On Location Shooting

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shooting fashion posts on location when you have kids mean you all take a field trip.As a blogger, sometimes you have to find the right place to shoot a post.  And sometimes that means that you have to drag your kids along on a little field trip.  But they usually find a way to keep themselves busy.  Like rolling around on the sidewalk.  And trying to stand in the street with you.  You can see the final shots from this impromptu neighborhood street shoot here.

And btw, are you following me on Google plus?

My Creative Work Space

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The dining table as desk is not always ideal.  And often becomes the stage for toy reviews by my kids. Today I thought I would share with you my very creative work space…my dining room.  There is no other room in the house to have a desk (well, we have one in our bedroom but it holds the DVR box and the printer so there is no room to actually work on it…).  My dining room is in a very central spot in the house so it helps me to watch the kids and work at the same time.  And the two totally go hand in hand.  My oldest, and very recently my youngest, like to give reviews on Lego sets that they make up.  After watching countless reviews online, they are now experts in delivering reviews.  They are so funny.  And they are loooooooooong.  In my head, my workspace looks like this.

#HonestTurns2 with a Party

Honest Company 2nd Birthday Party #HonestTurns2It was a cold, rainy night.  The idea of heading up to Los Angeles for an event in this kind of weather normally would have taken me too far out of my comfort zone (freeway driving, rain, I couldn’t wear my pajamas) and I would have flaked out.  But the event was for The Honest Company and I was intrigued.  My boys and I were invited to attend their 2nd birthday party.  I was familiar with the company but associated them mostly with baby products.  It knew it would be a great opportunity to find out more about what they stand for as a company, what else they offer in terms of products and well, the kids love the idea of Los Angeles (where all the Disney celebrities are).

Party Time at Honest Company #HonestTurns2The party was really amazing.  As were the Honest Company offices where the party was held.  The design was cool, all the people were crazy friendly and it was created to be family so I wasn’t worried (well, a little worried) that my kids would break something.  The party was divided up in to three rooms, food and mingling, face painting and balloon animals and a playroom/showroom.  I think you can tell a lot about a company from their offices.  Their message was visible for all to see in a cool way (that rad printed wall – and on the stairs not pictured), the design was organic and modern (which is mimicked in their packaging and overall aesthetic) and I even spied a ping-pong table in the break room (there is a sense of playfulness throughout the office and the employees).  While they are serious about what they do, they are totally personable.  And aside from their celebrity status, they are just like us – parents looking to provide safe, quality products for their families to use every day.

Made to order beignets station at Honest Company #HonestTurns2Oh and can we talk about the Made-to-Order Beignets station for a minute?  That is the first time I have seen this at a party and it was awesome.  You know those moments when your kids do something and you think, I couldn’t love you more than I do at this moment right now?  Well, my oldest son took a bite of a warm, fresh beignet and gasped.  It sort of freaked me out for a minute due to his food allergies.  I thought, well, shit.  Is this going to be the first time I have to epi-pen him?  Am I going to end up ugly crying on E News?  So I grabbed him and asked him if he was ok.  He looked at me and said, “My mouth has never been so happy.”  Looks like someone might have his mama’s sweet tooth after all.

Rad party decor at Honest Company #HonestTurns2The decorations were super fun!  The kids were celebratory immediately upon seeing all the bright colors and huge balloons.  I hoped there weren’t any long pokey things around because my youngest son was pretty much dead set on trying to pop the balloons with confetti in them.  To make it “confetti rain.”  I didn’t hate the idea.

boys first photo booth #HonestTurns2And the boys got to have their first photo booth experience…

Boys first photo booth at Honest Company #HonestTurns2I only let them do one set of photos.  These things can be addicting and I didn’t want them hogging it for the rest of the night.

Photo booth fun at Honest Company #HonestTurns2But of course I had to jump in for at least one picture.  The backdrop was made from gorgeous paper flowers created by Bloom Box Designs.  You all know I love to throw a party so it was cool to see an event so well done.  From the event staff to the decorations and catering, they totally nailed it.  And if you asked my kids their favorite part of the party it would totally be the face painting/balloon gal.  She was very talented.  My oldest asked her to come to his birthday party.

Fill your own gift bag with Honest products #HonestTurns2The Honest Company was VERY generous with their favors.  They gave me a tote bag and told me to fill it up with whatever products I wanted.  I didn’t want to be greedy but I didn’t even know that they made some of these things!  I took my time going through their product line while the kids played on an indoor play area (a permanent structure in the office since the co-founders often bring their kids in with them).  While I knew they had diapers, and wipes, I had no idea that they had a full line of cleaning products (dish soap, laundry detergent, cleaning towels and more), personal care products (detangler, shampoos and conditioner, sunscreen and more) or even health and wellness (vitamins and immunity boosters for the whole family and more).  I am very excited to introduce these products in to our daily routine.

Stroller collab with Honest Company and Baby Jogger via Honest Company Collective #HonestTurns2And have you heard about The Collective?  Honest partnered with an array of baby focused companies to collaborate on limited edition products.  Check out their site for the full line but they include things like this stroller, swaddling blankets with Aden and Anais (which were a favorite of mine for both of my kids), a diaper caddy, a crib and this rad diaper bag.  I asked Jessica about the collection and LOVED what I heard.  They looked to companies that put out a great product and like-minded in their aim to create non-toxic, natural products for design loving families.  The diaper bag, for instance, was something that Jessica ran across while shopping at the Brooklyn Flea Market.  Instantly she knew LayerXLayer would make the perfect uni-sex diaper bag and the collaboration talks began.

Jessica Alba of Honest Company #HonestTurns2Co-founders Jessica and Christopher Gavigan both spoke briefly about the company and how excited they were to be celebrating their second birthday.  I have to tell you, I have not stopped thinking about this company since I left the party.  Both were so passionate about what they do and it is infectious and makes you want to support their dream.  Christopher seems well-versed in legislation and extremely knowledgable from a product standpoint.  And this is not a vanity project for Jessica.  She knows her stuff.  And when she said that while she loves the environment, she loves her family more – she had me.  But I was so far off.  While that is a main focus for them, that is not all they are about.  I am grateful to have gotten a chance to get to know the brand better.  I loved what I saw and am excited to become even more familiar with their products.  I was taken by surprise at how responsive my Instagram followers were about my Honest Company posts.  Seems I might be a little late to the party.  A lot of you already know about their commitment to quality, safe products.  So tell me, what is your favorite Honest Company product?  Are you a Member?

Thank you for having us, Honest!  Congrats on creating an amazing company and watching out for our family’s health and wellness.  For more info on the party search the #HonestTurns2 hashtag.

Do you like me on Facebook?  Come on over and check out the rest of the photos I took from the event.  And see my event recap over on Savvy Sassy Moms.

Special Day Terrarium for Kids

cats and fringeWhen we were little we had a special plate to use on our very special days throughout the year.  And I have looked for one to use with my boys but have had trouble finding one that suits our aesthetic.  So I came up with these special day terrariums to take their place.  What I love about these is they can be changed to fit a specific moment or designed to withstand the test of time.  You can tailor make them to your child’s likes or put in cute plastic cats because you think they are funny.

supplies-for-special-day-terrariumGlass vases are available everywhere so start by finding one that you like.  Add some moss, figurines, signs, etc.

cut-fabric-fringeJazz it up with some fabric fringe.

add-fringe-to-special-day-terrariumAnd put it all together.  Don’t forget a pinch of love.

special-day-terrarium-for-kidsI plan on having this show up in my son’s room before he wakes up on his birthday and then he will have it by his place at the table for each meal.

kids-terrarium-for-special-daysThe kids really didn’t understand why I went with a cat.  But they are just kids.  What do they know?

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special-day-terrariumMake the day even more special with sugar and junk food.

cat-plates-and-oreosOk, really I chose a cat because I really was dying to use these cat plates I found.  I will probably swap out the cat and use something else for my boys.  Like a Superman figure or a Ninja Turtle or something.  What would you put in here for your kids?

A Family Full of Allergies

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Kleenex but all my opinions are my own. #KleenexAllergy #pmedia http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO
allergy-mug-shotsMy family knows a thing or two about allergies.  And we owe our unchapped noses to Kleenex facial tissues.  For as long as I can remember I have had environmental allergies.  I’ve tried traditional medicines and homeopathic remedies.  While at times I have felt relief, it is pretty much always short-lived.  I have a constant runny nose.  Unfortunately because I have allergies, that means my kids were likely to get them too.  My  oldest was diagnosed with food allergies around his first birthday.  We have those under control but I think he is starting to grow in to some environmental allergies.  Why do I think that?  The constant sniffles.  And my youngest for sure has allergies.  He began coughing in the middle of the night last year every night with no other symptoms and I couldn’t do anything to stop it.  After seeing a doctor he suggested we try kid’s Zyrtec.  It stopped the coughs but guess what?  He has a runny nose too.  I stopped short of doing skin testing with him because I don’t know if you have ever had to do it but it totally sucks.

sharon-allergy-testHere is my last allergy test.  It hurt.  Real bad.  And it itched even worse.  The nurse actually gave me a Benadryl soon after the test started because of how quickly and how much I reacted to some of the things.  The two biggest welts are to grass and dust.  I’m basically allergic to indoors and out.  I asked the doctor to take a picture so I could text my husband that the they were writing me a prescription for a maid. :) It didn’t end up with a maid but I think it was the visual he needed to understand just how bad allergies make me feel sometimes.  My husband has never been diagnosed with allergies by a doctor.  But somebody without allergies would not make the snorty noises that he does.  Or sniff all the time.  Have I mentioned his 9 o’clock sneeze attacks?  Needless to say I think he contributed to the inevitable allergies for our children.

Kleenex-pocket-tissue-packsBecause all of us have runny noses, I do not leave the house without tissues.  You will always find a Kleenex Pocket Pack or Wallet Pack in my purse.  To me there is nothing more awful than being stuck somewhere when you need a tissue and you can’t find one.  I’m not even sure if my son knows this but I have a Kleenex Pocket Pack in his backpack in case I need to blow my nose on our walk to or from school.  What can I say, I plan ahead.  A sale on Kleenex Brand Facial Tissue is a happy day for me.  So the minute I found out about this coupon at Target I headed there.  The offer?  Buy 1 Kleenex 4 pack, get 1 free Wallet Pack (2-pk) or 1 Pocket Pack (3-pk) WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!  Some for the house, some for my purse.  Done.

on-my-nightstandTissues are pretty much part of our home decor.  Thankfully Kleenex boxes are well designed.  I keep a box right next to my bed so I always know where to find a tissue.  And when I gently suggest a tissue to my husband I can get one to him in a split second should he actually accept.  In his head he is allergy free…

Kleenex for AllergiesWe keep a box of Kleenex in the kitchen ’cause ain’t nothing grosser than a runny nose over a pot of food.  This is centrally located to the dining and living rooms as well.  And it is where I grab a handful of tissues to take with me in the morning when I sit down at the kitchen table with my cup of coffee and my laptop.

tissue-in-M's-roomMy youngest had started hollering for a tissue after we put him to bed so I decided he was old enough to keep his own box in his bedroom.  The only trouble is that I find used tissues all over his bedroom floor the next morning.  I’m pretty sure he does a quick dab at his nose and considers it done and moves on to a new one.  My mom came across a pin on Pinterest where you use tape and stick a full Kleenex box to an empty one so that you have your tissues and a trash can in one place!  Genius!  I will be making that this week.

in-o's-bedAnd although the tissue box doesn’t start out in my oldest son’s bed, it ends up there several nights a week.

o-blowing-his-noseI had never really thought about the softness or quality of Kleenex tissue before.  It is just what we use.  But last week we ran out of toilet paper and I bought a brand I don’t usually buy.  I sometimes use toilet paper to blow my nose.  I was taken aback by how terrible it felt.  And it dawned on me, Kleenex tissues are perfect.  The only time my nose gets raw from blowing is when I have a cold.  So in that instance I move on to Kleenex Lotion Tissues.  But I didn’t ever need to think about the softness before because I never thought they weren’t soft.  But it made me realize that sometimes brand names are totally worth it.  I will only buy Kleenex Brand Facial Tissues for my family’s noses.  It is the only way to ensure comfortable noses all around.

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Kleenex but all my opinions are my own. #KleenexAllergy #pmedia http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO