Holiday Chill: Fun Style for Cool Kids

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This is a sponsored post. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for reading.

Our Christmas tree is decorated, our baking efforts are still going strong, and New York City is gleaming with holiday goodness.  It truly is a special time of year. Next weekend I’ll surprise my big girl with an early school pick-up to see the Nutcracker. And I can’t help but be excited to still have a say in planning holiday outfits for the kids!

We recently encountered a “nothing fits!” stage with my almost ten-year-old.  And while it was hard for her to come to terms with donating the majority of her favorite clothing pieces (growing is a good thing!); her excitement for replacing and replenishing her wardrobe with cool-kid-styles, just in time for the holidays, won.

I turned to a favorite, OshKosh B’gosh, for fun, trend-right, age-appropriate styles – that exude festive kids’ fashion without the fuss.

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My girl will go from school to play dates to holiday parties in these comfortable boots paired with cozy fleece leggings for extra warmth. Can I get them in my size, please?

Over the years, I’ve learned that I can count on OshKosh to deliver outfits that celebrate kids being kids, from head to toe. I can tell why my daughter fell for the cute heart pattern on this cozy pewter jacket. It’s something that I would have loved too, when I was her age.

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And I can’t help but think my how you’ve grown when I look back on certain photographs.

When it comes to shopping for my kids, I try to think of that closet full of clothing (in mostly excellent condition) that will soon be donated.  And while I love more than anything to pass things on, I set specific budgets and stick with our steadfast favorite brands.  When shopping with OshKosh, my daughter knows that I’ll say yes to fun accessories like heart-shaped glasses, holiday barrettes and a fun hat.  Along with a festive top or dress, leggings, shoes and a new jacket – she’ll mix and remix these pieces all season long.

At prices that never break the bank, I had to go back with all the great sales to score for my little guy too!  Jeans with suspenders, a crisp white shirt, plus a festive bow tie will forever melt my heart. And this sweet sibling bond will always get me too!

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Find a store near you and don’t forget to use this great coupon!

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Happy Holidays my friends!

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On Holiday Traditions with Hanes

Christmas-stocking-stuffers-Hanes-womenI’m so excited to partner with Hanes this holiday season (check me out on their homepage!).  This post is sponsored; however, all content and opinions, as always, are my own. 

The holidays are here, and I can’t help but be filled with the excitement of the season.  Over the weekend, we made our annual trip the tree farm, baked cookies and assembled donations.  It’s so much fun to experience quintessential holiday traditions with the kids, as we continue to sprinkle our home with the spirit of Christmastime in ways that feel meaningful – and even nostalgic of my childhood.

My mom was big on instilling the importance of giving to others.  And the holidays were also filled with the promise of unwrapping something that we hoped for, along with something that we needed.  I’ve carried on those traditions with my family too.  And now, along with my kids and husband, we all look forward to receiving and replenishing those everyday staples that carry us through our days.


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We’re totally a Hanes family.  We like the no-fuss ample packs of socks and undies that always seem to fit in just the right ways.  That’s why it’s so exciting to partner with Hanes this holiday season (with a neat feature on their website!), to share essentials like socks, undies, and T-shirts that have been steadfast favorites for all of us.

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Stockings ignite the first layer of excitement, as the kids rush to the fireplace, carefully inspect Santa’s cookie plate – and discover a stocking (hopefully!) filled to the brim. Along with some trinkets, my son will receive Hanes Boys FreshIQ No-Show Comfort Blend Socks. Can you guess why I LOVE this sport collection? At seven, let’s just say that the odor protection technology comes in handy! And I know that the durable grey soles and cushioned foot bottoms are ideal for winter months filled with outdoor snow play and exploration.

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Along with some scratch-off lottery tickets (hopefully winners!), my husband will score big with his top picks from Hanes.  Hans Ultimate FreshIQ Men’s Assorted Dress Socks are perfect for the festivities, with advanced odor protection technology in fun and trendy patterns. He’s also given a thumbs up to Hanes Ultimate Men’s FreshIQ X-Temp Air Boxer Briefs with breathable mesh fabric designed for serious comfort. Of course, I can’t forget the undershirts, the product that made him a Hanes loyalist! And he’s declared Hanes FreshIQ Men’s Comfort Blend Superior Softness Crewneck Undershirt 3-Pack the softest and best fitting tee ever.

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Our big girl seems to have inherited the sock pickiness that I had as a kid! It’s all about the seams not being bothersome and the material not too thick.  Hanes ComforBlendEZ-Sort Girls’ Ankle Socks thankfully pass the test, and come in packs of 11 pairs! You better believe she’ll get a new sock buddle along with Hanes Ultimate TAGLESS Cotton Stretch Girls’ Hipsters in her stocking this year.

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My favorite of all is getting to surprise my mama – just like she once did for me.  This year, she’ll receive the socks that I always pick up for myself; Hanes Women’s ComfortBlend No-Show Socks 6-Pack.  I know that these will bring comfort to her step and hopefully remind her of how much I value our traditions.

Wishing you a beautiful holiday!

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Fleeing Violence is Not a Crime: The Berks Kids & How To Help

Thank you, Amnesty International USA for sponsoring this post.

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The holidays are upon us.  And as we turn towards this season that means so much to many of us, it’s crucial to know that there are families in Pennsylvania merely hoping for freedom at Berks County Residential Center, where kids (yes children, teens, and even babies) alongside their mothers and fathers are being locked up in jail.  Parents are facing an impossible choice: stay and risk violence or flee to the U.S. and risk ending up behind bars with their children.  Berks is currently holding at least 60 parents and kids. Many of them are from Central America, where Amnesty International has documented horrific violence. If deported, many of these families will be facing incredibly dangerous situations, perhaps even death, upon their return.

Imagine fleeing for your life and the safety and security of your children, only to watch them learn how to walk and talk and have birthdays and holidays pass in jail.  How can leaving the only home you know to seek safety and freedom for your family, be punished as a crime right here in the United States? How can this happen in a country that agreed, decades ago, to treat people with compassion while respecting their human rights as their claims are considered?

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Alongside Amnesty International, dedicated lawyers, and global activists – there is an imperative to get involved right now.  Change takes time.  In August, four families were released after being held for nearly two years at Berks.

Two whole years.

730 days.  

Whether for two weeks or two years, no family should be jailed for seeking safety.

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Families have been forced to flee their homes because their lives are under threat and their human rights are being violated. We all share a responsibility to help people who have lost everything, and to give them a chance to rebuild their lives safely the same way all of us would need to if we were in this horrible situation.

HOW TO HELP

  • Amnesty International USA is fighting to ensure that people with asylum claims are given a fair hearing and humane treatment. Learn all of the details on their website, sign their petitions and encourage others to sign them too.
  • Call upon the U.S. administration to stop locking up children and their parents for seeking safety. Use your voice on social media demanding the immediate release of #TheBerksKids.
  • Watch the below video and share it with your friends, families, and networks.


We must do everything we can to end this human rights crisis and ensure protection for people who are fleeing violence.

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We must do everything we can to set children and their parents free.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Skin Care Series: I’m Giving Laser Treatments a Go

Thank you to Union Square Laser Dermatology for sponsoring this post.

Over the years, I’ve racked up my share of sunspots, and have also become increasingly cognizant of the fine lines that look like they’d like to take permanent residence on my face. With a 30’s close-out party soon approaching in the New Year – it’s time to prioritize things that make me feel good, nearly ten years into motherhood.  I’ve been curious about improving my skin with lasers, especially the ones with minimal downtime.  I was lucky enough to recently undergo treatments with Dr. Jennifer MacGregor, a highly sought after and respected New York City dermatologist, practicing at Union Square Laser Dermatology.

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During our initial consultation, I took to Dr. MacGregor and her minimally invasive approach immediately.  While, I pointed out sunspots, small red veins, dullness, and freckles, she said “We’re not trying to erase what makes you-you” while advising on the optimal approach to treat my skin. Her first step?  A session with Cutera’s excel V laser to tackle the small facial blood vessels below my nose.  I also got quite the education on the proper at-home care. While I thought that I was the winning the sun-damage game with my everyday use of sunblock and a hat – it turns out that my system was ALL wrong since my block didn’t contain physical blockers (or mineral sunscreen) like zinc oxide.  I left her office with the proper products to keep me on track.

I hightailed it to Dr. MacGregor’s beautiful office, perched above Union Square on a Friday afternoon – excited to begin.  After going over the process with Dr. MacGregor and her helpful team, I soon had on protective eyewear, while she worked wonders with the excel V.  After a few super quick zaps, the area around my nose was done.  I didn’t find the treatment to be very painful although my head twitched a tiny bit with each pass of the laser. Dr. MacGregor continually checked on my comfort level – and before I knew it, I had soothing ice packs applied to calm any post-procedure irritation.

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Dr. MacGregor giving a patient a laser treatment.  Image via Union Square Laser Dermatology.

When I got home, I examined my face under our bright bathroom lights.  Although those tiny red blood vessels didn’t bother me terribly, to begin with, I couldn’t believe the overall improvement once they were gone (yes GONE!).  One excel V laser session with my favorite new doctor provided instant gratification.  I no longer have the urge to dab concealer under my nose, and continue to be pleased with the overall self-esteem-boost that zapping away a few red squiggly lines provides.  Follow along on my skin-care series (the Clear + Brilliant laser is next!), where I’ll soon be revealing close-up before and after images to highlight my results.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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

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See ya’ in the Kinder isle!

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The Thanksgiving Table: A Simple Cranberry Décor DIY

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Thanks to our partner Ocean Spray for sponsoring this post. Content and opinions as always, are my own. 

Do any of you ever feel overwhelmed with the weeks leading up to the holidays? Somehow our calendars have a way of becoming full, and while it’s all positive and exciting, I need to streamline Thanksgiving planning and preparations as much as possible. My recent experience at Ocean Spray’s #AskCranma event inspired me to get creative with cranberries with everything needed to make that first Thanksgiving-hosting experience a memorable occasion.

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From fresh floating mini-cranberry-bogs to lavish centerpieces – you can add a seasonal touch of vibrant cranberry to elevate your Thanksgiving décor with the help of Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries.  I enlisted the kids in this simple project because they are always looking for ways to help! 

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Alongside little eager hands, several of my favorite apothecary jars in various sizes and shapes were filled to the brim with Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries to function as a centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table – and as décor in several areas throughout the home.  A collection of seasonal odds and ends were added to the mix, to create a T-day vibe throughout the space.  

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There are so many different ways to get creative with cranberries!  Clear vases of flowers can also be filled with cranberries to hide floral stems while creating pops of color.  And clear cylinders filled with a bit of water and cranberries can be topped with votive candles to adorn a mantle.  I went for a super time-efficient hack to weave a special Thanksgiving feel to our gathering. 

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Best of all, cranberries can be mixed with evergreen and other touches to carry a bright red festive color into December.  Thanks so much to Ocean Spray for the inspiration! Find other recipe and DIY hacks here.  Wishing you a beautiful celebration filled with meaning, good food, and family! 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ocean Spray®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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