In an effort to be a more organized mom, a better art director and a more organized woman in general, I’m joining my fellow #coolmom friend, Brooke Jazmyn, in the #NoRushNovember challenge.

We bonded on a recent roadtrip about how chaotic our mornings are. Brooke transports her 4 year old son to pre-k and then travels to her job as Communications Manager at LVMH. I’m responsible for getting my 6 year old off the 1st grade and then traveling to my clients at Essence Magazine. The added pressure to be current on the latest style and beauty trends adds another layer of panic in the a.m. Like HOW am I supposed to pack a lunch, brush everyone’s teeth, wash the mornings dishes AND manage to cover my under eye bags and add a fun lip color?

Hoping to organize life a little more as we accept the No Rush November challenge. #norushnovember

In addition to being tasked with raising a human and running a household, I’ve recently taken on working full time outside my home.I’ve worked in the magazine industry for over 15 years…. bouncing in and out of several lifestyle publications such as Real Simple, Women’s Health, Latina, Lucky, Redbook and Suede. I gave up on trying to balance the job, single motherhood and life when my daughter was 8 months. I quit my full time job at Latina Magazine and started a freelance position as an Associate Art Director at Lucky Magazine. I took a lowerHow do you balance life as a full time working single parent?This is the most common question I get on panels, podcasts and interviews.For the most partI don’t.1. I give myself a breakI’m not too hard on myself. I used to operate with a ton of mom guilt. My to-do lists were pages long and if I wasn’t able to check off each task, I’d feel like I’d failed.At this point I do what my energy allows.2. Mommy and Me TimeMy daughter gets my full attention from3. Clear BoundariesI set clear boundaries at work and at home. I’m responsible for after school pick up at 6pm. That means that by 5:15 I need to be heading towards the elevator bank, to hop the train by 5:25, before my 10 minute walk to school. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to cut off a conversation, leave a meeting to hit this daily deadline. I never feel guilty for having to go. I have to be incredibly focused and efficient at work.For the past 3 years

The four day Wine and Food Festival just wrapped at Pier 92/94 in NYC, but I’m already looking forward to going again next year. Every October, the New York City Wine & Food Festival,  presented by Coca-Cola comes to NYC and hosts a week-long food and drink extravaganza.
Sunday evening we attended the Backyard BBQ at the New York Wine & Food Festival on the rooftop of Pier 92.
Events ranged from sit down dinners to tastings and parties. I was blown away by the schedule of events and activities, the roster of amazing chefs and restaurants  in attendance, and the views from the rooftop of Pier 92. We attended the Backyard BBQ which was one of the more family friendly events  of the festival. There was face-painting, dancing and a full section of arts and crafts by The CraftStation.

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#MyInspiredFall #DunkinAtHome #CollectiveBias

I recently received some life-changing advice that’s helped me get through this back-to-school season with ease.  Transitioning to fall can be tough for some parents. Summers are so much more laid back. You can arrive at camp whenever you please. You can skip it all together if you don’t feel like getting up. There’s no homework. The school year, however, needs much more structure (and much more energy for mom.)

When people ask how I get it all done, I often share my  tips for time blocking. Basically, I break my day up into breathable chucks. Instead of taking things “day by day” I usually go “quarter by quarter”. There are a MILLION things that need to get done in a day…but if you can compartmentalize and figure out what you can do in a 3 or 4 hour chuck of time it leads to a much more manageable and productive day.

Time-Block Your Day

*6:00-9:00 AM

From 6 to 9 the focus is on the marathon of getting myself and my 1st grader off to work and school.
Sounds like an easy task, but most mornings are a chaotic mess.
My tip for this time block is to try to schedule at least 10-15 minutes to yourself and create a ritual that helps you ease into the day. Mine is simple…..

Coffee time! For me, coffee is comfort.  My parents and grandparents were big coffee drinkers, so the smell of fresh coffee makes me feel comfortable and at home. I use it in the morning both to wake up and to relax.  It’s basically my version of comfort food. From the first hot sip, to the last cool one, I savor every second. While I can get coffee anywhere along my commute, I love my morning ritual of making my Dunkin’ Donuts® Original Blend Ground Coffee brew at home. When I get up, it’s still dark and quiet and the city is still. Being able to cuddle on my favorite chair in my corner while my French Press fills my home  with the fresh aroma of coffee is priceless to me. The Original Blend is everything you love about Dunkin’ Donuts coffee….all ground into one delicious roast. It’s smooth and full of flavor and gives me the boost I need to get my day started right.

From the second that my daughter wakes up until about 8pm, I’m running all day. The most important part of my morning is the 15 minutes I get to myself. Without it, I’m a mess.

*9:00-12:00 / 12:00-3:00 / 3:00-6:00 PM

Equipped with the fuel I need to handle the next 9 hours, I power through my workday.

My schedule changes constantly and as a freelance Art Director, I juggle several projects and proposals at a time. I, like most working moms I know, could use a few more hours in the day.

Time blocking works for entrepreneurs and business owners— whether you work in a formal office, a temporary co-working space, freelance full-time, or work from home with your kids. (I speak from personal experience, as I’ve had just about every single work situation imaginable.) I suggest a short break after each quarter. Reward yourself for all the work you’ve accomplished and fuel up for the next quarter. After crushing my goals from 9-12, I grab lunch and treat myself to my favorite dessert. After the 12-3 slot, I brew another cup of Dunkin’ Donuts® coffee . It gives me the energy I need to make it through school pickup, dinner and homework. I like to give my kid my full attention and match her energy in the evenings until her bedtime, and then finish up projects and freelancing at night.

If you have any advice to share on going strong from sun up to sun down, leave a comment below!

Love,
The Lawrences

(I only get 15 minutes to myself in the morning before this happens. That fresh coffee aroma often wakes my little one and *poof…quiet time is over.)

Right now Stop and Shop is offering a coupon for $1.25 off  Dunkin Donuts coffee products! (I doubled up.)
Grab the coupon here!

Does this look familiar to you?

This was a far too regular scene for us early this summer.   We were invited to an impromptu pool day with friends in Chicago. It was a scorcher and I grabbed the first toddler swimsuit and tube of sunscreen from a local Target that I could find. Fast forward to pool prep and here we are.

Luckily half way through the summer I was introduced to the Vichy brand. It’s hands down the best sunscreen we’ve found to date. Prior to finding Vichy, we just walked around ashy all day…..confidently protected from the sun, but drastically chalky. And who wants to look ghostly? Thank goodness I’ve found a sunscreen that blends seamlessly into our brown complexions. Scroll down for buying info for what I believe to be the only sunscreen that won’t doesn’t leave that ghostly white cast.

Chile, Ashy….Just…..wrong.

Vichy

Capital Soleil SPF 5o Sunscreen / Dry-Finish Face Sunscreen Lotion
Vichy is my go-to for sunscreen for the whole family. I stock up at the very beginning of the summer every year. When I need to make sure my skin is protected poolside AND I’m photo ready all day, I turn to Vichy. See below

 

BONUS:
For the face
Vichy Ultra Light / Capital Soleil SPF 5o Sunscreen, Dry-Finish Face Sunscreen Lotion
RUNNERS UP:
1. Neutrogena /  Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion Sunscreen
2. Supergoop /  Everyday Sunscreen with Cellular Response Technology SPF 50
3. Cetaphil / PRO Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #BecauseICan #BecauseFlavorYourLife #CollectiveBias

Summer is coming to an end in NYC but that’s not going to stop me from living my whole life and continuing my spontaneous picnics in the park. I’m a super simple girl and it doesn’t take very much to make me happy: Sunshine, my magazines (gotta catch up on all the September fashion issues) and my snacks.

I keep my picnic basket packed and by the front door and I’m notorious for grabbing a blanket and snacks and lying out in the sun all day. I’m very lucky to be able to work from home, so the park is my go to when I need a break and some fresh air. While I love the quiet time to myself, I also love packing a few extra drinks and sending an invite out over group text. I can drop a quick pin and let all my friends know where to find my blanket.

Single parenting is different. You do with two hands what most families do with four.

Nia Lawrence and Single Parents Everywhere

Even so, I love being a single mom. Cameron and I have lived together as a duo since day one and I became a solo parent when she was 8 months old. My daughter and I have a special bond. We protect each other and have so much fun navigating life in New York City. I think we’re especially close because most of our family and close friends live in Chicago, my hometown. We’re growing our NYC family every day together and exploring the city every second we can.

I wish I could give her more. More energy. More activities. More love. But in the end we simply need the  confidence to know that our love and our families, though they may look different than others, are more than enough. And while I champion single parents, and I see how hard you work and sacrifice. I’m sharing a few of the biggest struggles I’ve dealt with as a solo parent.

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AnIceCreamForThat #TheresAnIceCreamForThat #CollectiveBias

It’s so easy for moms to forget that our work is never-ending, physically taxing, and constant. It’s also easy to forget that we’re deserving of the occasional breather….so matter how small. That’s why, this summer, I’ve stocked my freezer with as many flavors of Haagen-Dazs ice cream as I could find at my local Stop & Shop. (See coupon info below)

Almost 20,000 nauralistas and friends gathered in Prospect Park on July 21st  for the annual Curl Fest 2018. Curl Fest is the ultimate beauty festival for natural hair. I’ve never seen so many beautiful afros, bantu knots, curls, locs and braids in one day. Sponsors and vendors such as DevaCurl, Eden Body Works,  and Cream of Nature showcased tents selling products, doing live hair tutorials and demos, and hosting games and giveaways!

Learn something new today.

Last week I had the delightful opportunity to attend a Floral Design class and lunch in Tribeca through Airbnb Experiences. Experiences are excursions or other activities designed and led by local hosts. Hosts give guests unique access to places and communities in their city. Check out the site to book one in your own city or while you’re on vacation!

Beets are such a great way to get in extra vitamins. They’re chock-full of essential everyday nutrients like  vitamin B, iron,  copper, magnesium, and potassium. Beets contain health-boosting nutrients that you may not get anywhere else. There are tons of ways to cook them. Check out the recipe below and continue to scroll for 3 methods to prepare beets for any recipes weather you like them roasted, steamed, or boiled.

Love,
The Lawrences

Mommy and Me Style: NYC Nights

Every once in a while I have to take my daughter with me to an evening event. I’ll make the exception if the event is relatively kid friendly and on the weekends. I want my daughter to be comfortable in all settings….weather she needs to introduce herself to an artist at his gallery opening, or to new kids at a birthday party. We have to have the social skills to handle it all!

I’m so happy to announce that I was featured as the June Mom of the Month by the app Amazing.She.Is!

AMAZING SHE IS is an app that supports women and motherhood. produces a platform for mothers to value their strength, beauty, and innate power they possess turning their dreams into reality. Through powerful words of wisdom, MOM Blogs, MOM Of The Month & more, the goal is to empower mothers to be the best for themselves and the families they’ve created.

If there’s one thing you need to add to your checklist this summer, it’s a trip to Coney Island! There are activities for all ages, making it the perfect weekend destination for the whole family.  The beach, the boardwalk, 3 amusement parks and an aquarium—what’s not to love!? No matter where you are in the city, Coney Island is easily accessible by subway. The N, Q, D, or F will place you exactly one block away from the boardwalk!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a style feature. It just warmed up in NYC and I’m finally able to shed the layers and get into some of the spring and summer styles my west coast friends have been rocking for months! I’m happy to announce that I’m packing away the leggings and looking forward to dressing with more intention 🙂

The Lawrence Family Guide to Bedtime:
Fill her humidifier, crack the window, 2 bedtime stories (with gusto), take away 1 pillow, give her 2 sips of water, turn on the nightlight, add 1 extra blanket, spray 3 pumps of lavender mist, find her stuffed bunny, tuck them in, turn out the hallway light, promise there are no monsters, 3 kisses, run and don’t look back.
I dress for comfort. Always. There’s no exception to this rule. I don’t believe in restrictive clothing or shoes that pinch my feet. I don’t wear my legs out when it’s cold outside. I just want to be happy in my clothes and comfy in my skin. When I’m uncomfortable I’m miserable…waiting for the day to end so I can get back into my sweats and under my blanket. So when I find a dress that I can wear in public that feels like a nightgown?? A win, for sure.