Monday, July 21, 2014

Reducing Your Family's ID Theft Risk with LifeLock

Disclosure: I was a guest at a LifeLock event and received promotional items; all opinions expressed are my own.

The day I went into labor with Grayson I also attended a luncheon sponsored by LifeLock at Tavern on the Green. Since I was well overdue, a few people questioned my decision to venture into Manhattan, but I'm so glad I went - I actually think getting out into the city and walking helped bring labor on!

I had heard quite a bit about LifeLock over the years and was intrigued to learn Jean Chatzky, a finance expert I've followed over the years, would be in attendance. Oh and the fact that it was at the renovated Tavern on the Green wasn't too bad either - it was a gorgeous day to be out! 

The luncheon covered these 4 vulnerable groups that are often subject to ID theft:
  • Newlyweds
  • Parents
  • Homeowners
  • Newly Single 
I have never been a victim of identity theft, but have known those who have and it really is a nightmare. There was a woman in attendance who shared her own story, and while it definitely is important to learn from others who have gone through it, it is something I plan to never experience. Did you see that? I wrote plan NOT hope - it really does require planning to reduce the risk of being a victim of identity theft.

The panel including Jean Chatzky and Hilary Schneider, President of Lifelock, Inc. shared these helpful tips:
  • Avoid geotagging as it increases the likelihood of identity theft 5x (I also am selective in doing this just from a safety perspective with my kids)
  • Avoid posting your purchases online for example, the "I just bought . . ." auto-posting options many retail sites offer maymake it easier for someone to track your last few purchases which are often needed for verifying you bank account access when calling in
  • More devices = more risk: those with a phone, tablet and laptop increase their risk for ID theft by 46% so be careful about logging in across devices 
  • Only use your debit card for cash: consumer protection offered by credit cards can't be beat; the same can't be said for debit cards which are often cumbersome about proving and providing reimbursements for fraud purchases
  • Child ID theft it rampant: be sure to check your children's credit reports as well
With Jean Chatzky (and 41 weeks pregnant)
Although I had to leave during the Q & A to get Nia from school, I do have to say I really appreciated the information presented at the event, and that it wasn't an upsell for services - I left feeling empowered and I thank LifeLock for that!

Have you or someone close to you been the victim of identity theft? Have you made a plan to reduce the risk? Be sure to visit LifeLock to learn more.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lovebirds' Belated Summer Plans

Since I spent the first part of the summer waiting for a certain someone to arrive we got a late start on summer plans. I'm usually all Type-A making my summer bucket list as I've done in years past, but there's a big difference between a baby that arrives on June 16 (Gray's due date) vs. June 27 (running into Independence Day) not to mention the difference it makes in mama's recovery, which is going much better than the first time around BTW (yes, birth story still forthcoming . . .)

My daily uniform this summer! 
Anyway, here's what we're up to this summer:

We start the week with circus class! Remember I reviewed it here? Once Gray made his arrival I was able to confidently sign Nia up, and she's been loving the classes. Gray and I sit in the lobby while he usually sleeps then wakes up right at the end of class to eat - never fails!

Next, we do soccer. It works well since I can park adjacent to the shaded field where Nia and a few friends run around and kick soccer balls. I wish I could grab a pic but I stay in the car with Gray who once again eats during class. I'll try to get a pic after his immunizations coming up soon . . .

Wednesday we take a break and stay home in our PJs, and it is GLORIOUS! We usually do activities like this and this

Yes, that's a sticker on Nia's forehead!
We end the week with soccer and circus on the same day then starting this week we'll begin 6 weeks of woodworking class. Nia took a trial a few weeks ago, and I'm so excited they added a morning class. I find we do much better if we can get out early besides trying to find street parking during rush hour is a real pain. 

Next month we'll continue with woodworking class and add piano back into the mix. Nia was adamant about not continuing with ballet, but I'm glad she stuck it out! I had hoped to introduce swimming too this summer, but our local pool is on hiatus with lessons this season. 

Our philosophy has been to do 2 activities at a time, and so far it's working out without feeling overwhelmed. For the most part we're on time of our activities and the worst lateness we've had is 17 minutes late for soccer the first week but hey, when Gray has to eat he has to eat! I love that Nia's pretty understanding of this too. 

Regarding trips I was hoping to make it to BlogHer next week, but I think it'd be a bit overwhelming to go to CA with a 3 week old (like I said a BIG difference between a June 16 vs June 27 arrival!), so I'll be staying home and following hash tags from far. We did want to have some kind of getaway so Mr. Lovebird booked us a trip to one of our favorite cities:

via @danyl_too_ready
YES! We're taking the whole family to Vegas Labor Day weekend. We used to look at people who took their kids to Vegas and stared in disbelief, but after we first went to Red Rock sans kids for Blogalicious in 2012 and again last fall we saw so many families and thought it'd be doable. It's a very kid-friendly property far removed from the usual questionable things you see on the strip plus they have reasonably priced child care if Mr. Lovebird and I want to step out for a bit. Gray will be immunized by then, and having traveled with a nursing baby before I'm not nervous about flying. We're looking forward to hiking with both of them as well as taking Nia to a magic show (she's been talking about magic since her cousin Robert performed a few tricks during our stay at the Can House!), and I'm hoping to sneak away for much needed spa treatments. 

To say I can't wait is an understatement! 
Now this means I need to seriously get on the ball with pumping (KellyMom is a wonderful resource). I have a pretty awesome double electric pump thanks to Klout and a slew of bottles to try/review so a full post on my experience is forthcoming. With Nia I only manually pumped and she pretty much fed on demand but this time around I don't want to be that tied down!

Besides Nia's classes and Vegas we have a bunch of Nia's friends' birthday parties to attend as well as hosting her own which will once again be super low-key (hooray for summer birthdays in the park!). 

I can totally see how this summer is/will fly by and soon enough it'll be time for Nia to start PK4. I'm thankful to have the time with both my little ones and look forward to spending lots of one-on-one time with Gray just as I did with Nia until she went to preschool.

What are you looking forward to this summer? Do you tend to start the summer out with a bang or end the summer with a bang?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nia's Whimsy & Wonder Tea Party

Disclosure: I received Whimsy & Wonder products from JAKKS Pacific to facilitate this review; all opinions expressed are my own.

I first met JAKKS Pacific at Toy Fair 2014 and was excited to see them again at TTPM's Spring Preview! With Nia's obsession with Daniel Tiger and Frozen, JAKKS Pacific makes some of our favorite toys and when I saw the Whimsy & Wonder line at TTPM's Spring Preview I knew Nia would be a fan. 

I was right!

Sold exclusively at Target, the Whimsy & Wonder line is perfect for your princess. From the Deluxe Dress (SRP $19.99), Tea Set (SRP $14.99) and matching Princess Pal Plush Puppy (SRP $12.99), Whimsy & Wonder has been one of Nia's favorites especially through the end of my pregnancy and now with her brother here since we've been spending a lot of time at home. She loves setting everything up and bringing both me and her dad treats. It also invokes imaginative play - a stage very important for 3 year olds!

Nia can be quite rough with her toys and especially with her multiple wardrobe changes throughout the day, and I really appreciate how the Whimsy & Wonder line has held up to her demands. She plays with the set at least twice a week and it's very durable. The 14-piece tea set is tin and the dress isn't itchy like some of her other dress-up clothes - something she often complains about. 

There are so many other fun pieces to add to your child's Whimsy & Wonder collection including these:

Whimsy & Wonder Jewelry Box (SRP $14.99)
Whimsy & Wonder Wings & Tutu Assortment (SRP $7.99)
If you'd like to have your own Whimsy & Wonder tea party be sure to follow these adorable tips provided by JAKKS Pacific:
  • Set a date and send invitations to all your friends (don't forget to include your stuffed animal friends!)
  • Select a signature drink! Warm water with lemon or a decaffeinated tea is best for the little one
  • Show up to the party in a fabulous dress and accessories from Whimsy & Wonder

Be sure to follow on social media!:

Are you and your little ones fan of tea parties like we are? Any fun tea party tips to share?

P.S. A funny (and Type A!) moment with her Whimsy & Wonder tea set!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Winner: Zutano $75 Giveaway

Nia wearing her Zutano outfit at circus class
Hope your weather's gorgeous like it is here! We've popped in and out of places strategically with help this week (thank you to my sister Ariane!) so Baby Gray's not overexposed to the sun. It's been nice to get out for a bit of vitamin D at times!

Anyway, on to the winner of the Zutano giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats Alaine! I'll be in touch via email to confirm your prize.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Father-Son Edition

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ready to Get Fit with My Victoria's Secret Sport Bra #VSSportTester

Disclosure: I received a complimentary Victoria's Secret Sport Bra and Socks via Influenster to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

When I got pregnant with Grayson I had been in the midst of running regularly - I honestly think getting back on my fitness helped me get pregnant very quickly once Mr. Lovebird and I decided we were ready to try for #2 (more on that in my full birth story to come...). About the time it started cooling down here in metro-NYC a new gym opened in my neighborhood and I signed up immediately. Once I found out I was pregnant I was excited about carrying on with my fitness plan at the gym, however it kept stalling its opening. While it was originally supposed to open in January it just opened last month! I still managed to keep up a bit of fitness with hour daily walks and sometimes longer depending on what I had going on in the city. I definitely think it helped me keep to a healthy weight during my pregnancy!

The same day my gym opened I received my Victoria's Secret Sport Bra via Influenster. A sign? Perhaps! I honestly had forgotten it was coming so it was a pleasant surprise and although I was well at the end of my pregnancy I decided to don the sports bra and head to the gym. I didn't do a real workout but just took a tour and tested out a few machines:

Once I got past my due date I decided to get to walking a bit more and shot this video giving my Studio sport bra a try - there are 9 styles of Victoria's Secret Sport Bras to try for mid to high impact exercise:

What I Loved

The color - someone at VS must've known how much I love bright colors and sent me a bright melon colored sport bra! I loved how it popped from under my shirt - I get excited by bright colors and they help motivate me to work out (it's the little things!)

The fit - At first I was surprised I had received a size large bra as I don't think of myself as large-chested, but then I thought perhaps I had picked that size accounting for nursing. Regardless, I tried it on and with my pregnancy breasts and all it was a great fit! I felt comfortable yet well supported. I even found myself putting the bra on instead of my regular nursing bras I had started wearing at the end of my pregnancy

I also received VS Sport Socks (you can see them peeking out in the first picture above), and I really like their colorful, low-cut style and how they are specially designed to wick away moisture. I would've loved grippers on the bottom though as I now like to wear them around the house but am afraid of slipping on my wood floors!

Overall, I have to say I'm quite impressed with VS Sport - I wasn't aware of it previously and will now consider the line when I add to my fitness wardrobe just as soon as I get my clearance to hit the gym post-baby (I can't wait!). 

Nia & Gray's July 4th Photoshoot with Zutano (and $75 Giveaway!)

Disclosure: I received items from Zutano to facilitate this review and giveaway; all opinions expressed are my own. 

This is a moment I've been waiting for: Nia and Gray in matching outfits! My friends at Zutano and I had this in the works for a while, and I'm so excited to finally share a few special moments from this past July 4th holiday weekend:
Navy & White Stripe Ruffle Hem Dress
Navy & White Stripe Newborn Pants and Newborn Hat
I LOVE baby feet and these Candy Stripe Baby Booties are too adorable!
We pretty much stuck to the apartment the entire weekend and like last year ventured up to the roof for fireworks (our first family July 4th photo as a family of 4 here!) it was rainy most of the day on the 4th but thankfully it cleared up for us to see about 6 different sets of fireworks with a 360 degree view!

Candy Stripe Newborn Hat and Just for Aden by Aden + Anais Blanket

The next day my parents came into town from Maryland to spend some time with us. It was also a good excuse to get the kids in another set of matching outfits! Zutano's super-soft knits and unique prints wash up well and maintain their color - remember when I shared Lil Lovebird's big Zutano win here? It was one of the few outfits I saved to pass on!

There was lots of oohing and ahhing (mostly from my sisters who were also visiting!) when I got the little ones in their outfits:

Sunfish Toddler Short Sleeve Viola Top and Baby Blanket and Fish Swim Newborn Short Sleeve Screen Body Wrap
The Sunfish print is one of my favorites especially because it's whimsical and gender neutral - it will definitely be one of my go-to ensembles for the kids this summer!

Baby Gray cooked a long time so he's extra peely - the doctor said it'll go away on its own
Sunfish Newborn Kimono Wrap Top

Would you like to dress your little one in Zutano? Zutano's generously offered one Harlem Lovebird's reader a $75 gift card! Enter via the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway runs through Thursday, July 10, 2014 with the winner announced on Friday, July 11. Open to U.S. residents only:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and be sure to follow Zutano on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for their latest news and fashions!


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