Add a Touch of Loveliness to Your Home This Summer

Big thank you to our sponsor, Air Wick©.

Summer brings a significant exhale. And I suppose I work hard to preserve the peace that comes with the early morning light, salty water, and hanging with kids who are built for the fleeting warmer months.

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We’re already deep in a new travel-baseball season and will soon add surf camp, trips and a few other things to our days. It’s all good and fun – but hopefully, the wetsuits and towels make their way from multiple bags to the wash – along with all those uniforms and gear. It’s tricky to balance the conflicting layers of loving life outdoors and not frazzling when rushing home to host friends and family.

I didn’t think I was the home-fragrance type until being introduced to the new Air Wick© Freshmatic© Pure© Automatic Spray. With three different settings built into a sleek, minimalist device, the lowest setting feels subtle enough to add a light touch of loveliness to our space – while making me feel like the home is covered 24/7 with continuous odor neutralization in every corner (for up to 60 days).

home-fragrance-air-wick

It’s the little things that give me peace-of-mind when rushing from beach to baseball to back home again. I’m currently crushing on the Air Wick© Ocean Breeze scent (one of more than 15 Air Wick© scents available) – along with Gabby Bernstein, who I had the chance to meet and learn from at the recent Air Wick© mobile meditation event.

Gabby_Bernstein

She taught me a simple (and beautiful) mantra to do with my children. Begin by touching your thumb to pointer finger – working your way down to thumb to pinky finger, while repeating:

Peace. Begins. With. Me.
Peace. Begins. With. Me.
Peace. Begins. With. Me.

Wishing you all peace and joy in the summer days ahead!

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JoJo Siwa’s D.R.E.A.M. The Tour Comes to Forest Hills + Ticket Giveaway!

Hello, tweens! JoJo Siwa’s first live-concert tour, D.R.E.A.M. The Tour, produced by Nickelodeon and AEG presents, kicks off this week – and one of the 25 scheduled U.S. stops is right here in Queens, NY. We’re excited to partner with D.R.E.A.M. The Tour, to giveaway a family four pack of tickets to our local show at the Forest Hills, Stadium on July 21, 2019!

Station Square Queens NY 2019

I’ve been to several concerts at the Forest Hills Stadium (with and without kiddos!), and it’s a really special venue to experience with pint-sized fans. With tons of different food and beverage vendors – and a sprawling green area to hang with friends – make sure to come early to take in all that the Stadium has to offer. We usually grab dinner, treats, and drinks inside the venue. That said, Station Square in the heart of Forest Hills, NY has just been beautifully restored and there are lots of local spots to explore and dine-in as well!

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Get all the scoop on JoJo Siwa’s D.R.E.A.M. The Tour tickets here. And head on over to our Facebook page to enter our ticket giveaway.

Forest Hills Queens NY

I may not have been able to make my big kid’s Nickelodeon SlimeFest dreams come true – but I will be at the Forest Hills Stadium with her and a gaggle of tweens! Hope to see you there!

  • JoJo Siwa
  • D.R.E.A.M. The Tour
  • Forest Hills Stadium
  • July 21, 2019

Tickets at foresthillsstadium.com

JoJo Siwa D.R.E.A.M. The tour
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The Scottish Granny Comes to NYC + Barnes & Noble Gift Card Giveaway!

Thank you to our partner Barnes & Noble! 

I adore reminders of all the goodness in the world, and it doesn’t get much better than a granny with a heartfelt, infectious laugh (AKA“The Scottish Granny” or “The Laughing Grandmother”) who went viral for merely being her delightful self while reading a book entitled The Wonky Donkey to her grandson.

Janice Clark has become quite the YouTube sensation, and Barnes & Noble recently brought her to their New York City – Union Square – location for fans (both big and small) to enjoy an exclusive live reading of the Craig Smith book.

Janice-Clark

Image via Barnes & Noble. 

More than 100 kids came to the event, and Janice could barely contain her laughter while reading The Wonky Donkey. Naturally, the kiddos laughed along with her and eagerly asked questions after the reading.

Janice Clark

He was a honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.”

Image via Barnes & Noble

I learned that the Wonky Donkey was out of print, and Barnes & Noble worked with the publisher to reprint copies for both their stores and online orders after they noticed a spike in searches of the book on BN.com when Janice’s YouTube video went viral. Thanks to this sweet Granny, the book has become a national bestseller!

Win It!

We are so excited that Barnes & Noble is spreading the love with a giveaway of a $100 Barnes & Noble Gift Card just in time for the holiday season.  Enter via the below widget. U.S. addresses only please, and all entries are verified. Don’t forget to check back to see if your name pops up as the winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the Barnes & Noble Holiday Gift Guides and find out where to catch a Barnes & Noble Storytime in stores nationwide every Saturday at 11 AM. Also, be sure to join their Kids Club for rewards and special offers throughout the year.

View the Scottish Granny in action here!

 

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Not One Type: A Closer Look At Breast Cancer

Soho-street-NYC

Thank you to Genentech for sponsoring this post.

 According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 236,968 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States in 2014, and (not counting some types of skin cancer) breast cancer in the U.S. is the most common cause of cancer in women – across all races and ethnicities. It is also the leading cause of death from cancer, among Latina women. Like so many others I know, breast cancer has impacted my family profoundly and the trajectory of my loved ones. That’s why it’s important for me to join in sharing the Not One Type campaign, merging messages from a trifecta of champions – Genentech, Living Beyond Breast Cancer and ThirdLove.

Not-One-Type-Breast-Cancer-Event-ThridLove

I recently joined New Yorkers in exploring the Not One Type Studio – a SoHo pop-up experience, encouraging women and their loved ones to take a closer look at breast cancer. Upon stepping into the ThirdLove Studio, women curious about bra shopping were visually halted by ThirdLove’s bra installation – challenging prevalent breast cancer misconceptions – with uniformed rows of suspended bras that were only one size, and only one color. Just like ThirdLove creates uniquely tailored bras to a women’s specific size, shape and color preference – Not One Type is sharing information about the ways in which breast cancer is a very complex and not-one-size-fits-all disease.

ThirdLove-Genentech-Not-One-Type-Breast-Cancer

The Not One Type website explains how breast cancer is classified into different types – determined by the unique characteristics of each tumor, including subtype, lymph node status and stage, among other criteria. Understanding the uniqueness of each diagnosis helps to empower women and their loved ones to engage in helpful conversations and make more informed treatment decisions with their providers.

I know first-hand that family and friends often step in as patient advocates – and according to Not One Type, women facing the early stages of breast cancer rely on three or more people to help them process treatment options. An incredibly valuable tool on the Not One Type website is a checklist of questions to help women facing this diagnosis and their supporters be as well-informed as possible in conversations with doctors.

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In addition to all of the visual messaging, a lovely tribute wall, “boobie pins” in all shapes and sizes, and ThirdLove discount cards – the campaign’s spokeswomen Giuliana Rancic was on hand leading the discussion with women currently living with breast cancer as well as drawing from her personal experience.  According to Giuliana “understanding your unique diagnosis is critical to receiving the right treatment for you. And it’s not just important for those diagnosed to know about the different types, but for those who love them.”

Armed with new-to-me facts and insight, I’m grateful that I can now help better support a loved one. Have a look around notonetype.org, I’m sure you’ll learn something too.

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Skin Care Series: I Had Laser Treatments and Here’s What Happened

A few months ago, I shared a story about being intrigued by the possibilities in laser skin rejuvenation – especially as a thirties-close-out party was quickly approaching. If I could go back in time, I’d scare my younger-self into protecting my skin (especially my face!) from the sun. Since I can’t do that, I jumped at the opportunity to test out cutting-edge lasers including the Cutera excel V, Clear + Brilliant Permea, and Alex TriVantage lasers.  In the hands of an expert, Jennifer MacGregor, MD at Union Square Laser Dermatology, I began laser treatments to address small facial blood vessels, sunspots, sun-damage, overall complexion improvement, brightening, plus more. Three months, and three different lasers later – I’m ready to share my results.

Rockaway-beach

After my initial consult, Dr. MacGregor went after the small facial blood vessels around my nose with the Cutera excel V laser. Let’s just say, instant gratification after seeing those little squiggly red lines around my nose dissipate. The full details about this laser and consultation are in a previous story. Dr. MacGregor also treated me with two other lasers:

CLEAR + BRILLIANT PERMEA LASER: 

The Clear + Brilliant Perema laser is a non-ablative laser to stimulate collagen growth and produce an overall brighter complexion, smoother texture, and even color. Often called “baby Fraxel” – this laser is super popular since it has little to no downtime. Dr.MacGregor frequently uses this laser pre-weddings and on patients requesting fantastic skin for a specific event. I had two separate appointments several weeks apart. First, a numbing cream was applied, and Dr. MacGregor went over my entire face, I found it to feel warm and not painful at all and expected to be redder than I was when the treatment was over. My skin was then treated with SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic, and sunscreen before I left the office. I could have put on makeup right away but chose to hop on the subway make-up free after all of my appointments (check out a flawless cover-up immediately post-treatment here).  I actually really liked the post-treatment feel of the numbing cream and slightly hot face. Call me strange, as I hear that most don’t care for the numbing cream sensation! Dr. MacGregor recommends the Clear + Brilliant three weeks before an important event – with a series of sessions based on specific need. I, however, found the sweet spot at the one-week mark. During the days-post treatment, my skin was dry and a bit rough but not peeling. If anything, I noticed the dryness around my crows-feet until I woke up to glowing skin a week after my treatments. I also appreciated that two lasers fit into each appointment. I had the Clear + Brilliant laser after the excel V laser in my second appointment, and again after the Alex laser (detailed below) in my third visit.

ALEX TRIVANTAGE LASER:

During my initial consult, Dr. MacGregor discussed the possible need for a laser stronger than the Clear + Brilliant to remove specific stubborn sun spots. After carefully examining the photos taken at the beginning of my third appointment, she lifted particular spots with the Alex TriVantage laser used to treat sun posts, freckles and age spots. She left the natural looking freckles on my nose and miraculously removed the spots that appeared in my late thirties, including pools of spots in my under eye area and several on my cheeks and cheekbones. This laser wasn’t painful, but it does require downtime to heal completely. When I left the office my sun spots were raised, swollen and angry! I noticed women on the train looking at me, and it was hard to not overshare my excitement about my laser treatments with total strangers. During the next few days, the spots became darker and more pronounced before flaking off. It looked like I had tiny flakes of mascara on parts of my face – but I went out to dinner the following day. As the spots began to lighten, I couldn’t’ believe the overall improvement in my skin.

Check out my before and after photos from October 2017 to January 2018:

To say I’m thrilled with the results is an understatement. Although it may not be evident in these concealer + foundation free photos – having the sun-spots removed under my eyes and in specific areas of my face makes me look healthier. Even with concealer, my sun-spots contributed to the look of dark circles under my eyes. I also noticed a significant improvement in my skin’s texture and complexion, as well as the lines around my eyes. I’m still the same me with much better skin!

Here’s what I learned:

  • Don’t Go for the Groupon Special:

These lasers require protective eye-wear, numbing cream and sometimes recovery. Some of the sunspots targeted with the powerful Alex laser were just centimeters away from my eyes. I can’t imagine undergoing medical treatments like these with anyone other than a sought-after expert. Laser treatments are not the time to go for a non-reputable bargain. Save that for a hobby class!

  • Choose Your Provider Wisely:

It’s important to see a highly-skilled provider to customize the right treatment plan. Dr. MacGregor closely examined the photos taken before each session in addition to my skin to tailor my treatments with specific lasers. If I went for a Clear + Brilliant only package from another provider, my outcome would not have been the same. Union Square Laser Dermatology employs the latest medical technology, including the newest lasers and energy devices catered and adjusted to each patient. Dr. MacGregor also set me on the right at-home skincare path as an essential part of the process.

  • Think of Your Desired Outcome: 

While a trip to a posh spa may leave me feeling relaxed – a lovely-feeling facial has never provided me with any sort of lasting results. For me, lasers are effective and are a much smarter investment.

Feel free to reach out with any questions or ask them in the comments below!

Thank you to Union Square Laser Dermatology for services.  Opinions, as always are my own. 

 

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Introducing Kinder Joy: These Coveted Kinder Eggs Have Finally Come to the US

Kinder-Egg-Joy-USA-launchThis post is sponsored by Kinder. Content and opinions, as always, are my own. 

There’s no longer a need to travel overseas to pick up those coveted Kinder Eggs because Kinder Joy has finally come to America! I couldn’t wait to join Kinder at their official launch at Manhattan’s Pier 59 to get my hands on the exciting treat.

Malin-Akerman-Kinder-Egg

The lovely Malin Akerman joined in the excitement as the official shipment pulled into Chelsea Piers.  And she shared a sweet story of getting to finally enjoy the nostalgic treat from her childhood abroad with her son, who also came along for the Kinder festivities.

Check out the Kinder Joy shipping crates pulling into Chelsea Piers. That’s a lot of Kinder!

Kinder-Egg-Shipment-New-York-City-Launch

Eager parents couldn’t wait to introduce the treat + toy to their kiddos as the first official Kinder Joy products rolled (or sailed!) in.

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Popular overseas – we’re pretty confident that Kinder Joy will soon be flying off the shelves!  Wondering what all the hype is about? Kinder Joy is a plastic egg that splits down the middle to reveal two separately sealed halves.

Kinder-Egg-Joy-Inside

One side contains a treat and the other, a toy! The treat side, comprised of two soft cream layers (sweet milk-cream and cocoa), along with two chocolate-covered wafer bites – filled with sweet cocoa cream – is simply divine.  You better believe that someone licked the included spoon clean!

Kinder-Egg-Joy-Inside-Toy

And the separately sealed toy side contains one of over 40 different toys – creatively designed for kids to assemble and engage in fun play alongside their parent.

Your kids will have a blast putting their little toys together.  And if you’re lucky, they’ll hopefully share the treat side with you!

Kinder-Eggs-Joy-Toy

I’m pretty sure that these kids love me extra when I come home with treats!  And Kinder Joy was the perfect way to add a little surprise to my littles day after returning home from a long work trip the evening prior.

Kinder-Egg-joy

I happen to love sharing in their joy (more than anything, really) too.

Kinder-Eggs-Joy

See ya’ in the Kinder isle!

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