Glam Baby Gear | Ergobaby Four Position 360 Carrier

A comfortable baby carrier is a real asset for caregivers. The benefits of babywearing are well-documented and being hands-free can increase productivity and save your sanity.

After Sebastian was born, I tested several carrier options and found Ergobaby to be among the most comfortable. That’s no easy feat considering he weighed over 25 pounds by his first birthday but with the help of our Ergobaby, I toted him around New York City, on buses and subways, through museums and parks, for years.

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Glam Baby Gear | Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Doorway Jumper

little-tikes-cozy-coupe-doorway-jumper5

It’s hard for me to believe but my little summer baby is over 8 months old. He’s my second child and this time around I knew exactly what baby gear we needed and what we didn’t. Since space is at a premium these days, knowing the difference is more important than ever.

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Rosie Pope Baby {Review}

Rosie-Pope-Baby

If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve heard of Rosie Pope. She’s the television personality and maternity-wear designer that so many moms and dads turn to for style advice and parenting wisdom. Jill and I are huge fans of her maternity line (you can check out Jill’s maternity style here and maternity shoot in Rosie Pope here) and were excited to learn that she recently launched a children’s wear collection.

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Tablet Fashion

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1

I recently joined Intel’s #TabletCrew and received my first ever tablet, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, for review. While Leo and Sebastian love theirs, I wasn’t convinced I really needed one. Now after only a few short weeks, I’m not sure how I ever lived without it.

Lightweight and portable, I’ve been packing my tablet for downtime between school pick up and drop off, train rides into the city, and just browsing or reading whenever I have time to myself. The sharp, 10-inch screen is a big upgrade from my phone and the battery lasts for 8 hours. It has 1 GB RAM, 16 GB ROM, and is compatible with Microsoft Office, which allows me get actual work done. So far I’m really impressed. Stay tuned for more updates on #IntelTablets.

In the meantime, I need to get a cute case before it gets banged up in my bag or one of the kids stakes his claim. Should I get a skin, a folio with keyboard, or just a cute leather case? Here’s a selection that caught my eye:

What’s your tablet style?



#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Beauty Buzz | FabFitFun Winter VIP Box

FabFitFunBox Winter 2013

As cliche as it is, my New Year’s resolutions include getting into better shape. Luke is 16 months and sleeping great (most of the time), the house is largely unpacked and set up, and Leo bought us a treadmill. There are no more excuses.

Motivation comes in all forms. I wish I could say I woke up every day raring to exercise for the sake of my health and appearance but as we all know, it’s more complicated than that. Little things like a new running playlist or a cute new sports bra go a long way. The FabFitFun Winter VIP Box arrived on my doorstep filled with a great selection of fashion, beauty, and fitness goodies to jump start my 2014 wellness plan. $235.48-worth to be exact. Here’s what you can expect:

FITNESS
5 Online Physique 57 Classes ($25): My friend Natasha works at Physique 57 and she has been raving about the results for as long as I can remember. Her body is perfection and tons of celebs swear by the routines. She has invited me time and time again to visit the studios for classes but for some reason I never worked up the motivation. Well, I do know why. I’m not much of a fitness class person. I always love when I actually go but I can’t seem to get excited about scheduling, paying a babysitter, and going and waiting and…while I’m being honest, other people. I prefer to work out alone or at most with a friend or two so these online classes are perfect for me (and moms in general). I cannot wait to try them. Just not today. I plan to wash my hair, wink. And should the endorphins get me addicted, the price is far more manageable than the in-studio cost and comparable DVDs.

TruEnergy Inspired Ear Buds ($33.99): Leo and I constantly fight over headphones and ear buds. They always seem to disappear so an extra pair is always welcome. TruEnergy are cute and girly with a purple and blue color and have enhanced bass and noise reduction. There’s also a SoundShare splitter that allows two people to listen to music or watch a movie together, which is great for the kids too, should I want to share. They fit snuggly and securely and come with two extra sets of covers. UPDATE: While I like these headphones for misc use, they are terrible for running. The splitter is too heavy and yanks the buds out of the ear.

BEAUTY
skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream ($45): I was introduced to skyn this summer at a relaxation event and Henri Bendel. The company’s mission is to cool and calm skin to reduce stress and its consequences. Eye cream is essential for me at this point. I never know if I’m going to get a good night’s rest between work, the kids, and the dogs (they move around at night and wake me up). I swear the lines appear deeper each day but eye cream definitely helps, if only temporarily. skyn’s Icelandic Relief is a nice thick formula that doesn’t run into the eyes, odorless, and definitely has a cooling effect. I’m very glad to see this in the box.

Beauty for Real Lip Gloss in Don’t Stop Red ($22): I’m really picky about the red I choose for my lips and this isn’t a great shade for me BUT the brand gets and A++ for packaging. The lip gloss itself has a mirror built in and a light up cap. I’ve never seen anything like it. I would definitely try this brand in another shade simply because the light and mirror make it so easy to apply on the go. The formula also contains antioxidants and plumping marine collagen.

Bioxidea Miracle 24 Face Mask ($19): I haven’t opened it yet but it’s supposed to smooth skin and reduce the signs of premature aging. I’m definitely aging and like trying new masks so I’m excited to try it. As soon as I have 15 to 30 minutes to sit with a mask on my face.

Simple Foaming Facial Cleanser ($8): This is a bonus item and a good one. It’s winter, it’s dry, and skin needs to be pampered but gently. I’m a big fan of Simple products and can always use more facial cleanser since washing twice a day it goes quickly. I really like this foaming formula. It’s mild and has light Chamomile scent but is still effective and removes makeup well.

NYX Love in Florence Eye Shadow Palette in Ciao Bella ($8): Another awesome bonus. This palette features 5 shadows with combinations for all eye colors and skin tones. I’m really looking forward to playing around with them.

FASHION
$20 Credit to MeUndies.com ($20): I’ve never tried MeUndies so I can’t vouch for the fit or comfort but I just ordered a standard looking black thong. I would have preferred a pair of printed briefs but they’re sold out in reasonable human adult sizes. The site bills itself as “high end basics” designed in LA by celebrity stylists and offers men’s and women’s underwear including socks and undershirts. The $20 credit covers the cost of one pair of underwear or two pairs of socks. Shipping is free and you also receive a 20% discount on your first purchase. Underwear is always good. UPDATE: Got my thong and it’s really cute. Great quality and super comfortable. Thumbs up!

The Giving Keys Never Ending Necklace ($55): I’m on the fence about this one. Each necklace features an engraved key pendant and when you meet someone who needs the message more than you, you’re supposed to pay it forward. Mine is silver and reads “strength.” It’s not something I would have bought on my own or typically wear but then I looked at the website and the company’s mission is to employ those transitioning out of homelessness to make jewelry out of repurposed keys which is very cool. Or a marketing gimmick. Hard to tell these days. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, shall we?

Lorna Jane Bracelet (no retail value): And speaking of marketing gimmicks, this is a big plastic pink bracelet that an Australian activewear company (?) was giving away for free on its site in exchange for email addresses. It’s supposed to symbolize sisterhood and serve as a daily reminder to “Move, Nourish, and Believe.” It also comes with a 20% off coupon to lornajane.com that expired at the end of December. Bummed to see junk like this in the box. Less is sometimes more.

VERDICT: If you like surprise goodies and have the extra cash, the Winter VIP Box at $49.99 more than pays for itself. I like this selection of items even more than the Summer Box (which I also really liked) and think many of them will help me start this year off on the right foot.

{I was not compensated for this post. I received a complimentary box for review purposes. Post contains affiliate links. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Beauty Buzz | Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips

Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy LipsI’m a bit obsessive about lip moisturizer. I cannot stand dry, chapped lips and there’s no way to apply lipstick evenly without a silky pout. Lip balm is a beauty must-have year-round but with winter upon us, I stash it in every pocket and purse.

Vaseline is practically synonymous with moisturizer. Its Lip Therapy is now available in a sheer rose tint, containing a yummy, I want to eat it, rose/vanilla/red berry scent. I received a sample to try and it’s easily my favorite new lip product. Made with 100% pure, triple purified Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips get the job done and has a sheer, barely there, pink tint. With its cute and convenient packing these little jars are the perfect size for the girl on the go. Not to mention the little people in your life that can’t STOP LICKING their lips. The jars $1.99 and make a cute stocking stuffer.

For the beauty junkie in your life (ehem), there’s a limited-edition Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips crystal jar adorned with fine European crystals available for purchase for $45 at New Beauty Fred Segal or by calling 310-394-8509 until December 25, 2013 and at Kitson and ShopKitson.com (while supplies last).

Bejeweled Vasline Rosy Lips

I received the bejeweled version too but Sebastian promptly staked his claim and hid it before I could get a pic.

{I was not compensated for this post. I received samples for review purposes. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

 

KidCuteTure {Review}

Kidcuteture

Whether we’re playing at home, hanging out at the playground, or going to a birthday party, it’s always the right occasion for a dress. My daughter loves them and lately, this adorable gray dress from KidCuteTure is a new favorite.

KidCuteTure designs use custom-made Peruvian cotton and this exceptional quality elevates this darling dress from a simple design to something much more substantial. The fabric is really luxurious for a simple cotton dress but the price point is very reasonable for children’s clothing.

We have a lot of beautiful gems hanging in the closet that are not suitable for every day but so many of our every day dresses have pilled after washing or the colors have faded. This sweet, gray Bianca Dress is so versatile. We’ve dressed it up with fun tights and Mary Janes and on this day she wore it to the playground with leggings and sparkly sneakers. The quality of the fabric is thick and so soft to the touch and I love the whimsical details of their designs like the ruffles and fun hemlines.

Kidcuteture Bianca Dress

To learn more about KidCuteTure please check out their Lookbook on their website http://www.kidcutetureshop.com.

Monica Shulman is a photographer and author of Ciao, Chessa! – a photography and lifestyle blog. She lives in New York City with her husband, toddler daughter, and infant son.

{I was not compensated for this post. I received a dress for review but all opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Beauty Buzz | Ouidad Curl Defining Styling Souffle

Valerie Aranov is a lawyer and lover of all things fashion and beauty. She loves to keep up with the latest trends, try the newest beauty products, and write all about it! You can follow her on Twitter at @LegalValerie.

I have always been a huge fan of Ouidad’s products. I used to get my hair cut at the salon, and use their products exclusively. I loved everything about them, from the smell to the results. However, as time wore on and I began wearing my hair straighter and straighter, I veered away from Ouidad over the years, but I have always associated the company with great hair products and so was really excited to try the newest product, the Ouidad Curl Defining Styling Souffle.

Ouidad Curl Recovery Souffle

As background, I have wildly curly hair. Seriously. Girls who complain about their hair being way too curly and frizzy but have managed to learn how to blow dry/style it themselves are joking. I can’t blow dry my hair on my own. It’s an exercise in futility and leaves me red faced and frizzy. When I do get professional blow outs, the first comment I typically get is “Wow. You definitely can’t do this yourself.” Yes. Thank you. I know. That’s why I’m here.

I have also had my hair keratin treated and the curls have never really been the same since. Enter Ouidad Curl Defining Styling Souffle. Can a product actually define curls that I have attempted to chemically beat into submission? Actually, yes it can.

While I was expecting the texture and smell to be similar to the products of old, this was slightly different. Still, I remembered the Ouidad technique — basically a small amount in small sections of my hair) and I was happily surprised to see that my hair was not frizzing; and, while my curls weren’t what they were circa 2006 before I ever took advantage of professional blow outs, the results were dramatically visible.

The ends of my hair could use a good chop (which they are getting this weekend, thank you very much), but all the layers were surprisingly healthy looking and spiral-y. My hair smelled good (sadly not the same Ouidad smell I remembered to satisfy my nostalgia, but still very pleasant) and looked good too. And for $26 for an 8 ounce container, the product is an affordable fix for frizzy and dry hair.

{I received a sample for review purposes. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Beauty Buzz | FabFitFun Summer VIP Box

FabFitFun Summer VIP Box- http://vip.fff.me/gVGS

A few days before we left for vacation the FabFitFun Summer VIP Box curated by Giuliana Rancic and her team arrived on my doorstep for review. Perfect timing since its contents are beach bag perfect:

It Hair Care Surf Spray ($7): I used this my entire vacation. I didn’t comb my hair, or dry it, just gave it a few spritzes and went on my way. Love the fresh marine scent and plan to use it way into fall.

pūr~lisse Pur-Delicate Gentle Soy Milk Cleanser ($36): Recently named as one of Vogue’s favorite products, it’s soap-free and non-foaming, a great choice as the temps start to dip and skin gets drier. I’ve used pūr~lisse products before and am a big fan, especially of the pur~lip comfort. I like a two-in-one cleanser/makeup remover so this has definitely made it’s way into my beauty routine.

Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray ($12): This is not something I would normally buy so I’m happy to have gotten it in the box to try it out. It’s super hydrating for hot summer days and nice to keep in your beach bag for a refreshing spritz.

Yes To Cucumbers Facial Towelettes ($6): Oh how I love towelettes! I stash them everywhere and usually start my nighttime beauty routine with them. I can’t say I like this brand more or less than others I’ve tried but they’re great nonetheless and really useful. A mom must-have, year-round.

KIND Dark Chocolate Chili Almond and Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt (~$2): I mean! Need I write more? And it’s sort of healthy. Or rather, healthier than what I would normally grab.

Infinity Glow on the Go ($38): Spray tanning isn’t easy to do on the go but I like this travel can for a quick touch up or if you have an uneven tan. Works well on the face too.

Orly Nail Polish in Choreographed Chaos ($8.50): I’ve been trying to expand my beauty horizons and color palette but shimmering bubble gum pink will never be for me. Not at this age at least. Maybe it’s a west coast thing? This is a give away for me, although I love the idea of a nail polish in these boxes since it’s something meaningful moms can achieve at home. I hope next season is more universal or trendy color.

Catalina Su Lip Gloss ($14): I’m not a lip gloss person because I can’t stand the stickiness and my hair getting caught in it BUT this formula from Guiliana’s beloved makeup artist is pretty thin and light. I also didn’t like the color on first glance since I avoid browns/bronze colors on my lips (does nothing for me) but this formula doesn’t have much pigment. It’s more a light shimmer. I could take it or leave it.

Ivory Mason Sunglasses (~$145): Not sure what to write about these. When I saw them, I was really excited. But then when I attempted to try them on and couldn’t get them on my face because they are so small, I assumed they sent me a child’s pair. Upon further review, it doesn’t appear they make children’s glasses so they’re a give away. PS: I have a small head and face.

The FabFitFun VIP boxes are quarterly and cost $49.99, which is significantly more than other beauty box subscriptions. I estimate the retail value of the items in the summer box to total over $250, although $145 of that is the sunglasses that are useless to me. Since I liked all of the other products, valued at over $100, the box is certainly a good deal at $49.99. Provided you have extra money to spend on a mystery box of beauty goodies, of course. In comparison to other beauty boxes I have tried, I prefer this one for its full size products and overall usefulness. It also has rather attainable products, should you get hooked on anything. I also like that it’s quarterly rather than every month since it takes time to get through stuff and you really only need a few new goodies each season to add to your staples.

If you want to give FabFitFun VIP a try, sign up before the end of the month and you’ll receive a complimentary bottle of the pūr~lisse Pur-Delicate Gentle Soy Milk Cleanser ($36), which is a pretty decent incentive! Let me know what you think if you do.

{I was not compensated for this post. I received a complimentary box for review purposes. Post contains affiliate links. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

#HowIStroll with Baby Jogger | Video Journal 4

After all the shout outs I’ve given to my neighborhood, West Chelsea, I should be an elected official, or at a minimum get a seat on the High Line to myself a few minutes each day :)

For the final installment of my four-part #HowIStroll video series for Baby Jogger, I’m taking you around the ‘hood and sharing some of our favorite places to eat:

And yes, I said “historical” district.  The cool thing about these videos is that they forced me to “just do it” and not worry about everything being perfect, which is probably a better representation of my life than photos.  Thanks to Baby Jogger for sponsoring this campaign.  We really love our City Mini Double and F.I.T. And a huge thank you to everyone who participated in our Twitter parties!

You can check out videos 1 here, 2 here, and 3 here, and continue to follow along on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram with the hashtag #HowIStroll.

{This is a sponsored post.  All opinions expressed herein are my own.  Royalty Free Music by http://audiomicro.com/royalty-free-music.}