Archive for the ‘BlogHer Reviews’ Category

All The Perfect Little Pieces {Win $100 from Mustela and BlogHer}

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014


mustela bebe-17

My baby is amazing.

It doesn’t matter that he’s my third baby, and I’ve already done this newborn thing twice before. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2am and I’m exhausted. It doesn’t matter if his tiny fingers are ripping all the hair out of the back of my neck. He’s an itty bitty miracle.

When I’m nursing him, the hairs right behind his ear gleam like they’re made of copper. It’s the only time I am really sure he’s going to be a ginger, since the fuzz that grows in a perfect imitation of his father’s hairline on top of his head is white-blond. When he’s sleeping he makes sniffling snorfling noises and says “mmmmm” and “oooooo” and “eh eh eh eh eh” when he’s having mysterious baby dreams. I can no longer sleep without those noises, or I wake up in a panic that he’s TOO quite or TOO sound asleep. I cover his chest with my palm and feel every rib at once as they move up and down with his breath.

mustela bebe-16
mustela bebe-3-2
mustela bebe-8

mustela bebe-7-2

His ears are like tiny monkey ears on the outside, covered in a light layer of fur, and seashells on the inside, pearly pink and smooth. I can’t stop touching them while he’s sleeping in my lap, because I know in just a few weeks poking him is going to wake him up. When I’m feeling stressed, I smooth the tiny M that Linc gets between his eyes or the lines on his forehead or the little creases he gets by his eyes. His baby skin is so soft, but so incredibly sensitive.

mustela bebe-14

mustela bebe-9-2

I first heard of Mustela a few months ago when I was photographing a newborn for a client, and I couldn’t stop smelling their baby. Then a friend suggested it when I mentioned Linc’s cradle cap was acting up. Now I’m the one recommending it to friends for all stages of motherhood. The 2-in-1 Hair & Body Wash is a tear-free, soap-free gel, specially formulated for the delicate skin of babies, but is great on the older kids too. It rinses very easily from Caroline’s hair and truly is tear-free, so there’s no more fighting when it’s time to wash it out.

But our real favorite is the Hydra Bébé Body Lotion. It’s so thick and smooth without being greasy, and absorbs very quickly even on just-washed baby skin. My hands are softer than they’ve been in years just from applying it to the kids. And I have been applying it to all the kids – on Caroline’s eczema-like rough patches, on the rash Evan gets from wiping is face on his sleeve, and on poor sensitive Linc, who gets a new case of baby acne or cradle cap or heat rash every day. They all love the lotion and you should see Linc smile when I’m rubbing it into his adorable chubby baby cheeks.

mustela bebe-17-2

mustela bebe-26-2

mustela bebe-27

mustela bebe-21-2

mustela bebe-24

mustela bebe-23-2

mustela bebe-28-2

mustela bebe-32

mustela bebe-32-2

Mustela has been trusted by parents for over 60 years and is developing new ways to protect skin both today and in the future. All their products are hypoallergenic and free from parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, EDTA and chlorphenesin. I feel good using their products on every inch of my little miracle for years to come.

You can learn more about their in-depth research, testing methods and science by visiting their website.

Mustela and BlogHer are giving you a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift card. Just leave a comment answering the question, “What is your favorite newborn moment?”  

And don’t forget to check Mustela out on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 

Sweepstakes Rules:

 

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1.     Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

2.     Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

3.     Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

4.     For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. 

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 10/7/14 – 11/30/14.

Be sure to visit the Mustela Bébé brand page where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Related posts:

Wordless Wednesday: Cross Sound Ferry Edition
Talent
OK, Winter Can Be Over Now

Yo Ho Ho And A Pirate Treasure Map Cake

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Ok, for real, officially, this is the LAST YEAR of the Epic Birthday Party for Evan. I think 5 years of big fancy at-home parties is enough. He’s at an age now where he’d probably rather go somewhere fun like the bowling alley anyway. Plus this year I had to make an all-or-nothing decision on inviting school friends. I went with ALL (13 kids) and have gotten three RSVPs so far. Fingers crossed the five kids who didn’t RSVP and still show up don’t bring a dozen siblings. Fingers also crossed it’s warm enough for the dig-for-treasure station to be outside so all that sand doesn’t end up on my living room floor. In preparation for the party, I had a very deep discussion with Evan regarding cakes.

Me: Evan, what kind of cake do you want for your birthday?
Evan: A pirate cake!
Me: Right, OK, I figured that. But what KIND of pirate cake?
Evan: A BIG pirate cake!

Our trusty local grocery store didn’t have a pirate cake in their book so I begrudgingly decided to make one. My previous attempts at fancy cakes have not gone well and 10 minutes on Pinterest made it clear most pirate cakes are FAR, FAR outside my ability. Luckily there are easier pirate cake ideas than a 3 masted tall ship complete with fondant pirates.

Like a pirate treasure map cake!

pirate treasure map cake

  This weekend the kids and I picked up some candy and frosting and made a “practice” cake. Although, is there really such a thing as a practice cake? It’s cake. It’s ALWAYS time for cake. But I’m glad I did it because I learned a few valuable things:
1. The correct order for frosting is white frosting, “sand”, blue frosting. The sand is actually graham cracker crumbs and it was impossible to keep it off the “water”.
2. Candy is bigger than it looks. It’s hard to draw delicate lines with big chunky candy. For the next cake I might do more in frosting.
3. Sticking stuff on the cake is harder than it looks. My pirate kept falling over until I put some frosting on his feet. I’m glad I didn’t try to add the palm trees I had imagined.
4. K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid! It’s a cake for a birthday party – as long as it involves frosting the kids are going to be THRILLED.

pirate cake_-3  

Materials: Cake (from a box!), graham cracker crumbs, icing, gold sprinkles, frosting (I whipped one container with blue food coloring in my mixer), yellow M&Ms, root beer barrels, Twizzler bites, and Captain Hook and Tick Tock Croc stolen from the toy box. The root beer barrels crack me up because I think “But why is the rum gone?!” every time.

pirate treasure map cake

pirate treasure map cake

I added the pirate flag and sword from my extensive collection of pirate stuff I’ve purchased for the party next weekend.

pirate treasure map cake

Both kids’ mouths might be stained blue for the next month, but it’s worth it for my little pirates!

pirate treasure map cake

 

From the world of Peter Pan, check out the all-new Tinkerbell movie, Disney’s The Pirate Fairy. Available on Blu-ray and Digital HD on April 1. And you can learn more about the Disney Fairies on their Facebook page.

Related posts:

Reid's Robot Birthday Party
Picture Your Dreams, Make Them Come True
Mother's Day Gardening (and A Giveaway!)

Never Boring {$100 Giveaway!}

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Before I had kids I was bored a lot. I don’t think I realized I was bored – I probably thought I enjoyed taking long naps and sleeping until noon and spending all my money on shoes. But it turns out I don’t actually enjoy any of those things all that much.

Well, I mean, obviously I still like naps. Everyone likes naps (except the children who actually should be taking them).

fun kids

fun kids-4

The first year after I got married we lived in Virginia Beach. Despite being young and thin (siiiiiigh) and living directly on the beach, I HATED it. It felt like there was nothing to do. All the guys E worked with either had kids or were trying to have kids (as a 23 year old with no children I was sort of an anomaly in the MilSpouse community). I remember going to a lot of street fairs or walking down to the cheesy beach shops or driving past the aquarium and thinking “If I had kids, this would be way more fun.”

Here in Connecticut I hear a lot of the younger, single guys complain about nothing to do. But since I have kids, I STRONGLY disagree. We have memberships to the aquarium, the seaport, the children’s museum and the science center. We walk to parades, or the library or the cheesy little carnivals downtown. My kids have favorite restaurants and favorite stores and favorite playgrounds. They go to school and take lessons and have a way more active social life than I’ve had since I was in high school.

I LOVE it.

fun kids-10

fun kids-11

I’m not someone who is ultra-motivated by nature. If I was still only responsible for myself (and my husband, I guess, although he’s not quite as helpless as children), I would spend a lot more time sleeping and feeling lonely. Kids don’t let you do that. They keep you up, they’re ALWAYS talking, they demand you go outside and see the world. You can’t avoid talking to anyone at the grocery store or wear ear buds all the time or even avoid smiling. I am nicer, friendlier and happier now that I have kids, and it has definitely made me a better person.

Last week after swim class, I took the kids to Panera for an early dinner and “special treat” for both being brave and learning new skills (Caroline can retrieve things from the bottom pool step, Evan learned how to do a sitting dive). I herded them into line where they both placed their orders with no help from me, then stormed the dessert counter to choose their cupcakes. The teenage girl behind the counter said “They’re so cute. I bet having kids is never boring.”

I smiled and said “No, I am never, ever bored.”

fun kids-12

fun kids-13

fun kids-14

fun kids-15

fun kids-16

To celebrate the hilarious and heartfelt comedy Delivery Man, starring Vince Vaughn, being released Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD March 25, BlogHer will be awarding to one of my readers a $100 Visa gift card.

To enter, just leave a comment telling me: How have your kids changed you for the better?

You can pre-order your copy of Delivery Man today or check out the Facebook page for more information on the film, which chronicles the story of a man who unexpectedly discovers he has 533 children. (And I thought just having a THIRD baby was a big deal!)

 

Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 3/20/14 – 4/19/14. Be sure to visit the Delivery Man page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

 

Related posts:

Piggies and sheepies and cows, oh my!
My Week(32) in iPhone Photos
My Week(71) in iPhone Photos

A Moroccan Infusion in a Connecticut Winter {Giveaway!}

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

I know it’s not actually that stupid groundhog’s fault – an overgrown hamster can’t actually change weather patterns – but right now I’m dreaming of a groundhog skin hat to keep my head warm. I don’t actually HATE snow days. Staying home and building snowmen and watching movies isn’t the worst. My kids LIKE the snow and never seem to get cold and sending them out back to throw snow on each other always means we get an early and easy bedtime. But I am a wimp and have a strong dislike of being cold so I like the coming back inside part the best. It’s marginally warmer inside, most of the time. Unfortunately my house is ancient and has steam radiators, so running them full blast also means sapping every ounce of moisture out of the air. When we had the carpet down I couldn’t walk across a room without flinching any time I touched something. I’ve shocked myself with my iPod headphones a dozen times in the last couple weeks (I’m not even sure how that happens). And the poor ginger’s hair stands on end all day. It’s adorable, but they keep shouting “Mommy, you zapped me!”

static

This is his hair on a good day

The dry winter air is especially rough on my poor expanding baby belly. I’ve just reached the point where “popped” is the appropriate word to describe my stomach, rather than “Man, she really needs to lay off the burritos and do a few sit ups” (although those are also good ideas, considering how weak my stomach muscles are). Pregnancy always makes my skin super dry and I scramble to find something that helps. So when BlogHer offered to send me the new Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion skin care products I said “OMG SO ITCHY!” And then I said “Uh, I mean yes” because telling the people you work for about your dry, itchy skin is kind of gross.

suave professionals moroccan infusion

Moroccan argan oil is one of those ingredients popping up all over beauty blogs and commercials and known to be rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Suave took the same ingredients from more expensive brands and put them in their Professionals® line so women everywhere have access to premium products infused with authentic Moroccan argan oil. They sent me both the Body Lotion and the Dry Body Oil Spray and while I like them both the spray is my absolute new favorite product. It’s hard to dump oil out of a non-spray container onto your skin without making a huge mess and getting way too much, so the spray bottle is genius. It only takes a couple of squirts and the oil absorbs really quickly (I wouldn’t say INSTANTLY, but by the time I grab my clothes I can put them on without any stickiness). Once you rub it in it’s isn’t oily at all, just soft and moisturized (and not itchy!). My skin feels amazing all day and I smell like a million bucks.

Find more information about the Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Care products at www.Facebook.com/SuaveBeauty and get tips for radiant skin, style advice from celebrity stylist Brad Goreski and enter the “Radiant Wishes” sweepstakes for a chance to win Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion products, a spa day or a trip to Los Angeles.

Giveaway! For a chance to win a $1000 gift card, let me know which of the Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Care products you would most like to try.

 

Sweepstakes Rules:  No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 2/11/2014-2/28/2014. Be sure to visit the Suave Professionals® brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Related posts:

Sooner or Later
Special Snowflakes of The Internet
23 Months

N-Love with my N-Tune Headphones

Friday, October 4th, 2013

It’s not super often that I get something in the mail that my husband wants even more than I do. Shockingly, I never have to fight him for newborn bonnets, Sephora samples or jeggings. But as soon as I opened my Monster N-Tune Headphones, I knew I might never see them again. Luckily (or really, not at all luckily) E works all the time so I have plenty of hours at home alone with the children where I can enjoy them. And boy, do I enjoy them. Monster N-Tune Headphones-3
Did I mention they’re noise-cancelling yet? Because that is a very, very important part of why they are so useful when I am at home alone with the children. I have an addiction to NPR podcasts, which is the only reason my house ever gets clean, the laundry ever gets put away and the lawn ever gets mowed, so headphones are crucial to the survival of my family. Life or death, people. Or at least clean underwear vs. dirty underwear.

Here are E’s top 3 favorite things about the headphones:
1. The in-line microphone. When he does have a free afternoon, E likes to play *cough*superdorky*cough* computer games online with his brother. They use their computer mics to chat and catch up while they play, so headphones with a mic built in are perfect. His brother reports the sound quality on the other end is excellent and doesn’t pick up the TV or the screaming kids in the background.
2. The sound quality. He’s the kind of person who appreciates music (hashtag marching band nerd) so he was impressed with how great things sounded through the N-Tune headphones. Although he might just have been listening to explosions on his game. Either way, they sounded GREAT.
3. Noise canceling. Because, kids.

Monster N-Tune Headphones-2

Here are my top 3 favorite things about the headphones:
1. Amazing durability. You can practically twist them in half and they’re totally fine, which means when I absent-mindedly leave them on the dining room table the kids can’t destroy them.
2. Their over-ear design, for 2 reasons. First, because they’re bigger than ear buds they are WAY harder to lose. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left a dinky little pair of headphones in the pocket of a sweatshirt I’ve thrown in the wash. Second, because they’re way, way more comfortable than those torture devices a certain iCompany includes with their products. No seriously, whoever invented those things hate people and ears. I wore my N-Tune headphones for 2 hours before I even noticed them.
3. Noise canceling. Because, kids.

Monster N-Tune Headphones

I told you I was addicted to NPR podcasts

With less than 100 days left to do your Christmas shopping (ahhhh!) these would make a fantastic gift for your spouse, parent or anyone who commutes anywhere ever, especially on public transit. They basically scream “I’m not listening to you!!” What subway rider doesn’t need that?
To enter to win a pair of Monster N-Tune Headphones (valued at $150) for yourself (or someone you really like slash love!) head over to Walmart.com, check out the colors, and leave a comment here letting me know which one is your favorite! I really love the green. The comments on this post will be aggregated with the comments on the posts from the other bloggers participating in this review, and 25 pairs will be given away. This giveaway will close on Nov 1. 

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

BlogHer will pool entries from participating blogs and select a sweepstakes winner at random and will contact the winner with details about fulfilling the prize.

The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 10/2/13 – 11/1/13

Related posts:

Get (or Stay) Well with MinuteClinic
A Moroccan Infusion in a Connecticut Winter {Giveaway!}
My Week(186) in iPhone Photos
Clickin' Moms
Wayfair Homemakers
Get Adobe Flash player