Most of us are stuck in #CoronavirusQuarantine right now…the kids are bouncing off the walls and itching to play outside. As of tomorrow, our Spring Break is over and “homeschooling” begins. We’re taking science class outside with the help of Stomp Rocket. Designed by Aeronautical Engineers, the Stomp Rocket Stunt Plane set comes with three planes that will turn makeshift ‘mommy school’ into an interactive experience.
Stomp Rocket’s line of STEM toys is 100% kid-powered and easy for kids to set up with no batteries required! Each time they run, jump & stomp they’ll learn more about the power of air, gravity, trajectory, and force while getting their energy out. You can pick them up at Target stores nationwide.
For over 25 years, Stomp Rocket has been entertaining kids and their families by stimulating active, outdoor play. The Original Stomp Rocket line includes rockets that soar up to 400 feet in the air as well as toys that are appropriate for kids as young as age 3.
Stomp Rocket has sold over 5 million toys and won numerous awards from industry experts, including most recently the 2019 Mom’s Choice Gold Award, 2019 & 2018 Creative Child Magazine Toy Toy of the Year Award, 2018 ASTRA Best Award for Outdoor Products, and was a 2017 Good Housekeeping Lab Pick.They’ve also garnered national and viral media coverage on Good Housekeeping, The Today Show, Access Hollywood, Red Tricycle, She Knows and more.
The grey blustery days of January can keep us cooped up inside with the kids. Here are a few ways to make rainy winter days fun!
Popcorn and a movie! Watching one of the classics on Disney+ is one of our go-tos for weekends when we’re kept inside. We pop fresh popcorn in our silicone popcorn popper and cuddle up on the couch. Colonel Popper is durable, safe, and eco-friendly. You can eat fresh microwave popcorn right out of the colorful bowl you pop it in! Bring the theater home and use any corn kernels and ANY oil. (Have you noticed almost every microwave popcorn on the market is made with Palm Oil?!) Gone are the days of buying unhealthy microwave popcorn bags with harmful chemicals! This cruelty-free option makes up to 14 cups of popcorn, plenty for your kids and family. We can make popcorn our own way at a fraction of the cost. The silicone construction is dishwasher safe, too.
Arts & Crafts! Painting will keep my 5-year-old busy for an hour! But, Mama does not like the mess it creates. These paint sticks give such bold & vibrant color without the fuss and wetness of traditional paints. She loves them! Chunkies Paint Sticks are 12 classic colors with thick barrels that are just the right size for little hands. Their paint is quick-drying and dries instantly when you lay it on paper so there’s no mess at all. My daughter gets to “paint” on her own — no brush or water required!
Books! We read books to our children every night. On days when the weather keeps us indoors, we read books to them as a morning activity, too. They will even sit and flip through books on their own…it’s so cute! Here are a couple new stories we’v added to our collection: Three Paws by Karen Struck follows Boots the grizzly bear cub who faces new struggles after permanently injuring his paw. Rooted in friendship and acceptance, Boots’ journey of learning new skills as he navigates his disability is perfect for young children, whether they are learning to survive their own challenge or simply to understand the differences of others.
In Little Hands Helpauthors Mike Morrison Ph.D. and Mackenzie Morrison offer an educational and heartfelt message about allowing children to contribute to any family routine with colorful illustrations and relatable situations throughout. Intended for little ones as they enter their preschool and kindergarten years—a critical development period when the foundations of conscience begin to develop—Little Hands Help teaches children to use their inner voice to speak up about wanting to be more involved in family life.
Here’s a roundup of three gift ideas for Mother’s Day… I personally use and love each of them!
Clean Beauty: This Spring, Care Skincare launched The Everything Multi-Level Moisturizer. This multi-functional formula nourishes, hydrates and repairs the skin, providing the benefits of a serum in the comfort of a cream. Key ingredients in The Everything Multi-Level Moisturizer include: Hyaluronic Acid, collagen peptides, fermented black tea, turmeric, Vitamin C and antioxidants.
Care. products are developed by a team of world-class experts who formulate highly effective skincare that addresses the skin’s most important needs in a straightforward, simple way. They sell directly to consumers, avoiding retail markups and costs. The most expensive thing about Care Skincare products is each best-in-class formula, crafted with high quality ingredients. All products in the Care Skincare line were developed by a team of world-class experts using high quality ingredients that strictly adhere to the brand’s clearly communicated standards for “Clean Beauty.”
Coastal Coaster: It’s May — time to get ready for warm weather and sunshine! What better way to do so than updating your living space to set this bright and breezy mood? Sometimes it’s the smallest details that have the biggest impact. Take in the scents of summer with candles by Mer|Sea. Their #1 bestselling Saltaire Splash Coaster Candle delivers a spicy mineral aroma reminiscent of the salty air. In addition to scenting your living space with a cool and scented aroma, the candle comes with a stunning polished agate coaster adding a natural element to any room.
CBD starter kit:Cannaisseur Brands is re-launching its topically applied terpene-rich CBD Essentials product line with new branding, logo and packaging. The brand was founded by CBD industry expert and advocate Aryn Sieber, who consults with physicians and patients nationwide on the responsible use and medicinal benefits of cannabis. Sieber became a sought-after professional leader in the industry after using cannabis during his own battle with Stage IV cancer. CBD Essentials topically applied products are lab-formulated, third-party tested, and batch numbered to ensure quality and consistency. All CBD Essentials products feature Sieber’s award-winning flower and meet the federal requirements of the 2018 Farm Bill, which mandates that all CBD-infused products are derived from dried Cannabis Sativa L. plant material that contain less than 0.3 percent THC to be legal in the United States.
I’ve blogged about CBD products before, but if you’re new to the concept, here’s a great summary: CBD is non-psychoactive. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that act on cannabinoid receptors in cells in the human body that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. Ligands or bonding molecules for these receptor proteins include endocannabinoids which are naturally produced in the body. Terpenes refer to a class of compounds found in nearly every plant species including cannabis. They have been shown to influence many biological activities—including reduction of inflammation, reduced sensitivity to pain, and reduced anxiety. Terpenes and cannabinoids share a common biochemical precursor, giving them the ability to bind with different biological substances in the body, including receptors and enzymes.
Real-world testing has shown CBD to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and to act as an antibacterial, antitumoral and antimicrobial. Studies also have shown that CBD can balance oil production in the skin. Furthermore, because the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) is critically responsible for the life cycle of basal skin cells, some treatments encourage the ECS with topically applied CBD in an effort to help regulate the production of healthy skin. (It is important to note that therapeutic statements for CBD products are not yet evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.)
With Spring Break behind us and Summer just around the corner, it’s time for me to start thinking about eating healthy again. I’ll admit: during my pregnancy, I threw caution to the wind and ate absolutely whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I joke that my 8-pound, 12-ounce babe emerged from the womb 40% larger than his older sister did because he was so bloated on all my ice cream sandwiches and breakfast tacos. Now that I’m 6-weeks postpartum and have established a breastfeeding routine, I think it’s safe to reign it in again. I am actually really interested in health food trends and new grocery store options in this area are fascinating to me! Here are a few products new to the health food aisles that I’m trying this month:
Protein-packed Pastas: Have you tried lentil-based pasta yet? –It’s so yummy! Recently, Modern Table reformulated its entire product line. Now, each variety of nourishing noodles features dramatically improved pasta texture achieved through a blend of lentils, rice and peas containing all nine essential amino acids for long-lasting energy, good digestion and improved muscle health. Ready in 15 mins or less, they’re particularly convenient for me right now…it’s tough to cook a warm meal with a new baby in the family! Plus, all pastas are non-GMO, vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free.
Supercharged Water:Hydrive Energy Water is a new refreshing zero-calorie energy drink that’s perfect for exercise hydration. The formulas are light & flavorful with caffeine and added B vitamins. Hydrive comes in six flavors including Black Cherry, Blue Raspberry, Triple Berry, Citrus Burst, Kiwi Melon and Grape Fusion. My favorite one is the Citrus Burst — it tastes like a Creamsicle! As a former Diet Coke-addict turned 100% soda-free, my hubs has really enjoyed trying out this new option to rehydrate & recharge his workouts. Hydrive is available at major retailers such as Walmart, Kroger & QuikTrip for around $1.89 a bottle.
Gluten-free (& Guilt-free!) Cookies:Now this is what I like to hear when it comes to cookies: health food brand Munk Pack has launched Protein Cookies, featuring 18 grams of plant-protein per cookie. Even better, they are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, a good source of fiber, and available in four delicious flavors, including: Coconut White Chocolate Macadamia, Double Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, and Oatmeal Raisin Spice. Even better, these ready-to-eat Protein Cookies have no soy, no dairy, no cholesterol and no sugar alcohols. –Convenient, on-the-go nutrition full of better-for-you fuel!
New year, new leaf. Taking a minute this month to clean out my medicine cabinet and refresh my regular routines. This is the perfect time to replace or clean brushes (makeup, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, etc.), exfoliate that dead wintery skin with a mask & new hydrating products, and revive hair with a good healthy cleanse. Here are some new products I’m trying as part of my New Year’s beauty routine refresh:
Face Masks: Get radiant, younger-looking skin from Vichy’s Mineral Face Masks born from earth, water and rock. Whether used alone or for multi-masking, these face masks are empowered by natural minerals such as Bentonite Clay to leave your skin feeling fresh and purified. Right now, I especially love the Quenching Mineral Mask by Vichy (pictured on the left). A deeply hydrating mineralizing face mask, it contains Vitamin B3 to soothe and replenish the skin with 24-HR hydration. It immediately hydrates, soothes and strengthens skin with 10% concentration of Vichy Thermal Mineralizing Water (which is rich in 15 minerals that help skin resist everyday aggressors for strong, healthy skin.)
New Toothbrush: After my last teeth cleaning when I was tenderly informed of a condition called Pregnancy Gingivitis (hint hint?), I know it’s time to get back on track and make dental care a top priority. Doctor Plotka’s is the leading toothbrush for better health because it contains antimicrobial bristles infused with silver! I first heard about the health benefits of silver from my interview with designer Rebecca Minkoff and have been intrigued by its uses ever since. Not only are the bristles antimicrobial, but they mimic flossing and are long-lasting. Time to toss out our current brushes and try these for fresh & healthy teeth in the new year.
Toner for your Scalp: Although a day on the slopes, a walk in the rare peek of sunshine, or basking in the low-humidity air can make for perfect winter days, they also make a dry mess out of your hair & scalp. That’s why I’m trying out something I’ve never used before: a purifying scalp and hair toner. –Have you heard about girls who “wash” their hair in Apple Cider Vinegar? Well, Essential Rinse is a new product along those lines…but the formula smells great and has that lower pH, which will clarify and purify the hair instantly. Apparently it’s very easy to use: after cleansing with shampoo, massage the product into wet hair & scalp, distributing evenly with your fingers before rinsing thoroughly with water.
Who else finds themselves dazzled by advancements in beauty products out there?! I’m constantly tempted by all the new tech, formulas, and combos the industry comes up with, i.e. super-sticky black masks that promise to pull out your deepest blackheads, the at-home micro needling devices, and those soft vertical rollers producing beach waves while you sleep. The results seem incredible! But let’s be honest, although these treatments can be done at home -which is a huge plus- they still take TIME to apply and perform. Sometimes I’ll spend double or triple the amount of energy that it would take a professional to produce the same, if not usually better, results. –Ain’t nobody got time for that! That’s why this month, I’m sharing some new beauty products & services that are completely effortless. Yep, their fantastic results take absolutely no energy on your part to receive. All the beauty payoff / none of the effort.
A Professional Blowout: Austin got its own Drybar location (at The Domain Northside) and earlier this week, I finally paid them a visit. Drybar is based on the simple concept of focusing on one thing and being the best at it: Blowouts. I adore their classy atmosphere, consistent styling results, and professional hospitality. They sent over a gift card for a complimentary blowout and it was the perfect mid-week pick-me-up for this pregnant mama! I typically don’t treat myself to a professional blow dry unless I’ve got a special event coming up, but this was a lesson in not needing an excuse to make yourself feel fabulous. I felt like a new woman walking out of the salon!
A Silk Pillowcase: Get a variety of beauty benefits simply by laying down…it doesn’t get any easier! Made with the highest grade of long fiber mulberry silk on the top and high grade cotton on the other side, the Hollywood Silk Solution is designed to reduce bedhead, decrease tugging on delicate facial skin and extend your blowout. Now, you can truly get your beauty sleep this year. Machine washable, too! Available in Pink, Caramel and White ($45)
Your Daily Dose of Beauty: Just add water! This box of once-daily beauty sachets nourish skin from the inside so it can heal & repair itself and ultimately achieve a softer, younger look. CORREXIKO’s Skin Supplement lessens the results of cell aging over time; meaning daily protection for the face, neck & body from signs of aging in the years the come.A single packet of these nutritional supplements contains 5 capsules specially formulated to target distinct skincare concerns. What can you expect? The maker claims users will start to see skin firmness, texture, glow and a lessening of fine lines and wrinkles within 12-18 weeks of consistent daily use, though benefits may be seen earlier, and increased energy may be noticed from Day 3 onwards. The formula includes 60 active clinically proven ingredients, such as:
Astaxanthin to neutralize free-radical oxidative stress
Lycopene for UV protection
Collagen precursors to support the strength of the dermal matrix (including elastin and collagen fibers)
Hyaluronic acid to maintain extracellular hydration
Resveratrol to help the body’s fight against inflammatory action
Additional Potent Probiotics to help your body absorb nutrients effectively
Natural Energy + Mood boosters to help awaken your body and mind
Essential Nutrients, Enzymes, Amino Acids, Minerals and Superfoods to stimulate skin renewal
Oh, how I love a day at the spa! –Who doesn’t? However, busy schedules and financial constraints can keep most of us away from visiting more than once or twice a year. Plus, I like to keep my visits limited to only every once in awhile…that way the experience stays super special. This month, I wanted to share a round-up of products that provide spa-like results and a little pampering at the same time. You can use them at home or during your travels for that spa-like feeling of luxury & relaxation anywhere you are!
Refreshed, Radiant & Ready To Go: Keep your skincare routine easy & exciting with these four new Kleenex releases that help prep & maintain a fresh-looking face. Makeup artist Spencer Barnes, who works with A-list celebs like Julianne Hough & Nina Dobrev, uses Kleenex Facial Cleansing products for their natural affect & high-quality sanitation.
Barnes says the Kleenex Exfoliating Cushions are “perfect” for when clients have “flaky patches” that are ready to lift off.
Barnes finds the Kleenex Facial Cleansing Wipes “super gentle” and “easy to use” after a long day of shooting.
A must-have for all Makeup Artists, Barnes finds the Kleenex Eye Makeup Removers “gentle,” “effective,” and “easy to use” on all clients.
Safe Skincare Everywhere: Now you can take super-safe skincare along wherever your travels may take you! In perfectly sized TSA-approved bottles, PUR attitude announced that it will release a Trial Size Kit containing five of its bestselling products. By combining patent-pending technology with essential vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients, the PUR attitude brand redefines innovation in skincare by avoiding harsh chemicals, parabens, PEG’s, glycols, sulfates, petro-chemicals, synthetic fragrances and artificial dyes.The PUR attitude Trial Size Kit features the following five key products, each of which contains 100% pure, active ingredients (no water) and follows the brand’s strict “Safe Beauty” standards: HydroDrench Moisturizing Gel Cream, Fusion-C Vitamin C Serum, Insta-Results Face Lift Gel, Multi-Effects Eye Cream, and Fountain of Youth.
Travel Wear for Ladies Who Spa: During our Babymoon in Bermuda, I got to test out a new spa ‘robe’ that boasts four-way wear — works as a dressing down, beach coverup & more. The Spa Dress is a multi-use wardrobe item for the practical traveler who prefers to pack lightly & expeditiously. It rolls up and is easily packable in the tiniest of getaway bags. Here are some of the ways to wear this fun, soft, and versatile piece, shown above in “Confidence Boosting Black,” size S/M:
A Body-Enhancing Cover Up: Wearable UNDER resort robes. Cotton-blend 80-20% spandex adapts to curves. Stretchy top provides light support.
A Slip-On Towel: Lush terry locks in moisture. Doesn’t fall when you need a towel to stay up. Reduces public displays of ‘towel dropping syndrome.’
A Dress-Before-You-Dress: Text & primp as you wear. Comfy walk-around attire. Dries as you dress.
A Sundress or Skirt: Practical for the sauna but wearable on the beach, by the pool or anywhere your spa excursion takes you, at home or away.
I’m always hunting for new tools & products to help me attain that inner glow. Anything labeled lightening, brightening, revitalizing…I’m all about it! Here’s a round-up of items that enhance that glow effortlessly.
Shine bright like a diamond: Something about the way a real diamond sparkles & reflects the light brings out lightening effects elsewhere, like the whites of your eyes & brightness of your teeth. When you put one on, it’s like your whole face lights up! –Talk about adding another meaning to the saying Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend. Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit Diamonds Direct in The Domain for their “Love Comes Once in a Tacori Blue Moon” designer event. The selection of diamond engagement rings & colorful fashion pieces they have right now is astounding! I learned about current trends with wearing diamonds: mixing metals is “in” and you can add stacks of fun stylish bands to wear next to your engagement ring & wedding band. They are running an incredible September financing offer (0% APR for 5 years), so now is the time to buy that perfect bauble you’ve been eyeing!
Start fresh & boost illumination: Cleansing my face twice a day is a non-negotiable! I like to start with a fresh palette for my serums & makeup. With two newly released products from Nerium International, you can set yourself up with a clean fresh glow to start the day!
First, the Double-Cleansing Botanical Face Wash is an advanced, lightweight one-step facial cleanser that goes on as a nourishing oil and transforms to a foamy lather with the addition of water, to remove both makeup and impurities. It leaves behind soft, smooth, comfortably clean and hydrated skin. This multifunctional facial wash does double-duty as a makeup remover and is delicate enough to be used morning and night. Then, applying a few pumps of their new IllumaBoost Brightening & Shield fights discoloration and recovers your healthy glow for a fresher looking complexion. This booster ‘serum’ features a breakthrough delivery system that dispenses a fresh & potent dose of vitamin C plus other proprietary & proven ingredients to help brighten, hydrate and protect skin by simply adding a few pumps to any skincare product or directly to one’s face.
Brighten those eyes: A brand new therapeutic treatment for ‘Bad Eye Days’ comes in FreezeFrames Cool Eye Wear, providing soothing relief to puffy tired eyes through a never-before-seen unisex sunglass line. FreezeFrames were first conceptualized as a dual-purpose device for both 100% UVA-UVB sun protection and cooling eye therapy.Reusable gel pads magnetically click into place within the frame casing and are anatomically engineered to discretely target zone-specific problematic eye areas unlike any other eye care product on the market today. These patented “Gel-Pad” attachments soothe ‘the puffy and tired’ with gentle cooling compression customary of how a nurse might apply ice to swollen symptomatic eyes areas.
Wear after a spa or medical treatment to decrease pain and bruising while also increasing the healing. Use to soothe allergic puffiness, PMS inflammation, computer dry eye strain, or revitalize after a long flight. Helpful also in relieving headache and migraine symptoms. End result: look and feel ‘cool’ while on-the-go!
Earlier this summer, I was sent a couple of clothing pieces for Alexandra by a family-owned children’s line called Little Goodall. I was intrigued by this label because it’s hand-sewn in TEXAS and created a fellow mom. When the box arrived from Dallas, I was delighted by both the high-quality fabrics & cuteness-factor of the dress & bubble romper designer Molly Goodall sent over. This weekend, we took some pics of our dear tot in her adorable new duds so I wanted to share them with y’all. I love the idea of supporting local Texas-based designers — the pride of the work really shines through in the finished product. This cold-shoulder gingham dress received so many compliments at church yesterday! Handcrafted in sewing rooms that have been producing fine women’s garments in the U.S. for over 20 years, the same classic tailoring techniques used on the best blouses — including deep hems, covered buttons, and bias ruffles — are applied to the children’s styles as well. Little Goodall’s collection is classic and made to last. Even better, both pieces pictured are currently at a reduced price as part of their Midsummer Sale!Dress up your little ones in extra-special handmade outfits that look fresh, and feel soft & cool against sun-kissed skin. Thoughtfully designed for the activity and motion of a busy child, each Little Goodall piece is handmade with the highest quality and attention to detail so the outfits will last for years to come. Plus, their seasonal collections are only available in limited quantities, so you’ll receive a unique garment you won’t likely see another child wearing at the park or back-to-school. The collection includes outfits for boys and girls, including bonnets, dresses, rompers and more. All Little Goodall pieces can be mixed and matched. Effortlessly dress your little one in Bubble Rompers with a clever inner liner that keeps the perfect pouf shape no matter how active your little monkey. Shoulder ties are accentuated with signature bell tassels, and delightful prints match the bonnets. The imported Liberty London Cotton Lawn is the finest, smoothest, lightest, natural fabric for summer, in the loveliest tiny prints which delight and not overwhelm.About Little Goodall: Little Goodall is created by artist and designer Molly Goodall. While a stay-at-home mother, Goodall was frustrated when her two-year old son refused to wear the hoods on his coats. Searching for a creative solution, she designed and made the original Ferocious Felt Lion coat to inspire him to put his hood up in the cold. Friends commented, orders were placed, and Little Goodall was born! Molly is also the author of the creative sewing book Wild Things to Sew and Wear, published in the fall of 2014.
When it comes to beauty, some women like to treat themselves to a new lip gloss or mascara. Me, I like fancy skincare products. I’m drawn to the permanence & wholeness of caring for the skin you live in, versus expensive make-up products that are wiped off each night. Now, I’ll admit I am a bit of a makeup junkie and kinda obsess over fabulous eyeshadows & lip shades, but I’m especially interested in new skincare treatments. This month, I’ve got some new complete collections, supplements, and relaxing indulgences to consider incorporating into your beauty routine…
Mom-friendly skincare.When baby-proofing your home, make sure to life-proof your skin! New moms are often exhausted and overwhelmed, which can wreak havoc on your complexion – however, Vichy’s Idealia collection grants illuminated, lit-from-within results, giving you one less stress to lose sleep over.
Idéalia Night Cream ($35):Discover the restorative power of a good night’s sleep on the skin with an advanced night treatment that mimics skin’s key repair activity during a deep sleep.
Idéalia Radiance Boosting Serum ($39): Formulated with an Antioxidant Recharge Complex (citrus flavonoids + licorice root extract + energizing adenosine), this serum restores an ideal skin quality and recharges skin with a glow.
Idéalia Eyes ($31): A 2-in-1 anti-aging treatment and illuminator works to reduce dark circles, smooth fine lines and illuminate shadows.
Drink to your youth.Want a first-of-its-kind wellness solution that provides age-fighting benefits both internally as well as externally? Thanks to Nerium International’s new Youth Factor Complete Vitality Complex and Superfood & Antioxidant Boost, you can get age-fighting benefits for body, cells and skin!* Instead of a handful of pills and an overwhelming regimen, support overall wellness and fight the signs of aging with a duo of nutritional supplements—one a tablet, the other a powder.
Youth Factor Complete Vitality Complex is a tablet that contains both the Youth Factor Enzyme Blend and Complex NAA that help with: cellular energy support, free radical defense, strengthening the immune system, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and revealing brighter-looking skin.*
Youth Factor Superfood & Antioxidant Boost is a supplemental powder featuring hearty servings of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables—far more than most would be able to consume from their diets alone. It helps to balance the body’s pH levels to help maintain well-being.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Bring international beauty traditions home.Treat your skin to some worldwide beauty this summer! New to the U.S., Treets Traditions brings tried and true practices from five regions of the world to your bathroom. With regional, natural ingredients that work, rediscovering age old beauty will have your skin looking fresh and new in no time! I’m loving taking my normal bath up a notch with these premium lavender & beeswax Bath Fizzers ($14).Exclusively at your local Ulta Beauty & on Ulta.com all five collections from Treets Traditions are inspired by regional traditions to heal, and nurture skin. Coming from The Amazon, Africa, the Alps, Asia, and the Nordics, each collection is tailored to different needs and highlights different regional ingredients for your best skin yet!