Archive | January, 2013

Breaking Rules

31 Jan

When my husband has meetings after work and doesn’t get home until after bed time, the girls and I usually break the rules and the three of us snuggle in my bed and fall asleep together. They love it because every time they think he will be surprised to find them there. Last night, my husband was out so it was time to “break the bedtime rules” again. Both girls fell asleep relatively quickly because it was a long day and my youngest got hurt. Back in September she ended up in the ER with 6 stitches in her forehead, yesterday she was fighting to get in the stroller and banged her head. She ended up with a giant goose egg and a little nick which bled a little and got my oldest worked up at the sight of the blood.

As we were laying in bed, I started thinking about how lucky I was to have my two beautiful girls. As a stay-at-home mom, I often get frustrated and lose patience quickly over constant nagging, fighting, and leaving a trail of toys all over the place. It’s easy to get upset and yell but it’s nights like last night that you remember tragedies like Sandy Hook and think about how precious life is. Falling asleep next to my girls made me forget all the little things I easily get upset about. I cherish moments like last night because they won’t happen forever!

My beautiful girls who love to break the rule on occasion!

My beautiful girls who love to break the rule on occasion!

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National Blueberry Pancake Day!

28 Jan

Today is National Blueberry Pancake Day!  Cooking activities are an excellent way to keep kids busy on cold, rainy or snowy days like today.  Whip up some blueberry pancake (a few recipes below) with your child and eat them for lunch, snack, dinner, dessert or save them for breakfast tomorrow.

Blueberry Pancake Fun!

Blueberry Pancake Fun!

A few recipes:

1. Keep it Simple Blueberry Pancakes:  Perfect for when you are in a rush or need a simple activity for young children.  For 5 pancakes: Use  1 cup Aunt Jemima’s Original Complete Mix, 3/4 cup water, 1/4- 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Mix together in a bowl or we mixed in a measuring cup to make pouring the batter on the pan easier.  While pancakes are cooking, place blueberries in batter. Use as many or as little as your child would like.  My older daughter added chocolate chips for an extra sweet treat!

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2.  Driscoll’s Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes

Image from Driscoll's

Image from Driscoll’s

3. Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes: Add blueberries to this Whole Wheat Pancake recipe from Skinnytaste

Image from Skinnytaste

Image from Skinnytaste

4. Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes by Your Cup of Cake

Image from Your Cup Of Cake

Image from Your Cup Of Cake

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.

Wordless Wednesday: The Joy of Baking

23 Jan

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Friday Fun: Popcorn Pals

18 Jan

20130117-202720.jpgFriday nights used to mean a late night out with friends, now they mean snuggling on the couch as a family and watching movies. Of course, we have to have popcorn with our movie otherwise it wouldn’t feel like a movie theater. I had to share these amazing popcorn bowls because many friends have asked where I bought them. My mom purchased them for my girls when we went to Disney World last year. I have searched online because they would make a great gift and are perfect for movie nights. I found these adorable Disney popcorn buckets at Your WDW Store. The set includes four small buckets (Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy) and one large bucket with Mickey and friends. These buckets will also come in handy for National Popcorn Day which is celebrated tomorrow. 🙂

Image from Your WDW Store.

Image from Your WDW Store.

Disclaimer: I have never ordered from this site. It was the only place I have found other than at Walt Disney World parks to purchase these adorable popcorn buckets.

Naturino Rainstep: Our Favorite Winter Boot

17 Jan

20130117-193753.jpgEvery year I end up with a pair of Uggs and a pair of snow boots (that we may or may not ever use) for my girls.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Uggs are great for kids because they are very warm and comfortable but the girls already have mounds of shoes in lined up in my hallway.  This year to cut back on the amount of shoes to trip on or that would hardly be used this winter, I came across an amazing pair of Naturino Rainstep boots at Shoofly in Tribeca!  Naturino’s line of Rainstep shoes and boots are made with an exclusive Natex waterproofing membrane, transpiring water-repellent uppers and sturdy technical materials, feet will be warm and dry even on the coldest winter days. Naturino Rainstep offers mountain boots and shoes with a very urban look, not only in the first-steps range but for older children too. Whether it rains or snows, the adventure continues in total safety! So far they have worked out great!  I have not had one complaint of wet or cold feet and they look fabulous with their dresses, skirts and jeans.  Naturino Rainsteps are now our favorite winter boot!

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Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.  All information in italics came from the Naturino website.

Staying Healthy in 2013

15 Jan

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Knock on wood, my girls are off to a happy and healthy start in 2013. I try to stress to them the importance of hand washing or using sanitizer if we can’t get to a sink. If you have watched the news, or listened to parents talk you know there is a nationwide outbreak of the flu. I recently read that with the recent outbreak, a sports team has opted to tap elbows instead of the usual high-five after a game in hopes of preventing outbreaks among the kids- not such a bad idea when you think about kids dripping sweat and wiping noses on the field. With the large outbreak, it’s scary to think that this is only the start of the season and could go as late as May, according to the Center for Disease control.

With the promise to distribute $25,000 worth of cold & flu products to U.S. families in need, Vicks® has teamed up with the charity Baby Buggy, founded by Jessica Seinfeld. By sharing Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg’s Cold and Flu Survival Guide, Vicks® will donate a Vicks® Behind Ear Thermometer and Starry Night Humidifier to the non-profit. Find out how you can share and help those in need by clicking here.

Have a Happy and Healthy 2013!

The Naked Pancake

11 Jan

DSC_0295The mornings can be chaotic.  My daughter has to be at school at 8:45 and most days the girls aren’t up until 8 which makes getting them dressed and fed rushed.  I usually have to make something quick.  My girls love pancakes but with the rushed mornings it’s impossible for me to get all the ingredients together for homemade ones. I always have a box of  Aunt Jemima Original Complete on hand so all I have to add is water.  It’s easy to whip together and my girls love getting creative with what they add to it.  One day it’s all the fresh berries we have, the next day it’s chocolate chips, bananas and sprinkles.  Sometimes I even blend up zucchini or spinach to add with a fruit.  We have tried  mixing in their favorite fruit/ veggie pouches too.  The other day my daughter thought it would be fun to make “Naked Pancakes”.  She got a kick out of the name and couldn’t stop laughing every time she said it.  I didn’t know what she was talking about.  I thought she wanted a plain pancake until she said “no mom, a smoothie pancake”.  My girls LOVE the Naked Juice Smoothies.  They tried a sample once and were hooked.  Instead of adding water to the pancake mix, I added the Berry Naked juice.  It was a little thick so I added a little water to make it the consistency I wanted.  I served the pancakes with blueberries and a little side of  strawberry fig syrup for dipping.

To Make Naked Pancakes you need:

1 cup Aunt Jemima Original Complete Mix

3/4 cup your favorite Naked Juice Smoothie

Mix and add a few sprinkles for fun while they are cooking.

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Hope you enjoy them as much as my girls did!

Crunch A Color

9 Jan

The Holidays always bring unhealthy eating.  It usually starts at Thanksgiving which leads into Holiday parties and then before you know it the New Year is here and you need to get back into the routine of eating Healthy.  Over the Holidays my girls were on the road a lot.  They went through drive thru’s on their way up and down the east coast and went out to eat way more than they normally do.  Now that we are home, it’s time to get back into the routine of eating healthy and trying new vegetables.

Picture 19I recently came across Crunch A Color, a game to learn about healthy nutritious choices.  I will be purchasing this game soon to play during meal time.  To play, kids earn points as they eat servings of veggies, fruits, proteins and grains. Bonus points for trying new foods (2x points!) and good manners (e.g., setting the table, clearing the table, starting a conversation).  Sounds like something my girls need!  Not to mention, 5% of the profits support non-profit children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, FoodCorps, and Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard.  Can’t wait to get my girls crunching a color soon!

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Check out Crunch a Color’s Printables and Recipe Blog!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post.  All images and information in italics came from the Crunch A Color website.

ValMax: The Perfect Party Dress

3 Jan

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20121231-201644.jpgMy girls love every excuse to get dressed up in their best dresses.  They hear party and they run to their closet to pick out their fanciest attire.  The Holidays are usually their favorite time of year because they get to dress their best for family gatherings and parties.  This Holiday Season the girls dressed in dresses from ValMax, a luxury Italian children’s label that has been around for 53 years.  Their handmade clothing for girls 3-14 is simple, elegant, chic, and comfortable for little girls who love to dance the day away like mine do.  I was taken aback by the superb quality of the materials used and the beautiful styles of ValMax.  The dresses were true to size.  The purple dress was a size 6 and had a lot of room for my daughter to grow into it. The other dress was a size 4 (their actual size) and both my girls fit it perfectly.

ValMax is trying to enter a new era of the 21st century by implementing the trends while preserving their original vision, quality, creativity, style, and most of all their great tradition of Italian craftmanship. The inspiration for their collection comes from the lands of  Southern Italy, the love for color and the taste for richness in textures. The Autumn/ Winter 2012 collection features three themes:

  • Wishful Days combines pastels with hints of sage green, winter mocha and black and white Chanel-esque vintage tweeds.
  • First Bloom is everyday wear that makes a statement of individuality by using colors and prints to evoke the first blossoms of early spring.
  • Wonderland Blossom incorporates elegant occasion wear that features ultra light techno-silk combined with cashmere dresses and pleated shift dresses. 

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Just because the holidays are over, 2013 brings weddings and other special occasions that will need the perfect party dress from ValMax! Be on the lookout for the stunning Spring/Summer 2013 line for girls and a newly added line for boys.

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To purchase visit these online retailers: http://www.monpetitchild.comhttp://www.lavishkids.com or click here to find a store near you that carries ValMax.

Disclaimer: I received two dresses to see the quality of the label.  All opinions expressed are my own.  The information in italics came from a press release received and from the  ValMax website.  The bottom images came from ValMax