Friday, August 18, 2017

Roots CoffeeBar & Cafe - Our trip to Wisconsin Part One.





I found a little place that felt like home ... but it's more like a two-hour plane ride.

We went on our first real family vacation this summer to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We have gone on vacations nearby like Philly, Pensylvania, New Jersey, Atlantic City. Everything that is pretty much at a driving distance. So it was kind of a big deal! I have so much to share from our trip but I am going to do a different post for each place we really enjoyed during our stay there.


First stop. Roots Coffee bar & Cafe. It was everything I have always wanted in a coffee shop, that you just can't possibly find out here in NYC. It was spacious, lively, and had so much variety - from coffee to juices, to breakfast and lunch. Even a kids menu - now that's golden for any momma who enjoys coffee. I was able to enjoy a coffee and a salad, while the boys sat at the kids table, coloring and eating their pizza and mac and cheese. I would call that heaven!

After we ate we decided to go sit in one of their cozy sections on a couch overlooking the space. They had reading material and outlets all over the place. Perfect space to get some work done if necessary. If only they had a place like this by my home - it was every blogger's dream come true area. Not a loud, overcrowded Starbucks like we are all used to in the city. It truly gave me One Tree Hill - Karens Cafe vibes, and I was loving every minute of it.

Their coffee was perfection, and their food was AMAZING. Usually, in NYC it is one or the other. My little picky eaters loved it all from the waffles they ate one morning, to the pizza they had once during lunch hours. I wanted to try just about everything on their menu but the first time we went I tried their chicken caesar salad which had just the right amount of everything in it, and then the second time around I tried their "The Who" Wrap ( Chicken salad, mixed greens, avocados and tomato on a wheat wrap) --- It was even better than I expected it to taste.

This family friendly coffee shop was opened by owners Heidi and Hilary. They always had a vision of opening up their own coffee shop because they liked the community feel that it brings to a town. They wanted a safe place for people to be able to meet and spend quality time together. They opened the shop in 2011 and since then have been around helping people make lasting memories. In 2015 they received The Women in Business Leadership award from the Oconomowoc Chamber of Commerce for their commitment to the city.

On this gloomy and wet day in NYC sitting in my living room writing this I truly am missing me some Roots coffee and comfort. Hoping to soon return on a trip out there, just so I can return to the coffee shop I have always visioned in my head as THE perfect coffee shop.






Friday, August 11, 2017

Time for Dad with JORD.






Time is the most precious thing you can give your children, and you don't need to be rich to do so ! Growing up my parents spent so much time on me - making sure I was happy and well taken care of. It's honestly what I remember most : teaching me how to ride a bike, taking me swimming, and sitting down to eat dinner as a family every night.  It is in the end a big part of who I am.  I enjoy the simple things in life because my parents taught me that is what matters most ! In this day and age it is so easy to just distract your children with tablets, and tons of different toys so you can enjoy your dinner ; but it's not worth it if you can't spend real quality time together.



My boyfriend is a great dad to my two angels. He loves venturing out with them and doing things they will forever remember! Even if it's just heading to the library for a little bit , he will sit and read with them - I am pretty sure that is a memory they will always keep with them. They will always know that we spent all of our time making them happy.


Thanks to JORD I was able to say thank you to him for taking the time to be a good dad every day! They sent us a beautiful wooden watch from their collection! When I opened up the box I was in awe of how perfectly crafted it looked. It's so simple yet so classic, and perfect to dress down in but can also be used to dress formal for festivities. He wears it everywhere - whether it is out to the park with the kids; or on date night when it is just the two of us. 

Just the right reminder to show him that we love him just as much as he loves us !




Click on the link here to check out their women's collection 

Lucky for you guys I am hosting a giveaway with JORDOne lucky winner will win a $100 gift code to use on their website plus everyone that enters will get a $25 gift code to use on any watch!

Hurry the giveaway will close August 20, 2017 at 11:59pm. Both the $100 and $25 gift code will expire on November 12, 2017. Good Luck!


(*This post is sponsored, but all opinions are of my own- as always !)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Enjoying the simple things


 
In this day and age it's tough raising a child. There's iPhones in every persons hand, toy commercial after toy commercial, and social media just keeps growing into a competition on who is living the "best" life. I truly miss the days of dial up internet and beepers. Can they create a time machine already because I would gladly go back to 1999, and stay there. 

Unfortunately there isn't too much I can do about it but just force , yes I said force my children to enjoy the simple things in life. Something as simple as sitting in silence and watching the sun set or the clouds form into animals. It will most definitely not be on their list of favorite things because they are too young to quite understand the benefits of down time, but it is something that should be set for them anyway. Sometimes allowing your child to be bored just a tad can spark their creativity a little, and throw them into an adventure they wouldn't have been possibly on if they stayed glued to the television. I remember being young and I would get in trouble so my parents would not let me play with my toys - right there is where I found my passion for simple things like writing, and reading.  It also opened my eyes to pretend play and using random things to play school or doctor. I spent hours on hours playing school, I should have known then that it would bring me into a career in childhood education. 

You don't want to raise a child who grows up to be never satisfied with what is handed to them. I see it all the time when a child is told to go to the library and you see the agony on their face. Or when their Christmas present isn't exactly as big as they expected it to be. No judging because those have once been my child and it absolutely kills me. I feel like I have failed them as their mother because they value more what they are getting from the experience than the experience itself. BUT this is something you can consistently teach your child until they receive it and use it in their daily routine all on their own. 

I have always been a mom who goes overboard for birthdays for Christmas , even thanksgiving where I would give them a present to show them how thankful I am for them (never again!) -  because everything else I do just isn't enough to show my love and devotion to them right ? We sometimes over do things for our children that are better off simplified. We believe it's going to show our love for them , or we use the excuse that we want them to have everything we didn't have, but they are kids who don't need ten Imaginext houses or four of the same Spider-Man's. They just need to be shown how simple it is to love the life you are given because you were only given one. So before you start to complain about spilled milk (literally) or not making it to the bus stop on time - remember those little eyes watching you and show them that every little thing is going to be alright, if they just take some time to enjoy.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

My Blogger Bash Experience


 

It was my first time at Blogger Bash on Pier 60,  all thanks to Bloggin' Mamas for letting me go as part of their team.

Blogger Bash is just a big space for all bloggers to get together , get to know each other - and just uplift each other. Being a blogger is fun, and has its perks. But there is no denying that it is a job in itself ! It isn't easy, or just a way to pass time. If you take it seriously and are constantly trying to grow as a blogger it takes lots of time , consistency, and even more time. So being able to enjoy something like blogger bash while still working/ networking with brands and companies is a perfect setting! 



I was surrounded by strong hard working women all day , and being able to hear their stories at the Armitron: Turning passion into Adventure breakfast panel was so inspiring. The moderator was Lyss Stern, author and CEO of marketing agency DivaMoms.com. The pointers and tips given to grow your blog into a brand, and how to work with different companies. Learning to not be scared to get a "no" and knowing when to try again. I loved hearing how they started out their blog/ brand journey and got to where they wanted to be at the end. It was definitely empowering to see them reach for a dream and birth it.



And the Armitron watches are all just so stunning. I couldn't even pick a favorite. Adding them all to my Christmas wish list for sure! 
 

After that we went right next door to BabyPalooza. A great space filled with many brands specifically for all of babies needs!

I really enjoyed meeting the different brands that were there and getting to know them. Down below are just a couple of brands that I will most definitely be using with my kiddos from here on out!


- Oilogic : 100% Pure Essential Oils care for kids roll ons. They are non toxic, and all natural with 26 different oils for so many different needs, like - sleep, stuffy nose, cough, bug bites, and itches, even ouchies and booboos! I have already started using the Sleep roll on and I even use it on myself at night sometimes. I have been loving it. I have a feeling we will be living off Oilogic from here on out!

-Re-Play Childrens Table ware: Dish ware for toddlers and kids that are made out of recycled FDA approved, food safe plastic. They are super colorful, and just so easy to use. I got myself a couple of plates, bowls, and utensils and I want even more now. It has definitely become my boys favorite dish ware for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Lastly I am going to talk about Tiny Beans - A online baby journal. where you can share pictures, milestones and videos of your children in a safe way with any family member or friend you want. A private social network that the whole family can enjoy together. I love this idea, because there are just some things you do not want to share via facebook, or you just dont want to be that over sharing mama that people cant stand. I have signed up and will be sharing lots and lots memories with all my family members now!

Soon enough I will be having Part 2 up of my Blogger Bash experience, from Sweet Suite!
I already can not wait until next year.



Sunday, July 30, 2017

Let GoodNites help you #RestEasyTonight



As moms we are constantly on demand. Our to do list is filled with a million and one things we still can't seem to remember ! From the morning struggle to get the kids to school, all the way to the end of the night. Sadly it doesn't stop once they fall asleep sometimes. Let's face it bed time is a task that is on a whole other level. Just getting them to lay down can take a couple hours .. so once they are sound asleep you would want to keep it that way.

We started potty training the boys at the age of two. Because for the most part you are told that is when you should start right ? So with my first I struggled really hard to meet that deadline society gives you ... because the last thing I wanted was to be a "bad mom". Luckily potty training wasn't too bad with them , but they both till this day have a tough time with night time potty training. Who even knew these were two different challenges, because I sure didn't. I swore it came as a packaged deal once they mastered one they would master the other. Unfortunately I learned this wasn't true with one too many bed wetting accidents during the night. It is no fun for them and no fun for us ! They would wake up crying and uncomfortable.. and I would have to wake up to take the sheets off , spray the mattress and put new clean sheets on. It was a huge process that nobody enjoyed. It also made our laundry load even more gigantic then it was to begin with. We tried everything they tell you to do - like no liquids after a specific time ; wake them up in the middle of the night to use the potty ..... they were all FAILS. It was no use anymore, it was driving us crazy and I'm sure it was stressing them out as well. We stopped worrying about what others would say about it ; and all the pressure society puts on potty training and just threw in the towel and started using GoodNites night time pampers. They give us peace of mind that we can all sleep soundly without any accidents. I have to remember they only stay little for so little time , so why rush the process if it's not harming anyone!

I was so happy to attend the #RestEasyTonight event with The Moms Network. I have been a big supporter of GoodNites for some time now, and would be lost without them. So I am happy that they are showing other moms out there that even at six years old it is okay to not be all the way potty trained yet. They had it all set up as "Camp GoodNites" with yummy snacks and SMORES! ( That was a big hit with my little ones!) They then had different Activity pods in which the boys were able to create their own water bottle holders and flashlights. It was a perfect set up for the kids to get creative, and have a camp like experience. We got a lot of insight on potty training, bed wetting, and we were given so much positive feedback from Tamera Mowry-Housley. She was super sweet, and went around and spoke to all of us mommas, and the kids as well. My little one was absolutely love struck when he saw her, and got lucky with a big hug at the end of the event.




Accidents happen, but with GoodNites you no longer have to worry about them at 3AM!
Let GoodNites help you #RestEasyTonight

(Thanks to The Moms Network for inviting me and my family at this awesome event)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

#EmojiMovie Arts & Crafts: Emoji Jars


     




The long awaited Emoji Movie comes out in theaters on Friday, July 28th. I have yet to meet a person who is not excited about this movie. So many amazing actors and actresses. If you know me, you know I love me anything with Sofia Vergara. Colombia represent!! Not only does it look hilarious, but relatable for all ages. I can not wait to take my little ones to go see it.


So to kick things off we decided to do a little arts and crafts fun to celebrate. Me and the boys had so much fun making these cute jars, and you can use them for just about anything! It was also a very easy craft to do with a 6 year old, just as much as it was with a three year old. They love anything emojis, so they both chose their two favorite emoji faces and created the jars with a little acrylic paint, and sharpies.

1. To start things off we got some baby food jars and peeled off the labels. Once they were nice and clear we poured some yellow acrylic paint into the jars and put back the lids so we could shake them up until they were completely yellow!


2. After they were dry on the inside we used sharpies to create our best emoji faces! I think they came out pretty awesome! We let them sit to dry again, until it was time to figure out what we would use them for.


3. Jace actually needed somewhere to store his crayons and pencils for his homework desk, so that worked out great. Caleb on the other hand wanted to use them for sweets, so he filled his up with emoji lolipops (his favorite sweet of all!)

It was a fast and easy DIY creation to do with them that they enjoyed as much as I did.
What is your favorite Emoji DIY? Share them with me in the comments below! And dont forget to go and check out The Emoji Movie - in theaters this week!!!!





*(This post was sponsored, but all opinions are of my own.)*










































Monday, July 17, 2017

WIN a Family of Four Ticket Pack to Blue Man Group




Last week I had an amazing time at Blogger Bash 2017, thanks to Bloggin Mamas for allowing me to join as part of their team.

I was invited to Astor Place Theatre to watch The Blue Man Group show, and honestly had no idea what I was in for. I heard from friends that it was a great interactive show - but being there and experiencing it first hand was on a whole other level. I loved every minute of it , and would go again and again to see it.

After the show we were invited to VIP access to get to know the blue men, and ask them any questions we had. It was such an awesome experience. They were all so nice!

Thanks to Blue Man Group I will be giving away a "Family of Four Pack" of tickets to my viewers in either New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, or Orlando. This is definitely a show you would really enjoy with your kids, it is colorful, energetic, and super funny.

Sign up below for your chance at this giveaway. Winner will be chosen on August 1st !!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bea65b341/?






PRIZE RESTRICTIONS

THE FULFILLMENT PERIOD BEGINS JULY 12, 2017 FOR SELECT PERFORMANCES ONLY, AND TICKETS MUST BE REDEEMED BY JULY 1, 2018. ALL 
REQUESTS ARE SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY AND MUST BE SUBMITTED A MINIMUM OF TWO (2) WEEKS IN ADVANCE. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR BLUE MAN GROUP PERFORMANCES TO SELL OUT, SO ADVANCE PLANNING IS REQUIRED. THE BEST SEATS AVAILABLE ARE LIKELY TO BE SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY SHOWS.HOLIDAY  BLACKOUT  PERIODS  VARY  BY  CITY,  AND  THE  CERTIFICATE  IS  NOT  VALIDE  DURING  THOSE  BLACKOUT  PERIODS
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VED.