Motherhood vs. Beauty Product Labels – What I Wish I Knew Back Then

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Mom Confession: Whenever Branden was born, I didn't buy all organic, or mostly organic, like I do now. In fact, I really didn't know much about it. I didn't have the resources or knowledge that I do now. Six, almost seven years ago  whenever we were bringing home baby Branden from the hospital, we were living right outside Chris' military base in Virginia.  We shopped at the commissary, and I have a very vague memory of there being a very teeny, tiny organic section in the grocery store. I never went there. Nor did I know what I know now about beauty product labels. So then you can image what the baby section looked like. I honestly don't even think that Gerber started their organic line yet, and if they did, it wasn't available for purchase there. Gerber was my only option for baby food to purchase, and honestly - the thought never crossed my mind back then to make my own. I also used the products on my sweet baby's skin that were used on me as a baby, not knowing any better. Now I know better. I know now not to always trust what the beauty product labels say, that "all-natural" doesn't really mean shit, and do my research before ever rubbing anything onto precious baby skin. Whenever we decide to expand our family, you best bet that we will be spending the extra money to protect new baby skin, because we will be making more informed decisions - ones that will never, ever involve Johnson & Johnson. So, where is this beauty product label awakening coming … [Read more...]

The Things That I Will Never Be

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Whenever I was pregnant, I dreamed through my entire pregnancy of all the things that I would be once that little baby growing inside of me was placed in my waiting arms. I of course feared giving birth, having never experienced that before, but mostly that fear was replaced with joy whenever I reflected on my life to come. Now, here I am 6 years later, and I'm noticing a cycle within myself - the recurring times when I focus more on the things that I will never be. Gone are the days of hopes and dreams in motherhood, but very real are the moments of comparison and wishing. I will never be the crafty mom. A couple of weeks ago, Chris had a drill weekend (you can read a little bit more about what that is here), so Branden and I planned something to do, just the two of us. All he wanted to do was make dirt, as he found the recipe in a children's cookbook that we have. I knew that I could handle this, and I ran around on Friday getting all the ingredients, and we made the dirt on Saturday. It actually turned out pretty good, and he was happy. But, all I thought about the entire time was how it wasn't as pretty as the dirt I looked up on Pinterest. I will never be the mom who makes dinner from scratch every night. I try and do my best, but at least once a week I'm picking up the phone to order food because I'm too tired to pull it all together. I go through phases where I really get excited about cooking, and others where I have completely run out of ideas and am … [Read more...]

Bringing the Family Together With Foster Grant Sunglasses {Giveaway}

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The other night, I found a bug crawling on my blanket. I know, super gross and you are all probably reading this thinking that I must be the worst cleaner ever, and on some days I feel you might be right. I'm honestly not that horrible, but cleaning was on my lengthy to-do list for the upcoming weekend, and I was dreading it. After feeling itchy all night, I promptly woke up last Friday morning and purchased a $49 Groupon for our first cleaning lady ever. I went through my whole Friday feeling refreshed and excited, because I knew that spending that extra $49 meant that I would have more time to devote to my family this weekend. We hung out as a family at one of our favorite of the many NYC parks - Bryant Park -  to show you our Foster Grant Sunglasses style and how easy they are to integrate with every family member's style. The simplest thing, sunglasses, brought us all together to take silly pictures and just really be as a family. Between work, school, and activities, it can be hard to get family time in, but you gotta make it happen. So my point with the above story is this - there is nothing more precious than the time spent with the people who matter most. I love a great pair of sunglasses! They somehow have that magical ability to make me feel powerful - and not have to worry about wearing eye makeup! All jokes aside though, at this time of year we become so consumed with hunting down the best sunscreen brands and stocking up, that we forget how essential it … [Read more...]

Swimwear NYC – What Trends Are Hot in the City

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Are you one of those crazy people who actually thought summer started on June 21st? Good thing I'm here to set the record straight! Summer officially starts in New York City that first night you need to crank up your window air conditioning unit onto full blast and pray for rain to cool things down. For us, that was Monday May 11. While I'm hoping that we don't need it again until June [waves hands in the air in hopes of low electric bill the summer] it does mean that summer is upon us and its time to shop for swimwear NYC! First, lets talk the trends... We have never been the family to do the whole matching bathing suit thing, so I still firmly believe in shopping off everyone's personal swimwear style to keep everyone happy. So let's look at the trends for your individual family members. For Mamas, the "it" thing for summer 2015 is to wear bathing suits with fringe accents or sporty inspiration - definitely not mixed together, though! For boys and men, its colorblocking and tropical inspirations all the way. And lastly, for all the little girls out there, fruity inspirations and prints on top of prints are where the fun is at. So, let's shop for swimwear, NYC!   // 1. SAHA One-piece Fringe Suit // 2.Athleta Womens Colorblock Tankini   // 3. OshKosh B'gosh Pineapple One-Piece Swimsuit // 4. Flapdoodles Girls Starfish Bathing Suit  // 5 Carter's Baby Girls' One-Piece Fringe Swimsuit // 6. Old Navy Fish Print Swim Trunks  // 7. Land's End Women's Rash Guard //  … [Read more...]

Live Chic and Clutter Free With The Elegant Organizer

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Organization. This word can either be a Mama's triumph...or her demise. I sit here on my bed, which is my office, with my laptop on my lap while I examine my surroundings - it's not pretty. I try to keep up with it all, but in my family our cycle is to let it build up then spend a day cleaning it and organizing the mess away. Luckily, you all are about to get a little taste of my secret weapon, Patty Barr, the owner and founder of The Elegant Organizer! I know, I know - you may have never thought that there could be elegance where organization lies, but I promise, Patty takes her business to a whole new level and is truly a one stop shop for home organizing, moving, staging, and simple de-cluttering; Patty does it all - and then makes it beautiful ! About The Elegant Organizer Let us start your journey to reclaim your space and time. Such simple yet powerful words that Patty spoke to me over the phone earlier this week, and I was instantly hooked. With a background in Project Management, Patty has used the skills she learned through working in the corporate world to form a business that helps organize the everyday lives of families, coaching them through the process of learning essential shortcuts to keep their space clutter free and transformed into both a beautiful and positive environment. She services clients all throughout New York City to Montauk, so there are no excuses for not hiring her! The fun doesn't stop there... The Elegant Organizer's list of … [Read more...]

Warm Weather Maternity Trends From Destination Maternity {Giveaway}

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Temperatures are rising, and if you have a baby bump growing then you know how important it is to look gorgeous during this emotional and beautiful time in your life. While I'm not pregnant myself, it's important to me to share maternity trends with new Mamas embarking on the motherhood journey. So, I went straight to the source - Destination Maternity's Style Director, Olivia Capone Myers, to hear about the hottest warm weather trends from Destination Maternity for you all. She shares: "There are 3 key trends for Spring and Summer that I love and which work particularly well for maternity: the dress, the peasant top and destructed denim! Versatile and comfortable, dresses continue to be a bump-flattering staple for moms-to-be with new dramatic hemlines and bold patterns. I especially love the Splendid LA printed maxi dress and sleeveless maxi dresses from the new and exclusive Rachel Zoe Collection for A Pea in the Pod®. The peasant top or tunic is a maternity must-have that should be in every expecting woman’s closet this summer. From solids and stripes to pretty prints and cozy lightweight knits, these tops pair perfectly with your maternity leggings, jeans or shorts. Add a blazer for instant polish or a jean jacket for those summer nights. Worn, torn and distressed denim takes a nod from the 70’s this season and is quickly becoming the must-have summer style! With our Secret Fit Belly® panel, expecting moms can join in on the trend while staying comfortable, plus it … [Read more...]

Righteously Raw – Everyday Allergy Friendly Treats

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I think that if it were possible to dream in chocolate that I probably would. There is nothing like peeling back the wrapper to your favorite chocolate treat and digging in - dreamy. But for many children and adults with different types of food allergies, grabbing a regular chocolate bar from the grocery store isn't an option. Thankfully, Righteously Raw has shed light on this food allergy and has made delicious allergy friendly treats available to all! Not only do these products cater to the allergy friendly needs of many, but the health needs of everyone as well. Each allergy friendly treat is raw, vegan, organic, non GMO, kosher, and gluten free. They have heavenly products such as raw bars, coconut macaroons, brownie mouthfuls, and more!  The thing is, I could ramble on and give more specific details about why to try these allergy friendly treats, but I also want to share their story.   Each treat is made with love and positivity and by actual human hands in their self-owned facility. The company's owner, Audrey Darrow, has always lived her life with the belief that the food we eat every day is the essence of our good health. She is an eleven year cancer survivor, and Righteously Raw's parent company, Earth Source Organics was born whenever Audrey dealt with the aftermath of chemotherapy and radiation on her body. It was a lot to handle and even more difficult to recover from, but she knew that eating the right foods contribute to getting her health to where it … [Read more...]

Brothers All Natural – Nutrition For The Whole Family

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Known first as an allergy friendly innovator, Brothers All Natural has been making a difference since they first launched in the way kids and adults with allergy sensitivities snack. But wait, there's more they can solve for us Mamas! Does this sound like a typical night at your house? "Blahhhh!" Branden says when I place dreaded vegetables on his plate at dinner, every night. "Okay, just look at them tonight. Maybe tomorrow you will try to smell one?" My typical response. The struggle is real, Mamas! It's a challenge to get our kiddos to eat the right amount of nutrients on a daily basis, and adding any type of food allergy to the mix makes it that much more difficult. Vitamins are great, but I'm a firm believer in doing my best to get those essential nutrients through food first, which is why we are adding Brothers All Natural to our pantry! You can see in the above graphic that Brothers All Natural is completely safe and allergy friendly, which is the first question that Mamas of children with food allergies ask. Once you are able to cross all of these non-negotiable factors off your check list, the question becomes: will my child actually eat this? The truly wonderful answer is yes! Brothers All Natural is known for their kid (and of course, Mama) approved fruit crisps, but they have introduced a whole slew of other must-have pantry items to their product line, such as fruit clusters, fruit and oats breakfast cereal, and Harvester Farms fruits and … [Read more...]

Finally Pure – Allergy Friendly Beauty Products For The Whole Family

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As parents, we often find ourselves wondering about the beauty products our kids are using in the bath, out of the bath, as well as what we ourselves use. If you are pregnant or have a family member with food allergies or illness, the concern grows even deeper, and reading labels to have allergy friendly beauty products that are good for the whole body becomes first priority. Food Allergy Awareness goes well beyond just what we put inside our mouths, but what we use on our hair, skin, and body, as well. With the severity of food allergies, it only takes a short period of time for a severe reaction to take place, so having beauty products in the home that alleviate any worry during bath time and beyond is a huge stress relief for parents! Thankfully, the company Finally Pure has products for all of these concerns and truly will leave you saying "Finally!" Every ingredient in their products are 100% pure and natural and organic, too. They think about it all when developing new products, and make sure they are always preserving environmental resources, are cruelty free, allergy friendly, and safe to use throughout pregnancy and for patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy to treat cancer. Even more, they carry a wide variety of products that are nut-free, gluten-free, and vegan - to specifically cater to living an allergy friendly life. The products that they have for the kiddos are particularly yummy, too! They are all chemical free, nutrient rich, and … [Read more...]

ContentChecked – Reinventing The Way We Look At Dietary Requirements

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Point. Scan. Click. Wouldn't it be amazing if living an allergy-friendly life were that easy? With ContentChecked, the new innovative family of apps, which includes ContentChecked, MigraineChecked & SugarChecked (coming soon), this concept is becoming a reality! These apps offer their users a mobile experience for finding foods that fit your allergy requirements, and after all - we all live an on the go life! This is an easy way to easily scan 70% of all food products in the United States, making sure that they fit each dietary need of the user. Taking things one step further, the ContentChecked app doesn't just rely on algorithms, but a team of nutritionists whose jobs consist of validating the data in the system and making sure that it is always up to date and accurate. Even cooler, their processes are validated around the clock, as in it's ALWAYS working for you - keeping information accessible and current. I mean, come on Mamas - raise your hands in the air if you spend a few hours a week grocery shopping?! Me, me! But add specific dietary and allergy needs to the mix, and those hours can easily double or triple. But now with ContentChecked, you can approach grocery shopping with a more informed approach. Simply plan your weekly trip to the grocery store and pull out your phone whenever you aren't sure about buying a certain product; give it a scan and instantly have the information you need to make an informed decision for your family. The fun … [Read more...]