1.27.2015

How To Make Snow Ice Cream

First, I have to mention that my Midwestern-raised husband thinks the concept of snow ice cream is the most ridiculous thing he's ever heard. Well, phooey on him! When you grow up in South Carolina and see snow three times your entire childhood, just about anything having to do with the white stuff is pretty exciting. Thus, yesterday's "blizzard that wasn't" seemed like the perfect opportunity to introduce the girls to snow ice cream, which I remember making with my mom... one of those three times it snowed growing up.
 
 
Here's what you need:
 
4-5 cups of CLEAN snow (the clean part cannot be emphasized enough, for obvious reasons)
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Combine milk, sugar & vanilla & stir until the sugar dissolves. Slowly add your collected snow and mix together. Enjoy! It's just that simple, and the girls had so much fun making this special afternoon treat.


We added a little food coloring to give it pizzazz, but there's lots of add-ons you could include like whole or pureed fruit, sprinkles, chocolate sauce... mmm... the list goes on!


Happy Winter, folks! Here's to one or two more good snows and then even I might be over it...

1.26.2015

Have You Visited The Mother 'Hood Yet? #SisterhoodUnite


Hi Friends! While we stockpile groceries and brace for winter storm Juno around here, I'd like to help spread the word about Similac's new program, The Sisterhood of Motherhood. Have you seen the "The Mother 'Hood" video yet? Hilarious & heartwarming, I was surprised that I could laugh so hard & be so moved simultaneously. 
 
The Sisterhood of Motherhood was created in an effort to combat all the judgment that often comes with our parenting decisions. And parent or not, you've no doubt heard about them in the headlines, on the playground & most likely from your own mother! Breastfeeding vs formula; Free range vs attachment parenting; Disposable vs cloth diapers... the list goes on & on. I'll be sharing my personal views on the topic soon, but in the meantime, take a look at Similac's creation.
 
And remember, we're all in this together.
 

 
 
 
 
 
Disclosure: I've partnered with Similac for The Sisterhood of Motherhood Program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. All opinions expressed are my own. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


1.21.2015

How to Make a Flying Potion

As reported by Millie, age 5.

Ingredients:

Apple sauce
Apple juice
Mint tea

Place a tablespoon of each ingredient into an empty wine bottle (perhaps she just knew there'd be one of those in the apt...) and mix together. Let sit for an undetermined amount of time. Then, place a small amount on each elbow. Next step: FLY.

Oh, I do love this age... filled with so much wonder and imagination... believing in everything from flying potions to Santa to the Tooth Fairy (though she does draw the line at the Sand Man). Excitement over every snow flake, clean blankets out of the dryer, making her bed and "organizing" her stuffed animals. Being completely color blind and oblivious to the often insane world we live in. Wanting to fly more than anything in this world, ready to concoct another potion at a moment's notice.

Sure, it comes with some not so fun parts (whining & picky eating for starters), but fabulous five has been a lot of fun so far.

I'd like just a little bit of her wonder... wouldn't you?



1.13.2015

id NYC (Otherwise Known As "Why It's Still Good to be a New Yorker")

UPDATE: Since writing this post, and due to the popularity of this new program, the city is now requiring you make an appointment at an enrollment center instead of just showing up. Do it fast! I just made my appointment and the earliest one I could get was April 24th! Wowzers...

***

Every which way you look, there's a lot of bad press coming out of NYC these days, and most of it's justified. It feels somewhat murky to live here right now -- maybe it's partially due to the bitter cold of winter -- but my attitude towards my home has seen better years. Between the tragic loss of Eric Garner, the response from the NYPD, the two policemen who were killed in Brooklyn and whether or not you approve of the job Mayor de Blasio is doing, not to mention rising rents and what seems like the closings of city institutions on a weekly basis -- even newly minted Ambassador Taylor Swift can't save us (and I'm not really sure how I feel about that, either)!

I saw a small break in the clouds yesterday... have you heard about id NYC yet? This new identification card for NYC residents will give you discounts on many citywide services (even serving as helpful documentation to opening a bank account or filling out a prescription) and FREE year-long memberships to many cultural destinations. Oh, and movie and Broadway show discounts, too. Woohoo!

I am SO excited about this program, and not just because I like to save a buck. id NYC benefits every city resident, including those in the most vulnerable communities who may have difficulty obtaining other government-issued ID. If there was ever a time for "all for one and one for all" -- this is it.

photo credit: id NYC website
Many of our favorite places to visit are on the list, including the Museum of Natural History and the Bronx Zoo, and I look forward to taking advantage of the Museum of the Moving Image and the Brooklyn Museum as a result of my new id NYC card... and those are just the tip of the iceberg.

Obtaining your card is pretty simple. Simply go to the id NYC website and download an application. Once filled out, visit one of 12 enrollment centers to submit your form along with proof of address, and get ready to start taking advantage of the country's newest (and biggest!) municipal ID program.

I want to remember why I first fell in love with NYC. Perhaps having a card to prove my "membership" to this amazing yet flawed metropolis is a step in the right direction...


1.11.2015

Baby Meets Philly

We made a quick, overnight trip to Philadelphia recently, and I cannot say enough about the City of Brotherly Love's incredible children's mecca, the Please Touch Museum. When I tell you we spent nearly the whole day here and could have stayed longer, I am not exaggerating. 

Housed in Memorial Hall, a national historic landmark, there is SO much to do at this enormous museum, and everything is (hence the name) hands-on for kids. Sending "rockets" flying in the Flight Fantasy room, going "grocery shopping," immersing yourself in water play or Alice's Wonderland, riding the carousel and making music in the "rainforest rhythm" room... well, that's just the tip of the iceberg, and I highly recommend if you're visiting Philadelphia with children in tow. 



The girls jumped, danced and twirled their way through the museum in dresses by Little Flock of Horrors, a children's clothing brand out of New Zealand. Specializing in merino wool -- which I must admit I knew next to nothing about beforehand -- I loved that the dresses were soft to the touch and comfortable for all day wear.

Merino is a type of ultra-fine soft wool, and its benefits are plentiful. Besides being environmentally-friendly (biodegradable, renewable & sustainable), merino's fibers are easy to clean, odor resistant and insulated in a way that regulates body temperature... thus perfect for kids. Oh, and it's particularly resistant to fire. Clearly it's time to jump on the merino bandwagon! Little Flock of Horrors aims to please with a hip line of basics for your "little monster" and is sold online and in the US at Barneys.




Other quick recommendations for Philadelphia are all food-related (a girl's gotta eat!) -- Reading Terminal Market is incredible to walk through and will no doubt leave your mouth watering for a Philly cheesesteak, and Sabrina's Cafe is a must for brunch.


As we were only there for about 24 hours, there wasn't enough time for a visit to the Liberty Bell or an attempt to jog up the steps of The Philadelphia Museum of Art like Rocky. But, that's just an excuse to go back for another visit soon...




Disclosure: While the Little Flock of Horrors dresses were sent to me for review, all opinions expressed herein are my own.

1.05.2015

New Year! Same Me.

Profound thought of the moment: today felt A LOT more like New Years Day than actual New Years Day.

Over the past two weeks, we visited family and friends down south for Christmas, I did a (mostly) good job of unplugging from social media, and upon our return, essentially lived in a time warp of sleeping in, tiaras and dress up clothes during dinner and binge watching TV shows I missed all season (like HBO's The Comeback) and watching bad movies ("3 Days to Kill," for the record, is not Kevin Costner's comeback). January 1st came and went, partially spent in New Jersey at our friend's lovely home in suburbia. We spent the last two weeks of the year coasting along, and it was lovely.

It is today, January 5th, the girls' first day back at school, that truly feels like a fresh new beginning. Back to a crazy schedule of drop offs and pickups, blogging regularly, pursuing freelance work and managing all the tiny details that keep our ship afloat. And it's not that I don't have dreams or ambitions, but I find all the motivational New Year affirmations (Let's Do This! You've Got This! The best is yet to come!) kind of irksome. I'm almost worried there's something wrong with me because I'm not plotting world domination.

If I had to create a Happy New Year affirmation poster, it would say, simply: MAINTAIN.

Let's see how many times we can get this one passed around, shall we? :) Not very likely... I know it lacks pizzazz. But truly, what's wrong with keeping the ship afloat? I can tell you I'm pretty pleased at the end of the day that my children went to bed warm, clothed and happy. And if a fun blog collaboration comes along, or I can write one page of a possible future children's book (my dream!), that's the icing on the cake.

I want to value every moment and not take any of the small things for granted... now that's an affirmation I can get behind. Pink has a great song called "These Are The Good Ol' Days" about the fact that this is it -- we're living the good ol' days -- and I used it in my Instagram wrap up this year. Here's to maintaining what we have and loving every minute of it in 2015!

             

12.17.2014

An Afternoon of K-Mart Shopping for St. Jude

The girls and I had a really special afternoon this week -- one that is particularly meaningful during the season of giving. I was invited to participate in a holiday shopping spree for the children of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, and I seized the chance, both to put a smile on a child's face in Tennessee and as an opportunity to teach my children first-hand about giving back.

Joining a group of bloggers and Marlo Thomas, (actress, producer, social activist AND St. Jude National Outreach Director), the girls and I hit the aisles of K-Mart's toy section with a cart ready to be filled to the brim. The girls pointed out all of their favorite toys of the season (Paw Patrol, Barbie and Disney characters were well-represented), and with each gift, it was an opportunity to spread the joy of the holiday season. And I must say, we did a pretty good job. The group's shopping spree resulted in more than $10,000 worth of toys that are currently on their way to St. Jude. What a thrill!

Santa's Elves
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a unique and vital facility in that it provides free treatment for children facing cancer and life-threatening diseases. Additionally, thousands more are saved worldwide thanks to the cutting edge research and discoveries being made there. Last year, K-Mart "Shop Your Way" members and customers donated a record $21.9 million to St. Jude; the single largest corporate partner donation ever to the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign. And this year, K-Mart has already raised $13 million during the holiday season.

I'm so happy I got to share this experience with my children. If you'd like to make a donation, or for more ways to help, check out Kmart.com/stjude or stjude.org.

Marlo shopping with a patient from St. Jude
Photo credit: Astrid Stawiarz for Getty Images


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by K-Mart, but as always, all opinions herein are my own.


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