Cabana Life || What We Wore

Miss Cupcake and I adore our afternoons at the beach.  As a South Florida mom, I worry about my child's delicate skin getting damaged or putting either of us at risk of skin cancer.  We recently began wearing 
Cabana Life beachwear to protect us both from the harmful effects of sun exposure.

Cabana Life combines fashion with function by offering stylish clothing with 50+ UV protection through patented SkinSafe™ Technology. The collection offers a variety of beach-essentials including bathing suits, hats, cover-ups, tunics, shirts, and pants for boys, girls, and women.  These "beach club chic" styles have garnered a celebrity following that includes Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marcia Gay Harden, Jack Black, and Lisa Kudrow.

Little Miss Cupcake is wearing an adorable two piece Nautical Stripe Rashguard Set.
 I am wearing a coordinating Cape Mod Dress.  
See you at the beach!





For more information regarding sun safety: Melanoma Research Alliance | The Skin Cancer Foundation | Addison’s Army | Live4Life | Stand Up 2 Cancer

Floral Headwraps || What We Wore

As Skinny Latte Mommy followers are well aware, Miss Cupcake and I positively adore "Mommy & Me" outfits.  
Today we sported these floral, bright, and super adorable head wraps from Sienna Belle Boutique.
 These come in an adjustable size.  Just wrap it around your head and knot it or make a bow on top.

Sienna Belle Boutique creates timeless fashion for a lifetime of memories. 
Have a baby fashionista?  You will love the barefoot sandals and precious drool bibs!
They provide stylish handcrafted accessories for girly-girls of all ages.

Be sure to LIKE Sienna Belle Boutique on Facebook to see current designs and promotions.








With the recent focus on free range parenting, criticism of helicopter moms has been flying around the internet (pardon the pun).   For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a helicopter parent is one who pays extremely close attention to their child's experiences, problems, and education.  
I unapologetically admit that I am most certainly one of "those moms".   

Reminding my child to be careful when she ventures a bit too close to the edge of the playset? 
Yep, I habitually do that.

Standing with outstretched arms while my little one climbs the ladder just in case she falls?
Guilty as charged.

Carefully monitoring her interactions from my perch on the bench fifteen feet away?
Of course!

Heavens to Betsy, I even have the audacity to play with my child, a practice that has been discussed quite harshly on several prominent parenting websites.

While I am certainly not here to bash those who practice free range parenting, I refuse to feel guilty or "overly" protective when I keep a watchful eye on my child or dust off her knees when she stumbles.  I will continue to offer kisses for each and every boo-boo and cling tightly to her hand as we cross the street.  I will never stop being her advocate when she is mistreated.

As a South Florida mom, I am keenly aware that at any given time I am within ten miles of a victim of human trafficking, many of which are children snatched off the streets. I have seen the horrific headlines depicting the tragedies of abduction and abuse.  I also know that the 5 o'clock news depicts the worst case scenarios and that statistically most people are not out to harm my child.  She will likely return safely if she ventures out of my sight.  Nevertheless, I am unwilling to gamble with my child's safety.   My little one will spend her entire adult life fending for herself.  There are many struggles that I cannot possibly protect her from.  However, she is currently my baby girl and will be treated accordingly.  

No, I am not concerned that my child will never become self-sufficient.  At nearly three and a half years old, she has already developed an age appropriate sense of independence.  She is trusting, confident and generally fearless.  To be quite frank, I have no interest in toughening up my child to face a cruel world.  I am much more interested in raising my child to be a kind and compassionate adult who helps create a world that is a bit less scary.

Perhaps there is a middle ground somewhere between free range parenting and helicopter moms where we should all ideally meet.  If we can see past our differentiating methods, we may even see that we have a lot in common.  After all, don't we all just want the best life possible for our beloved children.   Until I reach that happy medium, please be patient if I instinctually lend your child a helping hand when they take a tumble at the playground.  In return, I will attempt to bite my tongue the next time our children are squabbling over who's turn it is on the slide.  Maybe.






Appliqué Octopus Swimsuit || What Miss Cupcake Wore

My sweet Miss Cupcake looked positively adorable in her new Appliqué Octopus Swimsuit from CreationDesignsMH.  She gleefully exclaimed "I look like a princess!"  the moment she saw her reflection in the mirror.  This seersucker swimsuit is certainly a new favorite at our house and will be getting plenty of use this summer.  

CreationDesignsMH offers a variety of monogramming, appliqué and embroidery items.  
From birthday shirts to monogrammed bloomers, they are the place to go for unique clothing for your child.

Be sure to LIKE CreationDesignsMH on Facebook to see new designs and promotions!







Valentina Shoes || What Miss Cupcake Wore


Valentina is about inspiring the inner designer in your girl – bold choices, interchangeable designs, her own hand drawn art featured on her shoes is the essence of the Valentina Collection. Modern, innovative, hip, happy shoes that are designed by your daughter. Her soul and feet will thank you!

As a mother of a young girl, the values of Valentina reflect my own.  I love that this company allows the exploration of creativity and celebrates unique style.  Miss Cupcake and I recently had the privilege of personalizing a pair of shoes.  First, we chose the perfect espadrilles (we loved the Hailey Colorblock Fuchsia and Red).  Next, we were given the opportunity to personalized our espadrilles with a monogram, motif or slogan.  We chose to add Miss Cupcake's monogram.  

The moment these arrived in mail, Miss Cupcake insisted on wearing them around the house.  
Valentina shoes are great fun for girls of all ages!

Rustic Cuff


I have recently fallen in love with the trendy jewelry available from Rustic Cuff.  You may have seen these lovely custom cuffs featured on Good Morning America.  Five new colors of the Meagen wraps have just been added, and they are currently up to 69% off!

The Rustic Cuff Story
Rustic Cuff was created in the summer of 2011 by Jill Donovan. Jill’s lifelong obsession with cuffs and a need for a creative outlet turned into so much more. With her days filled with young children and her evenings filled with teaching Law at the University of Tulsa, Jill began teaching herself all aspects of leather making and metal design in her guest bedroom in the middle of the night. 

Jill’s passion for quality and unique design helped Rustic Cuff to expand from a basic leather cuff line into an entire collection including exotic skins, original designs, and various types of metals. Jill was born in Baltimore Maryland and eventually found her way to Tulsa, OK (via Pensacola Florida) where she met and married her husband, Terry. 

Jill is also an adjunct law professor at TU and mom to two daughters, Ireland and August, her inspiration and great helpers. Rustic Cuff has been featured on Good Morning America, ABC’s The View, The Wendy Williams Show, and E!News. RC has also gained favor with celebrities including, Giuliana Rancic, Miranda Lambert, Gayle King, Kathie Lee Gifford, Elisabeth Hasselbeck , and GMA’s Lara Spencer to name a few. 

Rustic Cuff can be found in over 250 stores across the country as well as on Nordstrom.com and in select Dillard’s stores. For a complete list of retail locations or to view the entire collection visit Rustic Cuff.

Life Lessons I learned In My Twenties

You will regret not taking chances.
Risks are worth taking.

While there are a few things that I would be thrilled to take back, my biggest regrets are actually the experiences that I missed because I was afraid to take chances.  A lifetime used to seem so very long, and I believed that I would certainly have another opportunity.  With each passing year I have began to realize many opportunities are truly "once in a lifetime".  How many amazing memories would I have made if I had traveled more when the opportunities presented themselves?  How fun would it be to brag about meeting Taylor Swift had I not been too timid to introduce myself when my boyfriend (currently known as my Dear Hubby) encouraged me to talk to Taylor when I ran into her at a festival back before she was a household name?

I think of the chances that I did take and how wonderfully they turned out.  Had I never taken the time to chat with a stranger with an interesting accent at the bus stop I may have never met my soulmate.  Despite my career mentors' advice to wait to start a family, I decided to follow my heart and was gifted with my beautiful Miss Cupcake and the opportunity to attend graduate school.  Regardless of the fact that money would be tight with only one income, I risked financial security to be a stay at home mom and have experienced moments that I will treasure forever.  Life is about taking chances.  Some of the chances that I take will bring about magical moments.  Some will cause me to fall flat on my face.  I will never know unless I try.

A Rough Patch Does Not Equal A Bad Life.
Life is a gift.

I remember sitting cross-legged on the nursery floor holding my screaming little Cupcake.  Tears poured down both of our faces.  We had been up all night and every night for the last seven months.  Forty-five minutes was the longest period of time I had slept since giving birth.  I could no longer form a coherent thought.  After being up all night, I spent the entire day listening to the blood curdling cries of my child.  I tried everything in my power to soothe her, but the doctors informed me that there was little to be done regarding her severe colic.  She would grow out of it.  Probably.  I lived hours away from family.  My Dear Hubby was incredibly supportive, but he worked all day.  I felt so helpless and exhausted (that truly does not seem like a strong enough word to describe my state of fatigue).  

I will always remember the morning when I woke up at 6am in a state of panic when I realized that it had been hours since I had hear a peep from my baby girl.  I literally ran to her crib to find my seven month old snoozing peacefully.  Tears poured down my face, but this time they were tears of joy.  I had just gotten four hours of glorious sleep, and I was ready to take on the world!

There have been many rough patches, such as my horrific colic experience, that caused me to temporally pity myself or believe that I had a less that magnificent life.  I was dreadfully wrong.  Those sleeplessness months and hiccups along the way have helped me enjoy the many blessings in my life all the more.

People will hurt you, but you can't stop trusting.
Shutting out the world is not a longterm solution to pain.

There have been moments in my life when my heart has been literally shattered into a million pieces.  People who I believed to my dearest friends turned out to be less than loyal.  Relationships failed in ways that I could never have imagined.  My fragile spirit was afraid to let people in again.  I spent the greatest part of my twenties with everyone carefully held at an arms length.  The little bubble that I had formed around my heart was not easily penetrated.  There was little chance of being hurt again, but I was dreadfully lonely.

Somewhere along the way I met a few genuine and honest people who took the time to chisel away at the wall I had built.  I eventually developed a handful of friendships who meant the world to me and fell in love with my best friend.  I began to use my intuition to distinguish who was trustworthy and learned that a few true friends are far superior that a wide circle of casual acquaintances.  I also discovered that there are many hurting people out there who are also struggling to trust.  Being a trustworthy and loyal friend has ultimitely attracted positive people into my life.

Not everyone is going to like you.  And that is perfectly alright.
I do not particularly like everyone.  Why should I expect everyone to think I am fabulous?

With a bit of shame I admit that I do not handle rejection incredibly well.  I have a strong desire to be liked and approved of by others.  Despite my numerous charming qualities (haha), there are those who simply do not enjoy my company or appreciate what I have to offer.  While it is tempting to be bitter or hold ill feelings towards those who do not particularly care for me, I have learned that not everyone will - or even should - like me.  Sometimes personalities simply do not mesh or life goals are distinctly contradicting.  There are individuals who I avoid because they annoy or frustrate me.  How can I possibly expect everyone to like me?  The answer is simple: I can not.  Not everyone is going to enjoy being around me.  And that has nothing to do with my worth as a person... or theirs.

You are the only one responsible for living your dreams, and it's never too late to live an extraordinary life.
Life is what I make of it.  I will choose to make it amazing.

The beginning of this new era has caused me to ponder what I have done with the last thirty years.  Quite frankly, my life has little resemblance to the one I once envisioned.  In many ways my life is unmeasurably superior to the one I imagined.  Nevertheless, there are choices that my younger self made that set me back or caused me to detour from my dreams.  It is tempting to blame the less than desirable outcomes on unfortunate circumstances or the malicious acts of others.

I refuse to fall prey to the victim mindset.  Everyone experiences pains and is treated unfairly at some point.  Successful people simply make a decision that regardless of their misfortune and unpleasant situations, they will choose to live in a way that brings joy to themselves and those around them.  I often think of Helen Keller, who lost her senses of sight and hearing when she contracted scarlet fever before she was two years old.  She was trapped in a world without sight or sound.  To be quite honest, little was expected of her.  Regardless of her misfortune, Helen Keller raised 2 million dollars for the American Foundation for the Blind, published 14 books, and was the first deaf and blind person to graduate with a  college degree.  She also met every President of the United States from Calvin Coolidge to John F. Kennedy.  No one would have blamed Keller if she had lived out her life bitter and unaccomplished.  Yet, she chose to live an extraordinary life.

During my morning stroll to the beach I happened to meet an elderly lady who simply radiated with positive energy and was eager to tell me about the many adventures she had experienced.  With much passion she described the thirty years she had enjoyed flying her small plane with her beloved husband.  This encounter reminded me that only a tiny segment of my life is over.  At ninety-six, this spunky lady has experienced life in excess of three times longer than me and is still going strong.

I can not change the past thirty years, but the rest of my life will be what I make of it.
Today I choose to make my life extraordinary.




DIY Footstool (Or Bench) In Under One Hour


I have been searching for the perfect foot rest to go with an oversized chair in my living room.
When I stumbled upon these Plumbing Pipe Table Legs I knew they would be perfect for a DIY project.

This was my first time doing this type of project, so I went into it with low expectations.
I was pleasantly surprised at how fast and sturdy my little footstool turned out using these 


This project can easily be a bench or a footstool depending on the size and shape that you choose.
I had a piece of plywood cut at Home Depot to my desired size (a slight rectangle) to make a medium sized footstool.  Next, I headed to Joann Fabric to purchase a piece of foam the same size as the plywood.  I prefer 3 inch foam, but several thicknesses are available depending on your desired outcome.


I used a generous amount of hot glue to attach the foam to the plywood. 
(Excuse my ratty looking glue gun.  It is "well loved" to say the least.)


While I was at Joann Fabric, I snatched a printed burlap material.
I laid this over the plywood to use as a pattern as I cut leaving a good 6 inches of excess on each side.


The burlap was rather wrinkled, so I used my PureSteam handheld steamer to straighten it out.


Next, I flipped the foam side down and used a heavy duty stapler to attach the burlap to the plywood.


The Plumbing Pipe Table Legs were incredibly simple to screw onto the bottom on the plywood.
I love how sturdy they made the footstool.


I treated the burlap with AquaShield to protect it against spills and dust.


I love how this footstool turned out and am impressed at how simple and fast the Plumbing Pipe Table Legs made this project.  My mind is already spinning with ideas for future projects... everything from tables to benches could easily be created using these.

These legs would be ideal for pallet projects.
I am thinking my next DIY should be a table similar to the one pictured.





Skinny Latte Mommy blog received monetary compensation for this post.
As always, the opinions regarding mentioned products are honest and original to Skinny Latte Mommy.



Tutus and Headbands || What We Wore

It's nearly impossible to have a bad day when you are wearing a tutu! 

Nothing makes me happier than being "Mommy" to my darling Miss Cupcake.
This Mother's Day we spent some extra special time together exploring one of our favorite parks.
She had a very specific request regarding what we should wear... tutus, of course!

To make our outfits an itty bit more girly (because one can never be too girly!) we accessorized with these precious Mommy and Me Matching Headbands from DeLinda's Boutique.  This Etsy shop is packed full of adorable accessories for infants, toddler, children and adults.  They offer fun jewelry, such as bubble gum necklaces and braclets, and handmade headbands for every occasion.  
Have something specific in mind?  DeLinda's Boutique accepts custom orders!  

Be sure to LIKE DeLinda's Boutique on Facebook to see more adorable items.










Italian Stretch Sateen Shift Dress || What I Wore

 Nothing makes you feel more confident than a dress that fits perfectly!
This beautiful Italian stretch sateen shift dress from PIOL is the ideal weight with a smooth, soft finish and gentle stretch.   The beautiful fabric has a soft, firm drape and gives a slight structure to the body.

The website allows you to easily find your color aura based on your coloring, then pick each part of the dress- the neckline, sleeves, skirt, shape, and fabric. Next, you enter all of your measurements to ensure the perfect fit. PIOL quickly goes to work on creating your customized dress. 

Head over to PIOL and take a look around or view their Lookbook for more inspiration!

Full outfit details below photos. 





Shift dress - c/o PIOL
Sunglasses - c/o Wantable
Handbag - Similar
Shoes -  Similar
Necklace - Similar
Earrings - Similar



$100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Springintosummergiveaway

Welcome to our Spring into Summer $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Sponsored by our friends at Get My Wish

Ahh it's Spring! The warmer weather is finally arriving. The flowers are blooming, vacations are being planned, graduations are near, birthdays are coming and weddings are approaching.
Sounds like a lot doesn't it? So much to do in only a little time.

I can't think of anything better then let you all know about Get My Wish.
Get My Wish offers an exceptional service that allows their registrants to send and share their personalized profile with their created wist list. By doing so, this gives your family and friends the best and easiest option of what you wished for. What’s great to know, 100% of the gifts offered at Get My Wish give back to charities. 
This truly gives you more of a reason to give back.

The New Get My Wish e-commerce website store allows shoppers to pick and choose their favorite gifts for any occasion and since you have tons of special occasions coming this would be perfect to order right from the source. . You can shop by recipient, holidays and special occasions like birthday's, anniversaries. With many selections to choose from, you will be amazed by the tasteful gifts that you can select and give.

Since the Get My Wish store is separate from their Partners section on the getmywish.com website, Getmywishshop gives 50% back to charities from their product sales. Their other partnerships still will give 10-50% back depending on the partner and gift. So basically the more friends and family that buy from your wish list the more causes they support. How wonderful is that? Even more, when you create a charitable profile, you can pick your causes or add your gifts and that will show others that you care. Who cares? We do. So come enter for your chance to win. New Giveaway $100 Amazon Giftcard
Who is interested in winning a $100 Amazon Gift Card?
One Lucky reader from the U.S. or Canada will have that chance to win it!
The giveaway ends on May 20th at 12am est. Must be 18+ to enter.
Enter this giveaway through the Giveaway Tools below. Good Luck!
 
Sunshine and Flip Flops and the blogs participating are not responsible for prize fulfillment/shipment. Sunshine and Flip Flops received monetary compensation for the hosting of this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and any other social media are not affiliated with this giveaway. If you have any questions please contact the host of this giveaway event at mdickerson316@gmail.com.