Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Post to End My 35th Birthday Week

This week had so much packed into it that it felt like it was 14 days instead of 7, but in a good way! 

I think it calls for a rundown . . .
  • Mrs Lovebird on a billboard? - I kicked off the week filming and on the way home on my birthday-eve, after 2 hours in brutal rush hour traffic, I was 3 minutes away from home when I saw myself on a digital billboard on I-95 for the campaign I filmed last month; it startled me so that I nearly shrieked! When I got home I made Uka promise me that he'll go stalk the billboard later so we can take a picture of it 
  • Stepping up my eyeglasses game - It took nearly 25 years of nearsightedness, but I'm now the proud owner of prescription sunglasses! I've been rocking red frames too the past couple months which make me feel sassy
Grayson's cold courtesy of Nia's Kindergarten germs O_o
  •  The Best Gifts Not on My Birthday - on my actual birthday Uka was away on business, and I had a busy day with the kids after school with soccer practice then running to eat at our favorite pizza spot followed by  frozen yogurt (proceeds supported the local middle school's trip to Quebec and our PTO, respectively!). We made it home a bit late; since Uka and I had already celebrated I didn't expect anything else, but my sisters and parents surprised me throughout the week!  
Buffalo chicken pizza at Flatbread = YAAAAASSSSSS!
Sweet surprises from my family
  • Losing my fro - I got my hair flat ironed last weekend at Simply Erinn's and really need a hair overhaul; I've experienced really bad post-weaning hair loss which didn't happen the first time around so I'll be back at the salon in a couple weeks to get a good cut and color (these GRAYS!); I've also been taking SeabuckWonders Hair Ultimate Skin and Nails vitamins and will share my review when I'm finished: 

  • My last blogger conference of the year - I'm heading to Wayfair's Heart Home conference next week, and I'm excited for the line-up including Maxwell, founder of Apartment Therapy, one of my favorite interior design websites; I was thinking about my conference wardrobe and remembered I had a $50 birthday credit for Rent the Runway so I ordered this for FREE:
I've been wanting to try a jumpsuit for a while so we'll see how it goes - I plan to throw my jean jacket over it since it's already quite chilly up here !
  • Boston Bloggers  - I've slowly been getting involved with the Boston blogging community and have been able to attend a few events and this past week I got to spend some time courtesy of Vivia Vantage with a few more Boston-metro bloggers; it was a fun event, and I look forward to sharing more about it in the coming week!


  • Overly Ambitious or Nah? - Am I the only person who has grand reading plans but always falls asleep (or gets constantly interrupted)? I'm really going to try to power through these I just picked up from my local library (wish me luck!):
  • Throwback Nick? YASSSSS! - As if my birthday week couldn't get any better I saw the news about The Splat, the throwback 90s Nickelodeon programming line-up; Legends of the Hidden Temple and All That were my faves - speaking of All That, did you see this reunion? LOVED it!
  • Self Care - It seems to be a buzz word now but I'm starting to learn the hard way that I seriously need to get better at it! I've been trying to get back into a steady fitness routine (hello PiYo!) and a fellow mom blogger's introduced me to essential oils and helped me focus on taking better care of myself (sleep, water, spiritual health etc.... I know the drill!); one easy way to do this is with Belli Skincare who's also celebrating their birthday week. They've been running a Birthday Bash which ends today, 9/27/15 where everything on their site is 30% plus a special offer (I've reviewed them before here, and they recently sent me a box of products for a bit of much-needed skin pampering)
  • Apple Picking - We headed back to Apple Crest Farm yesterday, and it wasn't nearly as crowded when we went last year; so many pics and silly videos to post I promise! 


How are you enjoying fall where you live? Have you been apple picking already? 


 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Better Than Vegas? My 35th Birthday Eve Weekend

Nia cracks me up! Apparently she's inherited by type-A-ness and has been arguing at school that it's not fall despite their classroom calendar saying it is, cause "it's still summer until my mom's birthday!" Yes, we do talk about these things, and I've reassured her that tomorrow is indeed the last day of summer. 

And it's my birthday.

I'll be 35 (and it's my mom's birthday too!). 


Mr. Lovebird and I really wanted to return to Las Vegas next weekend for Life is Beautiful (the line-up is just WOW!), but we were torn between bringing the kids with us and getting childcare there or having childcare here in New Hampshire, however it just wouldn't seem cool to bring the kids only to pawn them off and if they stayed behind I just couldn't fathom the distance especially since Grayson is still quite small. 


Our "Plan B" Hotel was great!
Well Mr. Lovebird had an alternate planned and it was to head to the Legends of Motown concert at Foxwoods over the weekend. I glanced over the listing online thinking it was just cover bands and looked forward to a quick, desperately needed kids-free overnight trip. Granted I just returned from a solo trip to Baltimore, but that was for a conference and I need time with my homeyloverfriend. 


So.

My mind was blown!



The first performers were the Temptations Review - they were outstanding and in great shape for some of them being in their 70s. Next, it was the Commodores, really *a* Commodore, since there was only 1 original member performing plus another who had joined later. 

In between the acts there were 20 minute intermissions so by the time the 3rd act was about to come on 2 hours had passed. I was having fun, but at 10p.m., yes, I was yawning. I have absolutely no late night stamina any more unless I'm in Las Vegas

Well all the sudden after the 2nd intermission the music got ridiculously loud like someone extra special was about to come on. I had no clue who it was, due to my quick glancing of the original event listing. Apparently, Mr. Lovebird was surprised too cause when the montage on the screens started rolling and we saw footage of The Jackson Five, we looked at each other in disbelief. 


Jermaine was the lead and of course I couldn't help but think of this post whenever the camera zoomed in on him
Yes, it was *THE* Jacksons! It's Michael Jackson's birthday month too (#teamvirgo) and I really do think about him more during this month especially since his passing. It totally wasn't planned this way on purpose by Mr. Lovebird, but he got a few bonus points for sure! 

Check them out:



They performed so many classics (and opened with Can You Feel It - my FAVE!) and a couple of MJ's songs. I could tell that they really do try to channel him as much as possible in their performances, but they hold their own. My mom tells the story of how I met Tito (or was it Jermaine?) when I was a kid. I totally don't remember it but for some nerdy reason I've always felt a sense of pride over this. Plus the last time we were in Vegas we saw the Cirque Du Soleil show Michael Jackson One so this felt like a completion of some sort. It was definitely a birthday to remember!

Tomorrow, my actual birthday, Mr. Lovebird is away on business, so I'll probably just lay low with the kids (and we have soccer practice!), but today is actually another big day for me. Here's a little hint. Follow along on Instagram for more!


 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Blogalicious Boos 2015


 

Monday, September 14, 2015

RSVP for the Smope App Twitter Launch Party!

Happy Monday! If you follow my Instagram you saw I was at Blogalicious this past weekend. It was my 4th time attending, and it was outstanding! While I was there Ruby, the founder of Smope app and I had the privilege to meet Wes Moore. How cool is that? Definitely look him up if you don't know who he is. 



Ruby and I are collaborating on her app's Twitter launch party tomorrow night, and I'm excited to share more with you about it. She created Smope as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor for fellow TBI survivors, those with depression as well as anyone who needs a bit of a pick-me-up. It combines smiles+hope by pairing images from the user's phone with inspirational quotes transforming the images from black and white to color. You can set a reminder and get a daily Smope delivered right to your phone! Check out the trailer:


It's available at the app store starting September 16 for $1.99 and to celebrate at tomorrow's launch party we're giving away:
  • Free app download codes
  • 3 Visa gift cards (including a $50 grand prize!)
  • Copies of TBI survivor C.B. Miller's biography A Matter of Recovery
  • Goodie bags filled with things that will make you smile brighten your day 
Join us tomorrow, Tuesday, September 15, 9-10p.m. EST and follow @SmopeApp and the hashtag #GotSMOPE. For your chance to win prizes RSVP here: http://goo.gl/forms/HsuU0X6dxC.

Look forward to tweeting with you!

 

Friday, September 11, 2015

My Heart is in New York

I'm in Baltimore for the next few days, but I'm a bit distracted. It's been almost a year since we left metro-NYC, and I miss seeing the view of the new WTC from our apartment window. I would Instagram it so much (sorry, not sorry) and since we moved each time we go back I find myself near the site in awe at how much has changed. 


It was so special that to visit the memorial site with my family, and today I'm saying a special prayer for the survivors and the loved ones of those lost. 

I'll always remember. 




Grab tissues then watch this (full story here).

 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Back to School for Mommies with Furlesse (& 50% Off!)

Disclosure: I received samples from Furlesse to facilitate this review; all opinions expressed are my own.

I'm hurtling towards my 35th birthday and with Kindergarten kick-off under my belt it's time for me to really start paying better attention to myself. I have seriously slipped from my workout, water and product regimen this summer, and I still feel like my training wheels are on as a mom of two. 



Enter Furlesse. At only $19.99 per pack (and 50% off through 9/11/15!), these targeted anti-aging patches are a small way for me to start treating myself with care. Furlesse seriously has every area of your face covered! From "Elevens" to "Lipsticks" they are appropriately named for exactly the area you want to treat. Years ago I remember noticing eye wrinkles which, after consulting my mom, were actually due to dry skin around my eyes. She gave me some of her super expensive special eye cream, and they never appeared again. Have you seen my mom? We seriously look like sisters! And her mom had amazing skin, but I'm not just resting on my genes and am on the lookout for even the slightest wrinkle! I decided to give Rows a try on my forehead since the other areas aren't proving too problematic . . . yet.

Warning: super close up, awkward photos of my gray hair ahead!



The directions on the Furlesse packaging indicates that you can leave them on for an hour or overnight for maximum results. I wasn't sure I'd make it overnight, but I did! I was a bit itchy with it on, not in an irritant way, but in an "there's something on my face" kind of way. They reminded me of having whitening strips on: you can focus on other tasks while you're using them, but you're aware that they're there. 

Here's what happened:

I used two for extra coverage!
There was a bit of a mark/indentation upon removal so if you're preparing for an event I'd say don't expect to pull it off and be on your way. Definitely give time for your face to settle similar to when you wake up with a pillow mark and your skin has to fluff back up. Make sense? Overall my results weren't very dramatic, I think because my furrows aren't visible without effort. If I start to notice resting face lines I'll pull out my Furlesse strips to try again.

If you wanted to, you could even Furlesse your entire face like this (or this!):



Curious about how they work? They simply hold the skin taut in place smoothing out unwanted lines. They are hypo-allergenic, BPA-free and latex-free. Also, the creator Cathy Tousley is a mom of 3 was inspired to create Furlesse after stories of fellow moms using tape to smooth their wrinkles. There had to be a better (and non-invasive) way, right? To see how easy they are to put on check out the videos here

Now's the perfect time to try Furlesse: visit their website to shop directly as well as find a special 50% off sale ending tomorrow, September 11, 2015 over on their Facebook page. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram too!

 

P.S. I'm on a mission to get Mr. Lovebird to also try Rows, but don't tell him! I think I'll sneak them on him for April Fools' Day 2016 after Nia's somewhat similar failed April Fools' Day attempt earlier this year when she wanted to put stickers over his eyes while he slept O_o

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Winner: Bauli Mini Croissants

We are hitting the ground running with Kindergarten (and my very first PTO meeting earlier this evening!) plus with my trip to Baltimore tomorrow for Blogalicious AND Mr. Lovebird out of town I'm a bit delayed announcing the winner of my Bauli Mini Croissants giveaway.

Let's pause first for a bit of cuteness:


A soon-coming addition to my talented mom's Etsy shop!
Now on to the winner:
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats K. McCoy (aka YUMMMommy) and thank you for your longtime support of Harlem Lovebirds! I'll be in touch so you can receive your delicious prize.

 

P.S. Follow allow on Instagram for my Blogalicious adventures over the next few days - always a good time meeting fellow bloggers IRL!

Wordless Wednesday: Kindergarten Edition









 

Monday, September 7, 2015

We're Going Back-to-School with Carter's (and a Coupon!)

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Carter’s. I received a complimentary gift card to facilitate my review and thank me for my participation.



This time tomorrow Nia will officially be a Kindergartner! These past 5 years have gone by so fast and lately Uka and I have been reminiscing over her baby pictures. Over the years we've enjoyed dressing her in Carter's (and now her brother too!), and I was thrilled to learn that Carter's has extended their sizes: they now carry clothing up to Size 8 and shoes up to 3y so the cuteness factor can be extended. Their stuff really is adorable!



We live about 7 minutes from Carter's and Nia was thrilled when we received our gift card in the mail for back-to-school shopping. We planned a special mommy-and-me trip to select a few items. It was our first trip to the store and I was so impressed by how clean and organized it was. Not every item was in the larger sizes, but just enough that both Nia and I were pleased with what we were able to select. I really appreciated how helpful the staff was and especially thorough in making sure we received our discounts (when we visited pretty much everything was 50% off!). Much to my surprise a woman ahead of us in line even helped out with a 25% off coupon allowing us to squeeze in a raincoat and matching rainboots! Shopping can definitely be a team effort, right?

We did a little photoshoot of Nia's favorite outfits in preparation for her big Kindergarten debut. I think she's ready for days filled of play at her new school!





She's mastered buttoning . . . cautiously! 

I can't stand the cuteness! (And yes, I'm totally saving the rain set for Grayson!)
Carter's classic colors always are a favorite of mine, but Nia adores prints plus anything that glitters, like these ballet flats:


The ability to mix and match pieces will give Nia a bit of independence and freedom in her outfit choices this fall making getting dressed in the mornings less of a hassle. We had a dry-run last week during her Kindergarten orientation and she selected this outfit - I think she did a good job!



As a savvy shopper, I like how Carter's puts many of their items in value packs, from leggings to undershirts. Carter's is known for their heritage of quality, and it's a brand that really has longevity for our family (Grayson is still wearing Nia's Carter's items from when she was a baby!). I'm also sensitive to dressing the kids in characters and logos and I appreciate how Carter's keeps their clothing playful and classic.  

Here's to my big girl and her first day of Kindergarten - I know she'll love it!



There's still time to get some back-to-school shopping in with Carter's 50% (or more!) off the entire store ending today September 7. Plus the doorbuster is pretty sweet: $12 5-pack bodysuit, $9 2 pack pants, $10 turn me around sets (9/3 -9/7 only). We really cleaned up at this sale last week! To make it even sweeter here's a 25% off coupon you can use:




Be sure to visit Carter's website and follow on Facebook and Twitter to stay on top of their latest adorable fashions for your little ones!

 

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Sweet Indulgent Giveaway from Bauli Mini Croissants

Disclosure: I received samples to facilitate this review; all opinions expressed are my own.



Have I ever shared the story about the time I made croissants? I'm sure my parents remember the ordeal. I must've been 10 years old and from all my hours spent perusing the library's cookbooks (I had an obsession!) I somehow got the idea to give croissants a try. It. Was. Grueling. They turned out amazing but oh the steps. There were so many! What stuck with me the most all these years later is how quickly they were gone after all those hours of hard work. 

I vowed never to make them again, but still have a soft spot for a good croissant all these years later. When Bauli sent me their Mini Croissants filled with Vanilla Custard and Chocolate I had a hard time keep them out of Nia's hands: she's developed a bit of croissant obsession too. Right before we relocated from Jersey City a bakery opened in town that had incredible pain au chocolat which we frequented after her nearby art class. The memory is apparently strong for both us cause we nearly fought over the Bauli Mini Croissants!

We don't keep many snacks in our home, especially sugar snacks, but I agree it's nice to have a treat once in a while. With no artificial ingredients or preservatives on the label and especially no high fructose corn syrup (something I frequently see snuck into baked goods), I felt confident letting Nia give it a try. 



I think these make a tasty after school snack for kids and parents. I often find around school pick-up time my energy is waning and coupled with coffee, Bauli Mini Croissants would be a great pick-me-up. Would you like to give them a try?

Bauli's giving one Harlem Lovebirds' reader their own prize pack of Chocolate and Vanilla Custard Croissants so you and your kids can taste the goodness for yourself (and don't feel bad if you end up not sharing with the kids!). This is a Labor Day weekend flash giveaway and starts today, Friday, September 4 and ends on Monday, September 7 with the winner announced on Tuesday, August 8. Enter via Rafflecopter below. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to follow Bauli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest product news!

 

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