This is part of a sponsored collaboration with AstraZeneca and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

October is National RSV Awareness Month. 

What is RSV?

RSV is a common seasonal virus that typically occurs between November and March in the US and is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies in their first year of life. Premature babies are particularly at risk for developing severe RSV disease due to their underdeveloped lungs. Nearly 100% of infants will contract RSV by the age of 2. 

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RSV is something I am all too familiar with. This past March, at the tender age of 6 months, my son ended up getting it. As a first time mom I always made sure to be extra precautious when out with him and I carried, as well as used, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes like it was my second job. Letting my guard down just ONE time is what ultimately led to him getting sick. The weather that day was beautiful and I decided to head to the park to stroll around just so we both could get some fresh air. I ended up passing by the newly renovated kids park and thought it was about time he got to try out the swings. He laughed and smiled so big while on them and we truly had such a great time. A few days later I noticed he just wasn’t himself. He wasn’t very active, had a runny nose and had a slight fever. Within 24 hours of noticing those signs, I also noticed his breathing was different and his fever spiked. When I brought him to the pediatrician he was diagnosed with RSV and we were given a nebulizer to treat him. I drove myself nuts upon returning home retracing my steps and trying to figure out who he was around that could of passed this on to him when it hit me — THE PARK! I was so in the moment that day I never wiped down the swing (ok, I know that might be extra but I still feel like I should have done that) or his hands when he got off. I have a ton of pictures and videos of him on the swing and his hands are in his mouth the whole time! I felt so defeated as a Mom at that point but my main concern was getting him better. I knew RSV was not your typical cold but as a first time mom, all of this was new to me. The next day it was even worse and we ended up having to take him to the hospital. He was having a tough time breathing since he was so stuffy which basically led to him to not wanting any fluids and I feared he would end up dehydrated. Seeing him in that mini hospital gown and watching what he was going through was so heartbreaking but it was a relief when we got the OK to go home. I had to monitor him closely for the next few days and it was such a great feeling once he was back to himself.

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I wanted to share my experience with RSV because any child can catch it – even those who have a mom, like me, who is extra when it comes to trying to keep their child germ free.

Now that you know what RSV is, let’s talk about the signs as well as some ways you can help prevent RSV. Babies lungs are fragile and it’s important us parents know how to keep our little ones safe this season. Severe RSV disease can cause up to 125K infant hospitalizations and around 200 infant deaths in the US each year. 

What are the signs of RSV?

-coughing or wheezing that does not stop

-troubled breathing / gasping for breathe

-fever over 100.4

-bluish color around mouth and fingernails

– spread out nostrils or caved in chest when breathing

*Please call your baby’s healthcare provider if you see these symptoms of RSV

How do I prevent RSV?

RSV disease is spread just as easily as the flu. Sneezing, coughing and toughing are all examples of ways RSV can put your infant in risk.

 -Wash your hands throughly before holding your baby and make sure others do the same

-Keep your young baby away from large crowds, young children and people with colds

-Wash your baby’s toys, bedding and clothing often -Don’t let anyone smoke around your baby. Tobacco irritates babies airways and can affect the growth of their lungs.  

*There isn’t a cure for RSV diesease but there are measures you can take to prevent it.

Visit http://bit.ly/RSVProtection to learn more about RSV disease and how to help keep your child healthy this RSV season! #LittleLungs #RSVAwarenessMonth

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness month so we should all be thinking PINK!

Here’s some items that when you purchase them this month, will help support the cause.

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  1. Ralph Lauren Tender Romance ($96) – To support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Ralph Lauren Fragrances is proud to anniversary its Pink Pony campaign with the sales of best-selling TENDER ROMANCE. Packaged with a signature pink ribbon to herald the cause, 100% of profits from every bottle sold will be donated to Ralph Lauren’s Pink Pony Fund, a worldwide initiative to fight against Breast Cancer, which supports programs for screening, early diagnosis, treatment, research and patient navigation.
  2. Teleflora’s Pink Grace Bouquet ($55+) – Celebrate a fabulous woman in your life with a beautiful mixed bouquet featuring pink roses and arranged in a perky pink cube. She’ll be thrilled with this charmingly feminine gift – and touched by your thoughtfulness because it is also a gift for others! Send this featured bouquet and Teleflora will donate 15% of the purchase price to support the vital work of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.
  3. Sabres pepper spray with Pink Ribbons ($10) – Purchase a product that not only can keep you safe but also supports an amazing charity. Proceeds benefit National Breast Cancer Foundation (over $1.25 million donated so far!)
  4. Clinique Moisturizing Lotion+ ($38) – This set features a limited-edition jumbo size Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ paired with a pink BCA key ring. $10 from each sale goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, dedicated to finding a cure in our lifetime.
  5. Carbon 38 Audrey Leggings ($98) – Pink is so much more than just a color when it comes to these ombre leggings. Exclusively designed and named in loving memory of a Carbon38 family member, $10 of the proceeds from each pair of leggings sold will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, helping to find a cure.
  6. Alex + Ani Spiral Sun Charm Bangle ($38) – Change is constant. It is ongoing and rhythmic. The spiral reminds us to go with the flow and accept where life carries us. Feel the sun’s warmth, nourishing as it shines upon us, and receive its vital force. ALEX AND ANI will donate 20% of the purchase price* from each Spiral Sun Charm sold to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Walt Disney World – The happiest place on earth!

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When Disney reached out to me to attend the Royal Welcoming of the First Latina Princess, Elena of Avalor, I screamed YES with no hesitation. I’ve been to Disney twice, once with my madrina and Tio Danny when I was about 7 years old and another time in High School when I had the opportunity to play in a Disney softball tournament. This was my first trip as an adult and I felt like I could really soak in this experience. I knew I was only going to be in town for about 30 hours so I was looking forward to making the best of it.

We stayed at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

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The property is absolutely beautiful and filled with charm. The staff was so friendly and very accommodating.

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Upon checking in, I received my Disney MagicBand and went on to explore my room as well as the property until it was time to meet up with some of the ladies to have dinner + dessert at Epcot.

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After checking into Epcot, we dined at La Hacienda de San Angel which served an authentic Mexican cuisine and killer margaritas. The best part of dinner had to be getting to know all the girls, great conversation and a ton of laughs. When we were done we headed to the Italy Pavilion for a private dessert party where we had front row seats to IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, which is an incredible show that features fireworks, pyrotechnics, laser lights, fountains, and fire to create a visual production on the park’s World Showcase Lagoon. It’s an absolute must see!

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The next day I was up bright and early because I was so excited to get together with the group again and head to the Magic Kingdom for the Royal Welcoming for Princess Elena.

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Cinderella and Prince Charming appear on the stage of the castle, dándole la bienvenida (giving a welcome) to everyone to this magical kingdom and introducing their special guest from Avalor. Princess Elena arrives accompanied by a troupe of regal banner carriers and musicians and when asked to share her historia, Elena
picks up a guitarra and joins her musicians in a performance of the song “My Time,” recounting her magical adventures and triumphant return to Avalor.

It was truly magically to witness this and as a Latina, made me super proud! After the Royal Welcoming we headed to a Disney luncheon where we got to meet and interview all the important people behind Elena of Avalor and even got to meet the princess herself.

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This trip, while short, was an incredible experience and I’m so glad that so many of you followed along with me on Instastories (@pearls_and_paris) and Snapchat (pearlsandparis). THANK YOU Disney for a magical time.

As many of you know, my son is turning ONE in just a few weeks and so we have planned a Family Disney trip for mid October!!!! Make sure you stay tuned as I will be sharing every step of the way with you guys while there.

This fall, Philosophy, the wellbeing beauty brand, is collaborating with Golden Globe nominee and 2015 People’s Choice Awards winner Ellen Pompeo on a campaign to eliminate stereotypical perceptions of middle age and introduce a much cooler option based on the facts. To celebrate the release of Uplifting Miracle Worker, Philosophy and Ms. Pompeo will promote a new reality—that middle age can be the coolest time of your life—inviting women to remove the anti in anti-aging and replace it with cool. Women everywhere are invited to join the conversation and declare themselves or women they admire #CoolAgers through original interactive content and social media activity.

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Did you hear? The mid-life crisis is over! A recently released 25-year longitudinal study conducted by the University of Alberta has demonstrated that the phenomenon known as the “mid-life crisis” is unfounded and therefore untrue. Their study shows that happiness actually improves consistently over time. To celebrate this sentiment, Philosophy will launch original video content featuring Ms. Pompeo in comedic, stereotypical roles that have historically defined middle age. Giving the message greater depth will be the host site of the video—CoolAger.com—an online destination for women defined not by chronological age, but rather a will to live life by their own guidelines. The website will feature contributions by renowned authors to serve women young and old who want to envision their lives as uplifting, enlightened experiences instead of a series of planned events.

“At Philosophy, we believe that women should act their age in all the right ways, and Ellen’s admirable, effervescent approach to living well and aging positively is a powerful way to lift spirits and spread a message,” says Rachel Shelowitz, Vice President, Global Marketing, Philosophy. “The philosophy of Uplifting Miracle Worker is ‘Happiness is feeling cool, calm and uplifted,’ a sentiment that not only ties perfectly to the CoolAger campaign, but also to Philosophy’s longstanding message that beauty lives within.” Adds Ms. Pompeo, “I am thrilled and proud to be partnering with a company who has two very important goals: to break down negative stereotypes that society has placed on women regarding their age, and raise awareness and funding for women’s mental health issues.”

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As with every launch, Uplifting Miracle Worker will inspire both beautiful skin and beautiful days, with contributions toward women’s mental health causes. In July 2014, Philosophy launched the Hope and Grace Initiative, the cornerstone of the brand’s philanthropic mission wherein 1% of Philosophy product sales across all retailers supports community-based organizations working to empower women through the promotion of mental health and wellbeing, and the prevention and treatment of related issues. Unique to Uplifting Miracle Worker, Philosophy will donate $10,000 to the Aviva Family and Children’s Services, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing community mental health services and support to at-risk children and families, and personally chosen by Ms. Pompeo. To date, Philosophy has granted $1.8 million to 29 mental health organizations across the country.

While this is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Always and Latina Bloggers Connect, all opinions expressed are my own.

Getting to the gym a few times a week is a little more difficult these days since becoming a mother. You have so many other things to worry about and take care of that fitness can take a backseat. I’ve been trying to find a little extra motivation so what I’ve been doing is keeping my gym bag already packed and close to my front door as a reminder to just grab that bag and go! I feel like I carry so much stuff in mine but it’s all items that are super useful and products I use frequently.

So… here is what’s in MY gym bag:

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 1. Towel – Chances are after a good workout, you will be sweating! Because of that, I make sure to always carry a towel with me.

2. Face Makeup Wipes – I’m usually on the go prior to making it to the gym so by keep these wipes with me, it guarantees I can wipe my face clean before my workout.

3. Deodorant – ….for those times when you just absolutely need some lol

4. Sandals – I love taking my sneakers off after a hard workout and throwing these on to give my feet some relief.

5. Ipod + Earbuds – I love getting in the zone while working out and that includes good music, so I make sure to have the essentials with me.

6. Always Sheer Dailies and Wipes – The Always Sheer Dailies is a thin flexible panty liner that is so comfortable that you can wear it all day, including during your workouts, which is why I always make sure to carry a few in my gym bag. Always wipes keep me feeling fresh ALL day and since they come conveniently individually wrapped, they are perfect for on the go. Adding Always Sheer Dailies and Wipes to my daily routine helps me stay shower fresh – before, after and during my workouts.

So… what’s in YOUR gym bag?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Always. The opinions and text are all mine.

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