Monday, February 28, 2011

Because Bryn and Carter Are Obviously Destined to Be Lovah's...

I have been looking forward to tonight's premiere of Bethenny Ever After almost as much as I have been mercilessly counting down the days until Carter's first birthday party. To me? Bethenny is that big of a deal. Sure, some may think she's crass and classless and perhaps a bit uncouth. (Anyone remember the time she hiked up her wedding dress and peed in an ice bucket? Anyone?)  But in my book? She's one funny mother. Literally.

During my pregnancy, I never missed a beat of Bethenny Getting Married. When she announced her pregnancy and I came to learn that she was only a few months further along that I, the wheels started turning. Don't you think Carter and Bryn would make THE cutest couple? Our last name is so much better than Hoppy, so at least she has that going for her.

Sure you could say that she's a bit all over the place, but in a good way, right? I mean she's an uber popular chef teetotaling her own cookbook line, liquor line, lingerie line as well as appearing for a bit on Skating with the Stars. Okay, that might not have been one of her finer career decisions, but how could you not love her?

If you're as hopped up on Bethenny as I am (or maybe that's just the Skinny Girl Margarita talking), don't forget to tune into Bravo tonight at 10pm to catch her in all of her snarky Upper East Side goodness!

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Loyals, Meet Apothica and my Bestie, Bobbi Brown.

If you've been a frequent reader during these last few weeks, then you've noticed the sneaky little blurb that magically appeared at the top of my left hand sidebar. Loyals, meet my newest sponsor, Apothica. If you're not yet familiar with this beauty maven then you must head over immediately and check her out! 

As stated on the Apothica website," is an online beauty boutique, which carries the finest selection of skin care, body care, aromatherapy, and cosmetic products on the market today, including the most natural, organic products available. We are dedicated to providing you with high quality products formulated to promote and enhance your natural beauty. " And dedicated they are! I cannot say enough about the darling customer service that I have been privy to over these past few weeks.   

Chances are you've heard of SkinCareRx and SkinBotanica and each of these companies are partner sites of Apothica! Pretty darn sweet, if I do say so myself! 

We all know make-up is one of my biggest guilty pleasures. Most days, if it weren't for Bobbi Brown, this Mama wouldn't be able to leave her house without wearing a brown paper bag over her head! Looks like I'll be ordering refills of some of my must-have-can't-live-without's from Apothica very, very soon! 

Bobbi Brown - Bronzing Powder in Golden Light
Suffice to say this Mama hasn't seen a tanning bed, let alone sunless tanner in ages. There just  aren't enough hours in the day to allow for such novelties anymore! My quick fix? This bronzer. Goes on light and is the perfect sun-kissed look. Perfect as in, I don't look at all like Snooki which is my biggest fear when it comes to bronzers/tanners, etc. 

Bobbi Brown - Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Sepia Ink
I LOVE this stuff. I use a tiny angled brush to apply it to both my upper and lower lids and once applied this stuff stays put for hours on end. What more could you ask for from eyeliner? I just love that when I use this product, I won't end up looking like Rocky just a few short hours after applying it. 

Bobbi Brown Brush Cleanser
Speaking of brushes, I spent an extraordinary amount of money on mine. Like, more than I would truly care to admit. That being said, I spent a long time trying to find the perfect brush cleanser. There were a few that were too oily and left behind a strange residue on the brushes. One even had this god awful chemical odor that nearly knocked me off my feet and made my eyes tear. Finally, I came across Ms. Brown's cleanser. Perfection, indeed. Especially ever since I started using BB's gel eyeliner. Just a small dab on the brush once per week and this cleaner leaves my brushes feeling extra soft just the way I like 'em! 

So, most importantly, how can YOU bring a little bit of Bobbi and Apothica into your home? Go ahead and get on their website and check out the amazingness that is Apothica. 

If you'd rather just wait until Monday 
and check back here for an AWESOME 
Apothica Gift Card giveaway, 
you could do that also! 

I told you exciting things were happening around these parts... Happy Friday, Loyals! 

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Little Buddha - Wee One Wednesday

i just can't decide what's cuter:
the oversized ears, the laughing smile
or the incredibly Buddha-esque belly
that he's a' rockin'.
sometimes (ok, most times)
i just want to squeeze his little guts. . .

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Kelly Moore Bag - Need I Say More?

If it's possible to have a love affair with an inanimate object, then mine would have to be with my Canon D-SLR.  I love my camera and have loved it ever since The Husband gave it to me as a present for my twenty-sixth birthday. It's no secret that I use this camera daily, shooting the faces of my two favorite boys, Carter and Sheepie. I'm proud to announce that within the last eight months, I dedicated myself to learning how to use it in all of it's manual glory which now means that I no longer take pictures "inside the little green box." Folks, for me? This is a big deal. 

I was introduced to Kelly Moore and her Kelly Moore Bag a long time ago by my sweet photog friend, Melissa Manzione. If you recall, she took the most precious newbie pics of Baby C at just 12 days old. Melissa owns not one but two of these darling bags and I've been dying to welcome one into my home for a while now, something a bit difficult to do on this stay-at-home-mama's budget. 

Wouldn't this bag make the sweetest diaper tote? Er, I mean camera bag? Not only would I be able to tote around Carter's necessities, but I'd also be able to house the other love of my life, my Canon and some of her extra goodies. Just looking at it makes me swoon.

If you're like me and have a thing for pretty, sweet camera/diaper/catch-all bags and are looking for a little help in acquiring one, check out the sweetness that Kelly Moore is offering here. While you're there, shop around. Check out the amazing-ness that is Kelly Moore Photography!

Now.. how do I convince my husband that this bag is an absolute necessity?

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Monday's Must-Haves: Oh Baby Baby! Toys and Snackies.

I've gotten a few email inquiries lately surrounding the types of toys and sorts of snacks that are must-haves in the M household as of late. Here's a quick rundown of what's currently a sanity-saver in our everyday lives.

Sophie has been on our list pretty much since month 3. I truly do not see the fuss over her tiny little rubber self, but Carter absolutely adores her. Natural food rubber? Natural paint? Yes, please! She's a sanity-saver for sure. We even recently bought Sophie #2 for the car. Welcome to teething city! Population: One. 

Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether

Speaking of teething, Carter loves his Sassy Tactile teether keys, too! What's one more baby toy that makes annoying sounds, right? At this point in time, it just blends in with all the rest of the baby background music! Not to mention it's pretty dang cute when C tools around the kitchen in his walker, sucking on his car keys. 

Sassy Tactile Tunes Keys Teether Toy
I'd be 10 kinds of crazy if it wasn't for Carter's affinity for his walker. We have this one at our home in Maryland and he absolutely loves it. He could easily sit in it for an hour and entertain himself, mostly by beeping the horn with his tongue. My husband loves it because it allows me enough time to cook dinner each night. And yes, he scoots all over our house! I'm not sure if it would scoot on carpet, as our entire first floor is wood- but he's quite the mover! He also loves to sit and spin the sideview mirrors. Over and over and over again.

Jeep Liberty Renegade Walker, Storm 

While at home in New Jersey this week, Gammie and Poppy surprised Carter with this walker. A bit pricier than the one we have at home but fabulous nonetheless. The extra nice thing about the Combi is that the handlebar tray is removable and reveals a flat snack tray. When Carter tires of the lights and buttons I can easily remove the activity portion and either throw some new toys at him or fill the tray table with Puffs. It's a win-win!

Combi Adventure Walker, Red

VTech, how I love thee. Here's another new favorite in our household. The Vtech Sit-to-Stand Activity Walker. Carter loves, loves, loves this! Mama loves it for many reasons, too. Not only is the activity portion removable so that Carter can play with it on the floor if the Prince so wishes, but when attached in the "sitting position," I'm able to lock the wheels so that the walker isn't rolling all over the place. Granted, we're not quite to the mobile stage where he's pushing this little sucker all over the place, but until then- it's the perfect little learner! Numbers, letters, animals and animal sounds.. and it's bilingual! I bet you all didn't know that I'm near fluent in Spanish, did you? Hopefully Carter will be, too! 

VTech Sit-to-Stand Activity Walker

Ah, the Zany Zoo. I don't have much to say about this toy other than if you don't already have one, you need to change that immediately. What I love most about this toy is that it's super durable and made of wood- just like all those toys from our childhood! Colorful and lot's of great kiddie artwork. It really helps strengthen and encourage C's fine motor skills. Can't go wrong there! His favorite task is to push the little animals and beads along their wire tracks. He's a bit young to enjoy this toy in it's entirety but I have no doubts that he'll be growing into it for months to come!

B. Zany Zoo 
When Carter isn't playing, chances are he's eating. Totally takes after his Mama, that boy! In addition to his 4 milkies and 2 meals of solids a day, Carter also gets to enjoy a few snacks here and there. Here's what we're munching on at six-months old. 

Mum-Mum's. I first came across these tasty organic treats when searching for a teething biscuit for C. Let me throw out there that I am a choking-hazard Nazi. Seriously, the thought of my son choking on something is pretty much one of my biggest fears. Bigger than SIDS, if you can believe that. So when I read through the hundreds of Mommy-reviews and not one of them mentioned choking or gagging, I was sold. Carter is obsessed with these crackers. They're actually more of a wafer, as they are super thin and basically melt in your mouth. He loves feeding himself and these wafers help him do just that. The only downfall? Any leftover Mum-Mum mush turns to cement if not wiped away immediately. We've taken many a bath after snack time. Carter's favorite flavor is Banana. Mama's favorite flavor? Veggie. Try them all. Yum! 

Hot Kid Organic Baby Mum-Mum Original Rice Rusks, 24-Count Rusks (Pack of 6)  

Puff's. Okay, so back when I said I was a choking-hazard Nazi, I really wasn't kidding. I'm still slightly terrified when it comes to giving Carter Puff's, but they really strengthen his hand-eye coordination as well as fine motor skills (ie.: the pincer grasp!) So, what does this crazy Mama do? Why, I break them in half. I mean, I personally think they're a bit large for my little 6mo. old's mouth anyway, so breaking them in half not only makes them safer but more manageable also! Carter started eating his Puffs earlier this week and once again, the child loves to feed himself. As soon as he hears the "shake shake" of the carton, he goes bonkers. For those of you wondering, yes, our Pedi encouraged us to start small snack foods. Carter's a bit ahead of the curve. We love our little overachiever! We also love us some 'Nana Puffs.

HAPPYBABY Organic Puffs, Apple Puffs, 2.1-Ounce Containers (Pack of 6)

Healthy Times Premium Organic Teething Biscuits, Vanilla Flavor. Okay, so these I found in the organic foods aisle in our local grocer. For weeks my mother had been asking if I had given Carter his first biter biscuit and truth be told, I had forgotten that these kinds of things exist. It's been a while since I was a Nanny and hadn't really been reading my... um... child-rearing books. And last time I checked, I hadn't received any emails with the subject heading, "Give Your Baby Biter Biscuits!" 

As soon as I saw these, I knew I had to scoop them up for Baby C! Okay, let's be honest because we're all about honesty on this blog. Mum-Mum's take approximately 5 minutes to devour. That's like 30 seconds in Mom-Free time. These teething biscuits? Oh, we're talking a good thirty minutes. Which we all know translates into an eternity in Mom-Free time. Mama's, if you're going to head out and snag a box of these, be prepared for a major mess. How do I know Carter loves his biter biscuits? The minute he drops it or loses it to a certain Sheepdog, he starts freaking out! I've even had a few chomps and these babies are delicious! 

Healthy Times Premium Organic Teething Biscuits, Vanilla, 6-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)

Last but not least, I started introducing Carter to a sippy cup. With the introduction of more and more solids, let's just say things tend to get a little backed up inside that lil' Buddha belly. We all know that babes need additional fluids when solids are introduced in greater quantities and when things started to slow down a bit, I knew it was a good time to introduce water. During snack time, I'll often offer Carter a sippy full of water. If things have been especially slow, sometimes it's a sippy full of water with a dash of apple juice throw in. Currently, these are the Nuby sippies that we're using. No-spill valve, easy for C to grasp onto and I love the soft silicone spout. Now, he can sippy with the best of 'em!

Nuby 2 Handle Cup with Soft Spout, Colors May Vary, 7 Ounce

So, there you have it! Just a few of the things that make my every day life as a Mama that much easier. Thanks for the emails! I always love to hear from you. Don't forget, you can find me on Twitter and Facebook, too! Just check out the "Contact" tab at the top of the page! Happy Monday, readers!
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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Can You Guess How We Spent The First "Nice" Day of The Year?

If you guessed at the park with every other mommy, grandmother and child in the Northern counties of New Jersey, then you are correct! The way I see it? Taking your child to the park on the first nice day of the year is like earning one of your must-have first-time Mommy badges. As we strolled around the park, the contentment of being outside in the fresh air was almost palpable. It was as if months of stress and anxiety, weeks of "oh-my-god-if-I-can't-take-you-outside-child-i'm-going-to-scream" feelings were almost non-existent.

We Mama Bears came out of hibernation. And let me tell you, there is no finer feelin' in the world! If today is any inkling of the exciting days of field trips that Carter and I have ahead of us?  Bring on the sunshine, Mr. Spring!

Carter loved seeing the goats and the "moo-cows." Judging by the amount of babbling and raspberry-blowing that took place, those seemed to be his favorites. He also loved the congregation of ducks swimming beneath the covered bridge. He didn't care much for the monkeys, the mountain lions or the pigs, as I'm fairly certain we could have done without those.

The Great American Condors were putting on quite the show for the park visitors. I think my exact words to Carter in this picture were, "These birds are very ugly Baby C and they could eat you."

Carter was most intrigued by the other little boys and girls running around the park. Had I known this, I could have just taken him to the local Target. At least then I could have grabbed a fountain soda and an extra cute pair of yoga pants.. or two!

All in all it was a very successful first trip to the zoo. I think my absolute favorite part was this shining piece of Mom-wisdom that I overheard while leaving the park.

A Mommy was walking to her car hand in hand with what looked like a 3-4 year old little boy. To the oblivious observer, the boy looked upset to be leaving the park but it wasn't as if he was throwing a five-star tantrum. He must've been a little whiny because in a very loud Mom-voice I overheard...

"Now, that sounds a lot to me like whining. And we both know I don't respond to whining. So you're going to have to use your words or else the zoo and all the animals are going to burn to the ground."

Awesome. Because that won't give the kid nightmares or anything. . .

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