Thursday, December 8, 2016

My Muse Dolls Holiday Sale!

I was so excited to introduce my readers to My Muse Dolls last month with the giveaway I hosted, but now with 2 1/2 weeks left until Christmas I'm thrilled to share that they just announced an unprecedented holiday sale:

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hosting the Holidays with Micro Cotton Towels

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

In two short days our new home is going to be full with nearly 10 overnight guests as we prepare for our housewarming party this weekend and one of the things I've been trying to make sure we have are enough air beds, linen and towels for everyone. The last time we hosted a big crowd was when we had our first Thanksgiving in Portsmouth - fun times, remember?

$100 Holiday Giveaway from WaterWipes

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

When I was pregnant with Grayson I remember how people annoyingly loved sharing their thoughts on the differences between having boys and girls with me. One of the biggest differences was concerning the reported difficulty potty training boys. As a result, I kind of dreaded what was to come with potty training Grayson especially after Nia's experience being so easy. Well in the past year we've come a long way (remember how he was removing his diaper last December?) and now we're at the point that when we're home he prefers to be diaper-free and has woken up dry from a nap. I know we're in the home stretch of potty training, but that doesn't mean we don't have accidents though - and they doesn't always come in the form of potty training challenges! 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Our Family Date Night with the Boston Celtics

Disclosure: My family received a complimentary Boston Celtics Family Pack; all opinions expressed are my own. 

One of the things I keep telling myself since we moved back to Boston is that I need to pace myself: there is so much to do here and living in Boston as a single 20-something vs. now in my 30s married with two kids really makes me see the city in a different light. When my family was invited to attend this past Friday's Boston Celtics game for the first time together it made me realize it was just shy of 10 years since I had been to one - the last time was when Mr. Lovebird and I were dating. Suddenly I felt old!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Tis the Season for Swimming with Frogglez

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

Growing up I remember hearing the term, "soccer mom" and often wondered if I'd end up being one. I played soccer for only one season as a kid and my own mom was more of a "track and field mom" given the unfair amazing talent of my younger siblings, two of whom went to college on athletic scholarships. There's one sport that both my kids have been doing a solid 2 years now and I'm realizing my position is finally being solidified: I'm a swim mom.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Safer Laundry with Molly's Suds #WiseChoice

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

I've moved about 10x in the past 10 years and from the dreaded, dark communal laundry room in my Queens' apartment complex's basement to the awesomeness of wash and fold in Jersey City, I've experienced so many different set-ups. In our new home in Boston I finally have the arrangement I've always wanted: two floors of living space with an actual laundry room on the second floor. With built-in cabinets, hanging rack and wire shelving up high I like that I can close the door if needed and not worry about the laundry monster that often gets out of control in our household. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My Best DIY Advent Calendar Yet

We still have quite a bit of boxes over here since we moved in September and in a flash of panic yesterday it dawned on me that I need to dig through them to find the Advent calendar I made for Nia last year inspired by This Little Street's feature I saw on The Holiday Collective's Instagram account. I remembered I posted this teaser and realized I never shared the tutorial so here we go!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Zutano Cuteness on Cyber Monday

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

I'm back with more Cyber Monday awesomeness cause there's just too many good deals to share! Zutano's been adding extra cuteness to my children's wardrobes for many years now and this season is no exception (remember Grayson in his fuzzy bear suit???).

Cyber Monday with Minted Holiday Cards

Disclosure: I received a promo code to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

While I'm in a bit of recovery mode post-Thanksgiving weekend, there's one thing I'm proud of myself for handling ahead of schedule: our holiday cards. For the 8th year in a row we're sending out our traditional New Year's cards and while I relish in the fact that I get a bit of extra time sending them out after the regular Christmas card influx, this year Minted's again made it super easy for me to finish them in advance.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Thankful Edition


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My Emotional Response to W.E.L.L. Summit 2016

Last year was my first time attending W.E.L.L. Summit and it didn't take long for me to realize that it was going to be a must for 2016. Gianne Doherty, the founder, has curated an outstanding line-up of speakers which draw attendees that are kind, thoughtful and generous. This year was no exception and it was only made better by the fact that the location moved from Boston to NYC and that I got to attend with my two sisters who live there.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Winners: My Muse Dolls (& a Discount Code!)

Good morning, friends! I loved seeing all the positive feedback for my My Muse Dolls giveaway - thank you to everyone who entered to win and shared the giveaway. 

Here are the lucky winners:

Friday, November 18, 2016

Score Name Brand Fashion Finds at Kids for Less

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Kids for Less. All opinions expressed are my own.

Each season there's one truth that resonates with me as I consider my children's wardrobe: they grow too fast! Nia and Grayson both inherited their father's height (he's 6'8"), and while it's easier to ignore the crazy growth of their legs in the spring and summer months, by the time we hit fall and need long pants those pesky jeans genes smack me right in the face

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Review & Giveaway: Inspiring a Healthy Self-Image with My Muse Dolls

Disclosure: I received a My Muse Doll for review purposes; all opinions expressed are my own.

Watching my children in creative moments is one of the most rewarding parts of parenting. Seeing them focused on scenarios that they've created and even stumbling upon sometimes hilarious vignettes they've staged around the house brings humor to my day. With the holidays approaching, I'm looking for gifts that will inspire more of this creative play in my children so when My Muse Dolls reached out to me I was excited to learn more about their high-quality, diverse dolls. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Keeping Track of Things with Minted Labels

Disclosure: I received complimentary labels from Minted to facilitate this post; all opinions expressed are my own. 

Little did I know just a few months ago that we'd be in a complete upheaval suddenly moving from Portsmouth, NH to Boston, MA in about a month's notice. Although it's only about an hour's drive apart, as new home owners it's been quite the transition and that's included getting acclimated to Nia's new school.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Beyond Black & White: Breaking Down the Election in 5 Points

*Due to the the unique polarization of this election and how so many marginalized members of my community and readers are adversely affected I've decided to write this post.*

Oppression is beyond black and white - there are levels to this.
What happened last week was a symptom of something that's bigger than party lines, and I've spent the days since attempting to sort it all out. I keep coming back to our basic needs as humans and what motivates us. I've appreciated the thoughtful posts immediately following the election regarding what a vote for a hate-monger stands for, but I'm thinking beyond that.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What We All Want

Early voting with my Lovebirds on October 26!
I returned from Blogalicious this past Saturday night in Atlanta, and two weeks before that I returned from W.E.L.L. Summit in New York City. These were repeat conferences for me, the former touching on blogging, and the latter touching on wellness (recaps forthcoming...). Driving home from W.E.L.L. Summit I suddenly got very emotional and started crying thinking of all the wonderful women I met and how, in the midst of so much hatred this election season (THANK GOD it's almost over), we all really want the same thing:

To live our best lives. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

I'm in Atlanta at Blogalcious (& a Winner!)

TGIF! I spoke yesterday here in Atlanta at Blogalicious 8 with Ashley Seward-Marshall aka Mommy Week so today I've just been soaking in the full Blogalicious experience. Oh and my little travel buddy's been making it EXTRA fun (did you see his little Blogalicious dance???).

Ashley and I spoke about Blogging Big

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

FLASH Giveaway: Kids' Movie Night with Kidfresh and Ice Age: Collision Course

Disclosure: I received promotional items to facilitate this post; all opinions expressed are my own. 

My kids and I have been longtime fans of Kidfresh so when I learned about their partnership with the newly released DVD Ice Age: Collision Course I was thrilled to surprise them. Nia saw the movie in the theater as part of our church's play date over the summer, and she raved about it and even asked to watch it again a few weeks ago before she knew she'd be receiving the DVD. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Can We Fix This?

As I'm returning to NYC today for W.E.L.L. Summit I have solutions on my mind. Solutions for my health, my family, my community and this nation. I saw this on Facebook and was inspired by the power of human connection. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Planner Alert: 2017 Day Designer Unboxing Video

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

If you've been following me the past 2 years you know I have a bit of an obsession with my Day Designer planner. I first met the creator Whitney English at ALT Summit 2014 (and yes, I NEED to get back to Alt Summit!), and I appreciated her thoughtfulness as a mom and entrepreneur when creating the Day Designer in 2010. It's been one of *the* best annual investments I've made for myself and my business so much so that I've even got my sisters on board and we order annually altogether as part of our business. It's something to look forward to!

Friday, October 14, 2016

What's Going On (& a Winner Announcement!)

This week BLEW by, and I had so many intentions that just were left undone. I'm bowled over by our move and have settled on the fact that things just won't be together probably for a year. 

Now that I think I've made peace with that I might can move on...

Friday, October 7, 2016

Why I Need W.E.L.L. Summit Now More Than Ever (& How You Can Go Too!)

In two short weeks from today I'll be in NYC attending W.E.L.L. Summit. Remember when I attended last year? Here's a refresher

I've had so many people ask me about it in the past few weeks that when the W.E.L.L. Summit team approached me about running a ticket giveaway I didn't hesitate to say, "YES!" Now more than ever attending W.E.L.L. Summit is important to me especially with our recent move. Let me explain...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

New City, New Home, New Life

This post is long-overdue and as the kids and I prepare to head back to Harlem today where this blog first started, I decided it was time to share...

Friday, September 30, 2016

An (Early) Night Around the Campfire with Wayfair

When I shared this exciting news three weeks ago today one of the first things that came to mind was making memories with my kids especially in our new backyard. Growing up in Columbus, Ohio I have fond memories of my large backyard and hours spent playing there with my family. I'm looking forward to my children now having a similar experience! There's an existing fire pit section of our patio and I've been thinking about a fun way to (safely!) introduce my children to it. When Wayfair challenged me to come up with an idea board for my family's night around the campfire it was easy to find ideas perfect for young kids on their website. 

Here's what I came up with for my 2 and 6 year old to have a playful and safe first time campfire experience in our new home:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Build Your Baby's Fall Wardrobe with Carter's

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Carter's; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Just because fall is fast approaching doesn't mean we're slowing down up here in New England! Grayson is fully embracing all the excitement of being 2 years old and when we're out and about exploring Portsmouth people always comment, "Wow, he seems like a lot of fun!" Truer words have never been spoken.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Summer, We're Not Done With You Yet!

Ahhhh Monday. We got back from visiting family in NYC last night and it was good to be back in the city where our family started. The kids had a blast with their cousins (did you see I used Boomerang for the 1st time?!) and Nia still seems to have her street smarts about her, but Grayson not so much! He gets a bit rattled by city sounds and isn't as wary of city grime and grit (it was a constant battle to keep him from picking up trash at the playground O_o)

We've lived in Portsmouth for almost 2 years and I finally took an "official" sign pic today!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Summer Giveaway: Kate & Mim-Mim Plush

Disclosure: I received a sample for review and giveaway purposes. All opinions expressed are my own. 

My 6 year old Nia is the queen of pretend - she comes up with fascinating, imaginative scenarios throughout the day and is now starting to include her 2 year old brother in on the fun! Nia is also a fan of Disney Jr.'s Kate & Mim-Mim so when I was given the chance to preview an exclusive Mim-Mim plush to celebrate the show's Twitter launch I knew she'd be excited.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Healthy Hydration with Ocean Spray PACt Fruit Infusions

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Ocean Spray; all opinions expressed are my own.

One of the most frequent questions I get about my family is how we manage to go to so many outings and events. From the beach to outdoor concerts and festivals my kids are troopers, but without one key factor it wouldn't be possible: proper hydration. Nia and Grayson know I'm obsessed with it! When I was introduced to Ocean Spray's new PACt Fruit Infusions I did what most parents do: I looked at the ingredients. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

My Fantasy Tropical Tiki Party

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post as part of the Wayfair Homemaker program. All opinions expressed are my own. 

While talk of back-to-school is buzzing, we're still in summer mode here in Portsmouth, NH and with temperatures reaching the 80s and 90s I have tropical thoughts on the brain! While I've never been to Hawaii, I've always been fascinated by Polynesian culture especially because Mr. Lovebird shared that out of all the places his basketball career took him worldwide, Hawaii was by far the most beautiful. Although I haven't been, I thought it would be fun to take on Wayfair's challenge of what type of Tiki Party I'd throw here in New Hampshire. Thankfully, there are so many fun options available on their website. 

Check out this idea board I put together:

Happy 6th Birthday, Virginia!

What a weekend! We celebrated Nia turning 6 with a superhero pool party and one-upped last year by not dealing with a BBQ and just ordered pizza instead (her idea!).  The weather looked a bit iffy at first dipping quite a bit from the 90 degree temperatures we had during the week, but in the end it turned out gorgeous. And yes, if you're keeping track we're 6 for 6

A few highlights...

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Ohio or Bust: My First Solo Trip with the Kids

Happy (belated) August!

O-H-I-O with my mama the fair!
I'm slowly emerging from the whirlwind that was my 1st solo trip with the kids to my hometown of Columbus, Ohio this past weekend. 

Despite a few tears at the airport, it went really well!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

In Real Life

Re-entry is hard. 

I'm breaking the longest hiatus I've had since I started blogging in 2009. 

When the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile shook our nation it too shook me from this space and activated me in other ways. 

Thank you for supporting me in other places where I've been active online and for those of you who have been interacting with me IRL, thank you especially. 

There is so much work to be done and as I write this in the halo of a history-making moment where the US is experiencing the first woman accepting a party's nomination for President, I realize this is just the beginning. 

I am in the midst of some of the biggest changes and challenges I've ever had in my life and I'm nervous but excited at the same time. 

I can't wait to share everything that's happening, but for now moments like the one above are just a snippet of what I'm relishing. 

My family and I are having a beautiful summer making memories here in Portsmouth, NH. It really is a special season we're in and I thank you for following my family's journey. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Our July 4th Weekend at Montreal's International Jazz Festival

Happy Independence Day! We've been in Montreal since Saturday night and are heading back home after a few more adventures today, but yesterday we spent the day at Montreal's International Jazz Festival. Since we had already experienced July 4th in our new city of Portsmouth last year, we decided to switch it up a bit this year. We didn't realize the Jazz Festival would be taking place when we first booked our trip, and I was a bit nervous it would be too much, but it worked out for the best!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Life with Grayson: 2 Years Old

Grayson's been 2 years old for 4 days now, and it feels like it's been much longer than that! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Prep for Summer Travel & Avoid the Oops

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Walmart; all opinions expressed are my own.

If there's one thing you know about my family from following my blog it's that we like to go places. We were in Tennessee last month and NYC this month followed by Montreal this upcoming holiday weekend then my hometown of Columbus, Ohio in August. One of my top tips for successful travel is making sure to be prepared for returning home and that means making sure we're stocked on basic necessities like diapers, body wash and toothpaste. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Lovebirds' 7th Anniversary Weekend in NYC

Happy Monday! It's our busiest time of year between the ending of Nia's school year (she started camp today!), our wedding anniversary (yesterday!) and Grayson's 2nd birthday (today), and we did it up big this time around with a quick trip to NYC.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Working Out With Michael Strahan & Meta Appetite Control

Disclosure: I was invited by Influence Central to attend a private fitness event as a guest of Meta; all opinions expressed are my own. 

Last week I was back in NYC as a special guest of Meta Appetite Control attending a private fitness event with Michael Strahan, his trainer Latreal "La" Mitchell and nutritionist Jessica Fishman Levinson. I was excited for a fitness challenge as I've been consistent with PiYo since last spring and as a fellow gap-toothed cutie, I've enjoyed watching Michael Strahan's post-football career take off. I was also intrigued by Meta's new product line - it's come a long way since being the fiber supplement of my parents' generation, and I was excited to see how they could help me control my cravings, of which I have many!  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Our Chill Father's Day Weekend

It's the official first day of summer, and we're already off to a running start! We had a relaxing weekend kicking off a beautiful stretch of weather at last over the next few days here in Portsmouth. I asked Uka a few times what he wanted to do for Father's Day, and he said he wanted to keep it quiet and most importantly, watch last night's game. That worked for me!

An Easy Father's Day Fix From Urban Armor Gear

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

Mr. Lovebird often laments my bad luck with technology especially my penchant for running through devices. Case in point: I'm currently on my 4th Galaxy S6 Edge in just over a year. This Father's Day when Urban Armor Gear reached out to me to review their cases I decided it would be a good idea to upgrade Mr. Lovebird's case. I've been using Urban Armor Gear cases for my Galaxy phones for years and no other case has ever protected my phone so well. The phone issues I've had lately are due to a faulty USB port, but when it comes to protecting my phone's screen from drops Urban Armor Gear wins hands down. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Why I'm a Fan of Blogging Small

I spent Tuesday in NYC for a special fitness event, and it was a welcome break to have a bit of "me time." I decided to take the bus down instead of driving since it'd give me time to read, write and be with my thoughts. It was a good day and made me realize it's something I need to try to do more often. Thank you to Mr. Lovebird and our amazing babysitter (who our kids love!) for making it possible for me to go. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Quiet, But Here

What a way to come back from being MIA. 

I had to re-write and re-write this re-entry post, and while I don't think any words will do justice to the atrocity that just happened in Orlando I stand by my previous posts regarding taking action (here in 2012 with Newtown, here in 2015 with Paris and again here with San Bernadino). You can take action right here, right now:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June Expectations

Memorial Day weekend was quite the adventure for us down in the Smoky Mountains, and while I'm feeling a bit bowled over in recovery mode I'm so thankful for the time I got to spend with my family.  

I'd like to properly recap the weekend, and in the interim I have a few pre-summer thoughts to share before I run out the door for the day...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Our Morning at Portsmouth's African Burying Ground

As we depart today for our family's mini-reunion in the Smoky Mountains, I wanted to share an important event that Grayson and I attended earlier this week here in Portsmouth - as I mentioned during my recent vlog that day started out crazed but thankfully it turned around. A few weeks ago when I learned of the 1st anniversary celebration of the African Burying Ground that was taking place I knew it was something I'd want to attend with Grayson after dropping Nia off at school. We almost didn't make it, but in the end we arrived just in time, and it was well worth it. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Continuing Our Swimming Journey with SwimWays

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by SwimWays as part of an Activation for Influence Central. I received products to facilitate my review. 

With school out next month, we're gearing up for the summer and scheduling our activities. One of the most important activities will be swimming lessons. It's a life skill that I'm glad my children are learning especially as we live on the coast and frequent beaches and pools. This Saturday, May 21 is National Learn to Swim Day and while Grayson's already in spring lessons at our indoor pool, Nia will re-start her lessons this summer when our community offers free lessons to residents of all ages. 


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