salt shaker embellishment.



Stay Hot With Suede:

Keep your style up-to-date with a statement handbag. These Uno Alla Volta Florentine Suede Bucket Bags($248) are handcrafted by the hearts and hands of the very artisans Alpert calls “her family.” These beautiful suede handbags add a pop of color to any summer outfit. The designs are stylish, roomy, and the Italian suede is masterfully handcrafted in Florence, Italy. Each bag features a hand-cut suede tassel and braided leather handles. They come in many beautiful, vibrant colors and can only be found exclusively at Uno Alla Volta.

Uno Alla Volta

Uno Alla Volta



Find The Perfect Shade:

Alpert told A New Mom In Town that nails have come a long, long way since she was a kid in the 70s (props to the UK fashion student who designed experimental press-on nails carrying an Oyster chip)! Inspired by the sun-soaked shores of Antigua, Essie’s 2016 summer nail polish collection ($3 each) defies convention with its bold, eye-popping colors. The metallic shimmer adds an unexpected jolt to your mani and pedi. With names like Viva Antigua!, Coconut Cove and Berried Treasure, Essie’s summer collection is a dream come true.



Keep Away The Summer Blues With A Yummy Dessert:

Nothing screams summer more than ice cream. Alpert is a huge fan of Coolhaus, a Brooklyn-based brand, which bills themselves as architecturally-inspired gourmet ice cream. This delectable treat is available nationwide and includes innovative, unique flavors including fried chicken caramel (with hints of cayenne, sage and black pepper) and handmade candy bars (filled with white chocolate and fresh, locally-sourced mint leaves). Bonus: you can also order Coolhaus online.





Remember To Dip, Sip and Dine:

As a native New Englander, Alpert says, “There is no other destination with charm and glamour like breathtaking Newport, RI.” Known for its Gilded Age mansions on Bellevue Avenue and pristine beaches, Newport also has a vibrant, contemporary side, made manifest with quirky shops and outstanding restaurants. The famed Newport Jazz Festival has been a summer staple since its inception in 1954 when Billie Holiday and Dizzy Gillespie performed. The festival attracts music lovers of all types, not to mention celebrities and dignitaries from around the globe.

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What is your favorite end of the summer tip or trip?  Let us know.

He Said What??

imageOne of the biggest payoffs of having kids…their political incorrectness. I took my 4-yr-old to the bookstore. Instead of being focused on the legendary “Purple Rain” performer, he blurted out what most of us were thinking, but couldn’t say. “Mom, is this book about armpit hair?”

What’s the funniest quotes your kids have ever said?

First Lesson In Motherhood: Shit Happens

I never thought being a first time mom was going to be easy, but I didn’t expect to consider myself a failure the day my daughter was born. I kept a journal throughout my entire pregnancy. I recorded my physical ailments (morning sickness for a full nine months), my food cravings, my happy days, my sick of being pregnant days, my baby sonogram updates and promises I vowed to work on everyday to give my child the best life possible. I was committed to being the balanced, confident perfect mom with all the right tips and tricks to help navigate my daughter through birth to adulthood. One of those promises was breastfeeding. If you asked me before I got pregnant what I would feed my baby, I would have responded dubiously, “Coffee and cream”?!
Since I was becoming a mom and was responsible for taking care of another person besides my own selfish needs I was going to give her the greatest gift. “Breast is best,” I was told countless of times. Experienced moms, lactation specialists, doulas and scientific research expressed the positive effects breast milk has on a child’s growth, health and brain function. And there was another bonus. Theories suggested body-to-body contact helped form a mother daughter bond I instantly craved. I imagined myself sitting next to her 20 years later discussing the joy I received while cradling her in my arms as I fed her milk from me, my body, the dedicated mother who would sacrifice everything to keep her happy and healthy. However, due to unforeseen circumstances the breastfeeding daydream images surrounded by lullaby tunes playing in the background with a fixed crooked smile on my face dressed in a cute white sun dress turned into a major shit show!
As soon as she came out I sang her name out loud in the delivery room and then growled at my husband to hand her to me. I was eager to introduce myself and watch her latch on effortlessly. Except, she never did. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I qualified as a woman with inverted nipples. My boob malfunction drove me into a tailspin. I was drugged due to a C-section and left dumfounded by my inability to nurture my child naturally. I became depressed, angry and desperate. I requested a lactation specialist to visit me in the hospital and tell me what my chances were of delivering breast milk to my daughter. Already I let my daughter down–only nine hours after she was born. I tried everything. Nipple covers, breast shells, a breast pump to convert my inverted nipples to erect ones. The anxiety overwhelmed me, I felt like I was starving my child and I was exhausted. My breasts failed me and I failed her. Being overly paranoid and emotional, I decided to supplement her with formula while I tried tirelessly to get her to latch on.
I was engorged the day we came home from the hospital. I assumed this was a sign that my body was ready to surrender to her suck. Unfortunately, the milk buildup became too painful and my baby nurse had to help me pump it out through my screaming and crying. I was lucky if I got out half an ounce of milk. According to experts, babies don’t need many ounces in the beginning stages, but after seeing how much I produced is when my “mother instinct” kicked in. Yes, I could keep trying to feed her naturally while being cranky and feeling defeated or I can try to get to know my child and give her what I think is best. I opted for the latter. I kept my daughter at a healthy weight with formula feeding meals and whatever drips of breast milk I could pump out for dessert. I returned my boppy pillow and pump a month later. It’s almost been seven years since the boob fiasco. My daughter has been attached to my side ever since.bf2

Don’t Be A Decorating Dope

imageI love the holidays and all the love and joy they bring, but I despise decorating for them. I admit I have very little patience and all these elaborate Pinterest items put my work to shame. I wouldn’t say I am Mrs. Scrooge because I still get butterflies in my stomach when I hear Mariah Carey’s, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” chime from every radio station’s playlist, but I don’t yearn to spread my holiday cheer in lights, fake snow and mistletoes. An eggnog latte and a pumpkin muffin from any coffee shop is enough to get my jingle bells ringing.

My daughter thinks there is something wrong with me. She’s six. Her opinion is still up for debate, but I agreed to hear her grievances with my anti-decorating demeanor. She was rather honest with her assessment. “Mom, you are the only mom, who doesn’t like to decorate for the holidays”. When she approached me with this accusation I was caught off guard? “What do you mean?” I figured my question would challenge her to think and then she would just give up. However, she countered with a line I may have mumbled in the past, “You don’t want to ruin our new, fresh painted walls.” She got me. There was no arguing back. She was right. I couldn’t deal with all the mess or stress. For the first time in my life, I actually felt guilty about my anti-creativity holiday stance. Maybe there really was something wrong with me. Was I killing the December mood for my kids? Will they be scarred for life with out witnessing their dad and I shop for candy canes to hang, menorahs to light and snowflakes to stick on the windows? Should I be more willing and excited about giving up hours possibly even days of my time to create a winter wonderland? All of a sudden these thoughts overwhelmed me and I started analyzing the kind of message I was sending to my family, friends…oh no, the neighbors. Was I known as the bad Santa on the block?
I took a deep breath and then asked my daughter what she wanted to create. I would let her make whatever she wanted for the house and we could hang it wherever she chose. She decided on drawing a gingerbread man and a Christmas tree. Then, we cut out the sketches and taped them to her armoire so she can look at her display as she goes to bed. I think it took a total of 10 minutes, but the time didn’t matter. She was happy. And I was satisfied.

I realized the importance of decorating to her was not how fancy or glittery you get, but she wanted to make something special with me, her mommy. No judgments. It wasn’t the quantity but the quality of time we shared together. My 6 yr. old made me feel like a real dope and for a good reason. Thanks to her, I will never forget this year’s holiday and the important lesson I learned with our two make-do festive decorations.

Poor SportsMOMship! Spot Signs

How many times have we reminded our small children, “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game,” and expect them to understand what the hell we really mean? Many of us lean on this generic phrase of wisdom usually in hidden fear that our child is a lousy athlete or a certifiable sore loser. Even though my daughter loves to hula hoop, but sucks and my son only has interest in playing with his own balls instead of kicking the ball on the soccer field, I am a strong believer in delivering encouraging mantras and relaying positivity to help my kids feel like champions and always give their best. But that was me last week, before I entered the race for, “Class Chaperone” and all my optimism, fairness and humility went to shit. It all started with an email exchange. A note went out announcing my son’s preschool class would be taking a trip to a petting zoo. I immediately responded and offered to volunteer. Honestly, they could have booked a class trip to the water fountain, but since I just re-entered society from my shocking loss as “Class Mom” at my daughter’s school, a second chance at becoming “Senior Chaperone” became very personal to me. Plus, this was my son’s first field trip ever. I had to be the chosen one. However, my tactic as first responder to the call of duty was met with stiff competition. Other members of the school mom squad were vying for the same position. And the teacher declared a lottery would be the deciding factor. Of course, all my strategic hard work at kissing butt, massaging egos, and coffee gift cards couldn’t win me a spot on the field trip since the chaperones were chosen by random. When the names of the lucky parents were announced, mine was not one of them.   I was foaming from the mouth; crossing names off my kid’s birthday party list and plotting how to make my best friend disappear for the day. Yes, she took my spot. It was my son’s first field trip, his first time on a school bus, first time visiting a farm, all firsts I would miss because someone didn’t choose my name out of a hat. Should I really let chance determine my success or failure? I was not ready to accept the defeat. I demanded I go anyway. The school obliged. “Ha-ha-nanny-nanny-boo-boo.” But there was a catch. I would have to drive myself to the destination and pay for my entrance fee. I was so focused on the victory that neither constraint bothered me, until I realized, just maybe, I am teetering on the edge of poor sportsMomship. I was torn. Do I want to experience a memorable occasion with my son, by being awarded the title, “Your Mommy is a crazy bitch” who crashed the field trip or do I accept my loss, squeeze into my big girl panties and let my adorable 3 yr. old ride this one out on his own? The feeling of failure consumed me. But justifying my juvenile behavior would haunt me. I gave myself a multiple choice test. Which first is more important to me? Chaperoning my son’s first field trip or…

1.Witnessing his first touchdown at his football game?

2.Meeting his first girlfriend?

3.Taking care of him the first time she breaks his heart?

4.Being the first to cheer him up when he injures himself?

5.Watching him drive away when he first gets his license?

6.Holding his head up over the toilet the first time he gets drunk?

7.Buying him his suit for his first real job?

8.Helping him furnish his home when he buys his first house?

9.Being the first person he confides in when he is ready to get married?

10.Be the first to tell him he’s gaining too much weight?

11.Being his first contact when he is in trouble?

12.Hugging him tight when he has his first born?

13.Telling him he needs to grow up when he has his first fight with his spouse?

14.Be the first to tell him when he’s being an ass?

15.Telling him how proud he makes me?

Wow. I guess I overreacted. Who wants to smell like stinky horse shit anyway?!

This Mom Is Exhausted From Co-Sleeping

10 Reasons I Want To Tell My Kids to Get Out of My Bed…and it has absolutely nothing to do with what the experts say.

1. Mommy really needs to talk to daddy (wink, wink).
2. Mommy wants to watch bad reality TV without feeling guilty (and a bit embarrassed).
3. I want to read a book without someone looking over my shoulder asking, “What does M-U-R-D-E-R spell?
4. You no longer need my boob or bottle. We can schedule bonding time in the daytime (preferably 7:30 am to 7:30 pm).
5. I want to put my anti-aging lotion on my face without being interrogated with questions like, “Can’t you just use water to wash those dark spots off your face?” “Will this sticky stuff take out the big crinkle in between your eyes?” “Mom, does this really work?”
6. Mommy doesn’t like to freeze while you are sound asleep like a tightly wrapped sushi roll in MY sheets and blanket.
7. I want to speak freely on the phone, shop online or do stomach crunches without being interrupted by you handing me your boogers because you’re too tired to grab a tissue.
8. Mommy wants to have a fucking fattening, sugary snack and doesn’t want to share it.
9. Mommy loves you but is exhausted nursing her fat lip from being kicked in the face due to your involuntarily stretches and accidental backhands.
10. I want peace. I don’t want to discipline, talk, yell or negotiate. I just want complete silence. Even if it’s only for a few hours…minutes…seconds…”Oh, hi pumpkin. I was just keeping your spot warm.”

10 Moms You Are Guaranteed To Run Into This Weekend

The Close Talker: This is the mom who always lures you in closer and closer to her personal space. Not to get verification on how well or bad her breath smells, but wants to make the two of you feel like you are in a more intimate situation where she can deliver some scandalous gossip. She really just wants to tell you that she has a special coupon to get half off your single purchase, but shhhh!

The One Who Can Never Remember Your Name: This is my favorite mom in the whole wide world. You’ve seen her 50 times at school events, she’s invited your children to birthday parties, she’s even half-smiled at you when you held the door open for her once. However, you can be standing in line right next to her at the coffee shop and she won’t even flinch when she recognizes you…Um you think she saw you right?

The Busy Mom Who Is Always Busier Than You: She’ll give you her entire itinerary for the weekend that takes up 10 minutes of your valuable shopping time at the grocery store and then when she asks you what your plans are she doesn’t wait for an answer and tells you she’s just to busy to chat.

The Texter: You’ll never hear her utter a word to you in person. But she’ll randomly text to ask you a question about something insignificant. For example, what time does soccer practice start?

The Know-It-All: For Realz…from the hottest restaurants to eat at to the newest toy your child should own right now- to having a holistic doctor’s number on speed dial to look at your kids rash. She has all the answers. It may make you angry (and a little jealous), but you want her in your circle.

The Complainer: It’s been a while since you’ve seen her, but she’s talking about her lower back pain again! You don’t even remember asking this time or last time.

The Competitor: She is not coy about her agenda. Her first question is, “Is your son talking yet? How many words? Is he potty trained? Does he know all the words to Adam Levine’s Animal, like my little star?”  Enough said!

The Religious Mom: She’s the sweetest most approachable friend who just like some well-known celebrities at award shows always thanks God first for granting her this wonderful life. Then screams, “damn” because she can’t find he car keys.

The Nodder: Probably my second favorite mom. Your conversations are usually kept very short and simple. You get so self-conscious that you start talking about generic stuff like the weather. She offers no feedback except a quick nod to let you know she is half listening, but really she could give absolutely two shits about what you have to say and then excuses herself once her “mom” calls on her cell phone. Sure it’s her mom!

The Apologizer: This scenario usually plays out the same exact way every time you see “Miss Full of Excuses.” Here is how the conversation goes:

You: Hi.
Apologizer: I’m so sorry I haven’t been in touch.
You: That’s ok we’ve both been busy.
Apologizer: I just feel bad that life gets in the way of being more social.
You: No worries. We’ll catch up when we have the time.
Apologizer: Definitely. I’m sorry if it takes me some time to reach out.
You: No rush.
You walk away. Your phone gets a text.
Apologizer: Sorry for running so soon. Kids making me so frazzled. Truly sorry.

Next week, I’ll give you the next 10 mommy friends you will love, avoid or cringe seeing, but guess what friends, there’s no denying we fall into at least one of these categories. Have a great weekend

Take The Angry Selfie Dare. I Did!

Have you ever felt the intense heat from anger travel through your jaw line to neck to limbs to toes? You get so revved up that you’re sure your body temperature has skyrocketed, your muscles have tightened and you are convinced that you can spit out inconceivable huge balls of fire with a simple exhale.

Of course you have. You’re a mom.

I would love to switch bodies with my son or daughter to witness what they ACTUALLY see when I get enraged (I like to call it a “little upset”). I’m most curious about which facial expression frightens them most? Do my mood swings happen in stages like an artist draws a smiley face that goes from happy to sad to mad or is it the final smug or evil glare that seals the non-negotiating discipline deal? I’ve been told in the past when I flare up my eyeballs pop out of my head. I’ve also been told that when I yell my mouth stretches open much wider than ever expected. It’s as if I become the Incredible Hulk (with lady parts of course and a prettier shade of green). Many times, I feel absolutely horrible (and self-conscious) that my kids get so frightened by my Momster transformation. Even though I feel all of this madness from the inside I can’t visualize what it looks like on the outside. I decided I needed to get a real, true depiction of my angry face sans Photoshop and cover up. That’s when the “angry selfie” was created.


Here’s how it works. I imagine a usual misbehavior my kids do that irritates me. I feel the impulse to react and then SNAP. It’s an angry selfie masterpiece in real-time. After weeks of taking several freeze frames I concluded being mortified and feeling guilty about my hideous mean mug was a huge waste of energy. Instead, I wanted to embrace the hilarity of these unpredictable and very unappealing poses that qualify me as a real, unrefined mom.

To all my fellow moms, I urge you to take the angry selfie challenge. Not only is it courageous, but cathartic. Always have your iPhone in hand and quickly zoom in on your “glam”mad face minutes before you start raging, threatening and turning into a storybook parent villain. Does your toddler terror have the power to turn you into the she-devil? Most of us would say no freakin way! Like our little rascals, moms can’t always be expected to act composed, mature and do the right thing, but we can be more grown up and make little tweaks to our snappy tone and own temper tantrums. Hopefully our efforts will be noticed by our children so we don’t encourage mini-copycats and our selfies will make us more self aware of the many faces we want to display and the ones we simply want to delete forever!

A Journey To Blankie Rehab

“Just one more bite.”

“Just five more minutes.”

“I won’t be able to sleep if you take it away.”

“Pleeeeassse mommy, it relaxes me.”

Those were the daily pleas I would hear from my 5-yr-old daughter. Her begging and desperation would make me cringe but weakened me at the time. I automatically would give into her binge.

My name is Hope and my daughter is a recovering blankie sleeper and sucker.

Just like the pacifier or thumb my baby relied on her blankie to soothe. At first, her habit was innocent, common almost an adorable behavior most infants and toddlers go through. Of course, as parents we want to believe our child is more advanced than we were as kids and we have wiser more effective strategies to help them take the “edge off” rather than rely on a crutch. However, when I witnessed my child go from a moody irritable monster to the most beautiful precious sleeping angel every night once that blanket hit her lips, I found myself becoming the enabler instead of the enforcer. I would assure myself it wasn’t so bad by saying things like, “It’s only a phase. If it calms her down let that be the worst thing she does. But she’s only 2, only 3, only 4…”

Then one month after her 5th birthday I panicked, “Holy shit my daughter is a blankie addict and I’m her dealer.”  I was making the product look too good to give up. I mean she had a beautiful stash. They were washed, folded and sat perfectly in her bottom drawer for her to choose. Ballerinas one day, blue elephants the next and pink polka dots with satin finish as back up, just in case she went through her supply before she fell asleep. They looked so scrumptious; even I was curious how they tasted. I knew she would never be able to kick the habit unless her father, family members and myself supported her through this scary and stressful change. Finally, my husband and I got on the same team. Our cheer was, “Say no to the blankie no matter what!” We shook on it.

First, came the intervention. “Sweetie we challenge you to not use your blankie for five days. In return, you can stay up late, watch TV and get a reward in the morning.” I was fearful we would replace one bad habit with another, but helping her stay away from her “fix” was my first and only priority.   Then came the withdrawal process. We survived it, but it was tough. There were many times she would give me sad eyes and whimper. I just wanted to cave. I would whisper to myself, “Say no to the blankie no matter what!” We also used positive reinforcement. We reminded her how much we loved her, encouraged her to be a big girl and find big girl things to help her sleep, like music or books.

After five sleepless nights the true test came. Could my daughter sleep in her own room without her dependent? She did it! My princess may still give us an hour-long argument about her bedtime, but at least it’s no longer with the blanket hanging from the side of her mouth.