Out on the town at Mom Trends Mom's Night Out 2.0

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I was so honored to be included in this years Mom Trends Night Out 2.0. Every mom deserves a night out every once in a while not just to escape the rigorous nighttime routine of getting the kids to bed, but more importantly to reconnect with other moms and of course getting some much needed W&R (wine and relaxation)!!

Mom Trends partnered again this year with Meredith Magazines publishers of ParentsFamily FunFit Pregnancy, and so many more! We were able to mingle with all the editors including Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Parents Magazine and fellow NYC Bloggers as well as connect about new products from brands like New BalanceMunchkinJifVisit Williamsburg and Swaddle Me.

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This night out did not disappoint! Mom Trends left no stone uncovered when it came to pampering and activities! We were treated to foot massages by ManiorPedi, makeup touchups by GlamSquad and served the most delicious mix of appetizers all while sipping on a little vino. Sounds too good to be true, I know! But the best part were all the fun activities each brand set up for us to get to know them and their products! Such a great way to break the ice and have some fun...

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New Balance- I don't know about you, but I live in my sneakers all week long. I just can't think of a better way to run around town than in my comfy sneakers. That's why I just love New Balance so much because they know this and have designed this sneaker just for that! From morning dashes to school drop offs to errands, then back to school and all the after school actives like soccer & gymnastics, this brand has got you covered in style and comfort. I just love this gorgeous pair they gave us called the Fresh Foam Arishi by New Balance. This sneaker is super-cushioned and uber chic. Plus they are ultra-cushioned and lightweight. I had the best time trying them on with one of my fav downtown momma, Suzanne Cohen from GothamLove. And to make sure these feet were made for walking, ManiorPedi was giving us the royal treatment with foot massages! Yes! Just what I needed.

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Munchkin- Who doesn't need a great diaper pail when you have a baby in diapers! Those pails are the only thing keeping your baby's beautiful sancuarty of a nursery from well, you know, smelling like a dirty diaper! The Munchkin Step Pail features a self-sealing system to lock out odors. This stylish design will go great in any home. It's clean, modern and above all works perfectly to keep your home smelling fresh! Plus with Give A Tree Program they will plant a tree with every diaper pail sold. I loved how they set up a fun DIY Floral Arrangement station. Check out what we made!

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JifPeanut butter is a staple in my house. Probably because I craved peanut butter throughout my pregnancies so all my kids naturally love it too. Jif is a great snack option to get a healthy protein in them but I also serve it for lunch for at least two out of the three kids on a daily basis. Luckily Brent's school just informed us that there are NO peanut allergies in class so I can send him to school with his favorite lunch, a PB&J!! At the Jif station moms were encouraged to spread their knowledge and compassion by writing on a blackboard words of encouragement and the ways their families are making a difference. I just love that! Enter “Imagine If With Jif contest.” Now through Oct. 20, you can share your idea of how to make the world a better place for our kids, and you could win up to $30,000 to make that dream a reality.

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Visit WilliamsburgI remember visiting Williamsburg, VA when I was younger. I vividly remember churning butter and being amazed at every corner. It was even the first time I rode a roller coaster, at Bush Gardens Amusement Park. I'll never forget my older sister who was so scared and didn't want me to go on it! But I had the time of my life and can't wait to share those memories and create new ones with my family. Not only known for its fun rides and old fashion ways, Williamsburg is filled with amazing restaurants, wine tastings (which they had a tasting for us to try and it was delish!) and numerous outdoor activities like trails and golf courses. Um, when are the kids off from school next? I want to plan our next trip here asap! I already planned out exactly what we will do with this fun game they had set up. They had a large board with a blank slate which we were able to fill up with everything we want to do on our visit. My families trip is all mapped out and we can't wait!

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Swaddle MeIf you haven't heard of the Swaddle Me brand you are missing out. Out with the old fashion swaddling blankets and in with this fresh modern take. Swaddle Me original swaddle saved me when I had my first son, Brycen. I remember wandering around the large crowded baby store while I was pregnant thinking what is all this stuff? Lucky for me I picked out a pale green and yellow gender neutral Swaddle Me. It was not until weeks later did I realize what a great buy I had made that day. I truly don't know what I would have done without this product. Now Swaddle Me is launching a couple of new products like the Swaddle Me Kicks. It is a legs-free swaddle that is perfect for warmer weather. It swaddles in a three-point harness while still mimicking the cozy space of the womb and it snaps at the bottom makes for super easy middle-of-the-night diaper changes. Then there is the new SwaddleMe Footsie which features pajama-like footies to keep a wee one’s toes extra snuggly on those cold fall & winter nights. And, finally, Swaddle Me has launched three new gift sets, The Essentials Gift Set,  The Baby Bath Gift Set and the Little Lovey Gift Set, perfect for any mom-to-be! For more information on their products check out my full post. 

Thank you to the entire team over at Mom Trends for a super spectacular Mom's Night Out! I had such a blast and can't wait for our next night out!

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Swaddling Made Easier with Swaddle Me...

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There is nothing better then a good night sleep. When you have a new baby, sleep is limited. You rely on those few hours between feedings to get the bit of sleep you can. 

That is why I always swaddled my babies when they were little. I know it helped soothe them at night. Making them feeling warm and cozy, just like being back in the womb. And I have to admit, I never did get the hang of swaddling with a blanket. Folding the blanket and tucking it just right in the middle of the night when you are exhausted, was just too difficult. But with the products by Swaddle Me, that guess work is totally eliminated. They are super simple and efficient; swaddling without the hassle. 

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As if it were even possible, they have made the original Swaddle Me even better. With the new legs free swaddle called The Swaddle Me Footsie which is perfect for nighttime and nap time. It allows the baby to have their legs free in a footed pajama (see picture below!)so they can wiggle and kick.  It is the first swaddle I have seen that you can use while in a swing or bouncer. Because it allows you to strap them in properly with a three-point harness. Genius! This is a great option to keep baby warm in the colder months.

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If you are in a warmer climate or are just looking for something to use during the summer months, they have also launched the new Swaddle Me Kicksie. Which is a legs free swaddle. It can also be used with a three point harness but still mimics the coziness of the womb. Which helps them stay asleep longer! Who doesn't want that, right?!  The best part, it is made with a snap bottom so those middle of the night changes are quick and easy.

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I have so many friends and family having babies and I truly think a Swaddle Me is a necessity for any nursery. With Swaddle Me's Gift Sets you can give the gift of sleep! I know they will appreciate this gift! Swaddle Me has three new gift sets available The Essentials Gift Set,  The Baby Bath Gift Set and the Little Lovey Gift Set. 

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The prints are so adorable and stylish! My fav, the new aztec arrows print in light grey. This would have gone perfectly in my all grey mod nursery! From modern to nautical and everything in-between, they have a print that's perfect for your little one.

Have a story about how much you loved your Swaddle Me? Share below or tag @Downtownchicmoms and @Swaddleme in your post!

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This post is sponsored by Mom Trends, Meredith Corporation and Swaddle Me.

MomTrends Back-To-School Bash 2017

Start this school year with a bang!

Having three kids with such strong and unique personalities makes it a challenge preparing them for the new school year ahead.

Brent, for the first time, will be attending a 2's program (crazy right!!) and the older two are in need of new lunch boxes and backpacks. I have washed and cleaned their old lunch boxes so many times but by the end of the year, we are all ready to toss them. Their backpacks are so worn and dingy that treating them to a fresh new one is a must in my house.

And I have to say I just love this one by 12Little. They are so light weight and stylish! Brinkley always brings so many things back and forth each day that her backpack probably weighs more than her. I couldn't believe how light weigh this backpack is and I know she will love making it her own!

Here I am picking out the perfect patches!

 The highlight of the night was Brinkley modeling the beautiful line of clothing by Orchestra. She lite up the runway with that smile and she loved the super stylish denim overalls. 

I loved the "Lost & Found" that the Mom Trends teams created with Name Bubbles which is a line of personalized name tags. They had a personalized item for each blogger and we had to dig through the bin to find ours. How fun is that!! I found this beautiful aqua water bottle that I absolutely LOVE! These little name tags attach to anything and help keep your items out of the lost and found!! 

We all snacked on Raisels which are delicious little bursts of sour and sweet golden raisons. I don't think snacking could get any better and more fun! Plus each little box is a full serving of fruit. Healthy and yummy! The kids will think they are having candy but all us mom's will know the truth! 

To keep our little models busy backstage, Hasbro Gaming provided so many fun new games to keep them entertained! I watched as the kids enjoyed exploring all these fun games they haven't played before. Plus some originals. And all the bloggers got to go home with their very own. Perfect way to spend the last few weeks of summer, right?! Thanks Hasbro! 

No back-to-school event would be complete with out having Staples on hand to provide us with all the necessities plus so many new fun creative ways to reinvent the norm. I just love these little highlighter erasers. And I know the kids will too:)

To keep our belly's full and to help guide us with some amazing lunch ideas, JC's Pie BitesOzery BakeryNOSH and Kite Hill were there to help. Gosh, I wish my home lunches were this good when I was growing up! These kids have no idea how lucky there are!

So many amazing goodies and so much fun! I have all the mommy ammo I need to help me be prepared for this school year! Thanks team Mom-Trends and all my mommy blogger buddies for an unforgettable evening!

 

 

 

 

The New York Baby Show 2017 Top 3 Picks

I had the best time at the New York Baby Show!! 

There were so many products and people I was excited to see. I was lucky enough to be able to host the Blogger Broadcast booth for MomTrends and was fortunate to get to see and test out the best of the best from the show! All the bloggers brought their top picks to the booth. I was able to talk one on one with tons of other mommy bloggers about their finds and in turn I fell in love with many, if not all, of the same products myself!

One of the highlights of this show for me was meeting someone I have admired for years, Dr. Harvey Karp author of the Happiest Baby on the Block book that I just loved and worshiped. His book helped me so much and I really relied on the 5 S's when my little ones were first born. He showed his new creation call the SNOO and it is everything you could want in a baby sleeper and so much more. I WISH so much that it existed even just a year and a half ago when I had Brent. I would have bought it in a second. It swings and hums to the baby when they first start to wake. It can help with those long sleepless nights when baby is getting used to the world for the first time and mommy is tired and still recovering from childbirth and beyond. 

I would like to highlight a common theme that I noticed as more and more products rolled through the broadcast booth. There were so many companies focused on creating innovative environmentally safe products and using sustainable materials. And, who wouldn't want something that is safe for the earth that we are leaving behind for the very little ones that we will be using the products on... So, here are my top 3 Picks "Best In Show" for the 2017 NY Baby Show:

1. Greentom-  Greentom is a young, innovative company that designs and develops sustainable, smart and practical products using the design concept “less-is-more.” Making stollers and carseat adapters (they are compatible with the Cybex Aton & Cloud Q, Maxi-Cosi 0+ and Pebble, and Nuna Pipa).

Greentom stroller frames are made of recycled plastic and the fabrics are made of recycled drinking bottles. You can find the number of recycled bottles on the product. All materials can be recycled and reused. This makes Greentom products sustainable according to the circular principle. All Greentom products are extensively tested, safe and contain no harmful chemicals. For more information visit: www.greentom.com 

Plus these designs are super chic and stylish. I just love the colors and the slim sleek design. 

2. Poof Baby DiapersPoof Diapers (luxebabyINC.), America's leading designer and manufacturer of high performance, premium eco-friendly diaper products founded in Silicon Valley, the first-ever fully biodegradable, couture-designed, and fully compostable* diapers – and an Earth Week 2017 challenge to American families to begin to eliminate diaper waste, today.

"Diapers are the third largest consumer item in landfills, and represent 30% of non-biodegradable waste," said Debra Lee, founder & CEO of Poof Diapers. "The only other items that outnumber diapers in landfills are newspapers and food and beverage containers, for which we have many good recycling options. The time is now to begin solving the dirty and dangerous problem of diaper waste."  Poof diapers are made with the company's own patented and engineer-optimized fabrics. Their breakthrough, proprietary diaper material is constructed with non-gmo corn, certified to world-wide biodegradable standards, and is compostable*. 

And you can't forget to mention the cute colors and patterns. They are also soft and comfy for your little ones.

3. B.Sensible- Natural & Sustainable Bedding for baby, kids and adults- There are so many great features about this product.  Mainly, that it is waterproof and avoids stinky situations by having an odor reducing quality as well as calming eucalyptus scent. But, what makes me the most excited is that it is also eco-friendly.  They use a Botanic Fiber... TENCEL® is the lyocell fiber from the house of Lenzing. It is of botanic origin, since it is extracted from the raw material wood. Fiber production itself is extremely ecofriendly, due to the closed loop system. On the day that the fiber TENCEL® was invented, a new chapter was written in the history of fibers. Textiles of TENCEL® are more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen. 

I pulled this info from their website but there is so much more info on there so check it out! I have to mention that the fabric is soft and stretchy like a cotton tee shirt. I only saw the pale pink crib sheet in person and I loved it. Thanks Karen from Mamidoesitall.com for sharing this product with us! Here is our review from the broadcast booth.

BONUS PICK!

4. Water Wipes- I know that I said top 3 picks but I have to say I just fell head over heals for this last product and didn't want to leave them out. This wipe became a favorite in my house overnight. It's made from water and fruit extract. That's it!! We love that we can wipe almost anything clean with it without having a harsh soapy feel when we are done. This wipe is so light and fresh that I have been bringing them with me everywhere even when I am not with the baby or kids. I just love it for myself and definitely will be ordering more of these ASAP! 

 

 

Math Games and more with Education.com

My kids love playing all the games on Education.com and I recently partnered with them to come up with a fun game that is age/math level appropriate for my kids. Brinkley is in 1st grade and Brycen is in 3rd. This game was a huge hit in my house and I'm sure your kids will love it too!!

For more games and fun educational tools like printable workbook sheet and activities, check out their website at https://www.education.com/games/math/


Pocket Math
 

When your kids get dressed in the morning they'll more than likely be wearing an article of clothing that has at least one pocket. In this activity, you and your children can pick a day to be a "Pocket Day" as a fun way to help them practice their addition skills. Once the family has grown accustomed to the random calls for a “Pocket Day,” try having a scheduled “Pocket Day” set aside on the calendar and challenge the whole family to wear as many pockets as possible and see how high the total becomes!


What You Need:
Family Members
Paper (unlined preferred)
Crayons
Pencil


What You Do:

  1. The first time you do this activity you may want to begin by calling the whole family into one room to explain how the activity is done. This will not be necessary for later “Pocket Days,” of course.
  2. Explain to the family that your child will be completing an activity to help him practice his addition skills.  He will need to count the number of pockets each family member is wearing.
  3. Using a sheet of paper, have your child draw a picture of each family member.  He'll then either draw the number of pockets this person is wearing on that given day or simply record the number of pockets under the drawing.
  4. After he's gathered all of his “pocket data,” have your child use the pencil and the paper to add up the total number of pockets the family is wearing that day.
  5. Assist him in using strategies that will help him add the list of numbers quicker and more efficiently. Strategies may include looking for numbers that add to ten (4+6, 7+3, etc), looking for doubles (2+2, 3+3, etc.)

Other methods of collecting “pocket data”:

  • Make a 2 column chart listing all family member’s names and the number of pockets they are wearing on a particular day.
  • Make a bar graph of each family member and the number of pockets they are wearing on a particular day.
  • Make a tally chart counting the number of pockets for each family member.
  • You can have Pocket Days as many times as you and your family would like.  You can dress in crazy outfits on a weekend Pocket Day or if it's a school day, you can all wear clothes that you would normally wear.  Keep a record of the pocket data from all of your Pocket Days, and discuss the results with your child.  Are there any days when the family tends to wear more pockets than others?  Does one family member tend to wear more pockets than everyone else?  Challenge your family to get the most pockets possible by having a pre-arranged scheduled “Pocket Day” in which all members wear as many pockets as possible.  Be sure to take a photo to remember those crazy outfits!

It Is Never Too Early To Start Saving

Let me first just say, that it is every mom's dream to have their little one's cook them a meal and not the other way around... for once! Right?!!!

Recently, at the Mom Trends event at the ICE Institute of Culinary Education, that is exactly what happened and I enjoyed every second of it. The kids started off by decorating their own chef hats and aprons. And when they were done, they headed straight to the kitchen to make lunch for all their moms. 


While, the kids were engrossed in cooking, the moms headed to the side room to learn all about the Vanguard 529 Savings Plan

My husband is really on top of this and luckily we already have a 529 Plan for both of the older kids. We will start Brent's 529 Plan right away, no doubt. 

I however, wasn't fully aware of what this plan is all about other than it's a way to start slowly saving for your child's college tuition. I learned so much about the benefits of starting this specific plan over other saving plans AND that it can save you up to $10,000 on your tax refunds. Which is huge. Other benefits of this plan are that you can share this saved money with other family members if you choose as well as the fact that it can be used toward trade schools and toward their other college expenses like books and room and board. 

College tuition scares me so much. I have three kids and I know they will all go on to have a college degree. At least, I hope and pray they will. And with the 529 plan I know it will make it easier for all of us, when that time comes, that they have money waiting to help support their dreams. 

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Once, the lunch was ready we all headed back to the kitchen. Our noses lead us right to the large buffet style lunch table that was stocked with an abundance of the most delicious pastas dishes from aldredo to gnocchi as well as mouth watering mozzarella sticks but the best part were the garlic knots in shapes that the kids created like snowmen and hearts!! Adorable, and delicious. 

Dessert of course, was served and what else would it be than, cupcakes! 

Andrew McCarthy Mamarazzi Event #Kmartmoms for the "Just Fly Away" Book Launch

Two of my favorite movies of all time are Weekend At Bernie's and Mannequin.

I can't wait untill my kids are old enough to watch them with me. So when I was invited to the latest Mamarazzi Event hosted by The Moms last week at Kmart for the launch of Andrew McCarthy's new, young adult novel Just Fly Away, my heart almost skipped a beat!

My 80's childhood dream of meeting one of my favoroite actors came true!! And I loved hearing what he had to say. Despite chasing around my 18 month old all over the woman clothing section of the midtown Manhattan Kmart, I simply had a blast and it was a moment I will never forget. 

Andrew McCarthy is talented and seemingly downtown earth normal father who even said his kids think he is "ancient history." 

Just Fly Away is a book about a young girl who discovers her family's secret; that her father had an affair and another child. The trials of figuring out life as a young teen and dealing with the lies is intriguing and heart felt. 

Pick up a copy today!

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2017 New York Baby Show is coming!!! Want to go? Win tickets now!

I am so excited and honored to be attending this year's New York Baby Show! And you can too!!

The 2017 New York Baby Show, on May 20 & 21 at Pier 94 will once again be the largest show for new and expectant parents in the country. Now in its 7th year, no other event provides a better experience for thousands of expectant and new families from New York and neighboring counties, seeking a family-friendly jamboree of top brands, great speakers and seminars, big giveaways, and lots of learning, support, bonding, and fun as you make your way into parenthood. We are giving away tickets for you and your family to experience the show. See below for details… etc. Normal ticket price is $30 per family (for 2 adults and up to 4 children), and $20 per individual. 

I know there will be so many amazing new products that I'll be wanting to try out for my little guy. Wishing you could attend? Well, here is your chance!! I am giving away 10 Tickets so don't miss out. It is first come first serve and the link will not work once the 10 Tickets are gone. So apply now! You won't want to miss it.

Did you miss out on the free tickets? Sorry folks, but you can still score 50% off tickets using this link! YAY!!

Halos - Delicious and Nutritious

What mom doesn't want to pack a healthy snack or lunch for their kids?!

That's why I love Halos so much. This pint size snack is perfect for on the go and it is so juicy and delicious. Oh, and did I say nutritious?!

Packed with vitamin C and loads of other health benefits, this little morsel is my family's favorite.

I have learned so many great ways to use Halos in other recipes. I just love the idea of making a fresh salad and throwing in a few bites of the yummy mandarin sweetness of Halos.

Or, using them in a smoothie. My daughter loves this! And my son's favorite Halos recipe is making Granita. It's like a frozen little cup of goodness! For more ideas and recipes, check out their website www.halosfun.com.

For all you DIY moms, like myself, try this all natural household cleaner idea. It smells great, is totally kid friendly and you won't spend top dollar buying similar products at the store. All you need is:

  1. Halos mandarin peels
  2. White Vinegar
  3. Large Jar with lid
  4. Fine-mesh sieve
  5. Spray bottle

How to make: 

  1. Save the peels from the Halos as you eat them. Fill up the jar until about half way full
  2. Pour Vinegar over the peels until jar is full. Screw lid on jar and let sit for two weeks in dark, cool area like a cabinet.
  3. Use the fine mesh sieve to strain out the cleaning solution.
  4. Pour into spray bottle
  5. Share a photo of your Halos Cleaner using #Halosfun

Halos has also came up with a super cute and rewarding sticker game for all our little academics. This will help them study their geography too, how great! So head over to your local store to buy a box of Halos. Download from their site, the sticker map, and each day peel the state sticker off the Halos and have them match it to the state on the map! So fun! Collect them all and mail in to Halos to enter for a chance to win a sweet prize. For all the details check click here.

And check out all these amazing food ideas below!

Best Winter Stroller - The Joovy Cocoon and Cocoon X2

Getting around the NYC streets in the winter months can be brutal. Add a couple of little ones to the mix and it becomes nearly impossible. That's why I chose this amazing Cocoon Stroller by Joovy for my family. It has been a life changer. I don't know what I would do without it!

A few years ago my children were waitlisted at our local school; which was right next door to my building! In the mean time, until a spot opened up, we were sent to a nearby school. It is a great school so I didn't mind my children going there but I did mind the long walk to get there and back everyday. It was about 1 mile walk each way. Which is 4 miles just going to and from... needless to say exhausting. And as the weather started to get colder and colder the reality of this commute started to set in. There were no real mass transit options. So I knew it was going to be my job to physically get them there. 

My daughter was a little over 3 at the time and my older son just turned 5. There aren't many double stollers that will hold children of this age. They are mainly for infants to toddlers and maybe small children but since the space is so limited we had already outgrown our previous double stroller. I set out on a mission and knew I could make this work.. I had no choice!! 

And my prayers were answered when I discovered this amazing stroller by Joovy. I actually felt like they had created this just for me and my family! It was perfect. Yes, my husband may have questioned me about it a little but as soon as we received ours in the mail and the kids hopped in, we were all sure this was the perfect decision. 

There is actually what we like to call, a trunk! Like in a car, since well, this was kind of like my car. It's how we got everywhere. So you can pack everything you will need for the day. There are even cup holders for the kids inside. The best part is that the children were bundled up and protected from the harsh winter winds as well as all the elements like snow and rain with a mesh zipper lining and then a plastic protective sheet in the front. Which you can also roll up when not in use. The last few winters in the city were pretty bad and we've used this a lot. I also like it in the warmer months with the cover open!! It is just to comfy for the kids to sit and relax on long walks.

Some of the amazing features about the Joovy Cocoon are that it can also be attached to a bike or be converted into a jogging stroller. Also, what I really love is that the seats go up to 100lbs. So my children would have room to grow in this. Another great feature is the 4 way harness and shoulder straps the keep a little one safe as well. I would recommend waiting until your little guy (or gal) is atleast 1 year old or sitting up right properly. There are so many great feature about this stroller that people started to take notice. I know at least 4 people in my building alone that have purchased this stroller as well. And of my besties, Melanie from Petit Elephant, has it too but in the single child version. Read more about this stroller on Joovy's website Joovy.com or let me know if you have any questions, and I'd be happy to help answer them in the comments section below.

Thanks Joovy for the amazing products that are made for modern moms!
 

Baby Eczema: Treatment & Care for Baby's Gentle Skin

Both of my boys suffered from baby eczema. When my older son was little there weren't that many options.  But now, with my new baby boy, I realized there were so many products on the market that claim to treat baby eczema. I found myself confused and trying multiple products that wound up irritating his skin even more.

These three products are my favorite! Tried and Tested!! 

I found that they treated and healed his sensitive skin. 

1. Triple Cream- This cream helps heal the irritated skin with healing and soothing ingredients. I still use this every night on Brent after his bath.

2. Aveeno Baby - Oatmeal Bath- I think that eczema is always worse after a bath so I tried this soothing bath soak and it really helped to calm his irritated skin. I used this every night for over two months and now Brent's skin is eczema free. *I would only use a third of the packet each night

3. Honest Detergent - A lot of skin irritants are in laundry detergents. Like strong soaps and fragrances.  So I started using this hypoallergenic detergent on all Brent's baby clothes. This helps keep the skin clear of any allergens. 

Top 10 Kid Friendly "Scary" Movies For Halloween-Eve

My family loves watching movies all together, cuddled on the couch, with a giant bowl of popcorn!! We have frequent movie nights and the movie choice is always open to debate. (See my previous post on the DO's and DON'Ts to a successful Family Movie Night).

So, tonight we are planning on watching a Halloween themed movie! After all, Halloween is tomorrow!! But my kids spook easily. So I have carefully selected movies that aren't too scary. 

Here are a couple movies on our list for tonight! 

  1. Spookley The Square Pumpkin
  2. Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown   
  3. Hotel Transylvania
  4. Monsters Inc
  5. Casper Meets Wendy

Have a more adventurous bunch? Check out this list and I'm sure they'll love the fright!! 

  1. Witches
  2. Little Monsters
  3. The Addams Family
  4. Beetlejuice
  5. Hocus Pocus

There are so many good options! I may have missed a few but these are my top 10! 

Halloween Safety Tips

Be Safe This Halloween 

You can never be too safe or too caution when watching your little ones. And Halloween is no exception. 

My oldest son, now 8, is beginning to want to trick or treat with friends (with adult supervision of course!) outside of the building,  This worries me but I also know that it's important for me to let him be a kid. We normally stay in my high-rise condo building and it's super safe and easy for the kids to navigate especially if we get separated; they can find there way home with no issues. There are also doormen at the front making sure no strangers are coming in. 

But once you leave the comfort of the building, anything is game. So this Halloween I'm going to be prepared for any issues. Here are some great tips on children safety in NYC and in general.

Click this link for all the safety tips:

Child Safety Tips NYC

Here's another great way to keep your little one safe incase of accidental separation. Petit Elephant Founder, Melanie Barrows, has collaborated with her 7 year old daughter, and mini entrepreneur, on this safety bracelet concept. All proceeds go to her puppy fund! How adorable. 

http://www.petitelephantnyc.com

Be safe and have fun this Halloween!! 

Nursery Before & After

I turned this bland & ordinary looking baby room into a modern nursery everyone will love! It's so easy. I did this in less than an hour. Check out the before and after pictures and see for yourself! 

After we moved in and we slowly settled in to the new apartment, I looked at Brent's room and I knew it needed something. I'm always hesitant about hanging anything over the crib since the baby could grab it or it could potentially fall, so I decided to choose a decal. I've done decals in the past but this time I wanted to do a whole wall and make it super modern. After much debate I decided on these black small circle dot decals from Amazon.com

Here's how it turned out!! I just spaced them out by eye and voila! My mini masterpiece!! Just use your judgement on spacing and the amount you use. I only did one wall. I think it would have been too overwhelming to do more. I think it makes a great statement and it's something I can live with for a while but when I don't like it anymore I can just peel them off! Easy as that.

Reasons to travel with food your baby likes

baby food.jpg

It's crazy to think that you would waste all that room in your luggage by packing ALL your baby's food containers, snacks, pouches, puffs and don't forget formula and bottles!!!  (*Bring extra formula.. It's not worth the risk of running out.) Also hitting up the grocery store right before a trip is that last thing you are thinking about... 

You may think the resort or town you'll be visiting will be stocked with plenty of food for the whole family; right? Especially when the baby may be old enough to eat what you eat. 

You know this may be the case for domestic travel; at least you know you can pick up Cheerios somewhere close by!

But international and even rural domestic travel with a baby presents a ton of obsticals for feeding your baby. 

Here's three reason why that space you are taking up in your luggage has never been put to better use!!!

Check this out:

1. Picky eaters: Most babies are somewhat picky eaters at first (If your baby is not one of them good for you!! And skip to number 2). Trying new foods and textures isn't something you should expect your baby to do easily. And this will cause a lot of unnecessary stress for you and your baby if you expect him or her to be able to do this. A little bit here and there is great but ALWAYS be stocked with a back up if the baby is hungry and isn't taking to the new food you are offering.

2. Introducing New Foods: Not only can trying new foods be challenging for the baby but it can also be risky. Doctors recommend introducing new foods with a bit of caution due to the likely hood of food allergies these days. Babies, children and adults are all susceptible to food allergies and trying so many new foods when you are far from home or the doctor/hospital could potentially be a risk. Think about how many children have nut, gluten, dairy allergies (just to name a few).

3. Baby's Tummy: The last thing you want on your vacation is to take care of a sick baby.  Having your baby eat tons of new foods can overwhelm his or her digestive system. The same thing goes for adults, right? So why would we do that to our baby? Being prepared with foods your baby is used to eating at home will help them overall have a more enjoyable trip! And you too!!!

So, packing food for the baby is super important and shouldn't be taken lightly. Recently in Dominican Republic I had no idea it would be so hard to get food for the baby let alone anything for the baby, in fact anything at all. We were in a very large villa within a resort but there were absolutely no shops or markets anywhere near by to get stuff. I totally underestimated the exclusivity of this place and was so grateful that I had packed all my baby's necessities!! Phew...

When To Let Baby Start Feeding Themselves?

There is no good answer for this and it depends on when your baby is able to sit up right in the high chair and has the motor skills to reach and grab their food. Sometime after 6 months. Also, be super careful on the size and texture of the food. I recommend starting with something super mushy and letting them make a mess! More may land on floor then in his mouth but its all a work in progress!

My baby is super picky with texture. Hopefully you won't have this and your baby is excited to eat but Brent was never open for trying new things. The only way I could get him to eat was by letting him do it himself; at his own pace. He learned to try new things and even though he may not like something.. at least he would try it if I let him do it on his own.

I still battle with this and he's almost 1. But I do a combo of letting him feed himself and trying to spoon feed him when possible. I think the more you try and the more you let baby lead, the happier and less stressed both of you will be!


Good luck and whats your take?