Dark circles

Some get them after not sleeping enough, others after partying too hard, and then some people have them permanently. But everyone has had them at some point: unsightly dark under-eye circles. For moms, it is a rite of passage to be sporting those panda eyes after many sleepless nights with their babies. I am one of those less fortunate people who have them genetically. Originally, I wanted to call this article “How to eliminate dark under-eye circles.” However, this would be very misleading for those who have dark shadows genetically as there is nothing that will cure them completely. Nothing. Trust me, I tried everything. The good news is: there are 5 ways to reduce unsightly under-eye circles significantly.

  1. Plenty of Sleep

Ok, Captain Obvious – is what you probably think now. But I could not have started this article without the most important factor. For me, who always has dark circles, there is a huge difference between sleeping 5 or 8 hours. Our cells regenerate at night so allow your skin plenty of rest and time to recover. Also, sleep is the only natural remedy for undereye circles that you can get for free.

 2. Use the right concealer

I never leave the house without applying concealer. Let me correct that: I never leave the house without TWO concealers. To conceal my dark circles the best way possible I need to apply two different shades. I have Mediterranean/Middle Eastern skin so I first apply a color corrector. However, to conceal the circles completely, I need to add a light-shade concealer on top of it. These are the products I use:

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Vanish! Color Corrector Medium 

Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer Oat

Obviously, it has to work pretty well because each time I do not apply any concealer I get asked if I’m tired or sick.

3. Apply hydrating creams and serums

Dehydration is another common cause of under-eye circles. Hence, it is important to stay hydrated. You can hydrate from the inside by drinking plenty of water. I know some people swear by adding collagen supplements to their beverages. I personally think this is more of a marketing gimmick. But you can try it if you believe it could work for you. And you can stay hydrated from the outside by applying serums and creams. I have tried so many products and spent a fortune on them and can attest that none of them will magically make hour circles disappear. However, under-eye creams and serums with caffeine can significantly help reduce the appearance of dark shades. Also, I noticed that it is a lot easier to apply concealer on hydrated skin. Some people also swear on Vitamin K cream which is fairly cheap but it didn’t work on my genetically predisposed dark circles.

Dark circles

4. Fillers

The most hardcore – and IMO most effective way – is an under-eye filler aka tear-through or teardrop. Never in a lifetime would I have ever thought I would do such a procedure given that I’m more of a natural gal and terrified of needles. But in late 2020, I had the opportunity to try it out for free through a blogging gig. This type of filler is very challenging and can be dangerous when done by the wrong person. The procedure itself is not for the faint of heart. Nonetheless, I was so happy with my results. While this also didn’t eliminate my circles completely, it made that whole area look a lot lighter. All in all, it gave me a more youthful look. 

Before you go and make your appointment, I have to add a huge disclaimer. You really need to do your research and pick a good, qualified injector. Unfortunately, there are way too many people out there doing fillers with no talent or necessary medical knowledge. If you do not see any pictures that prove that the provider has actually done the tear-through filler before, do not even bother. Not only can a botched filler look terrible, but it can also be dangerous especially in a delicate area like the eye. My first filler looked so great that I was keen on getting refilled after a year. However, the first location was very far so I tried out a new med spa that has all sorts of beauty treatments. It should have been a red flag for me that they were very hesitant about doing that filler and kept pushing for something else instead. Also, they completely blew my first appointment because they didn’t have the right filler there. I somehow thought it was a good sign that they told me they want the doctor to do it instead of the RN. However, it seems like the doctor had no experience at all. I ended up with two filler pockets under my eye. So on top of wasting money, I will now also have to go again to get it dissolved. Do yourself a favor: avoid medspas and go to a reputable place with an experienced doctor. 

5. Facials and other treatments

Before you completely avoid medspas, the one place you want to go to them for is for facials or similar treatments. While not a complete cure for the panda eye problem, a good facial can help improve the entire appearance of hour skin including the area under the eyes. Personally, I love hydra facials. They are so relaxing and my skin looks amazing after. Most places will offer you to add the “eye perk” for an extra charge. This tool will help hydrate the eye area and you get to take home the remaining liquid. Other types of facials can help as well. I’d suggest doing a consultation and skin analysis first to choose the right treatment for you.

 

 

PJ Library partnered with the Miami Children’s Museum for a special outdoor Chanukah celebration! Head to the museum on Sunday, November 21 at 11 AM for storytime and a Chanukah-themed play dough experience. We’ll use tools and loose parts such as dreidels, gold coins and candles to promote open-ended play and creativity. Children will then be able to take home their dough to continue the fun for all 8 nights of Chanukah!

RESERVE YOUR SPOT as space will be limited to 20 children (each accompanied by only one adult). Face masks will be required. Free with required museum admission payment.

fall things to do with kids in miami

It can be difficult to get into the fall spirit in Miami because the only temperature we have all year round is HOT. But thanks to all the different family-friendly events in Miami-Dade County, you will have plenty of options to go to experience fall, pumpkin spice, and everything nice. Here 5 things to do this fall in Miami:

1) Pumpkin Patch at Pittman Park, Coral Gables, on Saturday, October 16th from 2 pm – 6 pm.                          Celebrate fall in the City Beautiful! Hundreds of pumpkins of all sizes will take over Pittman Park.
Enjoy live music, pumpkin decorating, face painting, food and beverages for purchase,
and adorable picture-perfect fall portrait areas.
The event is FREE.
2) Pumpkin Patch at Pinto’s Farm on Saturdays and Sundays until October 31st. Admission includes 1 pumpkin, unlimited rides, photo ops, hay maze, magic show, and petting zoo.

3) The Little Farm Fall Festival on Saturdays and Sundays from October 9th until October 31st. $12 admission includes a pumpkin patch, animal interactions, hay maze, children’s playfield, butterfly garden, local food vendors, and pony rides.

4) Walkthrough Spooky Safari Tour & Covid Safe Pumpkin Patch at Animal EDventure & Safari, Boynton Beach. 2nd Spooky Safari (walkthrough) with private Covid safe pumpkin patches. Tours have to be scheduled via text at 561-350-6948.

5) Tinez Farms Fall Festival: Pumpkin Patch & Fall Shows from September 10th thru November 7th, 2021. Enjoy pop-up vendors, photo ops, kids’ activities, live music, hay bale castle & maze, animal barnyard, and more.

 

For more suggestions on things to do with kids (or without) in Miami, follow me on Instagram here.

Brickell City Center Gather

One of the many reasons I love being a mom in Miami is that there are so many fun activities to do for the whole family. This Friday, we went to the Brickell City Centre to participate in the Trousseau Paint-A-Pillow event at their pop-up Gather playground. Gather is BCC’s community and family programming platform dedicated to bringing unique, safe, and fun interactive experiences for all ages in and around the Brickell community. Brickell City Centre, in general, is a very family-friendly place as there a several dining options, kids’ stores, a movie theatre, and a lot more. Gather playground is a nice addition where the whole family gets to take a break and play. This playground offers both locals and tourists opportunities to play, explore, and dwell as they enjoy activities such as hopscotch, crawl tunnels, jump steps, Connect 4, life-size Jenga, and cornhole. Located at Brickell City Centre’s Garden Deck on Level 2.

Brickell City Centre Gather

Painting a pillowcase at Gather BCC

The Trousseau Paint-A-Pillow event

On Friday, we took part in one of Gather’s special events: Paint-A-Pillow in partnership with Trousseau. Parents got to decorate a pillowcase together with their kid(s). Brickell City Centre’s Trousseau store provided the pillows. Since it was the first week of school, these pillows were meant to become the child’s personalized school pillow. After my son was running around the Gather playground, he had a blast painting the pillowcase with his mommy. Together we created a very Miami pillow with a palm tree, flamingo, pineapple, and sun. Afterward, we strolled around the beautiful Brickell Centre to get some toys for our little painter and to grab dinner at one of the BCC Eats restaurants. 

Brickell City Center Gather

Gather Playground – check it out now until September 15th

If you missed this event, don’t worry! Gather playground will still be open until September 15th and there are more family-friendly events to come. On September 10th at 4 p.m. and on September 11th at 12 p.m., Gather will be hosting Family Game Days. The afternoon activities will include interactive games, live music, sweet treats, and giveaways prizes. 

Brickell City Centre Gather

See you at BCC!

Bella Behar Stay fit on vacation

If you have read any of my previous articles, you know that I am all about a good balance in life. I do not deprive myself of anything. So far, this approach has worked out for me. Clearly, I am a firm believer that living by strict rules and restrictions will eventually lead to splurging. Ever since the Garden of Eden, humans have tended to want things, even more, when considered a “forbidden fruit.” Thus, I do not ever restrict myself and do everything in moderation. When it comes to diets and nutrition, I do not believe in “cheat days.” When I feel like eating something sweet, I eat a bit of it to curb the craving. I do not deprive myself all week to pig out on one day. It makes zero sense to me. Evidently, this method has worked for me as I have maintained my weight despite having given birth and being a big-time foodie (my Yelp account is the living proof of that). I am not a huge fitness fanatic and clean eater. Hence, this way of life makes it easy for me to do moderate, shorter exercises every day and eating fairly balance. 

Now that summer has arrived, we love going on weekend road trips in our home state Florida. While I thoroughly enjoy this quality time with my family, it also means getting my normal routine out of whack. While I normally try to get on 7-8 hours of zzz’s per night, there is usually no chance of that happening when sharing a hotel room with my toddler who decides to crowd surf on top of us in the middle of the night. Also, I simply cannot say no to the amazing Pina Coladas and coconut fried fish from Florida. I do believe that a family vacation is a designated time to enjoy life so going to the gym or missing out on scrumptious food is just not on my agenda during that time. However, I sincerely enjoy how balanced my life is. Therefore, I try to not fall too much off the wagon during vacations. If you share that sentiment, here are some tips on how to stay on track during your vacation while still having fun.

1) Eat what you want but implement nutrients

As I said, there is no way I am going to say no to my favorite fried foods and frozen drinks on my vacation. However, there is a way to enjoy them in moderation. During my last vacation, I would usually order a small salad upfront (I actually like salads). The veggies would not only nourish my body, but they also prevented me from eating too much of the “fun” food. Try to eat the rainbow by implementing fruits and veggies when you can. Your body and your overall well-being will thank you later. You will see that you will transition a lot easier into reality once the vacation is over when you maintain a balance. 

Bella Behar The Miami Mami Marco Island

2) Drink plenty of H2O

I know you have heard this a million times: you have to drink more water! Water can be a bit boring especially when you can have drinks instead. But, ESPECIALLY when you consume alcohol, it is the time to make sure you stay hydrated. Alcohol combined with the sun is no Bueno. People tend to drink more without noticing while having fun in the sun. But that can lead to serious dehydration and a nasty hangover later. So try to drink plenty of H2O during the day. You’ll be happy you did!

3) Bring healthy snacks 

In order to control your hunger, you should never go too long without eating. By the same token, overly hungry people tend to lose all self-control and eat whatever is in front of them and too much of it. I like to bring healthier snacks such as nuts, protein or granola bars, and fruits to snack on in the morning or during the day. Also, I do not really like to start the day with a heavy breakfast that will have me sluggish for the rest of the day. Hence, I like to bring individual oatmeal packages. I usually heat up the water in the coffee maker provided by the hotel and use disposable cups! Voila, A healthy breakfast that will you keep you full until lunchtime!

4) Implement exercises into your activities 

Obviously, vacations are meant to be fun! Most people do not consider going to the gym fun. However, if you are one of those who cannot live without the gym, you can take advantage of the hotel gym to mix it up a little bit. Or you can go for a run in the surrounding area for a change of scenery. I usually like to soak up every minute of my precious vacation time. But I sneak in some exercise-like activities every here and then. My go-to is going for long walks at the beach right in the water. The resistance from the water is one of the best calf and booty firmer for me hands down! And as a bonus, I always come back from my beach power walks with a nice tan. Not only that, it gives me a much-needed break and some me-time that mommy needs! Speaking of being a mom, when my son was still a baby and wanted to be carried a lot, I used to do squats while holding him in my arms on the beach. Now, he is WAY too heavy for that but now, I have to run after him all day which is a workout in itself.

Thank you for reading, mis amores! Hope you are all having a fabulous summer with lots of vacation time! 

Follow me on Instagram here

 

World Ocean Month The Miami Mami

World Ocean Month is here! Since I live and breathe all things Miami, every day is Ocean Day in my books! Without a doubt, Miami is famous for its beautiful beaches and its blue ocean water. The Atlantic Ocean merges with the Caribbean Sea in Miami. The part of the ocean that you can see in every movie or TV show in Miami is called Biscayne Bay. It is the heart and soul of Miami. Unfortunately, in recent years, this lagoon has become more and more polluted.

Background story:
In August 2020, the biggest fishkill ever recorded occurred as a result of years of massive pollution and dumping into Biscayne Bay. Thousands of fish were gasping for air and eventually suffocated. Many activists have already warned that the water is at a tipping point and worked to preserve the idyllic lagoon. At the end of 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis and Miami-Dade County mayor Daniella Levine-Cava finally announced that $20 million would be invested in protecting Biscayne Bay.

It is not only fish that suffer but most of the marine life in Biscayne Bay. All too often plastic single-use utensils, plastic straws, or bags are being used at the beach and land in the ocean. Poor little sea turtles cannot differentiate between plastic bags and jellyfish, one of their favorite foods. Even tiny amounts of plastic can be fatal for baby sea turtles.

Here are a few ways how you can help save Biscayne Bay and its marine life:

  • Ask your Senators and Representatives in Congress to support policies that reduce single-use plastic and drastically increase recycling in the United States: Take action
  • Donate to Ocean Conservancy or Surfrider Foundation
  • Report Pollution on Miami Waterkeeper
  • Look up if there are any beach clean-ups in your area or get together with some friends and clean the beach up together
  • Try to avoid using plastic when enjoying Miami’s beautiful beaches. Try to stick to reuseable bags, paper straws, and reusable water bottles.

A lot of women say they felt like a new person when they became a mom. And I share that sentiment. Having the responsibility for a tiny human who completely relies on you is quite a big deal. While you make not become a perfect human all of a sudden, you will definitely take that new responsibility seriously. When you become a mom you can’t just do whatever you want anymore. Each time you want to leave the house, you have to make sure someone will be watching your child. Being a mom means putting your little one’s needs first. Most moms do not only understand that but they take it to the extreme. Since “mom guilt” is a real thing, most moms think they have to dedicate every single second to their child(ren) and feel selfish when they do anything for themselves. This can in return lead to depression, anxiety, feeling unfulfilled, and a lot more. Ever heard the saying “You cannot pour from an empty cup?” It is so very true. In the beginning, when I had my son, I thought I would have to be the only one taking care of him and always be around him. I got comfortable with my reality of wearing the same PJs for days and sporting the dirty hair top knot indefinitely. But I learned to let go and find myself again. You can be a good mom without losing yourself. Here are a few tips on how:

Stay connected with the outside world 

Being home alone with your child 24/7 even if it’s only for the first couple weeks/months can be very isolating. A lot of moms feel like they have to do it alone. But it is so important to have a support network. Even if it is just asking a friend a question about baby-related issues. Some people think that so many moms turn into mom bloggers or mom influencers to chase clout. But I know plenty of mom bloggers and can attest that what most of them love the most about being part of this scene are the network and human connection. During the first weeks when you cannot leave the house with a newborn, it is a lot easier to connect with other moms online.

Meet up with other adults 

You might be an introvert and not interested in spending time with others. After all, what can be more fulfilling than yummy baby snuggles? Hear me out! I am the biggest introvert in the world and nothing sounds better to me than alone-time. When my son was born, I really did not want to see anyone and just catch up on sleep whenever I could. However, now that he is older, I do appreciate a mom’s night out from time to time. While I make sure that I still get enough me-time by going to the gym, working out, getting mani-pedis, etc, I truly believe parents need some child-free time every once in a while. It is so important to stay in touch with your friends and hear what they are up to. I made it a point to only surround myself with inspiring people. So each time, I hang out with friends, I feel refreshed, inspired, and learned so many new things. Even if you are super-duper anti-social, try to just have a grown-up night (or day) with adult conversations even if it is just once in a blue moon.

Have goals and follow your dreams

Most parents feel like their children give them purpose in life. And I concur! But it is also important to not lose yourself completely and still follow your own goals. Maybe you want to get in the best shape in your life? Go for it! Who says moms can’t look fabulous. Make sure you get in that healthy food and gym time! Maybe you’re pursuing a promotion at your job? Go get it! Or maybe it is your own business? You are never too old or too busy to follow your dreams! And it does not make you a selfish person when you do not dedicate every breathing second to your offspring. Remember: there will come a day when they will move out of the house to follow their own dreams and have their own family. And you do not want to look back at your life thinking you missed out on life.

This is me at a Mom’s Night Out event. Follow me on Instagram for more updates.

Social media detox Bella Behar The Miami Mami

I remember when social media first emerged, it was all exciting for me and many others. It was an interesting experience to create an online identity and communicate with your friends through this new medium. Who would have thought that, fast forward, social media would become such a big part of our lives? Quite frankly, you can almost say it has replaced actual life for a lot of people. Most people I talk to, tell me they rack up several hours per day on these apps. As a blogger, it is part of my job to use my phone and maintain a presence on these platforms. That is why it is even more important to me to give myself a break every once in a while. Not only are social media detoxes beneficial for my mental health but they also free up a lot of time that I can now spend on something useful. However, this does not mean that you have to be completely excluded from the fun. Here are some tips on how you can limit your social media use without going too radical:

  1. Create a morning routine that does not involve your phone

One thing that has helped me a lot to reduce my overall use of social media apps was to shorten the overall window that I use my phone during the day. I guess you can consider it to be like intermittent fasting – just for your phone use. Clearly, one of the best life changes I have made is to NOT use my phone first thing in the morning. I used to wake up turning my phone on immediately. Not only was this a waste of time but it would also stress me out to read a work email or see some due bill right after opening my eyes. Now I put my phone on airplane mode throughout the night and take some time for myself in the morning to meditate, stretch, and drink some strong Cuban coffee in peace before my family wakes up. This sets a whole different tone for the rest of the day.

The time spent on your phone can be used more wisely

2. Set a bedtime for your phone

By the same token, I made it a habit to not use my phone anymore 1 to 2 hours before going to sleep. Back in the day, I would be on my phone until I would fall asleep. This usually led to poor quality of sleep and a fogged-up mind upon waking up. I rather calm down from the day now instead of reading some annoying news in bed that gets me all wired. I highly recommend using airplane mode at night as opposed to just putting it on silent so you are less exposed to the radiation from the device.

3. Break the habit

We are all creatures of habit. Once we are used to constantly and mindlessly opening our IG or Facebook throughout the day, it is difficult to stop this automated behavior. It takes about 21 days to break a habit so chances are that you won’t be able to quit cold turkey. But there a ways to transition away from it. I usually try to reserve some time where I get to check my social media apps. It is much more exciting to look at the app after a day or a few hours of not having checked it as supposed to be checking it non-stop zombie-style. In the beginning, I would still catch myself a lot opening and closing these apps. I slowly transitioned away by having other entertainment on my phone that does not require me to scroll or do anything, e.g. subscribing to interesting Podcasts that you can open when you’re bored and do something else in the meantime. Also, I really got into Audible and it helps me stay entertained without scrolling, liking, commenting, or otherwise being mindlessly entertained by the Zuckerberg universe. 

4. Shut off notifications for social media apps

This one is a gamechanger and goes hand in hand with what I mentioned above. You will constantly open these apps and get suckered into them when you see notifications pop up. Just carve out some time during the day when you check whatever comments, messages, and tags people have left you. Trust me – these things can wait and do not have to be answered the very second they are posted. 

5. Don’t take your followers’ engagement on your account personally

A lot of people take it very personally that some of their followers never engage with their content despite watching every single story. Personally, I think these are silly first-world problems and we should not waste any time on what other people do or do not do. I made it my own principle to NEVER check who views my story and/or who likes my stuff. Yes, of course, I have an idea of who is very supportive and who seems to be more of a hater. But life is too short to worry about why people are the way they are and I can find a better use for my time. 

If you have any more tips, drop them in the comments and talking about social media, give me a follow on Instagram if you like.

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