Sunday, June 30, 2013

5 Favorite Celebrity Mommies


Celebrity gossip. A guilty pleasure.  Although I can only take so much of the actual gossip, I can't get enough of Celeb Style. Here are my 5 favorite celebrity moms who happen to be some of my fashion favorites as well.


1. Kristen Bell



Can I just fangirl out here for a moment?! I La-OVE Kristen Bell.  She's cute, she's funny, she seems down to Earth and doesn't take herself too seriously.  Plus she's Veronica Mars. The perfect girl crush.  One thing I love about her is she still has not released pictures of her daughter, Lincoln.  Kristen wants to give her daughter the choice of being a "public figure." 




2. Michelle Obama



No matter what political affiliation you have, you can't deny that the First Lady has been very involved in the fight against childhood obesity by launching her "Let's Move" campaign.  I've seen her on Sesame Street and various Nickelodeon programs discussing exercise and healthy eating. She has also become a trendsetter for women of all ages.

3. Kate Middleton 



Although Kate hasn't given birth yet, I'm still counting her in this list. She's been called "the next Diana." Sweet, classy and bringing back the classic conservative look...she is definitely a great role model for young girls today.


4. Kristin Cavallari



Ok, I'll admit it. Back in my teen years...I was on team Kristin.  But now, she is on this list mostly for her style. And her shoe line. I also like that she wanted to do the mommy thing on her own and refused to hire a nanny- unlike a lot of other Hollywood wives.

5. Denise Richards



I know, I know... you're thinking "uh, what?!"  But Denise has maintained an abundance of class during Charlie Sheen's meltdown.  She didn't bad mouth him to the media and she is now raising the children he had with Brooke Mueller.  Good looking out for the best interest of the kids in both situations, girl!



Saturday, June 29, 2013

For the Soon-to-be Mommies and the Super Mommies

So as most of (probably all of) you mommies and soon to be mommies know... once mommyhood comes so does the advice.  Whether it was asked for or not.  We're all just trying to pass on the things we've learned.  And help our fellow moms. Because, hey, it's not easy! So we got to stick together and support each other.  But it's important to listen to your intuition as to what advice you should take and what you should leave behind with a smile.

Here are some of the pieces of advice that I received and think are worth passing on.

For First Time Mommies to Be

Image from Sojo.net


1. Enjoy some me time. Take a day (or a few) to do whatever you want.  Whether it be sleeping in and reading a book, going shopping, or having some spa time.

2.  Spend time alone with your significant other. Go on dinner dates, go see the movies you want to see, spend the morning lounging in bed and talking. If you're feeling up to it, go on a "babymoon" trip together.  Your lives (and relationship) will change after the baby is born.  Relish in this time you have together.

3  Be spontaneous. Get up and go without a plan. It will be awhile before you are able to do this again.

4.  See/go out with all of your friends as much as you can.  It's hard to get out to see friends with a new baby at home. Enjoy this time socializing and enjoy their company.

5. Stay up late and sleep in late. This is one of the luxuries I really miss. My sleep now is interrupted often so I sleep when I can.  Getting to CHOOSE when I sleep. Wow. I can't even remember what that's like.

6.  Get excited for your baby.  I know once the third trimester hits a lot of emotions hit as well.  Giving birth is a big deal.  But it's not as scary as I imagined it.  I didn't take birthing classes but my body seemed to know what to do.  And I knew when it was time.  Plus I had great doctors and nurses there to encourage me and reassure me. Of course, I received an epidural. So the last few hours before my son came were actually very relaxing.  Laying in a bed, with my husband next to me, and family visiting.

7. Listen to your intuition. Don't ignore your gut.  I firmly believe that our "animal instinct" is still very much intact.

8. Know that a whole lot of pure, unconditional love is about to enter your life. And though it will be difficult, it will also be the biggest joy you've ever felt.

For Super Mommies

Image from SupermomDecoded.com


1. We want to do it all...but it's ok to ask for help. When my son was first born I almost ran myself into the ground trying to be the perfect mom and the perfect housewife. You have to take care of you so you are able to take care of your baby.  Don't put so much pressure on yourself.

2,  I have a hard time with this one.  Have some time away from your child. Just a few hours here and there to be YOU.  A lot of women lose their identity once they have children and then are faced with an identity crisis once their children are grown.  Don't forget or leave behind your interests or the things that make you, you.

3.  This one actually comes from my mom.  No one, absolutely no one, will be able to care for your child the way you do.  But it doesn't mean they can't take care of them when you need a little break.

4.  Allow Daddy to have one on one time with your child/children.  It's important they are comfortable around each other even when you're not there. And it's important for them to have their own bond.

5.  Have "adventures" together as a family. Whether it's just going to the store, or visiting a new park, build the sentiment of the family unit.

Friday, June 28, 2013

For Baby and For Mommy

So I think that glorious time has come.  I think my son has begun teething.  Since I'm a first time mom, I'm not quite sure what to look for. I don't see any teeth or bumps on his gum line...but he is constantly putting everything in his mouth and chewing. Luckily, I'm a preparation freak and have already bough a ton of teethers. There are 2 that my son obviously prefers.

1. Amazing Baby: Blanket Teether Bunny by Kids Preferred


This is one of my son's favorite toys at the moment. If not his absolute favorite. It has so much for him to look at, touch, and teethe on. He loves the crinkle noise it makes and especially loves to play with the shapes. I bought this for him a while back with for Easter and I'm so happy I decided to buy this instead of a regular stuffed toy.


2.
Nuby Silicone Teether with Bristles




This is definitely the easiest one for my son to manipulate. He chews on both the bristle and smooth sides. It's also pretty inexpensive and easy to clean.


Now For Mommy


I'll be honest, I don't have much time to get myself together most days. My showers are quick and I barely have enough time to wash my body, hair, and face. So I've been looking for a product to use instead of shaving for my legs. My mission is to find something that's quick but has lasting results. So I decided to try...

Nair Lotion with Cocoa Butter





I decided to try the product with Cocoa Butter thinking it would be more moisturizing for my legs. Was it? Not really. The product still left my legs a little dry but nothing a little lotion couldn't fix. That being said, this product did it's job. I used it Sunday night and my legs are still pretty smooth. I would be interested in trying their other products- maybe their in shower cream. Overall, I was impressed. If you've tried Nair in the past I would reccomend giving them another try. Their product seems to have improved. They are also offering a $3 coupon on their website.



Well BB is sitting next to me tugging on my arm. I guess that's my que to get off the computer and take him for a walk.



Have a great Friday everyone!




Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Mary Kay Look - My Review



  Hello! I am excited to share my Mary Kay Review that I just couldn't wait until tomorrow to post it.  So I'm posting it here now! 

While BB napped today I tried all of the products I received from Influenster in my VoxBox. 









Once I was done putting on my face, I was surprised that BB was still napping and decided to go ahead and do my video review (below).  Sorry, I blabbed on a little bit.  I promise I'll work on that for next time! :-)



I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.


Products Received 
Mary Kay Cream Eye Color in Violet Storm - $22
Mary Kay Cream Eye Color/Concealer Brush - $10
Mary Kay Lash Primer - $15
Mary Kay Lash Love Lengthening in I <3 Black - $15
Mary Kay True Dimensions Lip Stick in Pink Cherie - $18

http://www.marykay.com/

Top Apps for the Shopping Mommy


shopkick
This app is awesome.  You earn points for simply walking in to a store.  You can then redeem the points for gift cards to stores like Target and Sephora or even a Coach handbag.  You can also link a credit/debit card and get points for money spent at participating stores.

Hautelook

This website/app offers discount items.  They list women's clothing and accessories, men's apparel, kids/baby apparel and items, home items, even hotel stays!

RueLaLa

Much like Hautelook, RueLaLa offers discount items.  They even offered a $5 sale this month to celebrate their 5th birthday.

zulily


Another discount store/app.  This one is actually geared towards moms and kids.


Discount Calculator



This calculator takes the brain work out of figuring out how much a discounted item is.  See screen shot bellow



Amazon

Amazon is my go-to.  But even if it's not yours, this is still a great app to have because of it's scan feature.  Simply scan the barcode on an item and Amazon will bring up what the item is listed for on their website.  This way you can see if you're really getting a good deal.




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pregnant Mommy - The First Time


Being pregnant is a blessing, a miracle , and a gift.  But, hey, I'll say it - for some of us - it can also be a pain.  I had always hoped I would be one of those women who breezed through pregnancy. Glowing, getting more beautiful by the minute, feeling great and bursting with energy.  I was not one of those women. I was sick my entire pregnancy and certainly didn't feel beautiful.... but knew the little one I was carrying was the biggest blessing I had received.  Here are things I learned (mostly the hard way) during my pregnancy.


First things first. "Morning" sickness. 
Nothing took away my morning sickness. Not even prescription medication. But these things helped me through the work day.

Ginger Gum - Available at CVS



Preggie Pops - Available at Walmart






Maternity Clothes. Why so much money?!


Walmart - Walmart.com (and select Walmart stores) have really great maternity clothes for incredible prices. They are decent quality.


H&M - I wish I would have know they had maternity clothes when I was pregnant. Cute, modern, and a great price.

Target - Target's maternity clothes go on clearance often so be on the look out for good deals.

Old Navy - Cute, modern, basic, comfortable.

Hot Flashes?! How old am I????

Hot flashes can be brutal. And come when you least expect it.
1. Make sure you are wearing a quality antipersperant
2. Try to wear clothing made of material that will let your skin breathe, like cotton.
3. Make sure you always have water with you.
4. Carry body spray with you
5. If they get unbearable... I'd even suggest having a spray bottle of water for yourself

They sell dopplers!

If I knew they sold these, I would've bought one just for peace of mind.  If you're someone who tends to get anxious or worries... watch out. Pregnancy can make you worry over every little thing. Having one of these would have probably calmed me down.

DO NOT READ THE PREGNANCY FORUMS!

I repeat DO NOT READ THE PREGNANCY FORUMS! Sometimes there is good advice but most times you'll be reading horror stories from misinformed people or people who are leaving out that they did something like drink/do drugs throughout their pregnancy.  Unless you want to spend your nights panicking and crying (like this lady did) then DO NOT READ THE FORUMS.  Buy a ton of pregnancy books, speak to your friends/family who have been pregnant and call your doctor if you have any concerns.

Speaking of Pregnancy Books...

Here are the ones I recommend. 




Take a Birthing Class

I didn't. When I was laying in the back of the car screaming in pain while my husband rushed me to the hospital... I wish I had. Some Destination Maternity store locations hold free classes (and free daddy boot camps!)

Get Ready For Baby As You Go Along.

Doing little by little throughout your pregnancy will make the experience a lot more enjoyable.  Trust me, by your third trimester you will feel tired and having a ton of stuff to do on your baby checklist will likely cause unnecessary stress.  You may also want to make sure you have the things you absolutely NEED ready first, in case baby comes earlier than expected.

Register For Your Baby Shower

If you leave it up to the guests, you'll likely get a lot of small cute baby clothes instead of the practical things you need. Let's face it, everyone loves picking out outfits for a new baby. It sounds a lot more fun than picking up some bassinet sheets or bottles. But when it comes down to it... you'll need the bottles over the cute outfit with the bows.

Stock up on Laundry Detergent

You'll be doing a lot of laundry.  I'm STILL doing a couple of loads of laundry a day and I have a feeling that's going to continue for awhile. 

Gerber's Cloth Diapers Make the Best Burp Cloths

I promise they do. Those thin, small, cute towels they market as burp cloths... yeah, baby's fluids soak right through those and onto you. They don't do much. Gerber's Cloth Diapers are cheap, super absorbent and soft. Plus you can also use them as a protective pad to place under baby when laying him/her down.We can all thank my mom for this tidbit.

This May Be The Most Important - Give Yourself A Break!

My doctor would always tell me - Listen to your body. If you're STARTING to feel tired STOP. REST. Do not wait until you are exhausted and can't go on. Don't push yourself and don't feel like you have to make dinner or you have to get that cleaning done right now. Trust me, over working and pushing your body while pregnant can lead to a trip to the hospital. Your health and the health of your child takes priority over everything, especially right now. Don't feel guilty for stopping to rest.

Love your Doctor

If you don't fully trust your doctor...look for another one.  This is the MOST important doctor in your life right now. You're not just going for a physical or for a sore throat. This doctor literally has your life and your child's life in their hands. You should feel 100% comfortable with your doctor and have complete confidence in him/her. 

They will try... but they just can't.

Your husband, your brothers, your friends who have never been pregnant... They will do everything they can to be there for you. They will try to offer comfort. But remember to give them a break if they say something or ask something silly. They just can not understand what you're going through. Not completely. I now see that there is no way I could've known how vulnerable pregnancy can make you feel before I was pregnant. How could I? I had never been there. 
Example : You feel a pain in your side that feels a little different than usual. Not excruciating but something about it alarms you. You start to become concerned and tell your friend who has never experienced pregnancy. She tells you she wouldn't worry about it and wait to see if it goes away.  What she doesn't understand is you're not worried for yourself. Your instinct has taken over and you are worried for your baby. And once that instinct kicks in. Oh boy, watch out. Nothing is going to stop you from making sure your child is ok.

Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help

With housework, with baby stuff, with lifting, with errands and most importantly with health issues. Depression can occur during pregnancy as well as after (postpartum depression).  It's not a sign of weakness, it's a complication of pregnancy/giving birth.  Familiarize yourself with the signs early on in your pregnancy. Be honest with yourself and those around you and ask for help if you find yourself exhibiting any signs of depression. Not only for yourself, but for your child.

Everyone is different, Every Body is Different, and Every Pregnancy is Different.

One thing that really got under my skin when I was pregnant was other women snootily saying "Really?! Well when I was pregnant I never had that!" In the words of Stephanie Tanner, "Well pin a rose on your nose".  Every woman experiences each pregnancy differently.  Don't let others feel as if you're an odd ball or you're being dramatic. Listen to/communicate with your doctor.  Surround yourself with supportive, understanding loved ones.  Don't feel as though you need to justify anything regarding your pregnancy to the others.

Get Headaches? Have Sinus Pain? Use this.

I am someone who gets bad headaches, sometimes migraines. While pregnant, especially in the first trimester, my go-to headache meds were off limits. So I found this. I used it warm and it really did help.

Get a Sound Machine

I had horrible insomnia during my third trimester. I downloaded some nature sounds on my iPhone but I really should've gotten a sound machine that played rain, ocean, nature sounds. Plus, you'll probably use it once the baby is born to help him/her go to sleep.

Exercise. At least a little.

I recommend prenatal yoga type exercise. Nothing strenuous. Something that helps you relax. I bought a ton of prenatal exercise DVDs and the DVD below is the only one I ended up using.  I also used their postnatal ab workout(also on this DVD) to get my flat tummy back.



Try to Enjoy Your Time

Even if you're sick. Even if you're anxious to meet baby. Enjoy the time you have [literally] connected to your child. Indulge in feeling his/her kicks. Let others pamper you. Enjoy it while it's "just the two of us".

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sometimes Slower IS Better…Slow Cooker Tips

I posted a little while back that I have fallen in love with my crockpot. Well that love is going strong.  As if cooking with a slow cooker isn't easy enough, I've found a few ways to make it even easier. Work smarter, not harder!

Ever have one of those days where you wake up, reach for a large cup of coffee, and think "How in the world am I going to get everything done today?!"  Those are the days when I whip out the crockpot.  I always keep frozen chicken breasts and frozen vegetables in the house.  I've now discovered another crockpot staple.  Marinade.  All of the spices and flavors you need in one pour.  I have been using Lawry's Marinade. It's a little thick for my liking so I usually add 1 part water to 2 parts marinade. Dump in the chicken, veggies, and some teriyaki marinade.  Cook on low  and you're done.  I also try to keep wraps in the house.  That way no matter what marinade I use, I can always create a yummy wrap.


Now to make clean up easier.  Clean up is always the worst part of cooking anything to me. I use Reynolds aluminum foil when baking and NOW I use Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners. 



These do make clean up easier, however, they are not perfect.  They are a little expensive. I paid $2.50 for a pack of four. Yikes.  But I figured they would be worth the money on days I'm running around taking care of an infant on a few hours of sleep.  They are a little difficult to get to stay in my smaller crockpot, but they get the job done. No soaking or scrubbing. Just remove the liner and throw away.



 (By the way, from one slow cooker cook to another... don't let the liner touch the inner part of the slow cooker, whoops)

Monday, June 24, 2013

New stuff in the kitchen and closet!

Check out Mommy's Kitchen and Mommy's Closet!

New Crockpot Recipes
New Snack Recipes
New Dessert Recipes

New Outfits

Shopping Mommy



Image from TripAdvisor.com

So I’ve had a rough time finding stores that have great prices and clothing for...well… women older than 18. Sometimes I can find appropriate, cute tops at Forever 21, but it’s always a task. Target used to be a go-to, however they have drastically increased their prices over the years (Who do you think you are Target?!) I usually shop their clearance section online now. Here are a few of the online stores I have found that have great prices and some cute clothing for women.

Walmart.com
Notice I put “.com” The Walmarts by me rarely have cute adult clothing in stores. But you can find some pretty nice things at unbelievable prices online. I even bought some of my maternity clothes here. The quality isn’t high-end but it isn’t bad either

JCPenny.com  
JCPenny has really great prices now. However, I must disclose, those prices come with another cost; time. I order a bunch of things from JCPenny that were listed as “in stock” online at the time of purchase. A day later I received an email apologizing saying all of the items I ordered were back-ordered and wouldn’t be in stock for a couple of weeks. About a week later I received another email pushing the date even further back. Finally I received an email saying my items had shipped, but a few of my items were canceled because they will not be getting them back in stock. It took over a month from the time I ordered for me to receive my shipment. I checked out some forums and apparently this isn’t uncommon. So if you need an outfit or article of clothing by a certain date, I would not recommend getting it from JCPenny online.

Thimble and Thorn  
Great prices on boho dresses

Urban Planet 
Cute Midi and Maxi Dresses, graphic tees

My Hot Shoes 
Shoes!

Mod Deals 
They do have teen-geared clothing but there are dresses, shoes, shorts, skirts, jeans and cardigans that may be appropriate for non-teens.


Shopping for Baby

I try to pick up what I can at garage sales or stores like Once Upon A Child that sell gently used baby items. There are also groups on Social Networks (ahem, Facebook)  for moms looking to buy/sell used baby items. I also use Target’s clearance section when they have things I need.

Carter's
It seems like Carter's online store is ALWAYS having some kind of sale. They have great deals and quality clothing

Crazy 8
Crazy 8 (by the same makers of Gymboree and Janie & Jack) has some cute, high quality clothing for very low prices.

Amazon.Com
I normally shop Amazon for toys, infant seats, bottles, etc. I’m an “Amazon Mom” and receive free 2 day shipping so it ends up being a great deal.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Biogaia





I promised to do a post on Biogaia (infant probiotics) so here it is! I’m not quite sure where to start, so I’ll start with how we came across this product.  My son had horrible gas with excruciating pain from the time he was 2 weeks old.  We tried gas drops, we tried gripe water, we tried lots of burping and tummy time. We tried putting BB on Nutramigen.  We tried Zantac.  Nothing worked.  We didn’t know what was wrong and long story short we were eventually referred to a Pediatric GI Specialist. Among other things, she recommended Biogaia. Probiotics. My first reaction was “Seriously?! Probiotics?” She said she had the same reaction when learning about this product at a conference but received free samples and had her patients try them.  She told us it works 80% of the time and there are no harmful side effects. Desperate for any amount of relief, we took a couple of free samples and tried them. 

I saw results within a few days of giving Biogaia to BB.  He wasn’t and still isn’t GI issue free, but at least now when he has his episodes, it’s more of a discomfort instead of pain.  It’s sold in Walgreens so if I run out, I just pop over to the store and pick up more.  The only downside is the cost.  For a 5ml bottle [see picture below] the cost is $30. I’ve tried a couple of times to wean BB off of them but every time I end up running out to the store and forking over $30.  I would recommend this product if your baby has a lot of trouble with gas and nothing else seems to work.  If gripe water or gas drops seem to cure your baby, I wouldn’t spend the money.  Also, I highly recommend going to a Pediatric GI Specialist.  Biogaia was just one piece of our journey to making BB more comfortable. 



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Musical Movie Mommy

Ah, Movies.  Love 'em!  Especially musicals from the 50s and 60s.  Many people in my age group have not been exposed to these classic films and I feel they are missing out! Here is my quick list of musicals I recommend.



Funny Face
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Kay Thompson

 

Kay Thompson plays a fashion magazine editor/publisher and Fred Astaire plays a famous fashion photographer. Both are looking for "the next big look" when Fred Astaire comes across Audrey Hepburn.  The story follow Fred's journey of turning bookworm Audrey Hepburn into a fashion model.  Believe it or not, this is a seemingly "impossible" task at first. This is a light, upbeat movie. Lots of catchy songs to love, beautiful costumes, and of course, a love story. 


West Side Story
Starring:  Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno and George Chakiris


This storyline is a familiar one, inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.  Two rival gangs, The Sharks and The Jets, fight for territory.  Maria (played by Natalie Wood), sister of the leader of The Sharks, falls in love with Tony (played by Richard Beymer), former member of The Jets.  Rita Moreno is the stand out (in my opinion) in this movie. She's always amazing!  I've seen this movie more times than I can count and the end scene still makes me cry. 

Gigi
Starring:  Leslie Caron, Louis Jourdan,Maurice Chevalier, and Hermione Gingold



This is a story of a friendship between a rich playboy and a girl who has just started her training to become a courtesan. I really wasn't expecting to love this movie but it's so good! I can't say much else without giving something away!


My Fair Lady
Starring:  Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway,Wilfrid Hyde-White, Gladys Cooper,Jeremy Brett

 
Based on the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, My Fair Lady is about a Phonetics Professor (played by Rex Harrison) who has set out to prove that how one speaks will determine their social class.  He finds an impoverished young woman (played by Audrey Hepburn) and boasts that with some work, he will be able to pass her off as a duchess at a ball.  This film is fun and always gets a few laughs out of me. Plus, the musical numbers are some of my favorites.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Some New Beauty Product Reviews


Happy Friday! Today BB and I had to go to the store to get some of his probiotics (brand name Biogaia, which I will write a post on in the future).  While we were there, I noticed a ton of cosmetics on sale. Yes! A great time to try some new make-up and share!

Maybelline Waterproof Mega Volum' Express Mascara - the MEGA PLUSH

I decided to try this mascara because I love the Volum' Express Colossal and this is in the same line.  This product is supposed to give tons of volume, thanks in part to the Flexor-Brush, but also keep lashes soft. I was so excited to try this product.  Right away I loved the packaging (who doesn't love that color blue?!) and was expecting some very glamorous lashes.

As soon as I started putting on this mascara I feared I had made a mistake.  I DID NOT enjoy the Flexor-Brush.  It was like trying to put mascara on with a wet noodle. Every time I went to swipe, the brush would move and barely touch my lashes. It seriously took longer to apply this mascara than any other mascara I've tried.  I kept going though and after several coats on each eye, I was in love with the result (see below). My lashes looked long and thick. No false lashes here ladies! I decided the tedious application process was worth the end result. I don't think I'll be using this daily because I normally only have a couple of minutes to apply my make-up each day, but I will definitely use it on days/nights we go out with family or friends and I have a little longer to get ready.  Overall review - thumbs up.






Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain



Let me just preface this by saying I am not a big lipstick girl. Not that I don't like the idea of lipstick, I just haven't found one I really like. I usually feel like 1. I look like a little girl playing dress up or 2. I can't stand how the product feels on my lips. Because of this I usually try tinted balm or some kind of lipstick alternative.

I literally couldn't wait to try this product. I tried it in the car right after I bought it. And lets just say it wasn't what I was expecting. I thought this would be akin to a tinted lip balm. Lots of moisture with some color. This product is more lip stain than balm. There is some moisture...just not the amount you would find in a normal lip balm. The color is also very vibrant with just one application. No "hint" of color here. Full on lipstick amount of color.

Once I got over the fact that this product wasn't what I thought it would be, I assessed it for what it is. It's actually a pretty good option for those who don't care for the feel of lipstick or stains. I definitely wouldn't wear this every day but it is nice for a more put together look when going out. It also stays put. Even after I thought I had wiped it off, my lips still had color (see picture below).

Another thumbs up overall.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Children's Television

It seems like I grew up during an era where family TV was a trend.  Sadly, that trend seems like its gone.  Full House, Family Matters, even Saved By The Bell were all shows that had some sort of moral to each episode.

I never really noticed the lack of truly wholesome TV shows today until I had my son.  You never know what you're going to get with "Reality TV" and most shows on the family channels seem to be geared to pre-teens and teens.  I think all of this contributed to me falling in love with good ol' Sesame Street again.

Yes, Cookie Monster now eats fruits and veggies, and yes, Elmo seems to be the main character instead of Big Bird, but Sesame Street continues to use television media as an educational tool - both academically and socially. Not only does Sesame Street teach numbers, letters, and counting; they also continue to tackle any social issues kids may be facing while dealing with tough issues head on. 

Did you know Sesame Street conducts research for every single episode before airing? They do this to make sure each episode is educational and has a positive effect on children.  One episode in which Snuffy's parents decide to divorce was never aired simply because the research showed kids would be too devastated to receive the positive message Sesame Street was trying to convey. I can't think of any other show that does so much to ensure the well being of children.

Below is a clip from one of my favorite episodes.  It's an oldie but a goodie.  When the actor who plays Mr. Hooper died, the producers decided to face the issue of death head on instead of replacing the actor.  It's a sad episode but I love how they truly deal with death (Saying "he died" instead of "he passed away"). The emotion you see from the actors is genuine and was shot in one take.




Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Redbox Instant by Verizon


Very excited to share my first BzzAgent Campaign! I recently joined BzzAgent and was determined to be a great, active member.  I love to try to products and share my findings with my friends and family so... why not, right?

For this campaign I was offered redbox instant by Verizon for one month, free of charge.  I was asked to try it out and then talk about my experience.  Overall, I had a great experience with this service.  Sign up is extremely easy. Name, email, credit card info, and you're done. With the subscription you receive free streaming movies and 4 credits to use at a redbox machine each month. I like the idea of the 4 credits. It's a lot more convenient to go to a redbox and pick up a movie on a whim than it is to wait for a movie to come in the mail.

The first thing I noticed once I signed up was how new some of the movies in the selection were.  I decided to watch "What to Expect When You're Expecting".  I had no problems watching this movie on my computer. The speed was great, no stopping during the movie. Also, the quality was great.  For some reason, sometimes the quality of my program is randomly pixelated on Netflix.  I did not experience this with redbox instant.

I decided to also test it out on my iPhone. The speed was a little slower than the laptop (which I expected), but wasn't bad.  I watched about 15 minutes of a movie on my phone and was actually impressed that the movie hadn't stopped or lagged.

Now for the things I wasn't too crazy about.  When I was looking to watch a second movie, it seemed like every movie I wanted to view had an extra cost associated with it. My feeling is if you're going to subscribe, there shouldn't be any extra costs to viewing any movie.  I also checked the selection for children (specifically the Sesame Street selection) and I only found one Sesame Street movie. This was a deal breaker for me since Sesame Street is sometimes the only thing that can calm down my son.  Needless to say, it's the most viewed program on our Netflix. 

Canceling my subscription wasn't a problem at all.  It was actually the easiest cancellation I have experienced.  I didn't have to search forever for the cancel option, it was right where I thought it would be in "Manage My Subscription".  I also didn't have to answer a bunch of question as to why I was canceling.  It literally took 10 seconds for me to cancel my subscription and I was done. Plus I can still view movies on a pay-as-you-go basis without the subscription.

Overall I was impressed with the service, it just isn't the right fit for me.  I would definitely recommend it to those who like to stream the latest movies and aren't satisfied with the "New Releases" on Netflix.  I would definitely recommend everyone at least try it if they keep the one month free trial period.  You seriously have nothing to lose.


Beach Mommy


Going to the beach used to be simple. Pack up some snacks, water, sunscreen, towel, maybe a lounge chair and I was good to go.  But since my new addition, going to the beach now requires many additional items. 

When preparing for my first beach trip with my son, I alarmingly realized..."I have no idea what I need!!!!" I scoured the internet trying to find tips.  I found a few... but not many.  Of course I would need bottles, diapers, extra outfits, and all of the usual necessities for an outing... but what about those needed specifically for a beach trip? Here is my list of what you'll need to take an infant to the beach.

Jogging Stroller
First off... if you plan on going on the sand with the baby, I recommend a jogging stroller.  I didn't realize I would need one of these until our first trip to the beach.  I walked up to the ramp leading to the beach and then it hit me... the sand will ruin the plastic wheels on my stroller. We had to have family stay on the ramp and guard the stroller while I carefully held my 20lb baby (I know... he's big) while I walked in the sand.  Our venture didn't last very long and it wasn't the relaxing family beach day I had pictured. But I did learn a valuable lesson!

Baby Powder
Luckily, I did find this tip online. Baby Powder easily and gently helps remove sand from a baby's soft, delicate skin.

Baby Sunshade
If you are one momma who prefers to bask in the sun and skips bringing a beach umbrella... you will need a shady place for your baby.  I recommend one what doesn't require any assembly and simply pops open and then collapses when you are ready to go.  The one I have is called "Instant Junior Sun Shelter" and is pictured below.






SPF Rash Guard, Swimsuit, and Hat
If you're baby is under 6 months of age you are not supposed to put sunscreen (not even baby sunscreen) on them.  Many clothing brands do make a rash guard that has SPF protection built in.  This is what is recommended for children under 6 months old.  Crazy 8 has some very reasonably priced, high quality swimwear for infants.


Baby Sunscreen (for 6 months and up)
If your baby is 6 months or older baby sunscreen is recommended.

Portable Chair or Napper for Baby
Oh yeah... baby will probably take a nap... and need somewhere comfy to sleep. Because our son is big for his age, we use the Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Portable Rocker (pictured below and it works out pretty well.  There are also several portable bassinets on the market.


That is my list for now.  I will definitely post an update whenever I come across my next "Beach Must Have"


Side Note:  I am very excited to say that I have product reviews coming soon! Between my active BzzAgent, Influenster, and Swaggable accouts I have quite a few products being sent my way to try and review.  My first review will be in the next few days.  I'm wrapping up my redbox instant by Verizon campaign with BuzzAgent and will report here shortly!



Monday, June 17, 2013

New New New!


I'm working on lots of new stuff!

New outfits in Mommy's Closet

New tab Mommy's Survival Kit - will be updated frequently with the baby/child products I could've have survived without!

I'm also working on my first BzzAgent Campaign.  I'll be sure to write all about it once I complete it.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Inspirational Mommy


This will be a regular "feature" on my blog - mothers who I look up to and admire.  Of course, my mother is one that will be featured in the future, but I wanted to start off with another mother I know.  Simply because I don't think she realizes how inspirational, amazing, and uplifting she is.

She is the daughter of my mother's best friend and the mother of  "Tin Man Flynn".  You can view some of the Flynn family's story below.



Even as she (and her family) continue to go through so much and be put in difficult and extremely emotional situations, she stays positive and upbeat -For her family, her son, and herself.  She and her husband also share their story in order to help raise awareness for Congenital Heart Disease.

Knowing her and her family is a blessing.  Not only is she truly an inspirational person, she is kind, caring and constantly there to help others with any motherhood questions/issues they may have.  She deserves every blessing she receives and more.

Nicole, you are an astonishing mother and person. Holden couldn't ask for a better mother. And I'm sure you will hear that from him one day.

You can follow Tin Man Flynn's blog here
Or follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mommy's Makeup and Beauty Added

Check out the new Mommy's Makeup and Beauty tab for reviews on some products I use!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fit Mommy!



So the hotter it gets the shorter and shorter my walks outside get with BB. We're going to have to start going in the evening before bath time I guess!  Exercise really keeps me energized during the day since I don't get as much sleep as I would like.  But it usually has to be a gentler exercise - otherwise I end up wearing myself out.  So long walks are perfect. 

This DVD is also perfect

I really love the ruah series.  I'm not one that loves to sweat or do routines that are super challenging.  Challenging does not motivate me.  If it's too hard... I just give up and don't do it.  But these are great - even for beginners.  Also I end up sweating (a little - not dripping!) but I feel so relaxed during the workout and refreshed after the work out.  I actually am looking forward to working out with this DVD again.

I did 15 minutes of this DVD while BB took his early afternoon nap.  Glad I did!

I also want to get a bike and bike trailer. That way once BB gets older we can take bike rides since I don't really care for running or jogging. Maybe I can get those for Christmas.

I've added a few more looks to the Mommy's Closet pinterest page. Check 'em out if you need some quick and easy outfit ideas!

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pinterest Links added!!!!


Why hello!

Did you notice the tabs above? I have added links to my Pinterest Boards for both Recipes and Quick and Easy "Looks" for different occasions.  This is an easier way to find what you're looking for.  I always thought it was unnecessarily time consuming to search through blog posts for a recipe so voila! A solution.  I LOVE to put together the looks so those will definitely be updated often.

Nothing big going on otherwise.  It's way to hot out to go on our long walks so I'm trying to think of (free) indoor activities to take BB to.  He loves his outings!  Today we went to the mall but I plan on doing research to come up with more creative indoor adventures for us.

Up north people don't go outdoors in the Winter, here we don't go outdoors in the Summer.  Unless it's to go in the pool, ocean or lakes!

That's all for now!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dressy...but not that dressy

Rainy again today so not much going on other than trying to keep BB occupied.

Hopefully the sun will come out soon so we can enjoy the outdoors.

Just a couple of more looks. This is for when you are going somewhere and your normal casual look just won't do. But it's not a "let's paint the town red" kind of event either. Maybe a family birthday get together, or a nice lunch out with friends etc.

I actually did two looks for this since I know there may be some moms out there who prefer not to wear a skirt when they are out with their little one. You're constantly bending down to take care of the child and don't want to worry about giving everyone a show! I get it! So I created the same style look with printed shorts. I also included both sandals and flats for each look since I know sandals are a no go if you haven't had time to pretty up those feet! Remember, you can find these looks for a lot less at stores like Marshall's, TJMAXX, Ross, H&M, Forever 21, JCP, Etc.
dressier


Chiffon top
maurices.com


Fat face
$28 - fatface.com


Alice + Olivia flat front shorts
saksfifthavenue.com


Miss Selfridge floral skirt
missselfridge.com


Wallis nude shoes
wallisfashion.com



Ancient greek sandals
myhotshoes.com


Forever 21
forever21.com