First Time Mom and Losing It

Friday, April 17, 2015

Request A Song Mimi by Hallmark

Hallmark made our Christmas super special last year with a visit to the North Pole Communicator at Times Square and a trip to their amazing store at the famous Rockerfeller center. One of the products from Hallmark that my daughter really enjoyed was the Rudolph Interactive Story Buddy. My daughter loved how Rudolph interacted with her when she said certain phrases.

With the amazing iReply technology, Hallmark has created another winner with the Request a Song Mimi doll. Mimi is an adorable little mouse that sings along to seven different original songs. All you have to do is press the button on her foot and tell her the song you want to hear. You can also say "Mimi's choice" and she will randomly pick one out for you. She also comes with a little book with all the lyrics of her songs so you can memorize or just read them as you sing-a-long with Mimi.

My daughter loves singing and probably knows all the words to every song on the Frozen soundtrack so I knew she would love Mimi. As soon as she saw hat the Mimi understood certain phrases like her Rudolph she instantly feel in love and hugged her. She doesn't know the words to the songs yet but I know in no time she will have them memorized. My daughter's favorite song is "Let's All Sing" and she loves to take Mimi by her hands and dance with her and she sings with her.

Click on the link to learn more about Request a Song Mimi. They also have a cool toy microphone and storybook that you can get to complete the set. You can also download a new song every month by clicking the link. We downloaded them onto our iPhones and connect them to radio in the car to entertain her on our long drives.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spring is Here! Time to Get Rid Of That Winter Hair with Nexxus at CVS

This is a sponsored by Global Influence. All opinions are 100% my own.

We have finally been having some beautiful Spring days in New York City so I officially put my winter hat away! Gone are the days where I can hide my hair behind a hat so it's time to repair the damage of the winter from the extra cold brittle weather and the dry indoor heat.

CVS is my go-to for beauty and hair products so I was on the search for something heavy duty to take my hair out of the winter season. I was pleased to look at the Premium Hair Care section to see an entire selection of Nexxus products. I remember when my hair stylist used Nexxus products on my hair for the first time and it really made a difference on how nice and healthy my hair looked.

I learned about a year ago how important it is to use the right products so I started splurging on better products that actually worked and helped my hair maintain a healthy look for a long time. As a first time mom to a very socially active toddler I don't have time to do my hair everyday.

The Nexxus Therappe Shampoo & Humectress Conditioner available at CVS is the perfect way to pamper and spoil your hair. These products are newly reformulated and come with a variety of regimens for different hair types.

From now until 4/26 you can go to your favorite CVS and receive a coupon for $1 off (while supplies last) on any product from the Nexxus NewYork Salon Care (excludes trial and travel sizes). CVS Beauty consultants will also be there to meet with you and show you which of the Nexxus New York Salon Care products are best for your hair type and style. Click on the link to find a CVS near you.

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

BellEssentials Facial Hair Remover

**I received the product below free for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.

I usually get my upper lip peach fuzz waxed at the salon when I get my eyebrows done. I am not the type to like going to the salon so I often try to prolong the need to go by plucking the stray hairs on my eyebrows and shaving off the peach fuzz when it finally starts showing. There is no way to pluck those tiny light hairs on my upper lip so I was excited to try an alternative to shaving with the Facial Hair Remover from BellEssentials.

When I first got the package I was surprised to see that it came when an extra tool, an eyebrow shaper. That was a nice plus. I was a bit disappointed that it didn't come with any instructions. Before I could use it I had to go to the Amazon page to read the instructions. It did give you specific directions with pictures but I would have liked to get a little instruction manual with the product.

After reading the instructions on the Amazon page I learned to bend the "wand" into an upside-down "U" and to place it against the unwanted hair. Then all you do is twist it and the coils instantly pull the hair out of the follicles with the roots attached.

It does do a really good job at getting the hairs, even the short thin ones but I have to admit it is NOT painless like the description describes. You are pulling out numerous hairs at one time so expect to feel some pain. However, it does to a great job of pulling out the hair in a faster and mess free way. I will continue to use it since pulling out hair lasts so much longer than shaving it.

The Facial Hair Remover is great for cheap hair removal and is made of stainless steel. You can find the Facial Hair Remover on Amazon.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Doc McStuffins Inspired Pants and Skirt Tutorial

My daughter is obsessed with anything Disney including the entire cast of Disney Jr. One of her favorite shows, and mines is Doc McStuffins. I love that it gets little girls excited about the medical field and dreaming about becoming doctors themselves. When my daughter pulled out her toy stethoscope and told me "Mama, I gotta check your heart with the stethoscope" I was floored that she knew what a stethoscope was. I would have never ever imaged knowing what one was when I was 2! I have also noticed that she is less afraid when we go to the doctor's office for her check-ups too.

My sister bought her a cute little Doc McStuffins dress up set that came with the jacket, shirt, and otoscope. My daughter is all about dress up now so I decided to complete the outfit and made the leggings and skirt. I didn't want to have to search for the right polka dot pants and skirt so I made it myself. I also didn't want to buy any new fabric so I used some old pieces of purple legging fabric and pink knit fabric I had in my fabric stash. The only thing that was missing was the polka dots so I took out my fabric paints and created a stencil.

To make the pants I followed my tutorial for DIY Toddler Flannel Pajama Pants but with some minor changes. I used a pair of my daughter's leggings and subtracted from the length to make the pattern into capris. I did no addition for ease and added 1/2" all around for the seam.

You will need hot pink fabric paint and a sheet of card stock paper. Take the card stock paper and using a 1" hole puncher cut out holes in a row where the circles are a little less than 1/2" apart. If you don't have a circle punch you can just draw the circles and use scissors or an exacto knife.

Place the stencil on top of the fabric and paint in every other circle. Lift the stencil above the circles you just painted and paint on the circles you missed in the row below. Continue in this manner until almost all of the fabric has polka dots. Continue with the tutorial linked above to finish the pants.

To make the skirt, measure around the child's waist and the length from the waist until a little above the knee. Add 4" to the measurement of the waist and 2" to the measurement of the length. Cut a rectangle out of the pink knit fabric that is the waist measurement wide by the length measurement long. Fold under 1/2" at the hem and use the zig zag stitch on a sewing machine to hold it in place. Fold under 1/2" at the top of skirt and iron. Fold over another 1" and iron to make the casing at the waist. Sew all around with a zig zag stitch to keep it in place and leave a 1" opening for the elastic.

Cut a piece of elastic that is the measurement of the waist plus 1/2". Thread through casing of skirt using a safety pin. Overlap ends of elastic and sew in place using reinforced stitches in a couple of places to make it durable. Hand sew the opening of the casing.

What character does your child like to dress up as? 

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Weight Loss Lavender Detox Bath Soak

I love using essential oils because just a few drops works to help you clean naturally or just relax in bed. I love using essential oils in my mopping water or in a jar with baking soda to deodorize a room instantly. Since I was given the opportunity to review the Lavender and Peppermint essential oils from InstaNatural I got my creative juices flowing and mixed in a few drops of the peppermint in my foot cream to energize my feet and the lavender in my Weight Loss Detox Bath Soak below.

Last year I discovered that Dr. Oz Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan and was successful at losing a good amount of weight when I followed it. One part is eating a natural diet full of low glycemic vegetables and lean meats. The other part is doing the detox baths at the end of the day. At first it was hard for me to sit in a tub for that long because I am more of a shower person but then I took the time as my "me" time. I also made a 45 minute play list of my favorite songs and the time went by quickly.

I really don't know how it works but I know that when I consistently do my detox baths and eat the foods on the list I lose at least 5 pounds in one week. The plan and the detox bath are not easy to do so I tend to do it at least for a week a month or alternate back to back days of doing the plan and a low carb diet.

Weigt Loss Lavender Detox Bath Soak

  • 2 Cups Epsom Salts
  • 1 Cup Baking Soda
  • 6 Drops InstaNatural Lavender Essential Oil
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together making sure to thoroughly mix in the essential oil. 
  2. Fill your tub with water as hot as you can take it. 
  3. Sprinkle in the bath soak and mix in the water. 
  4. Lay in the tub and relax for about 45 minutes. 
  5. Rinse off. 

InstaNatural has an entire line of natural beauty products including lemon, lavender and peppermint essential oils.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Healthier Pressure Cooker Jambalaya

Jambalaya is one of our staple recipes. It is always in our menu rotation and I have been making it so much that I made some tweaks to it to make it both healthier and easier to do. I know Jambalaya is usually made with sausage, chicken and shrimp but I just go the easy route and just use sausage. To make it healthier I use brown rice instead of white rice and turkey kielbasa instead of andouille sausage. I have also made it easier by throwing everything into my pressure cooker and setting and forgetting it.

The first thing I do is turn on the browning feature of my electric pressure cooker and then slice the kielbasa. I add a little bit of olive oil and then add the sausage to brown. While the sausage is browning I dice some celery, onion and green pepper. Then I take out the kielbasa and add the vegetables to soften. After that I added brown rice, spices and mixed it in and let the rice toast up for a couple seconds. Then I added the spices, chicken stock and a can of diced tomatoes. I added back the kielbasa, covered the pressure cooker and set it on high pressure for 25 minutes. After the minutes are up I let the pressure naturally escape for 20 minutes.

Healthier Pressure Cooker Jambalaya
  • 1 package of turkey kielbasa, sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  1. Turn on the brown setting of an electric pressure cooker and add the olive oil. Add the kielbasa and cook stirring around until it is browned. Take out the kielbasa, add the vegetables and cook until softened. 
  2. Add the rice and toast it for about a minute and stirring. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Carefully mix in the kielbasa, cover and set it to high pressure for 25 minutes. 
  3. Let pressure naturally escape for 20 minutes. Fluff up the rice and enjoy!

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

La Pédi Bon Battery Operated Foot Callus Remover

**I received the product below free for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.

Now that the Spring is here my snow boots are finally put away deep into the closet and my sneakers are out. Pretty soon it's time for my favorite time of year, flip flop weather! Before flip flop weather gets here, I have to start getting my feet in order!

I'm not the type that likes going out to do manicures and pedicures. My sister tries to drag me along with her but it's just something about other people at my feet working on them that I don't like. I would rather have some time to myself and take care of my own feet when my daughter is in bed for the night and I am watching my favorite TV shows like Nashville. (which I am watching as I type!)

My at home pedicures always consisted of using a Pumice stone right after I came out of the shower when my skin was soft. With all of the layers of extra dead skin that formed over the winter when I was not taking care of my feet, it was virtually impossible!

I was so excited to try the La Pédi Bon battery operated foot callus remover. After taking a bath and softening my skin I turned it on and went to work on my feet. I was amazed at all of the dry skin it took off on only a couple of passes. I continued to work back and forth and let the batteries do all of the work. After several minutes on each foot the soles and my dry cracked heels were as soft as if I went to a salon.

I love that the La Pédi Bon comes with an extra replacement head and a cleaning brush. It is super easy to clean and maintain. I will be using it again to maintain the soft skin on my feet. It's battery operated so it is stronger and more efficient then me using my elbow grease and a pumice stone.

Right now they are having an amazing deal on Amazon so click on the link to grab your own.

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