Tag Archives: Momtrends

Swimming is the #FunnestSport

17 Jun

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Summer is finally here.  In two weeks my girls and I will head down south to spend the summer with my parents.  They live on a lake, are a short drive to the beach, have a  pool at their house and a wonderful neighborhood pool not far.  My girls enjoy spending countless hours in the pool, taking dips in the ocean, and fishing on the dock by the lake.  At a recent event with SwimToday and Momtrends, I started asking myself why haven’t I signed my girls up for regular swim lessons, not only for fun but for water safety especially now that we spend summers surrounded by water.

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I recently attended a Momtrends event with Olympic Swimmer, Dara Torres and the SwimToday organization.  At the event we talked about the reasons for not signing up.  Some reasons were time and cost.  I was talking with a few of the moms and it was mentioned when is a good age to get your child swimming.   Is there a right age? I started talking about my 5-year-old daughter. I wish I had started her at a much earlier age.   I took her to her first swim lesson when she was two.  I thought having her older sister who was anxious to learn would help ease her fear of getting into the pool.  It didn’t, she screamed and refused.  She hasn’t been interested in learning.  She has gotten too comfortable with her pink water wings.  This summer there is no question she has to learn.

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Image from Momtrends

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Image from Momtrends

SwimToday, is a campaign to showcase swimming as the Funnest Sport that can take kids from learning to swim and continuing on to join a competitive swim team.  I have been able to locate facilities nationwide that offer lessons and teams for kids. I even found a facility not far from my parents house.  It was reassuring to hear from Dana Torres, that although she learned to swim early she didn’t join a team until 7 or 8.   Listening to Dana and parents of children who swim brought back many fond childhood memories on the summer swim team and swimming on my high school team. Not only is the comradery incredible, the encouragement and cheers can fill a room. After learning nearly 80 percent of parents don’t consider swimming as a competitive sport for their kids after completing swim lessons, I would love to encourage my girls to join a team as they gain confidence in the water.

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Image from Momtrends

Not only is swimming “fun”, there are many benefits. The top ten benefits to swimming are:

· It’s closer than you think – 62 percent of families live within 10 minutes of a pool; 52 percent of households with combined income of $50,000 or less report they have access to a pool nearby.  
· Everyone participates – Swimming is inclusive, there are no benchwarmers (nor benches)
· Swimming is a team sport – Only 16 percent of non-swimming parents view swimming as a team sport but parents of swimmers associate the sport with teamwork more than any other sport
· Suit up and go – Only a swimsuit, cap and goggles are necessary to get started
· Life skills – Swimming increases self-confidence, self-esteem, time management, goal-setting and social development
· Easy to learn – 76 percent of parents said the ease of learning to swim was high
· Low risk of injury – No contact makes for a safer environment
· Swimming = total body fitness – Burn 650 calories in an hour – more than walking, biking or team sports
· Sport for life – Once you learn to swim, you can enjoy no matter your age
· Swimming is FUN – Parents confirm that swimming is the #FunnestSport

Learn more at http://www.swimtoday.org.  Check out this  Q&A with Dara Torres  about her journey.

Do your kids plan on taking lessons or joining a team this summer?  What do you think about swimming as a team sport?

Disclaimer: I received swim lessons and a starter kit for attending the event.  I can’t wait to share our experiences with SwimToday.  Thank you to everyone who made the event possible.  Information in italics is from http://www.swimtoday.org.

New York Baby Show and Momtrends Blogger Lounge

21 May
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Image from Momtrends

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When I found out I was pregnant I was pregnant with my first child, I was overwhelmed by the amount of baby products. I was later surprised to learn of all the other wonderful products out there I had never heard of.  Over the weekend, I attended the New York Baby Show for the first time. The New York Baby Show, sponsored by Canon, was a two-day event that connects families with the latest products and services.

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Image from momtrends

The morning began with a ribbon cutting ceremony with Erica Hill and Sheinelle Jones from the Today Show.  Brands in attendance included Quinny, Maxi-Cosi,Britax, Safety 1st, Hansel & Gretel diaper bags, Skip Hop, Primary kids clothing line, Pottery Barn Kids, Love to Dream, and many more.   I was excited to discover a breastfeeding app. showing locations near by where you can breastfeed, definitely something I wish was around when I was breastfeeding. I also found Music to Your Home, a NYC based company providing in-home music lessons. (MORE BELOW PHOTOS)

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Throughout the day, seminars were held for parents to learn more about shopping for a new baby, breastfeeding along with the challenges and solutions, and buying a car seat and installing it safely.   These were just a few topics discussed that I would have greatly benefited from as a first time mom.  Another great aspect was the stroller test-driving track, allowing you to get a feel for the strollers on the market and decide which would best fit your family.

At the event, I was also invited to attend the Momtrends Blogger Lounge.  The lounge gave bloggers the opportunity to connect and share their favorites from the show room.  In addition bloggers were introduced to sponsors including GlamSquad, Mabels Labels, The Nanny League, NetNet, New York Family, Hatch Thing, Happy Family, and EssentiaPhWater.  Lunch was provided and attendees had the opportunity to get glammed with hair styles, make-up, and nails by GLAMSQUAD.  Thank you to everyone for a wonderful day!

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Image from mom trends

Learn more about the New York Baby Show, Canon and Momtrends by clicking the links.

Disclaimer:  I was compensated for this post.  All opinions are my own.

Getting Ready For The Holiday Season With Momtrends

18 Nov

Last week I joined Momtrends for their annual Holiday event.  Every year Momtrends brings together bloggers and great brands to showcase Holiday fashion trends as well as entertaining and gift ideas for the Holiday season.  This years highlights included:

Image from Momtrends

Image from Momtrends

Holiday fashion styled by Lands End and Stella and Dot. I had the opportunity to model a Holiday outfit from Lands End with four other great bloggers. For my Holiday look (pictured below), I’m wearing the Sleeveless Ponté Sheath Dress with Pockets, Women’s 3/4-sleeve Classic Cashmere Dress Cardigan Sweater & Emory Low Heel Boots (so comfortable) from Lands End. My accessories included the Pegasus Necklace (an amazing piece that makes a statement) & Déjà Vu Double-Sided Studs by Stella and Dot.  I will definitely be wearing it to my Husbands holiday party and every other gathering this Holiday season. 

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In addition to having fabulous outfits, Lands End has wonderful gifts for the entire family from wool hats to Holiday pajamas.  Stella and Dot also has amazing gifts for mom, grandmother, and daughters (they have a girls collection).

Lands End Gift ideas

Lands End Gift ideas

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Stella & Dot

I’ve always loved Little Me.  I miss the days when my girls wore Little Me especially after seeing the Holiday collection at the event.     Their super cute clothes go up to size 4T.  Perfect if you are looking for a gift for a new baby this Holiday or if you need an outfit for your little one.   I love the Holiday pj’s, below.  Adorable!

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One of my favorite things to do, especially during the Winter Months is cuddle up on the couch and read books with my girls.  We are always looking for more books to add to our collection.  I See Me Personalized Books showcased their latest books for personalization.  I love that they have Holiday books.  A great gift for the Holiday season because what’s more exciting than a child having their name in the book.  My daughter received a fairy book for her birthday one year and absolutely loves it.

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Cookie Decorating with Walkers Shortbread.  Walkers has been around since 1898.  It’s hard not to love the delicious shortbread cookies.  They now have festive shapes which can make decorating cookies this Holiday season easier for you as well as for the kids, no baking needed.  All you need are icing writers and sprinkles.  The cookies are outlined so kids can fill in areas with different colors or draw the outlines of the shapes. Perfect for last-minute Holiday play dates or to bring to holiday parties. Note: the box states that it is not suitable for nut allergies.

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I know what our Holiday Fun Friday is going to be spent doing.  We’ll be making duct tape crafts.  The Duck Brand has so many wonderful craft ideas, not to mention amazing deigns, on their site. You can also find more on pinterest.  Look at these fun ideas for your Christmas lunch/ dinner featured at the event,pictured below:

place mat, name card, utensil holder & gift box

place mat, name card, utensil holder & gift box

My daughter suffers from peanut/ tree nut allergies.  I was excited to learn about Vermont Nut Free Chocolates.  Their Holiday boxes are perfect to have at your Holiday party or a host/hostess party.  They make a great gift for teachers, friends and loved ones. No need to worry about any nuts.  Dying for another bite of the caramel truffle. Delicious!

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Teleflora is one of my favorites for decorating any time of year.  Not only do they have beautiful arrangements that can transform a room, once the flowers are gone there are other uses for their containers whether you are storing your Holiday cookies or using a mug your arrangement for your morning coffee.  It’s the perfect gift for the Holiday season, not to mention they have collaborated with Cake Boss Buddy Valastro and arrangements come with delicious treats and recipes.

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The most important tip for the Holiday season came from Momtrends founder, Nicole Feliciano.  She reminded us that the Holidays are for the kids and though it can get a little crazy it’s important to set aside special times with your little ones for hot chocolate or even a weekly ice skating session.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a wonderful start to the Holiday season!

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received a gift bag for attending the event in addition to the outfit and accessories.  Thank you Lands End & Stella and Dot for my outfit for the Holiday season.  Thank you to all the sponsors and a big thanks to Momtrends for a wonderful event.

Momtrends Travel Event

29 Apr
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Image from Momtrends

Although the weather is warming up a little, it’s still not that warm and my winter coat is still hanging, just in case. All I can think about is a beach, warm weather, and a nice relaxing time with my family. And after this never-ending winter, I think a vacation to a beach next winter will have to be planned. The other week I attended the Momtrends Travel event at Polarn O Pyret TriBeca.  Homeaway Vacation RentalsTravelSort, and Polarn O Pyret  gave lots of great tips for traveling whether going away for a long weekend or a week that I will put to use when we go on our beach vacation this summer and when planning future vacations.  Below are some of the tips and suggestions that were given to help plan a budget friendly vacation.

20130429-215506.jpgHomeaway Vacation Rentals offer over 500,000 properties in 170 countries around the world. Representatives were there to discuss tips for deciding where to go and where to stay. Tips included:

  • Reclaiming your destination: Include your children in the planning process in deciding where to go.
  • Reclaiming your budget: Staying in a rental property can save you money because they have multiple bedrooms and can easily be shared. You also have a kitchen so you will not need to order room service or eat out as much. They have pet friendly properties so you won’t have to pay a sitter.

TravelSort shared tips and tricks for getting the best airfare and making the most of your points. To get the best value, book about a year in advance.  Use business cards to gain points.  The more you spend the more points you get.

Polarn O Pyret, the number 1 children’s brand in Sweden, shared packing tips for kids.

  • Making a list is important so you don’t forget anything. Before you start, check the weather and think about the attire for your destination.
  • Be prepared and pack extra clothes for accidents and a jacket or fleece if it gets cold at night.
  • Check to see if a washer/ dryer or laundry service is available where you are staying, if so you may not need to bring as much.
  • Make sure to bring sunscreen especially when traveling to foreign countries because it is very expensive.

Where will you be heading on your next vacation?

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received a gift bag for attending the event.

Pantene PRO-V Expert Collection (GIVEAWAY)

25 Jan

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20130123-131111.jpgLast week I attended an event with Momtrends and Pantene to celebrate the Pantene PRO-V Expert Collection. The event took place at the gorgeous MPE Penthouse. The space offered stunning views of Manhattan while attendees mingled, sipped cocktails and ate passed hors’ dourves by a blazing fire. Dr. Jeni Thomas, P&G’s Senior Scientist, was in attendance to speak about the hair aging process and the Expert Collection. She was available for questions and answers after. Below is information you may find helpful that I learned from the event:

  • The Expert Collection is more complex to address the issues of aging hair. There is more proof behind the research than with Pantene’s base collection. It was created to help hair look up to ten years younger, add bounce, and a thickening agency is used to aid the loss of thickness in hair diameter.
  • Hair ages intrinsically, starting as early as 30’s, where biological changes impact scalp oils. It also changes extrinsically, similar to UV exposure for skin.
  • The Age Defy products fight the 7 signs of aging: Breakage, Split Ends, Frizz, Unruly Grays, Lackluster Color, Thin Look, and Dryness.
  • How to prevent gray hair? Gray hair is all about biology. Blame your mother! ;) Environmental factors and smoking may also contribute to early gray hair.
  • Women with curly hair may notice that their hair is drier because the oils from the scalp have difficulty traveling down the curvy strands. Advanced Keratin Repair products are helpful to moisturize curly hair. Try the 60 Second Therapy and the Split End Fuser.

After we learned about the collection, attendees were able to get their hair done by stylists using Pantene products. There were three styles to choose from and I chose “Beach Waves” because I thought I could recreate it at home if freelance stylist, Owen, explained how he created the look. Seems a little harder than I anticipated but one tip he gave was wrap the hair around the curling iron and don’t use the clamp.

IMG_5131I am constantly on the search for hair products to keep my hair looking shiny and healthy. My hair is thick, frizzy, and has a lot of split ends. To get it straight, I have to blow dry and straighten my hair. Most products I have found that my stylist uses are at least $20 a bottle, if not more, and I get home and don’t love them. For participating in the event, I received products from the Expert Collection to test out. Right now I am using the Advanced Keratin Repair line and love it. Not only does it smell amazing, it leaves my hair looking shiny and smooth.  It is also a lot less than the products I had purchased before. My mom was visiting recently and found that it was nourishing to her aging, color treated hair.  She was also pleased by the smoothness and shine (pictured on right).

ageless beauty collectionEnter to win the Ageless Beauty Collection (pictured to the right) by:

The more times you enter, the more chances you have to win.   Giveaway ends on Friday, February 1st at 12 p.m.  Please leave a comment for every entry!

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received products and a gift for attending the event. All opinions expressed are my own.  Any information posted was from the event.  Some photos are from Momtrends and Pantene.

Holiday Entertaining Event With Momtrends

15 Dec

20121214-171038.jpgI don’t entertain very often. In fact hardly ever. I love the thought of having a great party but I never know where to begin when it comes to picking a theme, how to decorate or what and how much to serve. I need someone to do it for me because I have a hard time making decisions (Thank goodness for my mom and the wedding planner when I got married). My family will be coming up Christmas Day and my husband and I will be in charge of organizing decor and food! Thank goodness for the Momtrends Holiday Entertaining event I went to at The New Traditionalists gorgeous showroom!  It was so beautiful I want to redecorate my apartment with all their custom-made furniture!

20121214-171029.jpgAt the event, Elizabeth Mascali and Dawn Sandomeno of Partybluprints spoke about how to plan a party. Tips shared- find your inspiration, choose a color, keep it simple, keep in mind the vibe and don’t forget about decorating the space (chandeliers) above the table. In the image to the right, you will see an all white table set up with the Heavens as their inspiration. To get the heavenly look angel wings were added to all the glasses.  A little sparkle on the place card frames and snowflakes dangling in the chandelier above added a beautiful touch when it caught the light.  For the kids, use a mitten for utensils and use some of your favorite decorations for the table.   If you need help for your next event check out their book Plan to Party, which shares everything you need to know for entertaining from start to finish with menu ideas and grocery lists included! I may have to throw a party soon!

Picture 2With keeping it simple in mind, I was very excited to meet Loren from Sweet Loren’s. I have a holiday party this weekend I offered to bring dessert to but don’t have much time to bake. I will definitely be running to Whole Foods to get the delicious ready bake brownies and one of the cookies. There are so many yummy cookie choices; bold espresso chunk, chewy oatmeal cranberry and heavenly chocolate chunk. There is also a nutty peanut butter oatmeal cookie that was amazing but will not be baking at home because of my daughters allergy. Note that the dough is made in a faculty that contains nuts. And even though cleaned, not recommended for children with allergies (more for me). To add festive flare, Loren suggested adding sprinkles.
20121214-171102.jpgIf you don’t entertain much like myself and love going to parties, Momtrends showcased great gifts for the hostess which included rewined candles, a Dabney Lee monogrammed bottle cover and serving tray, as well as a Gaiam recycled paper frame. My favorite of the night to give as a gift or add a little fun after dinner is the game Typecrush. I became addicted after the event and it is a must for after my Christmas Day dinner.

Thank you to Momtrends and all who sponsored the event.  To see the Momtrends recap and a list of all the sponsors, click here!

Happy Entertaining or Party Going this Holiday Season!

Girls, Get Ready to Sparkle With The Children’s Place Holiday 2012 Collection

7 Aug

Last week I attended the Momtrends preview of The Children’s Place 2012 Holiday Collection, expected to hit stores in September.  Attendees ate hors d’oeuvres, sipped on champagne, wine, or sparkling water while mingling with fellow bloggers. and learning about the fashion trends for the 2012 Holiday season.  The event got me very excited for the Holidays, even though it is August, it got me thinking about everything I love about the holidays: friends, family, parties, food, drinks and decorating cookies with the girls( I received beautifully decorated snow flake cookies for attending).

As I was putting my pictures together for this post, I realized I only took pictures of the girls collection which is full of sparkles and sequins.  My girls love to pick out their own outfits and when we shop the highlight is trying on clothes in the dressing room while putting together outfits in their very own “fashion show”.  I already know they are going to LOVE this collection and I found a few pieces I want to add to their closet. My youngest likes to look at pictures on my phone and she came across the pictures of the hats and boots and told me she wanted the pink as well as the purse, bracelets, and necklaces.

Every year I wait to the last minute for the girls Holidays.  Thank you Momtrends and The Children’s Place for giving me a head start in picking out their Holiday outfit.  Can’t wait for the collection to hit stores so I can start shopping!

Disclaimer:  I received a bag for attending the event.  This did not impact my opinions. All opinions expressed are my own.

Braving The Streets of NYC In A Miraclesuit {Review and Giveaway}

23 Jun

Hosted by MomTrends, Miraclesuit and Wilhelmina model Roshumba Willliams

Image from MomTrends

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from MomTrends looking for mom bloggers to volunteer to wear Miraclesuits® during their event withMiraclesuits®.   I was hesitant because the e-mail said there was a possible appearance on the TODAY show. I was with my mom when I got the e-mail, told her about it and she told me I should do it.  I impulsively replied back that I would, not knowing all the details. I am usually pretty shy and it takes a glass of wine or two for me to come out of my shell, so this was a BIG challenge for me.  Once I started finding out more and more details I had thought about backing out but decided I needed that challenge.  I can now say I braved NYC on a SWELTERING HOT day in a Miraclesuit® with Wilhelmina model Roshumba Williams and eighteen other women to celebrate the first day of summer.

Prior to the event I went into the Miraclesuit® office to try on different suits to find one that fit me best for the big day.  Miraclesuit®  designer swimwear will make you Look 10 Lbs Lighter in 10 Seconds, the time it takes to slip one on. Miraclesuit® swimsuits are constructed from a proprietary blend of control fabric called Miratex. This fabric slims and slenderizes without relying on constrictive control panels or inner linings. The high concentration of Lycra spandex means that Miraclesuit’s keep their shape… and yours.(from Miraclesuit.comI don’t usually wear a one piece and I usually do strapless but I loved the suit I ended up with.  It was comfortable and slimming, sometimes one pieces aren’t very flattering but this suit was.  I even loved the low V neck line.  I felt great in it and will definitely be wearing it again poolside with my two girls.

Sonatina Swimwear $142, similar to the style I was wearing.

At the TODAY show. Image from Miraclesuit

The Miraclesuit Celebrates Summer Event took place on Thursday, June 20 in NYC.  On the morning of the event all the women in swimsuits, myself included, met at Rockefeller center in our heels and suits.  We walked around Rockefeller Center wishing everyone a happy first day of summer and passed out flyers about the promo for free shipping all day.  After we headed into the NBC store to be in the audience of the questions asked during the panel of “Guys Tell All” (click and watch video to see if you can find Miraclesuit® women) during Kathie Lee and Hoda on the TODAY show.  After taking over Rockefeller Center we joined Roshumba Williams and fellow bloggers on a NYC double-decker sightseeing bus and made stops around Manhattan handing out Miraclesuit Giveaway Bags. In about 100 bags there were “golden tickets”, redeemable for a FREE Miraclesuit® valued at $150.  Despite the heat, everyone was energetic and pumped to celebrate the start of “summer in the city”.

Giveaway Bags- Image from MomTrends

If you didn’t  make it to one of the stops, you still have the chance to win a Miraclesuit® for a “sexy summer”.  Miraclesuit® is providing me with a swimsuit to give to ONE reader/ follower.  All entries must be recieved before 6pm on Tuesday, June 26th. To enter:

Leave me a comment telling me your favorite Miraclesuit® style (comment for every entry you do)
“Like” Miraclesuit on facebook

“Follow” Miraclesuit on twitter

“Like” Tastefully Childish on facebook

“Follow” @TastefulyChldsh on twitter

Disclaimer: I received compensation and a swimsuit for myself and for a giveaway for participating in the event.  They did not alter my opinions.  All opinions expressed are my own.

MomTrends at Exhale Spa Meatpacking

24 Apr

Image from exhalespa.com

Last week I attended the MomTrends Living in Style Event at Exhale Spa Meatpacking.  The morning started with a choice of a spa treatment: a polish change with Scotch Naturals, a massage, a skin consultation, or ear seeds from Exhale Spa.  I decided to try the ear seeds since I had never heard about them before.  Ear seeds are an acupuncture therapy in which a hard seed(s) are taped to different pressure points in your ear to help relieve stress.  Seeds can last up to 2 weeks, mine is still there a week later.  I am not sure if it is helping me relieve stress though.  I only had one seed placed in and with both girls going through difficult stages in the toddler years, I think I may have needed a few more put in.  Not sure if I would go back for more seeds but I would love to go back to try other acupuncture therapies or the acupuncture massage.

Ear Seed

After therapies, delicious wraps were provided by The Fresh Diet and dessert from Keep It Sweet. While eating I listened to presentations from sponsors: Stokke, Belabumbum, Exhale Spa, and Jill Vegas and was able to check out their products.  Did you know that parents send their kids to college with their STOKKE Trip Trap Highchair to be used as their desk chair?  Such a great idea that I will do with my girls.  I have so many friends who are new moms and have needed ideas for a gift.  I love Belabumbum’s adorable mom and baby sets, my favorite is the Starlit set.  Jill Vegas inspired me to redecorate my apartment during her presentation.  She showed different ways to add bright colors like peony pink and blue lapis into the home without going over the top.  I may need to sign up for Jill’s six-week online speed decorating class that starts in June.  Other sponsors included: FunBites, Method, Scotch Naturals, and Karin Von Voigtlander Photography.

STOKKE Trip Trap

Mom and Baby Sets: The perfect shower or Mother's Day gift for a new or expecting mom.

Peony Pink! Image from MomTrends.

After the presentations, I took a Core Fusion Classwith Anna G which was ridiculously hard but an excellent workout.  The class focused on all areas: arms, legs, glutes, and abs and included stretching between sets. My core has never been the same since becoming a mom but I think with a few more classes I can get relatively close to where I was before. I was very sore for a few days after but it reminded me that I need to take time out of my day to get back into shape.

Image from MomTrends

To read more about the event, see the MomTrends recap.

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received a generous gift bag with products from the sponsors.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you to MomTrends and the sponsors for putting together a wonderful event!

Spring Cleaning for the Ralph Lauren Kids Spring Collection

29 Mar

Let the Spring cleaning begin!

Maddie has been on Spring Break for the past week and a half.  Last week we went down to Virginia to visit my parents. Last minute I decided to leave the girls down there for the weekend so that I could do Spring Cleaning because it is impossible to get any cleaning done with the girls around.  I spent almost an entire day going through the girls closet and drawers, getting rid of Fall/ Winter clothes and Spring/Summer clothes they have outgrown to make room for new clothes.  It felt so good to purge and surprisingly I got a lot more accomplished then I thought I would.

Image from MomTrends

Right before we left for Virginia, Maddie and I attended the MomTrends RL Gang: Class of 2012 Meet and Greet Party at Bloomingdales on 59th.  It was a fun afternoon with a balloon artist, RL Gang coloring book tables, and a book to make a Flipping Fun eBook.  We snacked on yummy cupcakes and sipped on water and juice boxes while members of the RL Gang: Class of 2012 were interviewed and their video featuring the Spring line previewed on a large screen.

Members of the RL Gang: Class of 2012. Image from MomTrends.

After the event, Maddie and I had some quality time to shop.  Maddie picked out her favorite Ralph Lauren pieces while we got advice from stylists available to those who attended the event.  Now that the girls have room in their closest I will definitely be going back for more of the Spring collection because it is ADORABLE.  I want it all for the girls. :)

Image from MomTrends.

To find out more about the event see the MomTrends post.

Check out Maddie’s Flipping Fun eBook.

More images from the event below:

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post.  I received a gift bag for attending the event.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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