Funky Cartoon // Family Caricature

I can not stop giggling at this caricature of my little family!  
This was created with great care by  

What is
Launched in 2014, aims to make life easy for those looking for custom caricatures drawn for an occasion… or even just for fun. You shouldn’t have to go to a theme park, circus or special event just to get a caricature.  Their fully online service allows anyone from around the world to order a super awesome caricature cartoon, that can be printed or shared online. Their caricatures make the perfect gifts as they are personalized and oh-so-much fun.

How does work?
Ordering online is easy, simply choose how many people you would like in one caricature drawing, send in at least two photos of each person, and they do the rest! In about 5 days the artists will send back your FunkyCartoon that you will no doubt love. 

What can you do with your caricature?
These high quality caricatures can be printed out to display in your home or used as a fun online profile photo. They could even be used to make unique Christmas cards that are sure bring smiles to the faces of your family and friends.  The options are simply endless! What would you do with your caricature?

Check out their portfolio here or go ahead and order now.

5 Ways Becoming A Mommy Changed Me

I am less prompt.  
My pre-baby self would have never been late to an event or dinner with friends. Since the arrival of my dearest Miss Cupcake I struggle to arrive on time.  It seems that no matter how early I started getting ready there will inevitably be a disaster at the last moment that will cause a substantical delay.  If something gross (such as a potty training mishap) is going to happen, it will happen the moment I am ready to walk out the door.

I am more cautious when I drive.  
While I was never a manic on the road, there were plenty of times when I was definitely careless.  I have never been in a serious accident, but I am guilty of bumping a car in the parking garage due to texting in my pre-baby days (thankfully, the other driver was super forgiving).  All that has changed now that I see a squishy little face in my rearview mirror. I now wait until there are no cars in sight before pulling out into a street, and my phone is stashed away to avoid temptation of peaking at texts.

I drink coffee.  Ever. Single. Day. 
I literally despised coffee before becoming a mommy.  Obviously, if you are a Skinny Latte Mommy reader you know that has all changed.  Coffee was my lifeline during those sleepless months due to a colicky baby.  And it continues to be my motivation for dragging out of bed at the unthinkable hour which Miss Cupcake firmly believes to be morning.

I attend more playdates than adult events.  
There was a time when spontaneous dinners out and game nights with friends were the norm.  Social events that I attend must now fit neatly into a toddler's nap time and bedtime.  Thus, the majority of the my socializing now comes from playdates.  And I am actually quite content with this arrangement for the time being.

I am less judgmental.
There was a time when I would observe screaming children at the grocery store and wonder to myself why the parent's were allowing such unreasonable behavior.  While Miss Cupcake is generally a well behaved little lady, there have certainly been moments when I have been utterly humiliated by her behavior in public.  I have learned that there are ultimately going to be incidents when every child will behave quite uncivilized no matter how perfect the parent.

These are just a few of the ways in which becoming a mommy has changed me.
How has parenthood changed you?

Swell Caroline // What I Wore & Giveaway

Swell Caroline Costume Jewelry is a fabulous place to find all things bright, colorful and monogrammed.  Glossy enamels, gold, sterling silver and rose gold monograms, fun acrylics and luxurious custom monogrammed jewelry are at the centerpiece of their collections (and you all know just how much I adore monogrammed items).  Even if jewelry isn't your passion, you are sure to find something you love! They carry a wide selection of perfectly packaged gifts- such as totes, scarves, and keychains- and the friendly customer service makes for a fun online shopping experience.  

Am I the only one loving the tassel trend this autumn?  This Myrtle Necklace ($48) is available in five gorgeous colors and is sure to add a touch of excitement to any outfit.  The quality of this beaded tassel necklace is amazing and has already withstood some rather significant tugging from a certain spunky two year old.  This is my new favorite accessory of the season!

Now for the best part... Swell Caroline is generously providing Skinny Latte Mommy readers the opportunity to win $50 to spend on absolutely anything from their website.  Whether you are looking for one-of-a-kind jewelry or the perfect holiday gift, this is an offer you wont wont to miss. Enter via the form below. 

Good Luck!

Dean & Grace // What Miss Cupcake Wore

Dean & Grace understand that a mother's time is precious.
They created a fun and easy way to shop straight from your phone!  
This business is built on the premises of putting families first.
They proudly support boutique shops from across the world!

Today Miss Cupcake gleefully wore a precious Dean & Grace dress which she has affectionally deemed her "birdie dress".  This lovely dress was handmade in England, and the quality is simply impeccable! We both excitedly oohed and awed when this package arrived.  This is sure to be a new favorite in Miss Cupcake's wardrobe.  I can hardly wait to see what other unique boutique items are available.  Finding fabulous clothing at affordable prices has never been easier!

How does Dean & Grace work?

Opt in by texting "JOINDG" to 76000 or sign up on the website.

Receive texts based on the shopping catigories that you signed up for.

If you see something you like, simply reply "WANT" along with the size and item number.

You will then receive instructions on how to pay online.

Shipping is always FREE.

Click here to join and sign up for shopping categories.

Be sure to like Dean & Grace on Facebook and visit the website to learn more.

Happy Shopping!

iScoot Palm Beach

Spending time alone with my dear hubby is a precious commodity these days.  However, we love to sneak in dates whenever we get the opportunity.  While Miss Cupcake was enjoying a day with Nana and Papa, we decided to spend the day exploring Palm Beach Island.

While doing a recent internet search on "Things to do in South Florida" I came across iScoot Palm Beach.  This seemed like a fun mini-adventure that my dear hubby and I could share.  We rented a motor scooter for several hours and headed off to explore the island.  Before leaving, we were given a quick lesson on how to operate the scooter since this we were both novices.
Palm Beach Island is breathtakingly gorgeous and packed full of rich history.  With the ivy-covered buildings and precisely groomed bushes, I basically felt like we were in the Secret Garden the entire afternoon.
On the east shore of the island, we were greeted by the bluest ocean I have ever seen in my life!  
We decided to park the scooter and take a few moments to enjoy this amazing view.
And what's a good view without a good smooch?
We also made a quick stop by Phipps Ocean Park which was directly beside the first schoolhouse in Palm Beach County.  The quaint schoolhouse was constructed in 1886.
Another highlight of the afternoon was the Flagler Mansion.  This gorgeous home (now a museum) was once a wedding present to Henry Flagler's bride in hopes that it would be "more wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world..."
Palm Beach Island is home to a variety of other attractions such as an abundance of beaches, cafes, shops, and a lovely sculpture garden.  My dear hubby and I had such a fabulous afternoon with our rented scooter from iScoot Palm Beach.  This is definitely something we hope to do again!

30 Day Shakeology Challenge Introduction

Before giving birth to my dearest little Cupcake, I was a devoted runner and P90X-er.  I ran seven months into my pregnancy and ran a 5k three months postpartum.  However, the pure exhaustion of motherhood eventually got the best of me.  My little family made a rather significant relocation, and I began graduate school.  With all of these life changes, it became difficult for me to keep up a consistent exercise routine.

Miss Cupcake is now a spunky two year old.  Now that we are past the baby stage, I am ready to begin my journey back to a healthier and fitter version of myself.  For me this is not about losing weight.  It is about being the best that I can be for myself, my dear hubby, and the beautiful little lady who calls me "Mommy".

As a vegetarian, I have always put a great deal of effort into getting proper nutrition while I exercise.  I am excited to announce the beginning of my 30 Day Shakeology Challenge.  This is intended to jump start my journey back into fitness.  I have seen so many amazing result from others who incorporated this product into their lives and can hardly wait to try it myself.  This product is intended to be used as a healthy meal alternative.
Click here to watch as Tony Horton "checks out" Shakeology.

Shakeology once per day claims to help provide the following benefits:
Weight lose
Reduced cravings
Increased energy
Improved digestion

What's inside Shakeology:
Protein and Essential Amino Acids
Digestive Enzymes
Vitamines and Minerals

Shalonn, a Beachbody coach and Shakeology expert, will be guiding me through this 30 day journey. She has provided me with many delicious flavors and recipe suggestions to use throughout the month.  
For more information regarding this product, contact Shalonn:
(409) 767-0477

Afternoon Run // What I Wore

This afternoon I enjoyed a peaceful run along a local boardwalk.  It was a positively gorgeous day, and the view was fantastic!  As a lover of running (and after a request from a Skinny Latte Mommy reader) I decided to dedicate an entire post to my must-have fitness clothing and accessories.

Keeping my hair under control while I am running has always been a struggle of mine.  My hair insists on frizzing up and sticking to my face when I sweat (yucko).  I have tried oodles of headbands that claim to be intended for running only to have them slide out at the worse possible moment.  However, today I wore a hot pink and zebra non-slip headband that stayed put for my entire run and was super comfy!  This headband came from Bheadbands, a fabulous Etsy store that sells a wide variety of non-slip headbands.  Bheadbands has so many reasonably priced colors and designs. There is simply no reason every runner should not have the perfect headband for their outfit.  You wont regret stocking up on these!
Today I wore a performance shirt by RBX and running capris by The Girls.
I have been running in these Puma shoes for several months and they are perfectly broken in.
I never hit the road without sunglasses!  These aviators by Marc Jacobs are my current favorite.

am obcessed really like everything monogrammed.  This lightweight Monogrammed Aqua Geometric Drawsting Gym Bag from Tiny Tulip is ideal for toting along all my essentials.
 What do I carry in my gym bag?  I am so glad you asked...
 Here is a quick run down of what was in my gym bag today:

 I borrowed Miss Cupcake's sunscreen because it's gentle on the eyes when I sweat.  
Have you ever gotten sunscreen in your eyes?  I have...many times.  Major ouchy!

Hair Brush
I like to give my hair a quick brush when I finish running to avoid the inevitable knots 
and to avoid scaring those who have to see me on my drive home.

Extra Hair Ties
...because my ridiculously thick hair will inevitably snap my hair tie halfway into my run.

My Phone & Earphones
This has recently replaced my iPod which broke during a particularly vigorous run.

Naked Smoothie & Clif Bar
This typically counts as lunch after afternoon runs.

Lip Balm with SPF
Gotta protect those lips too!

I confess... this is actually a micofiber hand towel from the Dollar Tree.  But this cute and oh-so-soft purple chevron towel makes the unattractive act of cleaning my sweaty face a bit more enjoyable.

Elf Makeup Mist & Set
After I clean my face with previously mentioned towel, I spray my face with this lovely product.  It has the exact same main ingredients as the high end makeup brands (such as MAC) for a grand total of $2.  After a long run, I am happy for anything that makes my face look dewy instead of eewy!

What are your must-have running accessories?

Unexpected Brain Boosting Benefits of Running

Photo used with permission from David Robert Bliwas
Most people are aware of the fact that running is a fantastic way to improve cardiovascular health and burn calories.  While these are reasons enough to hit the road, research is beginning to uncover the significant benefits that running has on brain function.  Here are a few of the benefits that can be experience by anyone who chooses to incorporate running into their daily lives.

Alleviates anxiety.  The "feel good" chemicals produced during a run have been shown to help even those with moderate to severe anxiety disorders calm down.  The aerobic exercise can actually prevent such anxiety by reducing anxiety sensitivity.  Next time you are feeling stressed, hop on the treadmill or take a run around the block.  

Sharpens memory. Running regularly boosts memory and improves your ability to learn new things.  Any exercise that causes you to break into a sweat is producing hippocampus, which is a key ingredient in the process of learning and memory retention. This is especially important for the developing brains of children (another important reason why recess is a valuable part of your child's education).  Include your child in your exercise routine so you can both reap the memory boosting benefits.

Improves self-confidence.  Feeling a bit down about your appearance? A good run will bring things into perspective and make you feel like a million bucks.  Regardless of weight, size, height, gender, or age, a run will almost immediately elevate your perception of your appearance. 

Prevents cognitive decline.  As we grow older, our brains tend to become a bit hazy.  While this is an unpleasant reality to consider, it is encouraging to know that running (particularly between the ages of 20-45) is a powerful tool to prevent and slow down the cognitive decline.

Boosts creativity.  A good run can actually increase creativity for up to two hours after the fact.  Immediately after a heart pumping workout is actually the very best time to set to work on a project that requires creativity.

The benefits of running go beyond losing weight and getting fit (although those are important as well). To learn more about the ways in which running positively impacts the brain check out the articles included below.  

The benefits of exercise for the clinically depressed. Craft LL, Perna FM. Division of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA. Primary Care Companionto the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2004;6(3):104-111. 

Longitudinal examination of the exercise and self-esteem model in middle-aged women. Elavsky S. Department of Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 2010 December;32(6):862-80. 

Exercise counteracts declining hippocampal function in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Intlekofer KA, Cotman CW. Neurobiology of Disease. 2012 June 30. 

Effects of aerobic exercise on anxiety sensitivity. Broman-Fulks JJ, Berman ME, Rabian BA, Webster MJ. Department of Psychology, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, USA. Behavior Research and Therapy. 2004 February;42(2):125-36. 

Exercise for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Carek PJ, Laibstain SE, Carek SM. Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine. 2011;41(1):15-28. 

Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. Erickson KI, Voss MW, Prakash RS, Basak C, Szabo A, Chaddock L, Kim JS, Heo S, Alves H, White SM, Wojcicki TR, Mailey E, Vieira VJ, Martin SA, Pence BD, Woods JA, McAuley E, Kramer AF. Department of Psychology, University of Pittsgurgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2011 February 15;108(7):3017-22. 

High impact running improves learning. Winter B, Breitenstein C, Mooren FC, Voelker K, Fobker M, Lechtermann A, Krueger K, Fromme A, Korsukewitz C, Floel A, Knecht S. Department of Neurology, University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 2007 May;87(4):597-609. 

JAVA Coffee Infused Skincare Review & Giveaway

It's no secret that I am a lover of coffee!  And who doesn't adore a day of pampering?  JAVA Coffee Infused Skincare brings coffee and relaxation together in an invigorating new way.  This luxurious eco brand utilizes the rejuvenating ingredients of Organic Green Coffee, Artisan Roasted Coffee and organic essential oils to nourish, repair and protect your skin.  

I have been using the following antioxidant rich products:
Bar Soap //  Gently cleanses, hydrates and brightens skin. ($9)
Body Wash // Restores elasticity, boosts cell turnover and increases circulation. ($14)
Body Scrub // Exfoliates, super hydrating  and repairs sun damage. ($28)
Body Serum // Reduces fine lines, hydrates and leaves skin smelling amazing. ($36)

The entire body collection can be purchased for $80.  
Every time I use my JAVA Coffee Infused Skincare products, I feel like I've spent a day at the spa!  
My skin is left smoother, brighter and smelling fantastic.
Visit the website and follow on Facebook to learn more about these products.

One lucky Skinny Latte Mommy reader will have the chance to experience the skin transforming benefits of the Coffee Bean And Raw Sugar Body Scrub (my personal favorite product from this line).  Enter this GIVEAWAY via the form below. 
 Ends September 25, 2014.

A Secret Safe To Tell: Children's Book Review

Photo used with permission from Naomi Hunter
"It happened when I was little, always when we were alone…but, sometimes he did things that worried me and made me feel strange on the inside…I thought games were supposed to be FUN." 

As a graduate student in the mental health field, I was greatly moved by this powerful and much needed (unfortunately) children's book.  This beautifully written and illustrated book is presented in such a sensitive manner that it is appropriate for children of all maturity levels.  As the child becomes older, they will likely receive different messages from this book. However,  children of all ages will learn that secrets that makes them feel upset, scared, or confused are safe to share with a trusted adult.  

The messages in the book are quite implicit rather than explicit which allows them to applicable to anything from bullying to sexual abuse.  This allows for young children to be educated about how they should respond to uncomfortable situations in a non-threatening manner.

The author, Naomi Hunter, states that this book is appropriate for children ages three and up.  Since this book does not come with a discussion guide, I would suggest that parents read through the book and prepare for questions before presenting it to a child.  This can be used as a valuable tool to prepare and protect your child from the unthinkable.

For more information regarding Naomi Hunter and her children's books, follow her on Facebook and visit her website.
Photo used with permission from Naomi Hunter

Home-Based Income Options for Moms

Credit: Tax Credits
Are you a mom looking for innovative new ways to earn money on your own hectic schedule? Four Skinny Latte Mommy readers have kindly shared their thoughts regarding their home-based income experiences.  Regardless of whether you are seeking full-time income or a bit of extra spending money, there is sure to be an option that is right for you!

Skinny Latte Mommy is not affiliated with any of the businesses or websites mentioned. 
 For more information, contact the individuals via the links provided. 

1. It Works! 

I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit, I think deep down all women do. The challenge is finding a business that will allow you to juggle all the things in our lives that we are expected to do. I've known for a long time that Network Marketing was the way to improve my life with the time and money freedom I've been seeking. When I was introduced to It Works, I was skeptical at first and wasn't looking at it as a business, but I found very quickly that it was the "Perfect Storm" as far as a business and could fit perfectly into anyone's busy schedule.

It offers an amazing flagship product nicknamed "That Crazy Wrap Thing" that people really want and can't get anywhere else that works in as little as 45 minutes. So that's what get's people interested and they can try one for just $25 which is extremely affordable.  We also have a full line of skin care, whole food supplements, and greens products that our customers fall in love with.  So you develop loyal customers that order from you each month and these customers become some of your best friends. You don't have to personally deliver their orders since it's shipped directly to them and they have complete control over what they order. Plus our customers get lots of perks like free shipping, wholesale pricing, and free product.  

But the thing that really makes this an incredible business for women is how it really does work. The excitement is contagious. I share my results with everyone I meet, they want to try it and they get excited when they see their results. They can't stop talking about it and they tell their friends. So I get an ever growing stream of customers and distributors. I've found that about 1 in 8 want to start the business themselves. I show them the 3 simple steps to being profitable quickly and unlocking the entire compensation plan and help them achieve their goals.

Let me show how this can help you either as a customer or a distributor.


2. Thirty-One

I began my journey with Thirty-One 6 months ago and I can honestly say that this company takes care of us and we all have a "sisterly" bond with other consultants. Thirty-One has everything from totes, lunch boxes, cosmetic bags, zipper pouches, and more! I make my own hours. I have online, catalog, and home parties where I get to form friendships and relationships with all kinds of people. With Thirty-One, I not only get a little "Mommy" time but I also get to make extra money & earn free amenities! 

To join my team with Thirty-One it is $99 for the kit! A "party" is considered $200 and you earn 25% in commission off of all sales! Not only does Thirty-One allow you to have a flexible schedule but it also allows you to meet new people, show them awesome products, which you will see them all fall in love with the company and it's amazing products! Interested in what it has to offer and want to have a party or join my team? It's simple! I look forward to answering any questions and I can't wait for you to hop on the path with me for an amazing journey & future!!

For more information:

3. Arbonne

Being Beautiful, inside and out!

Arbonne is a 33 yr old company.  The products are all botanical formulated in Switzerland and made in the USA.  All of our products are hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.  They are Vegan approved and eco-friendly.  They contain NO animal products or bi-products, petroleum based ingredients, PABA, parabens, chemical dyes or fragrances. Arbonne products are gluten free and contain no GMOs! None of our products are tested on animals.

Arbonne is sold through network marketing. You are your own boss! You determine your income based on how much time you can put into the business. I am recruiting and coaching new business owners! This is not a pyramid with one person on the top making a lot of money and everyone else struggling. Arbonne has dozens of people earning $6000-$8000 per MONTH! We all help each other grow our businesses.

Arbonne representatives sell anti-aging products and health products.  It is expected to be the next trillion dollar industry due to the countless baby boomers. Whether your skin is sensitive, oily, or dry we have something for you.  We offer acne treatment, baby products, skin detox products, hair care and cosmetics!  Arbonne offers health care products as well- healthy protein shakes, botanically based products to curve your cravings, and a lot more! With Arbonne you can detox your body and never add harmful chemicals to your skin!  You can be beautiful inside and out with Arbonne!
I'd love to teach you how to be independent.  You can save for something special with the extra money.  You can be a stay at home mom and work part time. You can work full time. You decide what works, because you are the boss.  The cost is low to become a business partner with Arbonne.  As a consultant, you get a generous discount on product. Most of your orders are web-based. You never carry inventory. Product is delivered to your customers door.   I will support and guide you through out the process!

Contact Claudia for more information.

Claudia DeBruyn
Cell/text 781-799-7570
4. Paid Viewpoint

I've been a member of Paid Viewpoint for about year and I enjoy doing their mini surveys for cash.  I like taking the surveys because they are short, they're fun to do, you never get screened out, and you only have to earn $15 in order to request a payout of your earnings via PayPal.  I have cashed out my winnings several times and have never had a problem receiving my money.  In fact, I have always received payment within a day.

I used to get an invite every day or so to take a survey but for some reason I've haven't been receiving any e-mails.  However, if I check my dashboard at least every other day there is always a survey waiting for me to take.

You are not going to make a lot of money with this survey panel because most surveys pay approximately 10 cents, but over time the pennies do add up.  After you have been a member of Paid Viewpoint for a while some of the surveys are worth a bit more.

You can sign up here to join Paid Viewpoint.  If you enjoy taking their surveys, you can also join their sister site Instant Cash Sweepstakes which offers several mini surveys every 2 hours.

For more tips on saving money, making money online, sweepstakes, giveaways, and ways to save money:

Potato & Ricotta Gnocchi: Guest Blogger

About the Guest Blogger:
My name is Hetal and I blog over at Pretty Polymath, where I blog about food, traveling, crafting and whatever else catches my fancy. I’m kind of obsessed with gnocchi and always order it whenever I go to a restaurant. There is something comforting about this dish and now I can make it at home whenever I want! Gnocchi looks like it’s hard to make, but I promise it’s super easy. Most gnocchi recipes require eggs, however; I found that the egg made the gnocchi heavy and chewy. This version comes out super light and fluffy and you won’t feel like you’re eating raw dough. (Yuck!) Try it for yourself!

Cook time: 1 hour                                                                                          
Makes: 4 servings

1 lb potatoes (3 large potatoes)
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Wash the potatoes and place in a large saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 25 minute or until potatoes are tender. 

Once the potatoes are cool, peel and mash them with a fork or potato ricer.

Add nutmeg, ricotta cheese, salt, and black pepper to the potatoes and mix with your hands. Add ½ cup of flour at a time and mix well. The dough will be very sticky. The dough is ready once you can roll the dough into a log and it stays together without sticking everywhere. My final dough was super sticky on my hands, however; it was very easy for me to roll my dough out.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Take on piece and roll out into a long rope on a floured surface until the rope is ½ inch in diameter. Cut into ½ inch long pieces and place them on a lightly floured baking sheet. You can roll the gnocchi onto the back of a fork if you’d like to get a nice ridge design. I didn’t do this part.

Dust your gnocchi with more flour and place in front of a fan on low speed for 30 minutes, turning the gnocchi halfway through. This will help the gnocchi form a thin skin and prevent them from bursting in the boiling water.  You can also freeze the gnocchi at this point as well.

Bring a pot of water to boil and drop the gnocchi in. Once the gnocchi start floating, remove them from the water. This will take 1-2 minutes. Serve with your favorite sauce and enjoy!

Also if you’d like (only if you want to), follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Bloglovin!