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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 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.

I sadly am at a place in my life where I can’t live without it— and I accept that.   My schedule is crazy, and 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. 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. I love that I have the option to work from home, but most days I’m meeting with clients in midtown, or at a coworking space in Brooklyn.

Time blocking works for entrepreneurs and business owners— whether you work in a formal office, a temporary coworking 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 helps to suppress my appetite until the day is over, and gives me the energy I need to make it through school pickup, dinner and homework.

(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.)
Click the link for yours!

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.

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!

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!
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.

Am I the only one who feels like this?

My 5 year old daughter leaves a trail of Cheerio dust, Legos and Shoppkins all over my home. Her fingerprints decorate my walls and she seems oblivious to the fact that clothes belong IN the dirty clothes hamper…not next to it or scattered down the hallway.

We moms work so hard. Stay at home moms, working moms, moms who work from home, single moms….all of us. In addition to keeping the staff in line at work, we’ve got to keep the little ones in line at home. Add laundry, cooking, cleaning….and all the BS housework in between and you’ve got a recipe for one tired Mama….(and one dirty house.)

Most people don’t know  how perfect of a destination Brookfield Place is for family activities on the weekends! Overlooking the Hudson River in lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City, it’s an amazing location for luxury shopping, sightseeing and great dining. Add their fun-filled events schedule to the mix, and you have all the pieces to the perfect weekend with your family! (Plus there’s a Saks Fifth Avenue and TWO Starbucks. What more do busy moms need on the weekends?) See below for links to the schedule for The Saturday Show at Brookfield for the kids, and an itinerary for the perfect weekend day at this beautiful downtown center. We made a day of it, inviting several friends to join us for a holiday kick off event. I danced to all the latest kid’s pop tunes until my feet were sore (I should have worn flats), had a fantastic lunch sponsored by Skinny Pizza and Sprinkles cupcakes and took photos with the jolliest Santa Clause in NYC.


Last month Cam had the opportunity to model for our dear friend and editor Katie Holdefehr of Real Simple Magazine. A incredibly talented artist, stylist and crafter, Katie created the ideas for the Halloween costumes featured in their story on Literary Inspired Halloween Costumes . Below, a DIY costume for one of our favorite characters…..the mouse from If You Give  A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numerof!

There are less than 30 days left until summer is over, so make sure to take advantage of every second of these beautiful, long sunny days. We spend our weekends dining al fresco every chance we get. This is one of our favorite dates.  Habana Outpost, on Fulton Avenue in Brooklyn is always a fun time. If you haven’t been, swing by for tacos and margaritas underneath their rainbow umbrellas and brightly colored benches. Their chicken fingers never disappoint for the kiddos and the live DJ keeps the mood fresh and fun.

“It is critical right now that kids see reflections of themselves throughout their school experience. In the leaders, in the teachers, in the classrooms, in the curriculum, in the books. Not in a tokenized way, but in a real way that makes them feel included and valued and like they belong. I also think it is helpful to allow students to see windows into other worlds, communities and ways of life. It’s a balancing act of making sure that you give them enough to affirm themselves, but a window to what the rest of the world is like. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be educating them for anyway?”

—Nancy Hanks, Chief of Schools, Madison, Wisconsin