Simple Summer With the Kiddos

Now that burnout is an official medical diagnosis, I think it’s a good time to bring some simplicity back into our lives this summer.

There is always the temptation of the zillion great summer camp options available. I’ll admit I signed up for a week long one – one for each of my kids with the school they will be attending in the fall. The intention was to practice getting used to that school so drop off in the fall would be a breeze for both kids and me… mostly me.

This simple summer phenomena is not genius. It was how I was raised and probably how most of you and your parents were raised. With how complicated life seems to be today, here is what we will be doing to bring simplicity back. Beware, your kids may be bored at times, but I think that’s good. That’s when creativity is born!

  1. Set up a safety town outside in the driveway. Grandma sent kid-size street signs that are easy to set up and take down.
  2. Host a lemonade stand and have your child make flyers to drop off at the neighbor’s house (this is the entrepreneur in me).
  3. Swim, swim, swim! At home or at a local pool, invite friends over, play pool games, etc.
  4. Play in the back yard. It’s as simple as setting out toys or objects and letting the kids use their imagination to build and play.
  5. Set up different areas in the house with different activities (i.e., front yard is for sidewalk chalk, media room is trains, office is reading).
  6. Go on a walk.
  7. Go to a splash pad.
  8. Pick vegetables at your garden or a local garden.
  9. Water plants and teach your child about taking care of the environment.
  10. Help clean up and make it a game.
  11. Help mom cook! Teach your child about measuring cups, measuring spoons and practice the names of the ingredients.
  12. Visit Grandma and Grandpa for bonding time.
  13. Take a nap or have downtime or rest.


What are you waiting for? Go enjoy your summer because we all know it’ll be over before we know it.


Written by our Founder & Owner, Lindsay Bell

Empowerment & Balance as a Mom With Carly Snyder, M.D.

Our latest blog partner, Carly Snyder, M.D., specializes in comprehensive reproductive psychiatry and women’s mental health services. Through our Q&A we learned more about her and how she’s helping women feel empowered to achieve what many strive for; balance.

Q: What is your approach to help mothers optimize the body and mind pre- and post-birth? Are there certain services you provide that you find most beneficial for new moms? 

A: The changes that occur in life from conception through baby’s first year of life are astronomical, and the impact of these changes on a woman’s sense of self is similarly huge. I spend a lot of time talking to my patients while they are still pregnant about identity and ways to incorporate their new identity as a mom into their current self, rather than feeling as if they are losing part of themselves with the arrival of their baby. I also work with women a lot on ways to feel proud and to own their changing bodies.

We focus a lot on living in the moment with a woman’s partner during pregnancy and enjoying the time until baby comes as a couple, appreciating one another and strengthening the relationship and continuing to function as a couple once baby arrives in addition to acting as co-parents. Too often after having a baby, couples transition to being parents and intimacy goes out the window. It Is imperative that a strong bond be nurtured during pregnancy and then be reinforced after baby’s birth by having date nights and baby-free conversations. Pre-planning these date nights in advance, setting up a schedule with baby sitters lined up on a regular basis (book with Bell Family!), establishes that the relationship remains important even after baby has arrived.

My patients and I also work hard on communication, speaking up about how a woman feels in the moment and making her needs known. During pregnancy and especially after the birth of a baby, new moms can feel as if their needs are secondary to their babies, but it is incredibly important that women feel empowered to speak up for themselves and to talk about their feelings and their needs openly. We explore what barriers they may have to opening up with loved ones about their experiences and then how to surmount these barriers so that open communication can occur freely going forward.

Another area that I focus on with my patients is making a sleep schedule during pregnancy for once the baby arrives to ensure that mom continues to get adequate rest. Whether mom is breast or bottle feeding, it is imperative that she sleeps at least six hours a night and ideally that she has can have uninterrupted sleep of three or more hours at a time. Moms are already exhausted as a result of labor and delivery when they leave the hospital with a newborn, and our country has no established supports in place to help new moms, so we must pre-plan to ensure that mom does not have to face feeding a baby every 2-3 hours every night on her own from day one onwards. This is only possible if mom has supports in place in advance, be it her partner, a family member, a postpartum doula or a baby nurse. A plan must be set up before baby arrives because otherwise mom will take on the full responsibility, and then she will undoubtedly become exhausted and this can steam roll into feelings of sadness and a sense of being overwhelmed very quickly.

I also spend a lot of time discussing what are ‘normal and expected’ levels of anxiety and tearfulness during and after pregnancy, and at what point symptoms can be considered more significant and would warrant treatment, perhaps with more intense therapy, or with medication or with an increase in dose of medication if a woman is already taking something. Pregnancy is inherently anxiety inducing, and so is having a newborn.  It is expected that new parents will be scared at times and will feel overwhelmed. At the same time, it is also important that women are able to control their anxiety and not feel that their anxiety or moments of sadness are engulfing them or taking over their lives. Parenthood will forever be scary because we love our children more than anything but cannot protect them from the outside world. We need to be able to compartmentalize our fears rather than allow the fears to control us because living in such a state of terror is not good for us or for our children.

Q: Why is it so important for mothers to focus on their mental health throughout the child bearing process? 

A: Mom deserves to enjoy her pregnancy and the postpartum period as much as possible and this is impossible while struggling with a Perinatal Mood and/or Anxiety Disorder (PMAD). Mom’s mental health is intimately connected to her baby’s physical and emotional health both during and after pregnancy. Research consistently demonstrates that mom’s emotional state impacts her growing fetus and that feeling consistently severely anxious and/or depressed during pregnancy can have negative implications for a baby in the short and long run. Similarly, having a postpartum mood disorder is hard not just for mom, but also for everyone in the family.

Q: Tell us about your radio show, MD for Moms. What can listeners expect to hear and learn from tuning in each week, and how can listeners tune in? 

A: MD for Moms is a show dedicated to helping women enjoy life more, to maximizing health and wellness and to improving women’s relationships with themselves and with others. For the last year and a half I have focused on what I call my “Mama Docs On Call” Series where I introduce my listeners to physicians who are also moms, like me, and they are on the show to provide information and support geared to moms and their families. We discuss topics ranging from women’s health and wellness issues to child-related concerns. It’s really a conversation between myself and a leader in a field of medicine, and listeners are invited to call in live with their questions throughout the show. For example, some recent shows included one with an OBGYN who answered every GYN question we all have but never remember or want to ask during our annual appointments, another show was with a pediatrician who is also a Lactation Consultant and we discussed breast feeding; another show was with an ER pediatrician who has taken on a special interest in keeping kids safe on-line, and we did a two part series on how to keep kids safe on social media… upcoming shows include a discussion on autoimmune diseases and fatigue, on childhood headaches, infertility, having a baby in the NICU, and so much more. The show is booked all the way through the new year and beyond – it is really exciting. Each week I post the upcoming show information on my blog as well as on social media. The shows air live on the BBM Global Network (on the internet), on TuneIn and iHeart Radio at 1pm ET every Wednesday or you can listen to it as a podcast. Just search for MD for Moms on iTunes podcasts and there are about 115 or so shows available for download.
To learn more about Carly or to book an appointment, visit her website.


Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

The Art of Picking a Great Birth Care Provider

Any woman who is pregnant, should ask herself, “Was I truly empowered with my first birth? With my first/second provider”? If not, then this piece should be a game changer — the prospect of changing birth care providers. This piece will make the process empowering and exciting, and introduce women to the midwifery model of care. Once they find the right provider, they will never look back! Each birth is opportunity for growth – and when women have felt ‘something was off’ with my birth – it is a sign that it is time to find someone to guide them into new motherhood.

Pregnant women are like sponges, absorbing everything and anything they can get their hands on that’s pregnancy related – which is why picking the right birth care provider is so crucial. Providers have far reaching influence and power by transmitting messages about birth while impacting outcomes. Trust between a pregnant woman and her provider is essential to ensure optimal outcomes. Here’s some great tips to help you pick a Great Birth Care Provider!

1. Decide which qualities you would like to see in your provider. Qualities topping the list: Skilled, knowledgeable, compassionate, reassuring. Speaks your language of birth. You feel heard and supported, not challenged when expressing your heartfelt ideas. Finds windows of opportunity to teach you something new and inspiring. Prompts ongoing discussions about nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices, modification of work and activities, and pregnancy safety protocols. Makes appropriate wellness referrals for a team approach (i.e., chiropractic, PT, therapist). Doesn’t rush the prenatal visit.

2. What kind of practice do you prefer? Solo or group? Do you prefer to give birth in a hospital, a birthing center in a hospital, a free standing birthing center, or have a home birth? The smaller the practice, the closer the relationship you build. The larger the group, the less apt you are to get to know each provider as they rotate you through the practice. The goal is to be philosophically like-minded with each provider. Find a birth location where you feel safe. Each person has a different perspective and there is no right or wrong place to give birth.

3. This is my first baby. Should I work with a doctor or a midwife? What’s the difference? Midwives work with healthy women and obstetricians care for both low and high risk women with medical conditions such as diabetes, heart or liver disease, and auto immune disorders. Midwives are independent health care providers with expertise in pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, care of the newborn, common primary care issues, family planning, and annual gynecologic well-woman care. Midwives screen their clients carefully and make medically indicated referrals to their collaborating and consulting obstetrician, perinatologist, (maternal fetal medicine), genetic counselor, or doctors in other specialties. Midwives consult, collaborate and co-manage with these practitioners. Some midwives co-manage VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section,) or twin pregnancies with obstetricians. Midwives do not perform cesarean sections, although some are certified to first assist. While obstetricians are trained in medicine, disease, and abnormality – midwives are trained to recognize variations in normal pregnancies and refer accordingly. Obstetricians are trained surgeons and take care of women with disease states that require initiation and adjustment of medications, and perform surgical procedures including c-sections. Perinatologists are experts in their specialty field when a woman or fetus encounters a high risk medical problem requiring fetal surveillance, procedures, and medications. While OB’s graduate from medical school programs and practice in accordance with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, (ACOG), midwives graduate from accredited midwifery schools and receive their master’s degree, and some go on for their PhDs. A certified nurse-midwife is educated in two disciplines  – nursing and midwifery. Midwives practice in accordance with the Standards for the Practice of Midwifery as defined by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). They are licensed by their individual states, and have prescription privileges. You can give birth with a midwife either at home, in a birthing center, or on labor and delivery floor hospital setting. Midwifery care is reimbursed by most health insurance companies, as is obstetrical care with a doctor. Whether you work with a midwife in a solo practice such as mine, or a group practice, the midwifery model of care has a more holistic view of childbirth than the traditional obstetrical medical model of care. Midwives do not see birth as an illness. If your own heath history or your baby’s medical situation requires only the skills of an obstetrician, find a compassionate good listener.

4. A doula is a godsend. Research confirms the many proven benefits to hiring a doula. Women seem to pick their doula quite carefully, and from speaking to many doulas, I get the feeling that pregnant women are asking many more questions of a prospective doula than they do of their prospective providers. The reality is that doulas are not medically trained and should not be depended upon in this capacity. Regardless of how much loving care, massage, and emotional support a doula provides, they can’t make medical decisions. If a woman doesn’t like her provider,  suspicion, doubt, and blame can arise when interventions are needed, even in the wake of true fetal distress. The stakes are high for mother, baby, bonding, and breastfeeding – when trust is missing. Then positive birth memories become at an all-time low. Many doulas are mothers, (I was) committed to creating a harmonious energy in the birthing room. If you are not in sync philosophically with your provider from the onset, doulas will often find themselves in an adversarial role. Liza Maltz, Certified Lactation Counselor and Birth Doula at, is on a mission, “Women should not be afraid to speak to their doctors about their concerns and question their answers. I give my clients the courage to ask questions, I address their issues, so they feel comfortable enough to seek another provider late in pregnancy if necessary.” Maltz observes, “When a woman feels uncomfortable with her provider, I can see her labor slow down when they walk into the room. It’s a set up to fail.”

5. Meet your backup doctor or midwife. When I showed up nine centimeters dilated on September 29, 1989, my back up doctor was waiting. He looked at his watch often, barely making eye contact with me. I felt an emotional distance. While ‘distance’ may be acceptable while waiting on a check out line at a supermarket, (however some cashiers are quite friendly,) birth is up front, close and personal. Busy and distracted providers are like having strangers at your birth. They illicit shyness, modesty and closed legs from their patients making it difficult to open. With basically a stranger between her legs, a laboring women will be kept on guard and labor naturally slows down to ‘protect’ the baby. That is what happened to me until I focused on motherhood and delivered.

6. Explore your motivation. Is the provider you chose your mother’s OB/GYN from 20 years ago who delivered you? If a friend recommended your provider, how was their own birth experience? Worth emulating? Women often pick providers who unconsciously remind them of a significant role model such as a parent or grandparent who was either nurturing or absentee. Selection should not be based on fear or convenience. I believe the c-section rate would drop dramatically in our country if women were mindful of the reasons they choose their providers to begin with. Pick your provider and birth location from your heart, as this woman did, who picked me!

“I need a provider who will work with me (not on me), who will take the time to establish mutual trust and respect (rather than demanding them based on his/her credentials), who understands the holistic nature of pregnancy and childbirth (instead of compartmentalizing mother and child and creating an unnatural disconnect between the two), who is incredibly skilled, and respects and believes in the natural process, understanding that it is truly the safest way to birth (while at the same time recognizing that technology and “medical intervention” may become necessary for the continued health of mother and/or child). After a long day and an even longer 5 months of searching, I finally collapsed. Tears of relief uncontrollably streaming down my face, I knew that I had finally found someone who will help me, teach me, push me, challenge me and most of all who I can trust will take care of me during what I now know will be the most exhilarating, exasperating, and enjoyable time of my life. I must have you as my midwife. Angelique.”

If you are becoming alarmed about your waning comfort level with your provider, transfer practices. ‘Better late than never,’ is right on time when finding the best fit for yourself and your baby.


Risa Klein CNM, OB/GYN NP, M.S., has been working with pregnant women for 25 years. She is a graduate of the midwifery program at the Columbia University School of Nursing, where she received her Master of Science degree in Nursing with a specialty in Midwifery. Risa offers a home birth approach on Labor & Delivery at Mount Sinai West in New York City. Her office is located on Manhattan’s upper east side. She was the “birth consultant” for the feature films Baby Mama and Maze. To learn more about her midwifery practice, click here.

This blog has been repurposed from Risa Klein CNM.

The Why and How of Spring Cleaning

Brooke Stone, Founder and CEO of GYST, shares her exploration of spring cleaning, organization tips and advice from GYST Assistants about how to jump start your efforts.

I have a confession. I’m one of those maniacally organized people who, in spite of a demanding  job and two little ones, cannot sleep when the house hasn’t been returned to order. My house is  organized. There. I admit it. My containers match, I fastidiously use a label maker and you know  what, I love a good surface wipe. But, even though my house is pretty organized most of the  time, I still get that urge to turn the place upside down and go all Container Store on it every April. Why?! Trust me, I do not need another single thing to do. And, every year when I’m knee deep in a pile of stuff while both of my kids nap (I know what’s WRONG with me) I think -  WHY?! Why do I feel compelled, driven even, to participate in full blown spring cleaning whenever the tulips pop?

Turns out there are strong cultural roots pulling us towards trashing our homes only to immediately set them right again when the sun starts shining. This practice is shared around the world, supported by biology and part of deep rooted American traditions. In the Jewish faith the house is rigorously cleaned in anticipation of Passover and Christian faiths suggest various cleaning rituals starting on lent and throughout the days leading up to Easter. Iranian New Year, Nowruz, falls on the first day of spring and dictates a thorough house cleaning too. For the agnostic among us, longer, sunnier days mean less melatonin fogging our brains, and less melatonin means more available energy. And for the history buffs, during the long winter frontier families’ homes would become covered with soot from the fires used for cooking and heat.

When the weather was finally warm enough to open the windows these homes got a through  scrub down to remove that soot layer.

Now that I’m convinced spring cleaning isn’t just me killing time I don’t have, I’m going to break  down how you can make it happen this spring in spite of all of the other things demanding your  time and attention (because you know you want to…).

1. Set Your Goals: Pick one or two priority areas that need your attention the most and define your goals for the space.

2. Out, Sort, Distribute – Repeat: Pull everything out of the space you’ve chosen and set it out so you can see as much of it as possible. Sort your belongings into three piles: Keep, Donate, Lives Elsewhere. Organize the “Keep” pile, drop off your “Donate” pile, and ferry the “Lives Elsewhere” stuff to its rightful home.

3. Keep It Simple: If you have limited time and competing priorities, what sparks joy for you might be getting that one cabinet in order so you don’t have sippy cups raining down upon you every time you open it.

Our team of expert, skilled and savvy GYST Assistants had a few things to say on the topic too.  GYST Assistants are excellent spring cleaning partners and even better than doing it yourself is delegating to an expert. GYST Assistants will help you set up organizational systems that are efficient, effective and easy to maintain and Bell Family Company families enjoy exclusive access to GYST Assistants on a project basis. Give us a call at (917) 912-9206 or say to learn more.


Written by our guest partner, Brooke Stone, Founder & CEO of GYST

Hey Now, You’re an All-Star!

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an all-star sitter at Bell Family?

Each month our Sitter Service team sits down and picks one extraordinary babysitter to become our Sitter of the Month. What makes this honor so cool? Well, not only is it highlighted in the sitter’s profile for all families to see, but it’s also displayed in our monthly newsletter that is distributed to all of our member families and BFC sitters. That means that thousands of people are seeing just what an awesome person and sitter you are!

Here is what it takes to be Sitter the Month:

  1. Leader in the childcare community
  2. Parents give extraordinary feedback on your ability as a babysitter
  3. You always provide the best quality care
  4. You do not cancel last minute on families
  5. You are not on your phone or distracted
  6. You are fully engaged with the children and the children always seem happy in your presence


Will you be our next Sitter of the Month?


Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

Connect With Local Moms and Dads Through The Parent Collective

Expecting moms and dads often need one common thing – support. The Parent Collective provides just that by helping to establish connections with other expecting parents through classes that minimize stress, and ultimately, make people feel like they are in this together.

We had the opportunity to partner with Jessica Hill, one of the Co-Founders of The Parent Collective, to learn a little bit more about her, her company, and what makes TPC so special.

Q: What inspired or influenced you to create The Parent Collective? 

A: I decided to start TPC back in 2016 after hearing from countless friends that they spent their early months and years with their baby feeling lonely and isolated. Because I was lucky enough to have my boys in the UK and benefit from the NCT, my experience was wildly different, and I wanted to give a similar feeling of support through education to others. Quite simply – I don’t know how I would have gotten through the early months of my first baby without my village of NCT moms who got me out of the house, listened to me vent when I was struggling, swap strategies for dealing with the latest feeding/sleeping/illness issues that crop up, and filled countless afternoons with conversation and companionship. Everyone needs that support and I hope that TPC will fill this need.

Q: What are the variety of classes that you offer and what can parents expect to learn in each of them? 

A: We offer a prenatal class series for expectant parents and after babies arrive, we offer CPR & First Aid classes, postpartum support groups as well as a wide range of workshops and online content developed in response to participant questions.

Our prenatal class, which is our core offering, is a 4-week series and in it, participants will discuss:

  • Session 1: What to expect in labor and delivery
  • Session 2: Relaxation techniques to help you through the early stages of labor, options for pain management and C-sections
  • Session 3: Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding information and advice, including latching on, pumping, milk storage, getting on a feeding schedule, and how to manage problems that may arise
  • Session 4: Newborn care

Q: How are your classes unique to the classes at my local hospital?

A: The Parent Collective offers a new style of prenatal class which is designed to provide evidence-based information, foster open, judgment-free discussion and establish friendships among couples living in close proximity and due at the same time. We see ourselves as an alternative to other childbirth education classes and hope that couples taking the series will develop a social network through participation, gather playmates for the little ones on the way and of course, provide that crucial support system that parents so need.

I am always banging on about how important it is to have friends with babies the same age as yours. I absolutely realize that it is hard to make friends as adults but with pregnancy as the common thread, it can sometimes be easier. Mom and dad friends at every stage of the parenthood journey are super helpful, but friends who have kids the same age as yours are essential. No one can fully appreciate the daily trials of a newborn like your friend who is also navigating life with a newborn. From spilling preciously pumped milk to dealing with an explosive poo in-transit. When you are in it, these feel like total disasters. However, these stories will not elicit a visceral “gasp!” from a new parent, but rather a breath of relief as you realize another real person has experienced something similar – like, yesterday.

Parents need this camaraderie so you can enjoy/survive the early days (and hopefully beyond) together. Our classes allow parents to solidify these relationships before babies arrive, so you don’t have to work so hard once they do. You can already be texting from the hospital about the terrible food and a love you never thought possible.

Q: Who are some of the facilitators that women can expect to meet in your classes (background, experience, mission etc.)?

A: All of our facilitators are nurses and midwives who can offer our expectant parents an accurate picture of what to expect in the hospital. Most are also mothers who can provide that additional layer of support having experienced first-hand what a world-rocking experience having a baby can be. Here is the background of one of our facilitators as an example but you can view all of them here.

Allegra Gatti Zemel, RN, IBCLC

Allegra is a registered nurse, Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and mother of three. She holds a BA in English from UC Berkeley in California as well as a BS in Nursing from Columbia University in New York City. Allegra has 13 years of experience in hospitals, classrooms, and in-home care and instruction around Maternal/Child Health and specifically breastfeeding. Allegra works to help each person feel equipped and ready for the wonder, transitions, and joy of a new baby with special attention to feeding and bonding.

Q: Where are your locations and how can someone sign-up to learn more about The Parent Collective or join a class? 

A: We currently host regular classes in Fairfield County, CT, Manhattan, Long Island, NY, Bergen County, NJ and we will very soon be launching in Westchester NY.

TPC will also soon be launching our prenatal series as a webinar. Watch this space!

To learn more, visit our website and sign-up for our newsletter, which offers information for expectant and new parents, as well as the opportunity to connect with parents who live local to you and have kids the same age.

Jessica Hill
Jessica Hill, Co-Founder of The Parent Collective

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

Sip Your Way to Less Stress

What if I told you that you could reduce the amount of stress in your life by sipping a natural and truly healthy beverage? Have I got your attention?

Sweet Reason Beverage Company introduces a sparkling water with hemp CBD, so everyone can achieve an easier and more seamless lifestyle. Learn more about the awesome product below through our Q&A with the team.

Q: A big part of Sweet Reason’s mission is to make life easier. To slow things down, relax, and pursue a life well-lived. How does your sparkling water help implement this lifestyle?

A: CBD helps calm and focus the mind. I find it takes the edge off of my anxiety, makes me more present and allows me to concentrate on the task at hand. To me, that is a life well-lived.

Q: Tell us more about CBD: What is it? What are its benefits? And how is it used in Sweet Reason?

A: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid that can either be extracted from the hemp or cannabis plant. There are over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, so as the hemp plant and all of its extracts become legal (thank you, 2018 Farm Bill) you’ll see many other cannabinoids with a wide range of health benefits hit the market. CBD helps calm the mind, reduce random stress and ease discomfort. If that sounds vague to you, it is because companies that are making over-zealous health claims are getting in trouble with the FDA, so we like to encourage consumers to try CBD themselves. CBD affects everyone differently, and pure CBD is a safe to consume (see World Health Organization’s Critical Review of CBD in June 2018, which notes that CBD is, “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile”), so experiment and see how you feel. Sweet Reason is the perfect beverage for the CBD-curious, because it is delicious and at an approachable dosage (7mg). At Sweet Reason, we believe in creating beverages that are truly healthy (aka no sugar or sweeteners and simple ingredients), so that you don’t have to think twice about getting your daily dose of CBD.

Q: Your packaging of Sweet Reason alone makes me want to buy it. Where and how can people go about getting Sweet Reason in their lives?

A: Sweet Reason is in over 150 stores in New York (check out the map on our website for where to find us), including Dean & Deluca, West Side Market and Westerly. And if you want it to come right to your doorstep, order online! We even have a subscription program for the people who want to drink it all day, everyday (like me).

Q: What was the biggest inspiration for creating a product like Sweet Reason? How has it impacted your life for the better?

A: I started Sweet Reason because I couldn’t stop thinking about the future of cannabis beverages and how they will change our culture and social interactions, and challenge deeply held beliefs around cannabis. When I learned about CBD and discovered that it helped take the edge off of my anxiety, I couldn’t resist starting Sweet Reason. Sweet Reason has made my life better in so many ways (where do I begin?), but mostly because it allows me to share the health benefits of CBD with so many different people.


Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

It’s Time to UP the Way You Fly

Are you ready to escape the winter blues and head for the sandy beaches? What if you could get to the sand stress-free and with one of the most trusted private aviation teams in the business? You’re in luck with our awesome partners at Wheels Up.

Turn your travel time into quality time 

An innovative membership-based company, Wheels Up provides the most trusted and intelligent way to fly private for all your personal and business travel needs. When compared to aircraft ownership and jet card programs, Wheels Up greatly reduces the upfront costs of private aviation—while increasing flexibility and efficiency, so you and your family can fly comfortably on your own schedule and enjoy more time at your destination.

With a Wheels Up Core Membership, you will receive guaranteed access to the members-only fleet of 90+ aircraft, including the exclusive King Air 350i and the Citation Excel/XLS—up to 365 days a year, with as little as 24 hours’ notice. Through the Charter Marketplace, you’ll also have unlimited access to a network of 1,000+ Wheels Up safety-vetted and verified aircraft, including many options that can be booked instantly, for travel to almost any destination worldwide.

As a Core Member, you and up to 3 guests will be able to attend dozens of unique experiences and celebrity meet-and-greets around the country each year, in addition to the world-class Wheels Up signature event activations at the Super Bowl, The Masters, and Art Basel. And you’ll also receive over $35,000 worth of lifestyle and hospitality benefits.

Wheels Up Bell Family exclusive benefit

Bell Family clients receive a $9,000 flight credit with the purchase of a Wheels Up Core Membership for $17,500.

To learn more and redeem this benefit, please email us today! 


Wheels Up does not operate aircraft; FAA licensed and DOT registered air carriers participating in the program exercise full operational control of all flights offered by or arranged through Wheels Up. For on-demand flights and shuttle flights operated as scheduled service, Wheels Up acts solely as an agent for Wheels Up members and guests in arranging these flights on their behalf. For shuttle flights operated as Public Charter service, Wheels Up acts as principal in offering these flights subject to the DOT’s Public Charter rules contained in 14 CFR Part 380. All aircraft owned or leased by Wheels Up are leased to the operating air carrier and are operated exclusively by that air carrier.

Meet Our Friends at Village Obstetrics™

We want to introduce you to our friends at Village Obstetrics™ and the wonderful support and care that they provide their patients. We partnered up with them for a Q&A to give our readers an opportunity to learn more about their impressive work.

Q: A big part of Village Obstetrics™ mission is to follow a minimally invasive approach. Why is practicing this important to your mission, and what have you seen as benefits for your patients with this approach? 

A: We see newly pregnant couples who are concerned about interventions meddling in the natural process of pregnancy and birth. And it’s true that the medical profession has become concerned about the high rate of unnecessary c-sections. So, our approach is one that respects the natural process but uses modern medicine and technology to check and see how the natural process is unfolding. If everything looks good, our job is to stay out of nature’s way, but if there’s a storm brewing our job is to figure out together with our mom what the best course of action is. Minimally invasive obstetrics is doing the least necessary to get the job done and it yields low rates of c-section with well-informed satisfied moms.

Q: What are the benefits of unmedicated v medicated birth or c-section? Is there a time in the birthing process where its too late to get an epidural?

A: Birth has lots of variables – the size of the baby, the individual pain tolerance, the length of the labor, the strength of the contraction, head position and on and on. So, it’s fair to say that keeping an open mind is especially important as you approach birth. In general, for first time labor we have seen great benefits from trying to get as deep into labor as possible before getting medications for pain relief. At that stage if you want an unmedicated birth we see how much further you have to go and if its not too far, you typically will make it without medication. Alternatively, if you are at the end of what you can manage and you still have a long way to go, or if you plan on an epidural, that’s a great time to go ahead and get relief.

After you’ve already had a vaginal birth and you are in labor with the next baby, then you need to decide sooner if you want an epidural or not. Probably when your pain is still manageable but now starting to get your attention (say a 6 out of 10 on the pain scale) then it’s time to either get the epidural or commit to finishing it as an unmedicated delivery. The last part of labor could be very fast with second or third babies and there might not be enough time to get an epidural if you wait until pain is an 8 or more out of 10. With the first vaginal birth however, its almost never too late to get an epidural because the progress of labor is much slower usually. Many of our moms now also consider using Nitrous Oxide which is available at our hospital as an alternative to epidural or to maintain control until getting the epidural later.

Q: New patients have lots of questions both pre- and post-birth. How do you help new moms and dads with the transition of becoming parents?

A: One great new addition to the information for new moms and dads is Dr. Worth’s new book, “The New Rules of Pregnancy: What to eat, do, think about, and let go of while your body is making a baby”. We are so proud of her! So many of the existing guide books are so packed full of information that they can be overwhelming and even scary. We needed an expert to sift through those big books and pull out the key information and present it in a format where you can take in a little information at a time while keeping it positive and with beautiful uplifting illustrations that provoke imagination and calm. Dr Worth made that happen and we hope you give it a read. Beyond that we intentionally structured our practice for only pregnancy and birth care. We unapologetically exclusively devote all our time and talents to this important field of obtetrics. Not doing gynecology and well woman care allows us the time to really get into questions and controversies in our office visits. We also hold our own free of charge birth class for our clients that we call our “Pregnancy Chit Chat” – it’s a group Q&A with their doctors. We also reply to our clients e-mails and we try and provide continuing community education speaking, blogging and posting whenever we are invited to by groups involved in pregnancy and birth care.

To learn more about Village Obstetrics,™ click here.


Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

Bell Family Team Brings In Top Talent

The Bell Family team is a group of dedicated women who work together to recruit the best childcare providers in the business. Each nanny candidate we source experiences a thorough vetting process before fully joining our team. All nanny candidates are 1) directly referred by someone we know or recruited from one of our trusted sources, 2) college educated, working professionals, students or career childcare professionals, and 3) prescreened through an extensive online application (it is over 60 questions).

After our recruitment team reads through the application we proceed with the following steps:

  1. Schedule a preliminary interview over the phone.
  2. If the candidate passes the preliminary, he/she is scheduled for an in person interview (Facetime for non-local candidates).
  3. At the in person interview, the candidate completes a Nanny Assessment Test that examines both their emotional and psychological responses to each question. The test is graded according to our standards. Each candidate must pass the test to advance in the hiring process.
  4. The candidate meets a member of our Nanny Services Team to complete the interview, including a work history form (i.e., names of all employers, their address, phone number) and information about the job (i,e., ages of children, schedule, what they did at the job).
  5. Our team member and the candidate review their resume to learn more about the candidate.
  6. The candidate provides proper legal documentation (two forms), and a photo.
  7. Each candidate completes and passes a national background check which we subsidize to bring cost down for them.
  8. Our team then completes a social media screening.
  9. Three of the candidate’s references are called via phone by our team member (who was an educator for 30 years). Each reference must be a childcare reference and pass through acceptable criteria set by our Agency.


Once the candidate has successfully completed the steps above, he/she is accepted to our Agency and is in communication with our team about jobs that are a fit for them. Each candidate has the opportunity to attend our bi-annual CPR and First Aid Training, as well as receive on-going coaching, prepping and check-ins to stay up to date on all childcare information.

We continually review the candidates’ profile based on family feedback and their communication with us. We choose to only work with the best nannies in the business. If a nanny does not pass through our Agency’s criteria or proves to not be a fit for our Agency based on our team’s or family’s feedback, we will remove that candidate from our Agency.

To learn more about our full list of services, click here.


Written by our Founder & President, Lindsay Bell