Get the Mother’s Day You Deserve

As a busy mom running the family and household, “Mother’s Day should be all about making the woman feel loved and appreciated,” says Pattie Cordova, blogger at Living Mi Vida Loca. To host this year’s family celebrations, we have five party-planning steps to keep you the star of the festivities -- and not the cocinera or cleaner.

Pre-Party Prep

Once the kids are asleep, begin setting up the night before. Organize all of the tableware and serving dishes. 

Papi Potluck

Mother’s Day is the perfect time for you -- and your fellow mom guests -- to take a backseat. Ask all of the invited men to make and bring one dish -- preferably the mom’s favorite. Be sure to have a good mix of entrees, sides and desserts. For the meal that you or your husband will prepare, “debut one special dish for that extra effort,” says Cordova.

Keep it Simple

If the weather permits, move the celebration outdoors and use nature’s beauty as the decoration. For indoor décor, bring in soft colors and pretty objects, such as simple pastel flowers and table linens, and scented candles scattered around the home, says Cordova. For cocktails, choose your favorite wines to reduce cleanup and time spent making drinks. 

Minimized Cleanup

Place trash bags in key locations around the house to minimize the after-party cleanup, and be sure people know where they are located. Using paper goods for food and drinks will eliminate unnecessary dish washing. 

Indulge and Pamper

Once the guests leave, continue the celebration by indulging in an at-home spa night. “Get the bath set up with a new set of bath salts, candles and relaxing music,” says Cordova. You’ve earned it.

Buena Comida to Combat Everyday Stress and Anxiety

A whopping one-third of Americans say they are living with extreme stress, according to the American Psychological Association and the American Institute of Stress. The good news? Nutrients found in certain foods boost the “happiness hormone” serotonin and reduce “stress hormones” cortisol and adrenaline. Here’s the skinny on energy-boosting, stress- and anxiety-busting nutrientes you can use:


Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, beans and starchy vegetables, contain this nutrient that keeps you full for longer, so you have energy throughout the day and avoid afternoon crashes. Complex carbs have been associated with an increase in serotonin, while fiber helps regulate blood sugar levels, which can increase under extreme stress.

Vitamin B and C

B vitamins, found in complex carbs and proteins such as low-fat queso, help to improve mood, increase energy and ease stress levels. Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits and dark leafy greens, will help boost your immune system, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety. So now you can relax knowing you’re taking steps to keep your body in germ-fighting shape, even if you’re feeling a bit worn down from work and the kids.


This nutrient, found in halibut, almonds and bananas, has been proven to relax and calm the body, relieve headaches and fatigue, and relax the muscles. So stash a bag of almonds at your desk for munching if your work situation is more stressful than usual, and add a dinner dish with halibut once a week to keep nerves at bay.


Omega-3 fatty acids, plentiful in foods such as salmon, sardines and walnuts, contain anti-inflammatory properties. Why is this important? Stress and anxiety affect the body and brain’s ability to regulate inflammation, which can promote the development of disease. Studies have shown omega-3s also relieve symptoms of distress and depression.


Caffeine, sugar and sugar substitutes, like corn syrup, provide a short energy boost now, leaving you more lethargic later. Healthy nutrients plus ejercicio -- another natural serotonin booster -- will leave you happy and reenergized to take on the most challenging of play dates, tight deadlines and those early morning traffic jams we all know too well! 

Five Ways to Spruce Up Your Home This Season

Knee-deep in spring-cleaning? This may be the right time to not only tidy up, but makeover your home too with some spring style. Color changes and unique accessories can make a facelift easy and inexpensive.

Reuse, recycle and rearrange

The most simple and low-cost way to update a room in your home is to rearrange the furniture. Move sofas closer to the windows or place sitting chairs at an angle to give a room new life. Switch up pillows and throws throughout the house by changing what room you use them in and update photo frames with new family pictures from the year. The best part: It’s all free!

Accessorize with pops of color

Swap neutrals and dark tones for lively robin-egg blue, bright yellow or bold red. “One pop of these colors in artwork or a lamp always brightens a room,” says Vanessa De Vargas, owner of the interior design firm Turquoise. Make an old piece new again, such as a side table, with spray-paint. “These personal items become conversation pieces that tell a special story.”

Bring in patterns

Instantly update multiple rooms by swapping heavy, dark linens for light fabrics. “Brighten a sofa with colorful patterned throw pillows; place a patterned blanket over the arm of your sofa or end of the bed; and use colorful striped towels in the bathroom for a clean resort look,” says De Vargas. Lastly, trade dark drapes for bright shades, which will add luz and warmth to a room.

Paint an accent wall

Painting an accent wall in a main room of your home is the perfect statement-making, yet inexpensive update. “If you want to think a little outside the box, stencil a design against the back wall of your dining room.”

Easter Baskets Para Todos

Forget about those candy-filled Easter baskets that deliver sugar comas and hyper kids running around in their Sunday’s best. Instead, try these suggestions for fun and personalized canastas for all ages. 


Spring is here, so fill her basket with warmer-weather essentials: Sunglasses, bright nail polish and sheer-and-shimmery lip glosses are perfect for the little girl who loves to primp. CoverGirl Lipslicks Smoochies will deliver a sweet shine -- she won’t even miss the Peeps! For a healthier treat add low-sugar homemade cookies bundled together with a cute festive ribbon. 


After a long winter, the kids are surely ready to play outdoors again. Fill his basket with sidewalk chalk, a Frisbee and bubbles. Still feel the need to satisfy his sweet tooth? A few homemade dark chocolate covered marshmallow clusters are easy to make and not chockfull of saturated-fats like most store-bought candy. Be sure to include options for rainy days as well, like baseball cards or one of his favorite DVDs. 


It’s all about kicking back for the adult Easter canasta. Fill it with everything your loved one may need to relax: bubble bath, a ticket for an at-home massage or a good book that you know is on their reading list. A nice grown-up sweet treat could include a bottle of wine or selection of flavored teas.

The real treat though, is spending this Easter holiday together, so enjoy!

Spring Refresh: Organizing Small Spaces

If you don’t have thousands of square feet at your disposal, it doesn’t mean your home needs to be filled with clutter. “Live with what you use and love,” says Kittie Lonsdale, design and small-space organization expert of Lifestyle Space Design. Use that motto, along with a few design tricks and organizational tips, to have your small space working for you in no time.

Tips for Organizing Small Spaces

Start by paring down what you have. “If you haven’t used something in the last year, it’s likely you don’t need it,” says Lonsdale.

  • Put it away when you have it in your hand. Everything should have a place.

  • Uno in, uno out. Keep the balance by purging every time you buy something new.

  • Invest in organizers. Hang organizers on the insides of closet doors, such as a jewelry armoire with mirror, a shoe rack or a metal basket system to put dead space to work.

  • Throw away basura bins. Instead, install trash bag holders inside cabinet doors in the bathroom and kitchen to clear valuable floor space.

Tricks for Decorating Small Spaces

Using her experience living in a 10 by 17 foot studio, Lonsdale says simple design techniques will open up any small space.

  • A narrow room will appear wider by placing furniture, such as a sofa, across the space.

  • A pair of mirrors facing each other on opposite sides of a room will have the effect of widening it. “If they are adjacent to windows, they will multiply the view,” says Lonsdale.

  • Create an entry “zone” -- even in a studio. Place a narrow glass shelf and mirror behind the door, and a single flower in a bud vase on the shelf for welcoming feel.

  • Keep furniture low so it doesn’t interfere with sight lines. “The eye will travel around the room uninterruptedly, and it will feel larger,” says Lonsdale.

  • Paint the walls an “expanding” color, such as light green, blue or gray. Next to white trim, it will look clean and sophisticated, and make the space look bigger.