Tag Archives: mom

Reclaim Your Health and Increase Your Joy

Make 2018 the year of taking control of your physical and mental health. Whether you’re looking to eat healthier, increase your energy level, or shine a little more light at the end of this motherhood tunnel, Thrive Hive Wellness is here to help.

See what all the buzz is about through our Q&A with Jennifer Khalaf, Founder of Thrive Hive Wellness.

Q: It sounds like an important lesson you learned in your journey was making time to focus on yourself as a woman, and not just your role as a mom. Why is it so important for moms to take time to focus on themselves, too? 

A: Mothers are incredible and have the ability to give and care for others on a level that always amazes me, but no matter how happy we are to do it, I don’t believe you can pour from an empty cup.

Before we have children we have many components that make up our sense of identity – our passions, our careers and our relationships, to name a few. After we have children, there is often a shift in “who we are” and how we define ourselves. Many of us feel that we lose the woman we once were and have a hard time making this new woman a priority – either because we don’t have enough time and/or resources or because we feel guilty being away from our family.

I believe we all deserve to be happy and take care of ourselves – both in terms of nutrition and in terms of self-care. Self-care is not a luxury, it’s essential to your health and happiness and it looks different for everyone – it doesn’t mean you have to get a weekly facial! For me, it can be anything from a workout I enjoy to getting tea with a friend.

It’s important to remember that while “mama” may be our most cherished name, it’s not our only one. We are wives, sisters, friends, coworkers, neighbors etc. and we deserve to fulfill our passions and interests. When we don’t nourish our bodies and minds, it often takes away from other areas in our lives. A fulfilled mama, is a happy and present mama and at the end of the day, that’s good for the entire family.

Q: What are some of the plans/services you offer moms looking to join, and how can they join? 

I work with moms in a variety of ways – I customize programs based off each client’s goals. For some women that may be focusing on nutrition to fit their bio-individual needs and lifestyle and for others it may be helping them work through areas of their lives that they’re feeling stuck or unfulfilled. We work together twice a month over a 3 or 6-month period (either in person or via video conference) and take steps each week towards making the changes to get them to where they want to be. Sustainable change takes time and let’s be honest when something goes wrong in the family, it’s mama to the rescue! These programs allow for the inevitable (a sick child, a school break, etc.) to happen and not sideline the progress they worked hard to achieve.

In addition to one-on-one coaching, I also offer family nutrition consultations, cooking demonstrations and pantry makeovers where we go through the family’s cupboard and swap out not-so-healthy staples with healthier alternatives that are equally delicious, but more nutrient dense.

To work with me or for a complimentary consultation, you can reach me through my website, or by email at jen@thrivehivewellness.com.

Q: What are a couple key takeaways moms will get when joining Thrive Hive Wellness? 

I recognize that every woman is different and it’s why each of my clients receives support tailored to their unique strengths and challenges. As such, their takeaways depend on their goals, but every client gains a better understanding of what foods support their bodies and gives them energy and balance. Additionally, they are equipped with tips and tools to help them make more space for themselves and feel more joyful and present in every aspect of their lives.

Motherhood is crazy and amazing all at the same time and sometimes we need a little reminder that our health and happiness is important too. If we know how to keep filling up our cups, we’ll have plenty to pour into our families!

Thrive Hive

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Breath Confidence from EATWHATEVER®

I have a habit of liking foods that tend to leave my breath a little less desirable. I’m looking at you everything bagel.

It’s especially alarming when I’m out in public with friends or significant other, and I need to keep myself within an arms length distance so they can’t smell my breath.

To solve the bad breath problem, I tried out Eatwhatever® . Eatwhatever®  is a revolutionary breath freshener that assures confident fresh breath in two quick steps—swallow a gel, suck on a mint. Unlike other breath fresheners, Eatwhatever® works in your stomach AND your mouth. It’s all natural, vegan, gluten free, kosher certified and made in the USA!

I was lucky enough to team up with Jacqui Rosshandler, President of Jacquil LLC, and creator of Eatwhatever®, to try both the peppermint and ginger flavors. They were both great!

What I was really impressed by was the ginger flavor. One night I had an upset stomach, and remembered I had a stash of Eatwhatever® mints in my cupboard. I took a ginger gel cap followed by a mint, and my stomach felt much more at ease minutes later. An added bonus for expecting moms, the ginger flavor does wonders for helping with morning sickness and nausea.

To snag some of the Eatwhatever® products, checkout their website. And for those dog lovers, checkout Woofmints! Now both you and your pup can stay kissable!


Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

The Woman Inside the Mom

It’s important for moms to focus on the woman that lives inside being a mom. It can be easy to forget about who you are and what you want when you are caught up playing the role of mom, and looking after your little one(s).

Beyond Mom is a community of over 6,000 creative and productive women that focus on seeking Self within motherhood. We had the chance to get to know Randi Zinn, author, mindfulness and wellness expert, and founder of Beyond Mom, to learn more about this great organization.

Q: What was your greatest influence or drive to start up Beyond Mom?

A: Intuitively, I knew that I wouldn’t be happy just focusing on motherhood. I love my kids beyond measure but somehow inside I knew that if I was fueling myself and giving to the world, I would be a better mother. I met so many women who felt the same way and I wanted to create a space that honored this perspective and encouraged it. Plus, I want to show my kids what it looks like to work hard and go for your dreams. Just the other day, my son asked why I had to leave to go to an event for my book, and I told him that I wanted him to know that he could write a book one day….he seemed to like that answer.

Q: The name Beyond Mom is great! Why is it so important for moms to realize that there is value in life “Beyond Mom”?

A: When we shed all the titles, the expectations, the daily schedules and to-do lists, there is an essence that is made up of the truth of who we really are. The more time that we are in touch with that essence, the happier we really are because then we are in the flow of our lives. Our culture tells us that we should look perfect, act perfect and raise perfect children, and yet, tells us that we’re selfish for nurturing and investing in ourselves. I’m hoping Beyond Mom changes that cultural mindset….quickly.

Q: What are the most successful ways Beyond Mom works to support/encourage moms and their individual pursuits?

A: I hold regular events to bring women together for information, inspiration and community – I think magic happens in real time! What is most successful though are the day long retreats that I hold for moms to refuel themselves with yoga, meditation, discussion, speakers, and best of all, free time. Moms desperately need time to themselves and rarely get it. I’m super excited that our first Urban Day Retreat is happening on February 10th here in NYC and there’s still some spots left! Sign up here and invest in yourself and you will experience the rewards!

Q: You’re also the author of the recently published book, Going Beyond Mom. What are a few tips readers will learn by picking up a copy for themselves?

A: My book walks a woman through the layers of who she is and the layers that most typically experience upheaval as a mom. I walk you through how to rebuild these parts of yourself so you feel more solid and are able to be more present in all parts of your life – especially if you want to launch an idea. (second part of the book). A few of my favorite tips: move your body – moving your body reminds you that you are alive (very important when you are exhausted), use mindfulness techniques to calm mental overwhelm and intense emotional reactions, make sure the community in your home (anyone who walks in to help keep your home and kids safe and happy, is aligned with your values and overall needs, surrounded yourself with like-minded, inspiring people, and befriend change! (don’t struggle against change – accept it – and experience the unexpected beauty on the other side). How to do all of the above? Buy the book and dive in!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

The Best Childcare Advice

What’s the best childcare advice? To not feel bad about taking care of yourself!

This mom guilt thing has to be better managed and supported. Aim to find someone that you can confide in! My mom gives the best advice on everything.

Look to get some type of help immediately post baby. My mom spent the first month with me when I gave birth – she acted as my baby nurse. I think every mom needs to have a parent, assistant, sitter, or baby nurse there for the first four weeks. It doesn’t have to be around the clock, or expensive. Especially if you are working or have other kids running around.

Here are some benefits:

1. Helps you recover faster and heal
2. Helps provide support and help with the baby
3. Makes you feel taken care of and gives you someone to talk to if you have questions

Don’t wait! Try to get the process of searching for someone started early to save on stress. And don’t forget to do your research. Some moms could change everything once the baby arrives.

If you get a direct referral it’s much easier. Typically, if the referral is an excellent sitter, or a great judge of character, they will refer someone just as great. Try using an agency or a group of some sort (HINT: Bell Family Company)! If you don’t, you’ll be running your own company (sourcing, vetting, checking references, etc.). Groups or companies know all the rules, and have staff to vet through all of those things for you.

Golden rule: Treat others as you want to be treated. I think this is more important than ever for both the nanny and family. It’s amazing how a nanny that is given a coffee in the morning from her family will be more than willing to take the dog out for an extra walk, or how the family that lets the nanny leave early because she baked cookies for the family for their party that night.

And don’t forget, Bell Family is here to help with making childcare a breeze! Contact us today to book a sitter or nanny!


Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Raising a Bold, Brave, and Self-Reliant Boy

Have you ever wondered what motivates and drives your son in his everyday life? Teaching empowerment and belief in oneself is important, and it’s something parent’s can learn about in an upcoming event in New York City.

Join author and psychologist Dr. Adam Price,  for an event explaining how to teach your son to persist when challenged, and to develop the critical self-regulation skills necessary for success. He will also decode ‘boy world,’ explain why some bucks are “too cool for school” and give you the tools to raise confident, emotionally strong men.

On Wednesday, November 15 (6:30 PM until 8:00 PM), take part in the event by registering with HRP Mamas. Don’t wait – the Tuesday event is already sold out!

For full event and registration details, click here.


Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Making Your Back-to-Work Plan, The Pumping Edition

We recently teamed up with Jennifer Mayer, founder of Baby Caravan, and Birth Doula for over 12 years, to get her advice about mothers who are going back to work and are committed to breastfeeding and maintaining their pumping schedule. Read below for her thoughts and suggestions, and to start your back-to-work plan.

For many mothers, the return to work is filled with lots of stress, concern and worry. Leaving your new baby in the arms of an entrusted caregiver and returning to work is never easy. For moms who are committed to breastfeeding, creating a good pumping
plan is a huge asset.

Breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. In order to produce enough milk for your child’s feedings, it’s essential that you pump on a regular and consistent basis. Many moms are concerned about their supply when they return to work, since they will be away from their baby. It’s true that the pump is not quite as efficient to remove milk as compared to your baby, and your supply may decrease. However, there are a few things you can do to keep your supply up while pumping at work.

1) Make A Schedule: The most important thing when pumping at work, is making sure you pump on a consistent basis. Usually pumping at least twice while you’re away (every 4 hours), and ideally three times while you’re away (every 3 hours) will be often enough. To ensure your pump sessions occur, schedule them into your daily schedule if possible.

2) Have a Dedicated Pump Spot: Some offices have lactation rooms already available, and other places of employment do not. If possible, speak with HR prior to returning to work to sort out where you can pump when you return to work. Make sure it’s not a bathroom!

3) Grab Your Gear: You’ll likely want to have one pump at the office, and another at home. Prepare for your first day by bringing an extra set up pump parts as back-up, and extra shirt (just in case!) and extra storage bottles. You’ll also want to bring a cooler bag to transport your milk home in. We love the Pack-It coolers.

4) Breastfeed When You’re Home: One way moms ensure to keep up their supply is to nurse often when they are home with their baby. Depending on how well your little one is sleeping at night, you may want to feed more often in the evening and in the morning hours. On the weekends you can spend time nursing to boost
your supply and have lots of bonding time with your baby.

Some workplaces are more supportive than others when it comes to pumping at work. Hopefully your employer respects how important and beneficial breastfeeding is.

However if you’re the first employee to pump at work, or your employer isn’t very supportive, here are some ways to create a pump friendly environment.

1) The Law is Your Friend: At the federal level, mothers are also protected but for just one year: “Section 7 of the FLSA requires employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.”

2) Design a Lactation Room: If you’re able to, design a lactation room for your company. You’ll want to include essentials like access to a sink, fridge for storage, cubbies to hold gear, a desk or table to hold laptops and pumps, comfortable chairs, wipes, and a community board. If you need a temporary space check out companies like Melk and Mamava.

3) Educate: If you’re one of the first moms who’s pumping, your boss and colleagues might just be unaware of all the benefits. Gently educating them on the health benefits of breastfeeding for babies and moms could go a long way toward acceptance.

I hope these tips help you as your prepare for your transition back to work. Pumping is certainly a commitment that takes time and dedication. Yet for many moms the satisfaction of providing breast milk for their babies while they are away at work is worth all the effort.


For more information about Jennifer and Baby Caravan, click here.

Training Thursday Vol. 14 – Swaddling

Welcome to volume 14 of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we release a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.

This week we are featuring a training video on swaddling!

Here are some quick how-to steps to keep in mind:

  1. Once the blanket is placed down on the surface (top folded down like a triangle) place the baby’s neck line in line with the top of the blanket.
  2. Wrap down, up, and then around the baby.
  3. Make the blanket secure around the baby’s body by tucking the remaining part underneath.
  • Tip: Look for a tag that is attached to the blanket. There is often instructions on the tag if you need a refresher.

In addition to our follow-along training video, you can read more details about How to Swaddle a Baby through parenting.com and the 5 Reasons to Swaddle Your Baby through Precious Little Sleep.

These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social worker.


Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.

The Best of NYC Mom Groups

Are you new to the city, raising children on or near the Upper East Side? Do you need a new mom network, or some fun and easy suggestions for activities with the kids?

We gathered a great list of  NYC mom groups to help meet local moms and make playdates with children the same age as your own.

Our top three UES centric things to do with kids:

1. The Craft Studio
2. My Gym: Lincoln Center
3. The MET

Need more? Kidz Central Station is a great spot to search for classes all over Manhattan and Brooklyn for ages infant and up, and Mommy Poppins, “Top 50 Things to Do for NYC Families” has great suggestions, too!

Happy Mom-Grouping!


Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Inside Scoop on Explore + Discover Early Learning Center

Along Second Avenue in New York City, you’ll come across an organization like no other.  Explore + Discover Early Learning Center is an organization that provides both excellent and unique childcare in the heart of Manhattan. Infants and toddlers will feel right at home as they receive nurturing care, and learn life-long social and physical skills.

Bell Family had the opportunity to talk with the Co-Founder & President of Explore + Discover for a Q&A, to provide a quick guide for families on why this should be their new go-to for childcare.

Q: How does a family apply to be part of Explore + Discover? How much advance time should a family give for the application process? Do you offer all age programs?

Families begin the application process by calling and setting up a time to visit the center. Once the date/time are scheduled, prospective parents (with or without child/children) come in for a visit with our Director and/or Educational Director. This accomplishes a number of important objectives, including but not limited to:

- Giving us an opportunity to learn more about the child and family.
- Allowing us to more completely explain how the program operates, and answer any questions.
- Letting the family see the facility, and the program in action.

We recommend that if a family is considering applying to the program at that point, that they fill out an application and pay the application fee at the time of their visit. This allows the family to be in the queue, and if they should decide to take next steps to join the program, we have their information and are able to move things along fairly quickly.

Advance time is always recommended—we have some families who come to us when they are thinking of conceiving, which is wonderful (and frankly pretty forward-thinking from a family-planning POV).  At the same time, we keep our doors open to families who may not make preparations in advance, and if we can accommodate them, we are happy to!

Q: What does a common day look like for an infant or toddler at Explore + Discover? What kind of activities can they expect to be apart of?

A typical day for a child at Explore + Discover involves a combination of open exploration, thoughtfully planned creative experiences, and careful attention to caregiving routines.

We believe that allowing children time for exploration through free play each day is vital for social and emotional growth. Each classroom environment is designed with the age and developmental level of the children in mind, offering high quality open-ended materials to encourage creative play.

We also offer a variety of open-ended art and musical experiences throughout the week. Art specialists, as well as classroom teachers, plan engaging activities as a creative outlet for the children. Painting, mark making or drawing, working with clay, and collage are just a sampling of the experiences in our art studio.

Many of our teachers play the guitar and each class is visited by the music teachers, where they listen to, and eventually sing along with familiar songs and rhymes. As part of our Music Before Words program, the children are exposed to a variety of instruments. They are encouraged to listen to the sounds, move to the music, and even touch or play each instrument.

A thoughtful focus on caregiving makes Explore + Discover unique. Feeding, sleeping, and diapering routines are looked at as a time for bonding and beginning to encourage independence.

Q: What are some key items you look to teach the children that attend Explore + Discover? Tell us about your mission.

At Explore + Discover, our goal is to set the foundation for children to become lifelong learners.

We encourage them to investigate their curiosities and wonderings by providing an engaging classroom environment and enriching open-ended materials.

We believe that teachers are partners in learning rather than the keepers of knowledge, therefore providing opportunities for exploration, creating, and questioning.

Using the children’s natural interests and developmental stage as a starting point, the teachers design curriculum unique to each group. By the time the children leave E+D, it is our hope that they have developed the self-confidence, problem solving skills, and inquisitiveness needed to navigate the upcoming years of school.

E + D_logo

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

New York Baby Show Highlights

At the end of last month, the annual New York Baby Show concluded, where our very own, Lindsay Bell, was a guest speaker.

This year, the event racked up its biggest numbers yet with 5,000 families registered! At the two-day event, both expecting and new moms had the opportunity to walk around the show to discover new products, take in seminars on bump and baby, and check out fun attractions such as the Cannon Step-And-Repeat and the respites (like the DK Reading Rest Stop).

This is a great event hosted every year by New York Baby Show. If you haven’t gone yet, next year is your year!

To see additional photos and coverage from the event, check out their Facebook page!

NY Baby Show

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell