GIRLS FOR A CHANGE

The following is a post sponsored by Yahoo! Every time someone clicks here to make Yahoo! their homepage, they’re showing their support for Girls For A Change.

I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


How would you like to help raise up to $10,000 for Girls For A Change, a national organization that empowers girls to create social change, just by changing your Internet homepage?

Girls For A Change invites young women to design, lead, fund, and implement social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods, empowering them for personal and social transformation.  The program gives girls a voice, ability and problem solving capacity to speak up, be decision makers, create visionary change, and realize their full potential.

Exactly what the world needs more of.

Inspired?

Okay then!  Simply click THIS LINK, follow the two simple instructions, and BAM!, Yahoo! will generously donate $10 to GFC for each person who makes the change by tomorrow, July 1st.

Not only will you be making a difference to an amazing organization but you get all the benefits of Yahoo! as your homepage:

  1. Personalized Content: The Yahoo! homepage delivers you the most relevant content based on your interests, time of day, and what’s most popular with other users like you.
  2. Your World and The World: The Yahoo! homepage uniquely brings together your world (your email, local news) with the world around you (current events, entertainment news, financial updates and more)
  3. Human Interest: Articles on the homepage have a human approach – more than just news, it delivers human interest stories that you just have to click on.

DO IT!

FIRST FISH…

aptly named, Ish!

How many nights do you reckon Ish will enjoy at the Glamamom FishHotel before he checks out?

Thanks to MommyShorts.com for recommending this sleek addition to our home.

{I was not compensated for this post.}

THEODORA & CALLUM RESORT 2012 COLLECTION

Theodora & Callum’s Resort 2012 Collection has me dreaming of island hopping somewhere exotic.  But I guess I’ll settle for Montauk, wink.

Conceived by Glamamoms Stefani Greenfield (co-founder of one of my favorite shopping destinations, Scoop NYC) and Desiree Gruber (founder and president of multimedia production company, Full Picture), and named after their children, Theodora & Callum is an accessories line featuring scarves, jewelry, shoes, and bags inspired by their travels.  It just launched Spring 2011 and I’m seeing pieces everywhere.

The prints take me back to vibrant markets of my past like the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and the Mercado de Artesanias in Oaxaca:

Ever wonder how to get that perfect look with your scarf and even wear it as a dress or a skirt?  Check out Theodora & Callum’s Ways to Wear videos.  I learned a ton.

Any exotic travel plans this summer?

{I was not compensated for this post.}

THE SKINNY ON COOLSCULPTING & 12 WEEKS TO CHANGE CHALLENGE

Have you heard of CoolSculpting?

It’s been popping up everywhere and timely for me because I’ve been getting serious about weight loss and notice that my body isn’t bouncing back like it used to. Right now I’m not considering weight loss options other than diet and exercise but when I’m done having children and hopefully near my ideal body weight, it’s comforting to know that there’s a non-invasive option for that stubborn fat.

ZELTIQ CoolSculpting is basically the new liposuction but without the needles, surgery or downtime. It’s an FDA-cleared and patented method that utilizes controlled cooling to kill fat cells without injury to the skin or other tissues.

During the CoolSculpting procedure, a non-invasive applicator delivers cooling to the treatment area to specifically target underlying fat, leaving surface skin tissue unaffected. When fat cells are exposed to extreme cold, it triggers a process of natural removal, which gradually reduces the thickness of the fat layer. The result is apparently visible reduction in fat bulges.

Procedures last about one to two hours, so treatment can easily be performed during a lunch hour or without major disruption to the day.

Stats show that on average, each CoolSculpting procedure results in a 20% reduction of fat in the treated areas, and patients can start to see results as soon as four weeks following treatment, with the most dramatic results occurring over a period of two to four months in most patients.

Intrigued as I am?  CoolSculpting is running a Facebook contest.  All you have to do is sign-up and make a pledge each week with one healthy lifestyle change and you’ll be entered to win one of 12 weekly prizes and the grand prize, a CoolSculpting treatment (one male and one female winner) valued at $1,500 each.

My pledge this week is to eliminate soda from my diet.  Yours?

{Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed herein are my own. CoolSculpting is not intended as a weight-reduction program or for overweight individuals. Each grand prize winner of the Facebook contest must first be assessed by a CoolSculpting provider of ZELTIQ Aesthetics’ choosing to ensure he/she is a good candidate for the procedure. The best CoolSculpting candidates are near their ideal body weight with pockets of diet-and exercise-resistant fat. For more information, including dermatologists and plastic surgeons in your area who offer CoolSculpting, visit www.coolsculpting.com or the CoolSculpting by ZELTIQ Facebook page.}

BOYZ WILL BE BOYZ

Children and gender roles is a hot topic in the media right now as parents are openly supporting unconventional behaviors and even challenging them.

For better or for worse, Sebastian thus far displays traditional male behavioral characteristics.

I don’t think I’ve ever encouraged or discouraged him either way, although I do dress him in typical boyish/sporty clothing (because I think it suits him).

Following a Time to Play toy showcase, I brought home a My First Disney Princess doll in a beautiful pink dress but after a quick once over, he tossed her on the floor and the toy box is where she has reigned ever since.  But give him Playskool’s Tonka Chuck Tumble Tower or Weebles On The Bus, and he’ll play independently for an extended period of time.

Strolling down the swirling streets of Manhattan, Sebastian’s arm can be seen outstretched and pointing as he yells to every ar! (car), us! (bus), adeeeee! (taxi), and uck! (no, not f*ck, truck.  Give it time.) that catches his wide eyes.

He simply gravitates towards vehicles.

RIDEMAKERZ delighted my boyz this past weekend with an invitation to the ginormous Toys “R” Us, Times Square to become part of the “Pit Crew” and customize their own Disney•Pixar Cars 2 toy cars.

Along with their 5 nationwide locations, the RIDEMAKERZ experience is located within select new-format Disney Stores and Toys “R” Us stores nationwide.

The Toys “R” Us Snap ‘N’ Go line offers everything needed so that your kidz can trick-out their own favorite characters from the Cars 2 movie at home.  Character choices include Lightning McQueen, Mater, Finn McMissile, and Francesco Bernoulli.  Each custom kit (starting at $19.99) includes a Cars 2 character body as well as a range of interchangeable accessories and is really designed for kids ages four and up. For more information, visit RIDEMAKERZ.com or facebook.com/ridemakerz.

{I was not compensated for this post.}

ROCKIN’ THE BUMP

Shell, author of Things I Can’t Say, is hosting a fun link-up called Rockin’ the Bump.  I must’ve had too many Loaded Lemonades at Rub tonight to be sharing these but what the hell.

You know you’re in trouble when you’ve gained 20 lbs by 20 weeks (Liz Lange top):

Commence porn star boobs and widening of the nose at 25 weeks (Isabella Oliver top):

No longer showing skin for fear of cracking the camera lens at 30 weeks (DVF top, that I still wear):

No, not triplets, just ready to pop with one Big Bub (Old Navy dress that I burned):

Am I the only one whose nose literally grew 2 sizes?  I covet all those cute little bumps but it just wasn’t in the cards for me.  I was destined to be asked every block if I was having twins or triplets. Motherf*ckers.

It’s cool though, I had a relaxing pregnancy and was carb-loading for a Big Bub birth.

{I was not compensated for this post but I feel like I should be.}

OH! THE PLACES YOU’LL GO

Thank you to Yahoo! Mail for sponsoring this post about staying connected. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

My Blogoversary was last week.  Well, the date that I “announced” to “everyone” that I started blogging.  I didn’t make a big deal of the milestone because if there isn’t a trophy involved, then I’m not interested.  Plus, I was busy fist-pumping down at the Jersey Shore (true story, stay tuned for the recap).

I once heard though, that the average shelf life of a blog is one year, which makes me both a veteran and a survivor.

I’ll take that.

I don’t want to get too sentimental because I know you prefer me irreverent but I honestly never expected that blogging would become such a big part of my life and lead to so many arousing opportunities.

Most unexpected, by far, is High Line Media, my consulting business that organically grew along the way.  What started out as questions from colleagues here and there, turned into paid work, which propelled me to leave my job in commercial real estate finance after almost 7 years.

Risky?  Perhaps.  But Sebastian’s arrival on the scene threw me for a loop I’m not sure I’ll ever recover from.  The fast-paced career with the boys that I thought I wanted all of sudden didn’t make sense to me anymore.  Not that I ever contemplated leaving the work force.  I just found a more conducive way to support my shopping habit family that also happens to be something I’m totally passionate about.

It’s no small feat to grow a brand and an audience.  For that, I am filled with pride and in awe of how many women are active in social media and building businesses from it.

I truly believe there is no better authority on engaging an audience than bloggers who do it on a regular basis, across a variety of online platforms.  The fact that many of us do it while simultaneously managing our families is remarkable.

None of what we’re doing would be possible without email and technology.  Working mostly from home with clients spread out all over, the majority of my communication with them takes place via email.

And the days when I’m on the run with Sebastian, email allows me to still be engaged and responsive, which is imperative in a service business.

It’s strange and somewhat sad to think that the option of working from home didn’t exist for so many positions as little as two decades ago.

I’m sure grateful it does now.

A big thank you to Lauren from Restored 316, who I’ve only communicated with via email, for another squee!-worthy design.

To see Yahoo’s campaign on staying connected with technology, have a look at this clip:

ALL-AMERICAN FOURTH OF JULY

Can you believe Independence Day is just a hop, skip, and a Father’s Day away?

Fortunately, it’s not one of those holidays I stress about since we always spend it at the beach with family and keep it low-key and casual.  No gift exchanges, fancy duds, or elaborate meals.  Just bathing suits and flip flops, grilled foods, and American flag-everything!

It’s one of my favorite holidays because of its simplicity.  The day usually starts with a parade, cymbals crashing, and ends with all eyes to the sky admiring the colorful bursts of light fading into the darkness.

Here’s a photo recap of last year’s Fourth to see how we do it on Long Island.

With the warm weather, parades and fireworks, it doesn’t take much to host an all-American Fourth of July party.  I personally love our beach barbecue-themed gatherings and they always include the following elements:

  • The dress code is casual.
  • The menu is simple with light summer salads and grilled meats, served buffet style.  Everyone brings a little something.
  • The table wear is inexpensive red, white, a blue disposable plates, napkins, and cups to minimize clean-up.
  • The day is filled with sports and activities to work up an appetite and keep the boys little ones busy (volleyball is a family fave).   There’s also always a contingency plan of indoor activities if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
  • Since it’s one of the few times a year we have the entire family together, we take tons of photos including the all-important group shots.

And whether you’re hosting the party or just attending as a guest and want to bring something special, my favorite go-to dessert is the Red, White, and Blue Strawberry Shortcake.  It’s a cinch to bake (especially if you use packaged cake mix like I do) and a real crowd-pleaser.  You can also use the excess blueberries and strawberries or raspberries to add to sparkling water and cocktails (another important party element) for a festive flare.

This summer, rediscover the daiquiri. Bacardi Hand Shaken Daiquiri is the perfect addition to any summer get-together — fun, delicious, and ready to pour. Bacardi Hand Shaken Daiquiri is made with Bacardi Superior Rum, tangy lime and sugar. It is a perfectly balanced cocktail that is not too sour and not too sweet. bacardidaiquiri.glam.com.

For the perfect, refreshing Bacardi Hand Shaken Daiquiri:

Step 1: Moisten the rim of a tall glass then dip in sugar to rim the edges
Step 2: Pour over ice
Step 3: Garnish with a lime wedge
Step 4: Enjoy and drink responsibly!

This is a sponsored post and compensation was provided by Bacardi via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Bacardi.


SEBASTIAN’S SPRING, + THE NEW! BRITAX BABY CARRIER {REVIEW & GIVEAWAY}***CLOSED***

From April showers to May flowers, Mama Nature is finally bestowing NYC with the glorious weather it so richly deserves.  To pay homage, I’ve started scaling back work so that I can spend at least 2 full days during the week with Sebastian and take advantage of it.  He’s at the perfect age (just shy of 2) to be the Lewis to my Clark.

While Leo is the best person to explore restaurants, nightlife, and travel with, he’s not much into some of my interests like sightseeing, museums, opera, and shopping, which is okay because I don’t believe any one person should be your everything. I share those other experiences with friends and family, and now my Prince Sebastian.  I mean, isn’t that the point of having a son?  To sculpt him in the man of your dreams?

We’ve been keeping busy and other than traveling all the way out to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum on a rainy day only to realize it was Monday and closed, it’s been all smiles.

There have been trips to the Central Park Zoo & Children’s Petting Zoo:

Central Park Children's Zoo

A long subway ride out to Coney Island to the New York Aquarium:

Visits to requisite museums like the American Museum of Natural History and The Met for the Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty Exhibit (no photos allowed inside the exhibit hall, sorry!):

Opening day at Sesame Place to meet our favorite friends and celebrate the addition of Murray, the park’s newest character.

Sebastian was his own character, the “Hugging Monster:”

New Murray Character at Sesame Place, PA

Toes in the sand, smack dab in the middle of Manhattan at Heckscher Playground, Central Park:

And my personal favorites, the Children’s Museums in Manhattan (for the Wizard of Oz installation) and Brooklyn, where Sebastian is free to run wild and paw whatever he desires:

Believe it or not, I still carry the 30+ lb Bubba-Beast almost everywhere we go.  The benefits of baby-wearing are well-documented and I’ve been doing so since he was born.  Now that he’s more independent and resists sitting in the stroller, it’s easier for me to be hands free while hopping on and off of the buses and subways anyway so I just carry him all over town and let him run wild when we get to our destination.

We’ve tried several different baby carriers but since Sebastian was pushing 20 lbs by 5 months, I had to retire a couple of them early on.

BRITAX is launching its new baby carrier this summer and we’re fortunate enough to be among the first to test it out.

I’m happy to report the BRITAX Baby Carrier, for babies 8-32 lbs, has a padded waste belt and shoulder straps, and is definitely made for the long haul!

Unlike the one we were using, the BRITAX Baby Carrier allows me to carry Sebastian in front facing either inward or outward so he can check out what’s going on around him. Less fidgeting equals less strain on my back and shoulders.  It’s also effortless to make adjustments to the carrier while he’s in it.

The only draw-back for me, is that it’s designed to slip over the head to put it on, which I don’t love since it jeopardizes my perfectly coiffed hair.  Other than that, I’m sold.

The BRITAX Baby Carrier line comes in two gender-neutral fashions (black and navy, $129.99), and the Baby Carrier Organic is available in tan ($139.99). The carrier includes a removable infant insert that positions smaller babies naturally, as well as a plush (100% cotton), machine washable bib.  Additional accessories, sold separately, include a Seat Extender Insert (Black & Navy $24.99; Organic Tan $26.99) enhancing longer-wearing comfort through balanced weight distribution when used facing inward, as well as a set of Baby Carrier Bibs $19.99) for maximum coverage and protection of the carrier. For more information about BRITAX, visit www.britaxusa.com, or find BRITAX on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

WIN IT: BRITAX is giving one adventurous Glamamom reader the new BRITAX Baby Carrier to help keep you and your little one close and comfortable while on the go.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below with your favorite children’s destination or activity.

For an extra entry, follow BRITAX and Glamamom on Facebook and leave a comment below that you do.

Two entries total.  Please leave a separate comment for each.

I’ll randomly select a winner on Wednesday, June 22nd.  This giveaway is for readers in the US and Canada only.

UPDATE: The winner is Rose.  Congratulations!

{I was selected for the BRITAX Baby Carrier review by Buzzing Bloggers.  I was not compensated for my review or post.  I received a complimentary carrier for review purposes.  I am also the lucky, randomly selected winner of a BRITAX product of my choice (“door prize”) from the launch event. All opinions and recommendations expressed herein are my own.}

HAPPINESS IS…

celebrating National Best Friends Day with your best friends.