Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Our San Diego Trip!

       This past weekend was our long awaited trip to San Diego! Adam's mother volunteered to take over babysitting duty with Sophia and Jaxon. As much as I love to travel as a family, it's always nice to get away for some grown up time! We opted to fly out Thursday evening so we could enjoy a full day on Friday. I will never understand how supermodels can get off a flight looking like they stepped off of a Marc Jacobs catwalk. San Diego welcomed me in the wee hours of Friday, with smeared eyeliner, frizzy hair, and a stiff neck!

My top two places I wanted to visit were the San Diego Zoo (for my inner 7 year old) and Fashion Valley Mall (well, because I'm a woman).

San Diego Zoo Thoughts: PANDAS! I am a panda nut as I think they are so stinking adorable! That was probably the highlight of the visit for me and luckily, I controlled myself enough not to break into their habitat and steal one. Adam loved the gorillas and could not stop laughing uncontrollably when they pressed themselves up against the glass. (Typical boy!) There is so much to see that I feel like it would have to be split into two days. Walking around in that heat was so draining, I definitely wished there was such a thing as an adult stroller(with cup holders!)

                                             picture source: http://hospitalitybusinessnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/panda.jpg

Fashion Valley Mall: As many times as I have gone there, the fact that there is no roof always leaves me in a state of shock! The walk ways are completely open, complete with palm trees but the stores are covered. Coming from the unpredictable East Coast, Definitely had to hit up Kate Spade, Lacoste for Adam, and the Lego Store for Jaxon! This mall is a big favorite of mine as it has a nice mix of high end and affordable stores!

picture source: http://betanews.com/wp-content/uploads/media/50/5090.jpg

     The long weekend was so relaxing but I was EXTREMELY anxious to get back to my little babes! One night away is ok but three was just too much! I can't even imagine how it will be when they have to leave for college. ( I know, I know, years and years away but still!) I have a scary feeling I will be one of those mom's that moves away to college with their kid... in an apartment across the street... haha Just kidding! But overall, it was a great weekend and I am excited to start planning for our annual end of summer party!
Comment and leave me some new recipes to try for the party!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


        Buying sunscreen at the beginning of summer is kind of a love/hate relationship for me. All sunscreens expire after a certain amount of time (usually around a year) so it is one of those necessary evils. I love the thrill of stocking up after a great deal but I hate (well, strongly dislike) the shelves packed with an obnoxious amount of choices!( Oh, don't even get me started on choices and Netflix!) After a few years of trying and tossing, here are a few of my top picks!

** All items and opinions are my own. I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies below. **

For the Kiddos:

Coppertone Water BABIES Pure & Simple SPF 50:
  • Free of: Dyes, Fragrances, Oil, and "Tear"
  • Water Resistant (up to 80 minutes)
  • Creamy and easy to spread formula
A big fan of this as it is gentle but still does everything a sunscreen should! Coppertone is a drugstore brand that has been around for years that is still a top contender!

Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunscreen SPF 30:
  • Chemical free sunscreen
  • Contains sunflower oil, grape-seed oil, jojoba oil and aloe vera
  • Paraben free

This brand is a favorite of Adam's parents. It is very thick, so you don't need a lot per application.  It can be found in the organic section of most supermarkets!

For  Grown-Up's:

Peter Thomas Roth Uber-Dry Sunscreen SPF 30:
  • Non- greasy
  • Fragrance free
  • Contains antioxidants 
This has been a long time favorite of mine and can be found at Sephora or Ulta. It doesn't leave a greasy or slimy feeling like most sunscreens do. But ladies, keep this as a makeup free beach day staple because the formula will pill up on your face if you try to apply anything else on top of it!

Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Spray-On Sunscreen SPF 100:
  • Easy to apply
  • Oil-free and Won't clog pores
  • Resists sweat off
This is great for active days, whether at the beach or going for a hike. Most drugstores usually have Neutrogena products on sale regularly, which is great because Adam hasn't learned how to apply this with a light hand yet.

For more information on sunscreen for kids, check out this article on Consumer Reports!

What's your favorite sunblock? 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekend Re-Cap!

Roadtrippin': Saturday, we took a mini road trip upstate to visit some of Adam's college friends and we stopped in at the local mall. I don't know what holiday it was but WOW there were some great sales. I definitely stocked up on some great pieces for our upcoming San Diego trip (next weekend! WOOHOO!) like this FABULOUS Bebe dress:
picture credit: Bebe.com

Definitely excited to wear this out for dinner! I love the color and the fit was extremely flattering. I'm thinking flat sandals to dress it down a bit. Or is this a "with wedges" dress? Let me know below!! :)

Jaxon's new favorite word is "Why": On the road, Jaxon loved asking "why" after everything Adam said . Thankfully, this new found curiosity about everything and anything was reserved for Dad. Three and a half hours in the car and a good portion of the sounds coming from the back seat were "why?" and little bursts of giggles (my heart melts everytime I hear that sound!) I don't know if this is a new little habit picked up from his friends on playdates but let's hope this phase ends... QUICK!

Taco Bell Double Steak Quesadilla... Double disappointment: Overpriced, average, unsatisfying... the list could go on and on. I'm not a big fast food eater but I admit, the commercials got me. Maybe it was just how it was made at my local Taco Hut ( that's a combination of Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in one building), but I basically got bread, cheese, and about four chunks of steak. No me gusta. (Photoshop at it's finest below!)

picture credit: tacobell.com

Sad day for a Gleek: I was beyond crushed hearing about the unexpected passing of Glee star, Cory Monteith. I really thought it was a hoax until the official rep statements started coming out. Although I have not kept up with watching the show consistently, I loved the message that Glee sent about embracing who you are! It's rare to see a show that encourages kids to be themselves instead of be obnoxious or exhibiting bad behavior to get attention. I'm very interested to see how the show will continue. My heart really goes out to his family and friends and especially poor Lea Michele.

picture credit: dosomething.org

Now that the weekend is over, it's back to taking care of the busy bodies and this mountain of laundry I can't ever seem to conquer. How was your weekend??

Monday, July 8, 2013

5 Things I Learned at Spin Class Today!


        After a weekend of hot dogs, mac salad, and every other sinfully delicious treat, my jeans were feeling a little snug! So this morning, I headed to a spin class at the local gym. I had tried to get into a routine of taking a few classes a week but really keeping any kind of consistent, non-kid related routine can be a major challenge when you're a mom! Luckily, our gym has a "playcare" center with really great and certified attendants to watch Jaxon and Sophia when we want to sneak in a quick workout!

      Leaving the class, I left feeling powerful, drenched in sweat, and a little bit wiser in spinning etiquette. Here are a few things I learned:

1) A change of clothes should be a necessity, not an option! If you are working at the level that the instructor has suggested, you will be absolutely drenched at the end. Spinning supposedly burns 600 - 900 calories in an hour workout and it shows by the ridiculous amount of sweat all over.

2) Gel seats make all the difference. "Ouch, that hurt" is probably going to come out of the mouth of a new spinner at some point. From top to bottom, muscles that have never been worked are DEFINITELY being worked. A gel seat can help with comfort, height, and any unwelcome soreness the next day!

3) Bring your Ipod just in case the instructor is a Kenny G fan. Depending on the age or style of your instructor, musical tastes are almost bound to differ. I've gone to a spin class where the instructor played nothing but Cher, Kenny G, and Barry Manilow. While that may be encouraging music for some, I prefer faster paced beats like Britney Spears, Rihanna, and Kesha bumping in my ears. I will sometimes bring my Ipod, safely secured in my armband with one headphone in and one out to hear when to "jump" and when to "sprint"!

4) Have a light snack before! Because you don't want to pass out from starvation mid cycle and fall off your bike, right? I like a chopped banana with a scoop of peanut butter or a Kind granola bar before.

5) Don't abandon your spin workout...even on vacation! An older gentleman in the class was visiting family in town and actively sought out a gym that offered spin classes close to his son's house. While enjoying yourself while away is a nice break from reality, consistently sticking to a workout routine is beneficial for mind, body, and soul. This man has inspired me to look out for hotels with gyms in our upcoming trip !

Overall, with the added benefit of a playcare in the gym, fitting in a workout at least twice a week is so much more convenient. Now, I really have no excuse to skip a morning workout... but I'm sure I will end up finding one (especially when it comes to NYC Fashion Week!)

For more spinning tips, check out this site!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Favorite Retail Rewards Programs!

Who doesn't love getting free gifts with purchases or even just free anything?! Adam loves to make fun of my bulging wallet, filled with every kind of club card you can imagine! Truthfully, I rarely use most of them... but I always sign up with the best intentions! What can I say... I'm addicted! Here are my top favorite rewards cards:

1) Gymboree Rewards: This kids store is one of my go-to places to pick out some casual basics for the kids! Durable and quality material make these duds look like they cost way more than they actually do! With this rewards card, you get a point for every dollar spent which can lead to member only discounts, a free class pass to Gymboree Play and Music, and early notice of major sales! (Free to sign up)

2) Sephora Beauty Insider: What red-blooded woman doesn't love Sephora? I don't think there has ever been a time that I have left that store without buying something! This program gives you a point for every dollar spent, which you can use on 100 point or 500 point bonuses, which are usually deluxe sized samples or kits. Also, in your birthday month, you get a free gift to celebrate your birthday! In the past, they've had a Philosophy full size body wash and a Benefit trial kit of their best sellers! (Free to sign up)

3) MyPanera Card: Panera Bread is without a doubt my favorite stop for a quick lunch! Almost every time I have visited there, I have a free SOMETHING waiting for me! From smoothies to bagels, I feel as though I'm constantly being rewarded just for setting foot in Panera! It's free to sign up with no minimum amount to spend to receive awards. 

What are some of your favorite rewards programs??

picture credit: http://mangoworldmagazine.blogspot.com/