It’s September and that means back to school, routine and chaos! I am sure many of you are not even thinking about a vacation or traveling! However as parents we run around a lot with our kids and sometimes taking time off and planning a vacation is not always easy. BUT even if it’s a day trip, a quick visit to another city or a full blown trip around the world, getting away can be fun! We do love our weekend day trips to Boston and each year I map out where I would like to go on vacation. This year the kids want to go back to Florida (it is nice when you have friends you can stay with) as well as take a trip to San Francisco. Of course on my list is to take a trip to Italy and France! What are your travel goals this year?
I like safe and effective beauty products and test out a lot of products. I love the Shea Moisture line and the company history is interesting, the products smell great and they work. Plus they are a natural, organic and a sustainably-produced line. Not all products can say that! AND 10 % Of the Shea Moisture community commerce sales go to women-led business to support local communities where the ingredients come from.
Their web site says they strive to be sulfate free, paraben free and are tested on people not animals. The products in the Shea Moisture line use some pretty unique ingredients gathered from around the world and the background of this beauty line is interesting. Sofi Tucker started selling Shea Nuts at the village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone in 1912. By age 19, the widowed mother of four was selling Shea Butter, African Black Soap and her homemade hair and skin preparations all over the countryside. This legacy continues today. Here are a few of the items I tested out.
The SheaMoisture Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Collection smells so good! The shampoo and conditioner is enriched with Fruit Infused Coconut Water, Imbe Oil and Certified organic Shea Butter (that is ethically sourced from seven women’s co-ops in Northern Ghana) A nice weightless formulation that gives a bit of boost to my hair!
The 10-in-1 Renewal System is great for older hair (lol…ok moms in their 30’s and 40’s!) The antioxidant-rich collection helps to perfect and renew vibrancy to dull, lackluster hair. I use this as a special treat for my hair. It is sulfate-free has anti-aging benefits (no more frizz), color protection and your hair is super soft!
I love the bars of soap and body lotion too. The superfruit organic complex bar soap has Shea and Mango Butter and the superfruit complex of Raspberry Ketone, Goji, Acai and Guava extracts to nourish skin. I do notice when I use this that my skin is much smoother and it also lathers very well. Check out all their products as they have something for everyone. In fact they have a new web app #amillionwaystoshea in which you can upload a photo and answer some questions on which product is best for you!
Disclosure: Shea Moisture sent me the items above to test out and review. All opinions in this blog post are my own.
I am always looking for products that are easy to use and multi-functional products are always nice too! That is why I love Jane Iredale’s products. The mineral make-up line has been around a while but always comes out with innovative products. The company sent me several items to test out and review and here are the results.
You know when you are on the go and need a touch up but don’t want to bring the eye shadow, liner and applicator, etc. – well Jane Iredale has this mystikol eye which is a liner/shadow all in one and it is great. It is compact and creates a soft, smoky eye effect. Great colors too in a slim, eyeliner design.
How many of us use SPF on our hands??? Well you should and that is why I like this staple in my make-up bag. Hand Drink is the item to keep in your car too- it is a hand cream with an SPF 15 and is ultra hydrating. I liked the smell of it – like roses but it is a bit strong – my kids didn’t like.
I never have individual eye shadows in my make-up bag as it takes up too much room! Jane Iredale’s naturally matte eye shadow kit is perfect for gals on the go as it includes five blendable shades and the colors are so light but look very nice. Plus it is a very slim case so perfect for on the go.
Lip Fixation is my go to product. It is a lip stain on one end and a gloss on the other. It really is the only product that stays on my lips! I have had several of these over the years actually and finally got to test out a color that is new to me -Cherish – which is a bubblegum pink and sheer frosted gloss. I make it lighter or darker depending on the lip liner I use. Plus with this you always have gloss with you.
I always admire the Jane Iredale packaging and the Sugar & Butter Lip Exfoliator/Plumper comes in a cute little gold case! It is lip exfoliator/plumper duo and is an on the go lifesaver. No need for any lip balm when you wake up in the morning use the exfoliator and then wipe and immediately put on the plumper and you are set to go!
Now to go empty out all my old make-up and replace with the new Jane Iredale make-up.
Disclosure: The company sent me the above products to test out. All opinions in this blog post are my own.
Well for us in the northeast summer is over but that does not mean your tan has to fade! I am always one to use a great spf and then a self-tanner too for a bit of color. I have tried a lot of self-tanners over the years and am always looking for a natural, safe line. One that I just discovered is beautisol. It smells great and is cruelty free and vegan formulated without parabens.
I tested out the Medium Self-Tanning Mousse. What I liked is that it is lightweight, quick drying and offers a natural sun kissed glow. No orange at all. This is the best self-tanner I have tried in a while (and I have tried everything from lotions to gradual to spray tanning) and it lasts.
It does have a nice sent which most of the self-tanning products on the market do not. Their website says, “Beautisol’s odor eliminating fragrance technology, PURE SCENT, helps to neutralize the unpleasant processing odors that self-tanners are famous for by up to 80%.” and I agree – no weird smell.
I love how all products are PETA certified and are free of parabens, propylene glycol, sodium laurel and laureth sulfate. They have a line of other lotions, exfoliating mitts and application mitts – check them out!
Disclosure: The company sent me the mousse to test out. All opinions in this blog post are my own.
Gather, The newest purpose-driven chocolate by Salem based Harbor Sweet launches today!
This small batch chocolate line will support a cause critical to the environment: protecting honeybees. The chocolate comes in a beautiful package presented with six distinct taste experiences unified by dark chocolate and a subtle note of local wildflower honey.
The taste and combination of the chocolate and the honey is unlike any other chocolate I have tasted (and I eat a lot of cholate!) What is also nice about this chocolate is a portion of sales will be donated to the Pollinator Partnership which is a 501c3 NGO that educates and advocates best beekeeping practices for honeybee protection.
The honeycomb shaped box showcases six individually shaped honey-infused chocolates including three truffles: caramelized honey, pomegranate molasses and sour cherry and three dark chocolate: cashew caramel, coconut cluster and sesame crunch. They almost look too pretty to eat! But of course once you have one you will eat the whole box. The six piece box is $12.50 and the 12-piece box is 18.50. Perfect for holiday gift giving or a hostess gift –Instead of brining wine to a social gathering bring a box of Gather and you will be the hit of the party! Harbor Sweets has been producing handcrafted artisan chocolates from its historic red brick building in Salem and is sold online here and at fine gourmet grocers and gift shops.
Disclosure: Harbor Sweets sent me a box of Gather to taste and review. All opinions in this blog post are my own.
Looking for a nice summer night out? Check out the special events at Fenway Park. Also, if you can tell me what your favorite thing to do near Fenway (besides watching the game of course) you will be entered to win a Jason Varitek bobblehead or Wally & Tessie bobblehead!
Here are some fun things to do with the family this last week of August. On Monday, August 29 “Catch ‘em All” night is a fun event for kids and families to capture all the characters around Fenway and battle in the gym. Your ticket will include a custom map serving as a Poké -map of the park and a limited edition Fenway gym badge. Special Ticket Required and here is the link http://m.mlb.com/bos/tickets/info/pokemon
On Wednesday, August 31 It’s “Wally Piggy Bank” Promo Item where Fans age 14 and under will receive a Wally Piggy Bank. (Presented By Hood)
The Red Sox and LEGO Systems, Inc. are proud to announce the first LEGO® Day at Fenway Park on Wednesday, August 31 at 1:35 pm when the Red Sox face the Tampa Bay Rays. The purchase of a game ticket through this special offer also includes a limited edition Red Sox themed player build, made with LEGO bricks. Additionally, this ticket package will include access to the pre-game LEGO Build Experience in the Kids Concourse from 11:00am-1:35pm. A life-sized Red Sox player LEGO model for fans to see and take pictures with be a special site! Tickets are limited to the first 2,000 guests who order through this special offer. Special Ticket Required and here is the link: http://m.mlb.com/bos/tickets/info/lego-day
Disclosure: I am part of the Red Sox Moms initiative and as such I am treated to special events and a game or two as part of the campaign.
Well, we did it! Our first real family road trip. We have been on a road trip to NYC but that was only four hours! We packed up the car and headed to visit our relatives in Michigan. It was such a great trip as I have been talking for years about visiting my family in Michigan and we had such a great time. I do love traditions and traveling! Along the way we stopped at Niagara Falls and my kids were in awe of the falls. We took a boat tour on the Hornblower. That is the Canadian version of Maid of the Mist and we really got up close to the falls! That is one boat ride that you have to take if you visit Niagara. The other fun, fast and very unique tour we took was on the Whirlpool Jet Tour! We were treated to this very unique boat ride through rapids! The Whirlpool Jet Tour is one heck of a boat ride and one that you do not want to miss if you are headed to Niagara.
On this speed boat you will take a tour (around 45 minutes or 1 hour) learning about the history and geology of the majestic Niagara River. We arrived at the Niagara Glen Nature Centre where they walk through what to expect. As an fyi…This location is open July and August, and is accessible by the WEGO bus system and while you do not go see Niagara Falls, this trip down the river is unlike anything I have ever experienced and is truly a fast, fun and must do on your trip to Niagara.
This is as close to white water rafting as I am going to get! We were able to cruise through class 5 whitewater rapids! This is a boat ride for all you daredevils so if your family likes a fun adventure this is for you. Kids under 12 cannot ride in the first few seats but it is a great fast family boat ride. They do suit you up in life jackets AND you will get very wet so it is my recommendation to just wear a bathing suit.
Disclosure: Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours offered us four tickets to experience this adventure! All opinions are my own in this blog post.
There are two fun events coming up for the Boston Red Soxs. This Saturday is Kid Nation Day at LEGOLAND Discovery Center and enjoy LEGO Day at Fenway Park during the August 31st game.
On Saturday, August 6 from 11 am to 3 pm, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston will host the Red Sox Showcase, powered by T-Mobile, at Assembly Row! The Red Sox themed truck includes a batting cage, pitching stations, a steal 2nd challenge and a virtual reality experience. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston’s Master Model Builder, Megan Quigley, will be conducting a live Red Sox themed build and visitors will have the opportunity to take photos with a World Series trophy replica made entirely out of LEGO® bricks! In addition, there will be brick pits, LEGO® build stations for fans to show off their Red Sox pride and visits from LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston costume characters Bertie and Kai from Ninjago.
The Red Sox and LEGO Systems, Inc. are proud to announce the first LEGO® Day at Fenway Park, Wednesday, August 31 at 1:35 pm when the Red Sox face the Tampa Bay Rays. The purchase of a game ticket through this special offer also includes a limited edition Red Sox themed player build, made with LEGO bricks. Additionally, this ticket package will include access to the pre-game LEGO Build Experience in the Kids Concourse from 11:00am-1:35pm. During the LEGO Build Experience there will be an unveiling of a life-sized Red Sox player LEGO model for fans to see and take pictures with. Tickets are limited to the first 2,000 guests who order through this special offer.
Disclosure: I am part of the Red Sox mos initiative and every so often I am treated to a Red Sox game! All opinions in this blog post are my own.
This has been the summer of running around! I have had my traditional flip flops on nearly every day so far this summer and my feet hurt! I do love my flip flops but I needed something that was a bit more sturdy, yet could hold up on the pool deck. I learned from experience not to wear leather or fabric flip flops anywhere near chlorine as it does stain. I was so excited to receive two pairs of oofos to test out. Yes, the name sounds funny and they look a bit different but THEY ARE SO COMFORTABLE! Obviously I don’t literally run in my flip flops but these line of sandals, flip flops and clogs are called recovery footwear so if you are a busy mom and have been going non stop in your flip flops give these a try! They are also super easy to clean too so if your kids are looking for a solid pair of slides or flip flops to put on after their sports these will be the ones they will want as they are so cushy.
OOFOS are very lightweight, easy to clean and the designers of OOFOS created them to provide impact absorption and arch support that you don’t normally see in flip-flops. While they are great for a busy mom to run around in they are perfect for my two girls to put on after a day of swimming, soccer and dive. OOFOS also helps to reduce strain on feet, knees and back and absorbs more shock. Plus a bonus for us moms when the weather gets cold you can switch to the OOFOS clogs with the same OOFOS benefits.
The OOFOS line was originally created for fitness enthusiasts to recover from repeated workouts on hard surfaces and they absorb shock after a workout. If you are a mom wearing traditional flip flops and have felt pain in your foot give these a try as they will certainly take pressure off your joints. Check out the Q&A on their site here.
Disclosure: The company sent me a couple pairs of OOFOS to test out. All opinions in this blog post are my own.
This summer is flying by so fast! Between work and the kids swim and dive schedules I cannot believe that it is almost August. If you love the Boston Red Sox and plan to head to a game in August, here are some fun give-a-ways and events going on! Enjoy this great weather we have been having and head to Fenway this August for some fun!
Tuesday, August 9
Ortiz Bobblehead Giveaway
Friday, August 12
Star Trek and Boston Comic Con Night Giveaway of Captain Kirk Red Sox figurine
Sunday, August 28
Picnic in the Park at Fenway Park
Tuesday, August 30
Bogaerts Bobblehead Giveaway
Wednesday, August 31
Wally Piggy Bank Giveaway
Red Sox Mobile Showcase Events:
Monday, August 8 - Faneuil Hall, Boston
Wednesday, August 10 - Boston Parks & Recreation Fenway Challenge (Ramsay Park)
Thursday, August 11 – Boston Parks & Recreation Fenway Challenge (Dorchester Park)
Sunday, August 14 - Putnam, CT
Saturday, August 20 - Wakefield, MA
Sunday, August 28 - Faneuil Hall