Cox’s New Contour Changes Television

The following is a sponsored post from Cox Communications.

With my daughter now almost 3 years old, I’ve started letting her watch a few choice shows on TV. Especially now that baby brother is here, keeping my toddler entertained while tending to the baby has saved me time and time again. A quick shout out to my 25-minute babysitters: Daniel Tiger, Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Sophia the First.

This being said, I now care about things that weren’t on my radar before having a TV-watching toddler. Like, being able to monitor and limit what she watches (she’s surprisingly technologically advanced with a remote!), being able to easily record her favorite shows all at once, and being able to find and play these programs fast (aka baby bro is crying and I need to play Daniel Tiger immediately so I can tend to him).

That’s why I was excited to partner with Cox Communications and attend their media event which rolled out their newest product, Contour.Voice_Remote_Comp
In a word, Contour is: awesome! It’s also pioneering the way we interact with our television.

Here are the 10 best new features that allow you to get more out of TV and “get right to the good stuff” with Contour:

1. I’ll start with my favorite — the Kids Zone — which monitors and limits what children can watch with security PINs. There’s also Integrated Common Sense Media ratings that help parents select age-appropriate programs.

 

2. Typing or scrolling to search for programs is a thing of the past. With the new Contour remote you can speak directly into your remote and give demands to change the channel, search for your favorite actor, movie genre, or ask for recommendations (ya, they know what you like!) You can even say a line from a movie into the remote and it will find that movie – think “to infinity and beyond” and watch as it brings up Toy Story (coolest feature ever?)

3. The interface is served from the cloud so updates and enhancements can happen smoothly and regularly.

4. The “last” button has stepped up its game and now let’s you choose from the last NINE programs you recently viewed.

5. The new on-screen guide displays rich graphics, show and movie posters, and super detailed information on more than 35,000 On Demand titles. And if you want to rent a movie with a particular actor, just say the actor’s name into your remote and browse all of the movie titles staring said actor. (Will Ferrell movie binge watching? Yes, please!)

Movies_Popular_Comp

6. You can download the Contour app on Apple or Android devices and watch your favorite shows from anywhere in the house, on your tablet or smart phone.

Movies_Featured_Comp

7. Want to view specific news, sports games, weather and traffic all in once place? There’s a (personalized) app for that which can be viewed simultaneously with other programming. The sports app even includes details of games across all channels, fantasy sports information and game rosters and stats.

8. You know those annoying big boxes that are usually installed for each TV in the house? The new Contour box is SUPER small and sleek.

9. You can store up to 300 hours of high-def programming, 1,000 hours of standard-def programming, and can record six programs at the same time! How, you ask? Oh just A TRILLION bytes of storage capacity – nbd.

10. SOS! If you’re ever lost you can conveniently ask your remote for “help” and view tips and tricks and a help menu with common video tutorials. That remote is one smart cookie!

All in all the new Contour platform is very impressive and truly provides innovative updates that the whole family will appreciate.

Now, if you need me — I’ll be quoting movie lines into my remote. It’s just so fun!

For more information, visit Cox.com/Contour

My “Ma” Morning Practice: 5 Steps to Sanity

The following is a guest sponsored post by Jessica Jennings from Ma Yoga

ma morning meditation

When I became a mom, I was pretty sure of myself. I’d been teaching prenatal yoga for years, I felt strong from my yoga classes, and I was fine with not being able to take a weekend trip to Vegas.

Cut to: Me, barely able to find time for a shower, exhausted, depleted, and completely core-less. I am blissed out in love with my baby, but the one thing that has always helped me ground myself and feel calm and clear – my yoga – just does not seem to fit anymore, like my skinny jeans. I don’t have an hour and a half of serene quiet time at home; and I don’t want to pay for 3 hours of childcare to go to a class.

So what to do? Eventually, after returning to grad school and finishing my MS in Exercise Science, I created Ma Yoga, which focuses on the needs of new moms through what I call “Anchor Practices”: short, effective, simple meditation, strengthening yoga and food & wellness habits we can do in between feeds and while baby naps.

Most important of all the Anchor Practices for me is the morning practice. If I skip it, it feels like nothing works – I lose my keys, my computer breaks, I’m kind of a mess. Even a 2-minute practice in the morning (pick one or two items from the list below) can help life feel much easier to handle (I probably still lose my keys, it just doesn’t bug me as much), and seems to wake up my more intelligent cravings and desires for the whole day so I take better care of myself.

Here are the basics of my Ma Morning practice – again, if it feels way too long, then it is. Just pick a couple from the list and start from there.

ma yoga

(Ma is Sanskrit for the divine flow of nurturing energy):

1.) Grab a notebook and sit on a blanket or cushion, in a place in your house that feels special to you. Over time – put some things nearby – rocks, shells, candles, whatever makes you feel good and calm to look at.

2.) Do a breath practice. Start with this easy grounding breath: close your eyes and exhale to the count of 6 through your mouth. If you’re not pregnant, use your abs to draw ribs and belly in and back on the exhale, connecting to your core. Either way, make a “ha” sound like you’re misting up a window in winter.

Then breathe in through your nose to the count of 6, lifting your chest and sitting up tall. With each inhale, sit taller. With each exhale, softly rest your shoulders and ribs back and allow yourself to be held, as if there were a soft chair you were sitting in, and leaning onto the tall back.

Do these breaths a bunch of times, as long as you’re feeling like you’re becoming more tall and spacious.

For many of us – especially those with anxiety and a lot of stress – we are in fight-or-flight mode all the time. Our adrenals are overworking and getting tired out, and never getting a break.

Focusing on a long exhale slows down the heart rate and blood pressure, like pressing the reset button for our nervous system.

3.) Close your eyes and sit in meditation for 2 minutes, which means let go of everything – even judgement about how well you’re letting go. Let your thoughts float by without attaching to them (no, they won’t stop coming – we are not that in control). If you’ve never learned to meditate, try this super easy visualization to get you started.

4.) Then, pick up your notebook and write a list of what was hard about yesterday. Then, write a list of what was really pretty cool about yesterday. You’ll be surprised at how much there was. It’s so important to acknowledge the gifts that come and start to look for them all day long!

Then, ask your Future Self for advice. This is crazy, but I have gotten SO much information from doing this I didn’t know I had. She is just our wise inner voice. She says things like “slow down today” or “one thing at a time, it will all get done” – things I would tell a good friend, but I forget to tell myself. If you do this practice long enough, her voice becomes the one leading the way forward in your life.

5.) Get on hands and knees on a rug or yoga mat, and simply do cat/cow with your breath. This connects your movement to your innate rhythm for the day, so you’ll be able to find it again easier. If you don’t know cat/cow – or for more poses to add into your home practice – check out the Ma Yoga Living Room.

That’s it! This is the essential morning practices for mamas.

Whatever movement you do first thing, keep your exhales long and you will align with a deeper, slower rhythm so when things get nutty, it’s easier to find throughout the day. You will be able to access your inner gps easier, and your life will begin to reflect more of your authentic desires. Focusing on the full exhale will also teach your nervous system to stay calm, focused, energized and strong – no matter what waves come and knock you off your feet!

Grab more quick and effective practices for moms from Jessica Jennings, MS, by going to the Ma Yoga Living Room Project, her Indiegogo campaign running through March, and picking an incentive. Choose from video programs that include meditation and breathing, core strengthening for moms who hate bicycles, and low back pain relief – all made to squeeze into your busy day, in your own living room.

ma yoga

Find the Most Qualified Nannies in San Diego on The Nanny League

The following is a sponsored post brought to you by The Nanny League. All opinions are my own. 

While I’m a stay-at-home mom and haven’t required the services of a nanny up until this point, I’ve seen many fellow mom friends go through the tiring task of finding and locking down a good nanny. It’s often hard to find nanny services that fit within your family unit — whether it be a matter of schedules, family values, reliability or ease of mind, finding and choosing the right candidate is no easy feat.

It’s no doubt that your children are the most important pieces of your life, so naturally you want to find the best possible person to care for them. But where to begin in the search? How to conduct background checks and evaluate past references? The sheer process of finding the right person to nanny your children often seems daunting and overwhelming. That’s why I was very interested to learn about The Nanny League, and their services now opening up in San Diego.

The Nanny League

The Nannies

The Nanny League

The Nanny League matches only college-educated, highly competent, creative and nurturing nannies with families residing in and around New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County and now San Diego (yay for us!). They are also able to extend their reach in other cities across the U.S., based on referral.

What sets The Nanny League apart from other nanny placement services, is their meticulous, personalized process to find and vet potential candidates to serve your family’s exact needs. All of their nannies go through a highly discriminating selection and screening process including background checks, drug screening, and thorough reference review. Each nanny must also be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement, if requested by the family.

Representing and helping place such exceptional, smart, selfless, loving and inspirational professional nannies is one thing, but knowing that they are helping impact the lives of so many children, in such a positive way, is by far the most rewarding aspect to my job.  They are the ones who make what I do not a job at all, but instead, truly a labor of love.” – Lindsay Thomason, CEO TNL 

To ensure families are selecting from the best of the best, each nanny who is accepted into the Nanny League must:

  • Posses at least at BA/BS college degree
  • Be CPR/First Aid Certified
  • Have the ability co make a one-year commitment to a family
  • Have at least two years childcare experience
  • Have excellent work and personal references
  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Be fluent in English (bilingual a plus)
  • Be a competent swimmer
  • Be a Non-smoker
  • Sign a no cell phone driving guarantee

I just love this up-front vetting process – especially the no cell phones while driving which is such an important conversation to have with your caregiver in today’s world!

Where to Begin?

The Nanny League

The Nanny League offers full-time and part-time nanny placements as well as babysitters and tutors in a variety of subjects.

Because no two families’ needs are the same, the Nanny League will work with you to create a job description and salary that will attract the right candidate from their database of nanny professionals. It’s through this personalized matching service, that your family will find the perfect caregiver for your children.

The Nanny League believes in their matching process so much that they even offer to provide two replacements during the first six months of your contract at no additional charge in the rare event that a nanny does not work out with your family.

Find Your Family Nanny:

Contact The Nanny League for more information and to take the first step in finding a loving nanny for your family.

San Diego Contact: Anna Stein
Phone Number: (206) 349-1622
Email: anna@thenannyleague.com
W
ebsite: www.thenannyleague.com

You can also connect with The Nanny League and their wonderful nannies at upcoming MomCo San Diego playdates! During these playdates the nannies play and conduct crafts, face painting and games with the children so the parents can socialize and get to know each other. To find an upcoming playdate, download the MomCo app here.

This is a sponsored post brought to you by The Nanny League. All opinions are my own. 

A Creative Moms’ Night Out with Inspire San Diego Studio + Giveaway!

The following is a sponsored post brought to you by Inspire San Diego Studio. All opinions are my own.

You know me; always looking for a fun moms’ night out here in San Diego or an out-of-the-box date night for me and the hubby. That’s why I was excited to learn about Inspire San Diego Studio and their amazing art classes in San Diego and La Mesa.

What makes Inspire San Diego Studio unique, is their focus on the art making process and not so much on the final product. They also love to celebrate individuality, so you create one of a kind art at every workshop (not just the ol’ reliable ‘starry night’ painting at every class). I love their art style and how they’ll customize classes for adults, kids and private parties.

art class San Diego art class San Diego

Adult Art Classes

Inspire San Diego Studio mixes it up every class, so you can pick which piece of art you’d like to paint or even choose a class that will paint calendars, hand-made cards or wine glasses instead of canvas!

art class San Diego  art classes San Diego  art classes San Diego

Scheduling a class is super easy – just check their calendar of upcoming classes (click on the images in the calendar to receive more information, pricing and specifics), pick a project, date or time that works for you, purchase your seat and get ready for a fun, creative evening!

Inspire San Diego Studio provides all of the materials, so no need to worry about coming prepared (except with your creative juices flowing, of course). And speaking of juices, many of their classes are held at local, fun restaurants where you can order drinks and food! Check the calendar for different locations!

art classes San Diego

Kid Classes

Children’s art workshops are perfect for ages 7+. All materials are provided and parents are welcome to participate at no extra cost to help work on the same project together. Some classes also feature “Mommy and Me” themes, like this adorable Mommy and Me Ballet Dress class.

kids art classes San Diego

Time and pricing varies so make sure to check out the Kids’ Calendar for up-to-date information.

Private Parties

If you’re planning a fun occasion (think birthday party, bachelorette, family reunion, baby shower, etc.) or want to host your own moms’ night in, corporate building event or fundraiser, Inspire San Diego Studio will come to you! For groups between 8-60 people, Inspire SD Studio will lead a fun private class right in the comfort of your own home, work or event space and customize the art project to fit your theme.

art parties San Diego

Private parties are $35 per person (travel charges may apply). For more information, check out their website and shoot an email to info@inspiresdstudio.com

Contact:

Inspire San Diego Studio
info@inspiresdstudio.com
619.430.2318
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Special Discount for Mommy Project Readers:

Mommy Project readers, enjoy 10% off any class listed on the calendar when you enter code: MOMMYPROJECT at checkout.  If you’re interested in hosting a private event (8 person minimum), mention “Mommy Project” via phone or email and receive 10% off per person, plus the host gets to paint for free with a party of 10 or more! 

Giveaway

Inspire San Diego Studio is also giving away FOUR gift certificates, each good for one free workshop. Enter to win below and FOUR random winners will be chosen on Friday, July 17, 2015! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Inspire San Diego Studio. All opinions are my own.

Where the Turf Meets the Surf: A Guide to This Season at the Del Mar Racetrack

July in San Diego means the sun is shining bright, the beaches are bustling and opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack is just around the corner! Where the surf meets the turf down in old Del Mar, this season will stretch, Thursday, July 16 through Monday, September 7. Followed by the new “fall” season that will take off on Thursday, October 29 through Sunday, November 29.

As the Del Mar Racetrack gears up for its 76th season (this is not their first rodeo, if you know what I mean), make sure to mark your calendars with these fun events:

Del Mar Racetrack Special Events:

Thursday, July 16: Opening Day – Complete with the track’s Opening Day Hats Contest

Every Friday: 4:00 Fridays – Every Friday (and on selected Saturdays) throughout the season musical acts swing into full motion after the races. Just a teaser on this year’s vibrant slate include Paul Oakenfold, Weezer, Steel Pulse, Pepper and a reggae festival with Ziggy Marley.

Every Saturday & Sunday: Family Weekends – Join the family friendly party at the infield with kids’ free admission and only $6 per adult. Enjoy games, pony rides, face painting, magic shows and more!

del mar racetrack

Saturday, July 25 and Saturday, August 29: Del Mar Craft Beer Festival – because beer is kinda our thing in SD.

Sunday, July 19: Family Fun Day and Webkinz plush horse giveaway  – Bring the whole family and take advantage of the numerous FREE attractions including magic shows, rock climbing, a baseball clinic, crafts, pony rides and much more! Racetrack admission is FREE for children 17 & under, adults are $6.

del mar racetrack

Saturday, August 22: TVG Pacific Classic – True horse racing aficionados rejoice – this is the day the track will present the 25th edition of its richest and most prestigious event, the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic, run at a mile and a quarter and sure to lure many of the best runners in the land.

Thursday, October 29: Opening Day for Bing Crosby Season – This time the “throwback” meet gets a big buzz opener with two days of championship racing – the $26-million Breeders’ Cup being held at Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky – presented on the first Friday and Saturday (October 30 and 31) of the session.

For more event details visit: http://www.delmarscene.com/calendar
Summer racing at Del Mar will take place in its usual Wednesday through Sunday format with the lone exception being the holiday closing day Monday (9/7). First post daily will be at 2 p.m. with the exceptions of Fridays (4 p.m.). Fall racing will be conducted on a Thursday-through-Sunday basis with a first post of 12:30 p.m. A notable exception to that routine will be the 11 a.m. first post on Thursday, November 26, which is Thanksgiving Day. For more information, call 858-755-1141 or visit www.DelMarScene.com. You can follow Del Mar on Twitter and Instagram, @DelMarRacing or become a fan at www.Facebook.com/DelMarRaces.

Spread the Love with Your #UltraHug Selfie and Huggies

huggies sponsored post

I love when big brands launch campaigns that truly reach communities and end up making a difference in one way or another. The Huggies #UltraHug Selfie campaign is aiming to do just that by giving away ten $2,000 community grants…and you can help!

In association with the new Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra diapers, which are available now at Walmart, Huggies is urging all parents to take an #ultrahug selfie with their baby and nominate a community project that is important to them.

How to Enter

Huggies Spread the Love

1. Nominate your community project by uploading a selfie of you and your baby to Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #UltraHug.

2. Be sure to include details in your social posts about the project you are nominating and why it is important to you.

3. From April 20th until June 25thHuggies will be accepting all selfies of you and your baby with the hashtag#UltraHug, and featuring them in a collage on the campaign landing page.

4. On July 6th, voting will begin to narrow down the 20 finalists to 10 winners who will win a $2,000 grant from Huggies for their nominated community initiative.

Such a great campaign – and who doesn’t love a good selfie with their baby?? :) Don’t forget to try Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra Diapers for yourself by visiting your local Walmart or Walmart.com.

For more information on how to enter your community project, visit the Huggies #UltraHug page here.

Spina Bifida Association

I’m nominating the Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida benefiting the Spina Bifida Association for one of the $2,000 Huggies #UltraHug community grants. Our sweet baby niece, and Blake’s first cousin, Brynn, was born with spina bifida. At not even 5 months old, baby Brynn has undergone several major surgeries, both in utero and postpartum. She is a fighter, an inspiration and the most adorable little babe in the world. We love you so much Brynn!

spina bifida association

The Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida is a family friendly walk event being held to raise awareness about Spina Bifida and celebrate the accomplishments of the over 166,000 Americans living with it. All proceeds are used for programs and services for people living with Spina Bifida.

My sister-in-law and her family in Kansas City will be supporting the Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida in KC: Spina Bifida Kansas City.

The Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida is happening nationwide, so please find an event near you and support this amazing organization!

About Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra

The Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra Diapers offer long-lasting leakage protection you can count on, so you can focus on all of your baby’s daily adventures. The range of sizes fit babies from newborn to 35 lbs. Only Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra Diapers have a new, unique quilted liner to lock away wetness better. They have a conforming, gap-free fit to keep your active baby dry throughout the day. The trusted Leak Lock® System has quick-absorbing layers for up to 12 hours of protection.

Nursery Design with Lavender’s Blue Store

If you read my blog regularly, you know I’m a huge supporter of women-owned businesses – especially “mompreneurs” (I like to refer to them as Fab Moms) because raising children and running a business is not for the faint of heart! I always love hearing about moms who are branching out on their own, following their passion and starting their own business. That’s why I was excited to connect with Olga and Maria – two stay-at-home moms who have just turned their passion for creating beautiful crafts into an adorable Etsy shop, Lavender’s Blue Store, based right here in Oceanside.

Lavender’s Blue Store 

Lavender’s Blue specializes in handmade and hand-painted wooden letters – perfect for nursery or home decor. I love their etsy shop because each design is created specifically for you and your vision. You can choose your son or daughter’s name in block letters with his or her favorite colors or animals, or choose his initial with his name spelled out on the wooden letter.
nursery design
nursery design
Lavender’s Blue is also perfect for home decor, spelling out words like “home”, “love” or “joy” in a design of your choice.
home decor
Not to mention, the perfect gift for Father’s Day, which is quickly approaching!  You can spell, “Dad” in your husband’s favorite sport’s team’s colors or design – the possibilities are endless!
Father's Day Gift
With the excitement building around the arrival of our little man, I wanted to get two wooden letters – one for Blake and one for our little boy on the way, with both of their first name initials. I worked with Olga and Maria on the design and color scheme for each. Blake’s nursery is light pink and gray with butterflies. And while I’m still brainstorming the theme for our little boy’s room – I knew my husband would be happy with this design and it was a much better alternative to naming our son Tony Romo! 😉  (go Cowboys!)
Nursery design
I’m so happy with the way these both turned out and can’t wait to add them to their nursery designs. So cute!
Check out Lavender’s Blue Store on etsy and happy decorating!
Disclaimer: Lavender’s Blue Store did provide complimentary product to review their shop. However, all opinions are my own and I only feature businesses I can truly stand behind. 

Date Night with Babysitter Tonight

I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say it’s hard to schedule date nights for you and your significant other when you have babies at home. Time passes too quickly, and remembering to plan a date night often falls at the bottom of your to-do list. Then there’s the whole fiasco of booking a babysitter for the night; finding someone who’s available and most importantly, qualified to look after your precious kiddos. I recall too many nights when my sisters weren’t available to babysit so my husband and I just decided to stay home instead of making the extra effort to find a sitter outside of the family.

But, keeping your relationship afloat amongst the chaos of being parents is so important! That’s why I was thrilled to hear about a new service in San Diego called, Babysitter Tonight.

Babysitter Tonight

Babysitter Tonight offers busy parents an easy way to make Date Night happen. They currently have seven amazing kid-tested/mom-approved sitters to book for your date night needs in the Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Carmel Valley, Cardiff, Encinitas, Carlsbad, 4S Ranch, and La Jolla neighborhoods.

How it Works:

Visit Babysitter Tonight and fill out a request form online or give them a call at 619-354-1063 and schedule your date night on any Friday or Saturday evening. Once scheduled, you will receive a detailed email confirming your address, date/time of babysitting requested, the sitter that has been assigned to you on that particular night and any other logistics you clarified in your request form.

Quality Sitters:

All of Babysitter Tonight’s sitters are personally interviewed by their team, references are verified, background checks are conducted and each of them are tested by one of their “member families“.

After speaking with Kerily, the founder of BabysitterTonight, and reading her sitters’ bio’s on the website, I felt so at-ease scheduling our next date night, knowing our daughter would be in great hands. 

Pricing:

After the babysitting service is complete, you will be sent an invoice via Square that you can pay with your Visa or MasterCard debit card. There is no credit card required for deposit in advance.

  • 1-2 children is $15/hour + booking fee
  • 3-5 children is $16/hour + booking fee
  • 6+ children, call for pricing
  • Standard booking fee is $10
  • Last minute booking fee (less than 4 hours notice) is $20
  • Their sitters don’t accept tips so no need to worry about that.

My Personal Experience:

I opted to fill out the request form online. Within 24 hours I was sent a confirmation email with all of the details of my babysitting date along with an introduction to my babysitter for the night.

When our date night arrived, our sitter arrived 10 minutes early (loved that!) and we immediately hit it off with her. She was extremely caring, thorough and didn’t mind our huge 80 lb. dog jumping on her, so I knew she would fit right in. Before Mike and I left, we went over some simple instructions with her and she walked us through a “pre-game” sheet where she asked us emergency numbers and other important specifics. I was very impressed by the thorough process!

My husband and I left feeling reassured that our daughter was in great hands and were able to enjoy our dinner and ice cream date out on the town!

date night San Diego

The next day I received an invoice via email for the amount I owed for the services and I easily paid with my debit card online. Easy-peasy!

My husband and I are honestly so excited to have found such a wonderful and trustworthy babysitting service here in San Diego and we will happily book our future date nights through Babysitter Tonight!

Mommy Project, San Diego readers enjoy a 10% discount when you schedule a  babysitter through Babysitter Tonight. Use code: MPSANDIEGO for 10% off.

 

Disclaimer: The Mommy Project, San Diego did receive a complimentary babysitter from Babysitters Tonight. All opinions are my own and I only recommends businesses that I can truly stand behind.

Political Plastic: How Hillary’s Wrinkles Are Fueling a Cosmetic Debate

The following is a sponsored post brought to you by San Diego-area dermatologist Dr. Susan M. Stuart, MD.

No sooner had Hillary Clinton made it official that she wants to be the next face of the White House than the Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed on how wrinkled that face would be.

“Following in the venerable tradition of so many aging male politicians, Clinton is vying for the most powerful post in the free world with jowls, face creases and a less-than-Pilates-toned physique,” wrote columnist Meghan Daum, much to the chagrin of many readers, who quickly took to social media. The top comment on the newspaper’s Facebook post about the story summed much of the response up nicely: “Would this even be an article if she was a man???”

And with that, we’ve stoked the fires of feminism, what it means to age as a woman in the U.S., and the stigma around plastic surgery. None of these are new issues, but with Clinton at the top of the docket, things may be a bit different this time around.

Hillary Clinton

Photo Credit: Flickr

The Changing Face of History

Women in positions of power have used cosmetic surgery as a tool to continue looking as youthful and vibrant as possible for decades, although few have been outspoken about it until recent years. A cultural shift that encourages a healthier female body image has spurred a number of famous women, such as Nicole Kidman and Jane Fonda, to open up about the work they’ve had done.

Coinciding with these cultural changes has been a wave of medical advances in the cosmetic enhancement field, leading to more effective “minimally invasive procedures.” These treatments, such as laser skin rejuvenation and BOTOX® Cosmetic injections, don’t require surgery and are hugely popular, increasing 508% since 1997, according to statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

According to the website of San Diego dermatologist Dr. Susan Stuart, “Innovations in cosmetic skin treatments are rapidly changing how we address various types of skin damage, aging, and loss of volume. Injectable treatments and soft tissue fillers have created a new class of injectable cosmetic therapies that create a noticeable, lasting improvement for patients who aren’t yet ready for surgery.” They’ve enabled women to refresh their faces in a discreet, natural-looking way that they also seem more comfortable talking about.

La Jolla Skin

A Conversation Opening Up

None of these trends, though, seem to have seeped into politics until now — at least not in a way that anyone is being open about. Any female politicians who have had work done lately have kept it conservative and hush-hush. Since Betty Ford’s much-criticized ’70s facelift, no one has dared tread onto that territory.

With Clinton stepping into the role of presumptive Democratic nominee, the issues of cosmetic enhancement and politics are intertwining in a changed landscape. The social media backlash was swift when the Los Angeles Times brought up the topic, with many readers questioning why the paper would let a columnist write on such an inherently sexist issue (i.e., “I have never seen an article about a man getting plastic surgery in his bid for the White House”).

However, Daum, the column’s writer, long respected for her published views on what it’s like to live and age as a woman in the U.S., took the position that it was empowering and impressively feminist for Clinton to head into an election with her real face forward.

“All of us who were taking bets on whether she’d get a whole face-lift or simply Botox herself into generic acceptability can eat our words,” Daum wrote. “While we’re at it, we should kiss Clinton’s feet. By unapologetically looking her age, she’s giving all women a license to stay in the spotlight even as they mature past their younger, dewier years. And with any luck, she just might put the whole concept of a female expiration date out to pasture.”

That this debate is happening at all is an important step for wide demographics of U.S. women, from the millions who choose cosmetic enhancement each year to the aging women in positions of power and the younger counterparts who want to be them someday. Expect to see more on these issues as campaign season revs up.

Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by San Diego-area dermatologist Dr. Susan M. Stuart, MD.

Mom’s Night Out in San Diego with Aall In Limo & Party Bus

With a fun holiday like Cinco de Mayo upon us, and Mother’s Day just around the corner, I couldn’t think of a better time to organize a little “Mom’s Night Out” on the town to give me and my mom friends a much needed break and some quality girl time. Cinco de Mayo also happens to be one of my favorite holidays because who doesn’t have fun with chips and salsa, margaritas, and maracas in the mix? Spoiler alert: no one.

mom's night out in San Diego

To make this Mom’s Night Out extra special, we decided to rent a limo from Aall In Limo & Party Bus and head down to Old Town to celebrate our night of freedom, complete with mini sombreros!

mom's night out in San Diego

Aall In Limo & Party Bus

Aall In Limo & Party Bus was started by Mike Reifeiss, after he went “Aall in” during  a poker tournament and won! He bought his first limo with his winnings and has continued to grow his business in San Diego and Temecula ever since. Aall In Limo & Party Bus offers town cars, stretch limos, Hummers and a Party Bus as part of its fleet. They specialize in Temecula winery tours, San Diego brewery tours, bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthday parties or a night out just because!

The thing that truly sets Aall in Limo & Party Bus apart from other limo transportation options in San Diego, is their service. I’ve personally experienced a few other local limo companies and nothing compared to the attention to detail, courtesy and overall service that Aall in Limo provided our group. I also thought the name was just so fitting after I wrote my “All in” Mother’s Day article! It was meant to be.

Mom’s Night Out in San Diego

With good intentions to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some Mexican food and margaritas, the seven of us headed to Old Town, San Diego. Tragically there were huge lines out the door  of almost every Mexican restaurant, so we made a game-time decision to head to Little Italy’s Kettner Exchange instead (afterall, there were some hungry pregnant women in the limo who needed to eat A.S.A.P.! 😉 ) Our limo driver, Joe, was so accomodating with the change of plans and got us safely to our new destination.

mom's night out in San Diego

Kettner Exchange provided the perfect atmosphere for a girls night out. Even with no reservation, the seven of us were able to claim a long community table in their lounge and instantly found ourselves with cocktails, mocktails and appetizers circulating.

mom's night out in San Diego

Although we tried many delicious tapas, I highly recommend the Fried Chicken (I’ll seriously dream of this dish), Kale Salad, and Cauliflower Tempura.  For my main course I had to order the Double Double Burger, because…well, have  you seen this thing? Yes, please. 

mom's night out in San Diego

Our driver, Joe, politely texted me when we were getting close to our departure time (I LOVED the courtesy text – so helpful), so with that we paid the bill and headed back to north county.

Despite the change of dinner plans, the night ended up being a huge success and a much-deserved night out for these mamas!

mom's night out in San Diego

Thank you Aall In Limo & Party Bus for perfecting our “Cinco de Mayo / Pre-Mother’s Day Mom’s Night Out” – no doubt we will be using your services again!

Book Aall In Limo & Party Bus for Mother’s Day this Sunday and receive $100 off your reservation! Find out more here.

 

Disclaimer: Aall In Limo & Party Bus provided complimentary transportation for the Mommy Project, San Diego. However, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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