April 30, 2013

A Transitional Nightlight? Yes It Does Exist and It's Downright Adorable

A few months ago I got a package from my friends over at Munchkin.  Inside was the lullavibe which I've already told you how I feel about.  There was also this little guy.   He's pretty cute, huh?  In an effort to give you good information I wanted to make sure we spent plenty of time with "Owl" as he is so creatively called in our home.

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You see, I have been burned by quite a few nightlights in my day and if there is a lesson I have learned from that it's don't declare anything a success until you've lived with it for at least a couple of months.  At first I found myself skeptical about this owl.  It's not the traditional night light that most of us are used to.

April 24, 2013

Summer Dessert for Kids: A Healthy Cup of Dirt

Well oh my goodness, summer seems to be on its way!  After spending the weekend watching Kayla and her cousins splash around in the pool, play some tennis and beg for a trip to one of the ever multiplying frozen yogurt stores I started thinking about the months to come and the dozens of small children who will grace our backyard this summer.

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Our family loves a little impromptu BBQ and my go-to treat has frequently been either watermelon cut up and served on popsicle sticks (because everything is better on a stick) or the always relished miniature ice cream cones we find at Trader Joe's.  In my very unprofessional opinion, the coolest thing about blogging is that your mind is constantly thinking of cool new things you can try and how to essentially build a better mouse trap.

April 20, 2013

Shelby's Snack Shack Game - Educational and Oh So Cute!

With summer very quickly approaching I've begun my hunt for a balance of outdoor and indoor activities to keep Kayla busy and learning.  Now that she is 4 we are really getting into preschool games.  The key seems to be finding something that will both visually appeal to a child and that offers tangible results in a short period of time.  

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While I was at Toy Fair this year the very energetic team from Educational Insights sent me home with a few games including Racoon Rumpus (which was a hit) and this new game Shelby's Snack Shack . Even I was drawn in by the adorable graphics and multiple skills the game targeted.  It's also a nice stepping stone from cooperative games when you're ready to introduce your child to the concept that hey kid, there might be a winner in this game and it actually might not be you!

April 16, 2013

Your wardrobe is probably getting a spring update...so how about your makeup case?

Spring.  It's been on my radar for quite some time now.  In fact I must admit that the second spring merchandise starts hitting the web for pre-order and the department store floors I get slightly giddy.  I actually think they invented "resort" as a season in the fashion industry not because so many people go on tropical vacations, but for those of us who cannot possibly contain ourselves and our desire to soak up all things that suggest warmer days ahead.

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It's only April and I've raided the shelves of Tory Burch, snapped up my fair share of brightly colored tunics and preppy flip flops, stocked up on the awesomely stretchy and inexpensive tank tops at Target, taken my favorite new Alexander Wang skirt for a spin and indulged in a few J.Crew crystal encrusted necklaces.  Not going to lie, it felt fabulous.

Living Room Skating - A mother daughter bonding moment courtesy of the Target Dollar Section

It's no secret that I love myself a trip to the Target dollar section AKA See Spot Save.  In fact as soon as I walk through the doors of Target I have tunnel vision and whatever my child or my spouse might be saying to me sounds like the adult voices in the Peanuts movies.  All I hear is wah-wah-wah-wah-wah as I pull out my cart from the stack and make a beeline to my happy place.

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Usually I buy craft supplies, wrapping paper and little coloring books and toys to throw in my bag to keep Kayla entertained on car rides and while dining out.  A while back I saw these Mr. Bubble socks and got all nostalgic.  Usually I only think of the dollar section for little kid socks, but nope they had Kayla's size and my size.  I threw them in my cart, went on my merry way buying nothing that was on my list and everything that wasn't (average Target trip, right?) and promptly forgot about those socks.

April 14, 2013

Perhaps He Shouldn't Have To Eat Like A 4 Year Old Girl

There is something that my husband has been doing for as long as I can remember that I just find adorable.  In fact, my mom even commented on it while she was visiting and staying with us one time.  Every morning you can hear Craig poking around the kitchen packing his little snacks for the day.  I crack up when I see the things that he puts in little baggies.

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Five gummy bears here.  One Milano cookie there.  A handful of Goldfish in this one.  Seriously, he is like a gigantic 7 year old.  I think the thing that is most hysterical is watching the look on his face as he methodically does this at 5am.  Questioning whether to go for a few extra gummy bears or not.  At the risk of having to sleep in the guest bedroom tonight I'll say that I think this is when he appears to be deepest in thought.  

April 11, 2013

It's Fancy Pants Salad Time! Kale Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Baked Goat Cheese #FreshTake #cbias

I have a secret to share.  Much like how I dress high and low and mix expensive designer duds with finds from "Tar-jey" I do it with dinner too.  Especially when entertaining.  Cooking for a group brings on a whole new host of problems.  It involves timing, mass portions and the feat of serving.  Over the last few years I've noticed that my biggest error is making too many complicated things that all have to be prepared on the spot, thus sending me into a kitchen tailspin and not allowing time to actually enjoy my friends.

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But now that I'm getting (very) old and (sort of) smart I'm learning to cook the same way I dress.  Make one or two fancy pants dishes that everyone will remember and keep everything else super simple.  What's the easiest thing to make that's visually appealing, can usually be prepped before hand and feeds a group?  A big salad!  It satisfies the "Oh I'm on a diet" guest, the inevitable vegetarian, the hungry men folk who can't wait for a main course and the friend who just doesn't eat...ever.  I swear there is one in every group!

April 10, 2013

How to Deseed a Pomegranate Quickly - in Just 1 Minute. No Kidding!

Want to know the fastest way to deseed a pomegranate without getting the juice everywhere?  Just follow the images to see how to get the seeds out of a pomegranate quickly.  I was able to do it in just one minute!

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Over the holidays I found myself sitting at quite possibly the most popular kitchen table in all of San Diego.  It belongs to a friend of mine who is known for her impromptu get togethers.  All of which happen in the most important room of the house, the kitchen.

April 9, 2013

Step2 All Around Wagon. Wagon, stroller, stuff schlepper, balloon pit. Float. I could go on.

I swear that the people at Step2 really like to send send pink vehicles our way because a few weeks ago this very cute, very pink All Around Wagon showed up at my front door, and as you can imagine there was a very excited little person waiting for it.
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You know I'm a Test Drive Blogger for Step2, and not too long ago we received the brand spanking new Easy Turn Coupe, which Kayla is still very much in love with.  However like most people,  Kayla is a sucker for a new box bearing a gift and immediately wanted to know when it was coming out of the box and could she please help put the wagon together NOW. 

April 8, 2013

Go on, have some fries! The best baked avocado fries #FreshTake

You know me, always scheming and thinking up ways to get this crew to eat more fruits and vegetables.  Lately I've seen a few recipes out there for baked avocado fries and since they haven't become as popular as the once loathed brussel sprouts that are popping up in restaurants everywhere I knew I'd have to make them myself first before sampling a real chef's work.

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Like I've mentioned before, I was not born as any kind of domestic goddess.  In fact I was quite the opposite and when this NYC girl moved to the San Diego suburbs I was in for a shock.  Not so many take out options.  Delivery?  Nearly non-existent.  So in the interest of my family not starving to death or living out of a drive through (oh the horror!) I have slowly been learning how to cook.

April 7, 2013

Confession - I am a fashionista who has never painted her nails. Ever.

How is that possible??  But yep, it's true!  I am 30 years old, worked in fashion for a decade and have never once painted my nails.  Why? I don't really have an answer.  I guess the truth is that I've been afraid.  There are certain things I am great at, like putting together outfits, spotting quality clothing finds in inexpensive stores and interpreting runway trends and adapting them to "normal people" fashion.

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Then there are things I think I'll be horrible at, like styling hair. If I had to try to braid my own hair beyond the most basic braid I would be lost.  Nails fall into the same category. I've had a few manicures  in a salon here and there but I'm terrified to try doing my own...probably because I'm not a great painter and get frustrated easily.

April 3, 2013

Question: How Come I Don't See Negative Posts on Your Blog?

Oh boy this is a good one!  Every once in a while I'll have a friend or a reader ask why they never see any posts on my blog that show a product I don't like or would give a negative review to.  I guess I could go down that road and between you and me if I did it would probably bring more traffic to my site than all of the positive things that I write about great products.  But honestly, that's not what I'm after or I'd just be doing giveaways all day long.

We want the dirt!

It's human nature - we want to know what is wrong with things, find out what to avoid and quite frankly we want the dirt!  I get that, I really do BUT there is a part of me that is just uncomfortable with that.  Why?  A few reasons...

April 2, 2013

And so it will be just the three of us. I think. Maybe.

Having only one child means a lot of things.  It means that resources which would otherwise be split amongst extra little mouths, bodies, college funds and wardrobes have only one allotment.  It means that my child often gets to experience having both her parents present at her swim classes and friends' birthday parties.  It means she'll probably never understand the wildly complicated, frustrating and yet loving, rewarding relationship that siblings bring -which saddens me to no end.

Last but not least it means that my daughter will always be the little one in the family.  At least in our nuclear family.  No little brother or sister to boss around.  No younger being to engage in mischievous play that's bound to drive mom nuts.  No one to show how things are done, the big girl way.  And no one to snuggle up next to in a heap and pass out next to with the comfort of sibling familiarity.  Don't even get me started on the adult years.  

Can you tell I'm grieving the loss of the child that's never been planned for and never will be?  It's true. The last year or so has left me feeling...torn.  There is really no other word I can think of to describe it. 

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