Musings About Life... After Birth



Posted by Chelsea on August 23, 2011

I just got back from a wonderful family vacation in Cape Cod, MA. We hung by the beach and pond, ate lobsters like it was going out of style and hung out with all of my husband's family, who we see less frequently than we'd all like, as we're spaced out all over the East Coast. Kinda bummed to be back because it was so much fun, and now I'm zooming around trying to get the kids ready to go back to school. Guess this means summer is over. Boooooooooo.

As awesome as the trip was, what was not so awesome were the major-league breakouts I experienced while there (likely the cause of the copious amounts of sunscreen with which I slathered myself - sunburn/skin cancer or breakouts: pick your evil). I didn't bring any good stuff with me to combat acne, but when I got home, i ran for my Let Me Clarify, a refinining gel treatment from mybody. 


Let Me Clarify Refinining Gel, $56.50 at doctors' offices nationwide


Y'all, this stuff works miracles. Its gentle, so it won't leave your skin all red and raw (and its safe to use while pregnant), yet it works like a champ, so you'll be clear of pesky blemishes in no time. After a couple of days of use, my skin is zit-free and glowing again. LOVE.

The good folks at mybody are offering one for us to give away, so if you've got some clearing up to do, let us know by posting a comment here, sending us a tweet or posting on our facebook page. We'll select one winner next week!

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Posted by Chelsea on August 02, 2011

Who's been enjoying this lovely summer weather? Hot, sticky and humid? Whee!!!!! Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

As if just plain 'ol enduring the heat wasn't rough enough, this grossness wreaks havoc on your hair, no? Don't know what kind of locks you're rockin', but my curly mane transforms into one big 'fro in this weather unless I use my trusty John Frieda Frizz-Ease products - namely, the Smooth Start Repairing Shampoo & Conditioner and the Frizz-Ease Original Strength Serum. I swear, this stuff is miraculous - so much so that random people stop me in the CVS and stuff to ask me how I get my curls to look so smooth and pretty. Swear!

If you'd like to enjoy the near-religious experience that these products offer, you're in luck! We're giving away one full-size set of all three products to one lucky winner! Here's how you can receive all sorts of  chances to win:

1) Become a Follower of The Momtourage Blog on Facebook (this is easy - just click the little blue Facebook button over near the top right-hand side of the page!). If you're already a follower, you're already entered!

Here's how you can earn additional chances after you become a fan on Facebook (or if you are already a fan):

2) Subscribe to the Momtourage mailing list  - in the light green box at the top, right-hand side  of the page here! In doing so, you'll be the first to know about special promotions, discounts and major league giveaways!

3) Follow us on Twitter: @themomtourageblog or, click on the little blue twitter "t" button over near the top right-hand side of the page

4)  Write about and link to this giveaway on your OWN blog! This will be worth THREE entries since it takes a little extra effort!

Good luck! We'll announce the winner next Monday!

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Posted by Chelsea on July 28, 2011

Some cool contests and giveaways out there right now, y'all......check 'em out:

Mutsy, Carousel Designs, Naturalmat, pediped® and Kushies® Royal Giveaway (Valued at $2,000!)

Socre some seriously awesome loot with this one, folks! Enter to win one of 23 great prizes: From Mutsy: Mutsy’s signature 4Rider stroller in purple. From Carousel Designs: a Purple and White Dandelion 4-piece crib bedding set. Wispy dandelions float freely atop pure white cotton in this striking crib bedding set for baby’s room. The set’s comforter is backed in luscious soft and white minky fabric perfect for snuggling. From Naturalmat: a handcrafted Coco Mat crib mattress. From pediped®, 10 winners each receive a pair of pediped footwear of their choice from any of pediped’s three signature collections, Originals®, Grip ‘n’ Go™ or Flex®. From Kushies®, ten winners will each receive an adorable purple Hugbug from Kushies award-winning Zolo® toy line. The sweepstakes starts July 28, 2011 at 12:01 am EST and ends September 07, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. To enter, click here

Coleman (you know, the cooler makers?) Freebie Fridays

Tomorrow, Coleman is launching the second "Freebie Friday" at 12:00am Pacific Time. The giveaway, which lasts only 24 hours, is for 10 Coleman Instant Tents, which set up in 60 seconds or less! Personally, I'd rather have all of my toenails pulled out with a rusty pair of pliers than do anything that necessitates a tent, but hey, if you're into camping, this might be right up your alley! To enter, click here

In conjunction with the giveaway, Coleman's offering a coupon for $1 off Coleman Repellents so that you may enjoy a bug-free camping trip and/or summer. Every little bit of prevention helps.

Gool Gel n Cap $250 Spa Gift Certificate Giveaway

Cool Gel n Cap, the makers of a slightly goofy-looking yet effective first aid appararus for when your kiddos need an ice pack on their heads, is sponsoring a contest on their website and Facebook page. The prize: a $250 certificate to a local spa located where the winner resides. No proof of purchase is required to enter this contest  - all you need to do is either 1) share your experience with using the Cool Gel n’ Cap, 2) explain how the product will be of good use to you or 3) explain why you think you need a Cool Gel n’ Cap in your household. Gotta imagine there won't be a ton of entrants (really, are there lots of folks out there using the Cool Gel n Cap, right?), but who knows? Worth writing up a creative blurb for the chance to score a facial and a massage...... To enter, click here.  

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Posted by Chelsea on June 03, 2010

Thanks for all of the comments and emails you’ve been sending me about my participation in the American Express Membership Rewards “Live On Points” challenge to revamp my bedroom using points only. I promise, promise I will post pics once everything is in - no worries, y’all!

As I wait for the deliveries, the good folks at Membership Rewards have offered The Momtourage’s readers a chance to engage in their own version of home making-over: they’re giving me a $100 Crate and Barrel gift card to give away to one lucky reader! Wanna win one? Send me an email at and tell me what you’d use the gift card to purchase and why.

Good luck!

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Posted by Chelsea on May 28, 2010

So, we’ve cleared out our old bed and rug. The rug got tossed in the trash, and the bed, I sold on Craigslist, which the journalist in me now feels sorta yucky about because my husband says it essentially single-handedly ruined the newspaper business. Sorry, Professors Trimble and Lule from the Lehigh Univertily School of Journalism - I just wanted to unload my old bed! I’m thinking I’ll put the old night tables in my downstairs guest room. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Now our old mattress and box-spring are on the bedroom floor, white-trash style. The boys love the new set-up, as it makes for quite the trampoline/wresting ring. I think my husband is as into the idea as they are - for the exact same reasons.

In retrospect, this process was SUPER simple, not to mention really, really fun! Using American Express Membership Rewards Points to makeover my bedroom was a snap. At first, I wasn’t sure I’d be happy shopping solely at mall staple furniture stores like West Elm, Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn. However, as I discussed yesterday with Momtourage member Alison, when I think about it, even if I wasn’t using store gift cards purchased with Rewards Points, that’s most likely where I would have shopped anyway, really. And sure, I could have used points to purchase an AmEx shop card, which is accepted anywhere AmEx is, but like I said, I probably would have taken said card right to PB anyway. Those stores just have great stuff, and their “look” - well, it’s what I and really, most folks my age, like. Guess there’s a reason they do so well. 

And cashing in the points to get gift cards - a total no-brainer. and the points redemption process were really easy to navigate. I’m not just saying that; really, if the experience was negative, I’d surely write about it, but it wasn’t. At all. And perhaps it’s because I redeemed a lot of points in the last two weeks (100,000 and 150,000, respectively), the standard seven business days wait time was upgrade for free to a three-day wait. Who doesn’t feel honored and valued when offered a free upgrade?

So thanks, Amex and Membership Rewards! I had a blast with this challenge. Again, I’ll post pics when all is delivered and made over. Next week, they’ve provided me with a GREAT giveaway for all of you, just so you can do the same with a room in your house! More details on that later….ya’ll are in for a real treat! 

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Posted by Chelsea on May 26, 2010

Here’s the most recent update in my adventures participating in the American Express Membership Rewards “Live On Points” challenge to revamp my bedroom using points only:

So you know how I said I needed a place to put all of my clothes? Scratch that. Storage is highly overrated. What I really need is a new bed and new night tables! The ones I have just arent right for my room. Well, at least that what I realized when I saw this stuff (that’s clearly soooo much better!) over the weekend:

Inspired by these super-cool mirrored night tables I saw in an InStyle magazine spread on Ashley Tisdale’s home (I know, I know…LAME), I am presently in love with these from Pottery Barn. They’re catalog/web only, but I saw a set in the store that someone was returning because they were damaged and realized I had to get them. Fortunately, my second round of 100,000 membership rewards points would cover them, as I could use them to purchase $1000 worth of PB gift cards (as I did to buy the rug). Once tax, shipping and handling was added in, I’d be right at $1000.

Park Mirrored Bedside Table, $399 each

And, of course, to go with those new night tables, I need a new bed. Honestly, the one we had never really worked in our room - it was way too big for the small space, and like all of the other furniture in the room, it was dark wood, and I wanted something in that room to be “lighter” looking. I’d always thought an upholstered bed might be nice, but nothing that was too frou-frou-ish. I’m thinking clean, modern, yet still “pretty”. When I was at C&B over the weekend, I saw this bed, which I LOVED:


Crate and Barrel Colette Bed, $1599-1799

I’ve got 150,000 points to work with this week, which normally wouldn’t quite cover the cost of this, but I asked the salesperson at C&B if they had any floor samples or if they were running any specials and she told me that they were having an upcoming Memorial Day weekend sale and that she could give me 15 percent off, which gets me right in at my $1500 worth of C&B gift cards $150,000 membership rewards points can purchase. Woo hoo! Bed is ordered, and I’ll post photos once everything’s in!

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Posted by Chelsea on May 22, 2010

Here’s the most recent update in my adventures participating in the American Express Membership Rewards “Live On Points” challenge to revamp my bedroom using points only:

So, we checked out the furniture at the outlets and ultimately, it was a big ‘ol bust. There was lots of good stuff, just nothing like what we were looking for. Oh well. We tried, right? Back to the drawing board.

Tomorrow my plan is to drag my poor husband (and visiting mother-in-law and the two boys) to Crate & Barrel to look for dressers, night tables or a bed. We may never get invited back again.



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Posted by Chelsea on May 21, 2010

Here’s the most recent update in my adventures participating in the American Express Membership Rewards “Live On Points” challenge to revamp my bedroom using points only:

I might think I know most everything (at least my husband likely would say that I think so), but sometimes, you guys know the real deal. A reader recently left me a comment suggesting I could get more bang for my Pottery Barn/Crate & Barrel/Restoration Hardware buck if I check out these stores’ furniture outlets. I did a little research on Membership Rewards and realized that the PB, C&B and RH store gift cards you can purchase using points CAN be used at factory stores. Awesome! I did a quick search for outlets in my ‘hood, and all of the Big Three have outlet outposts at the Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets in Leesburg, VA, which is only about 45 minutes from my house! Woo hoo! Guess where I’m heading this weekend?

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Posted by Chelsea on May 14, 2010

I’ll be co-hosting “Broadminded” today! You can listen in from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST on Sirius 102 and XM 155. Fun!

I’ll be announcing the start of our “Get Your Summer Started” Giveaway, which is SO AWESOME this year! We’ve collected 30 of our favorite summer beauty and beach essentials and have gathered them all together to create 30 gift bags - one of which we’ll give one away each day in June (‘cause there are 30 days in June, right?). Here’s a preview of just some of the things in this year’s gift bag:

Diva Tweezers
MISSION Skincare Ultra Lip gloss in Strawberry Pomegranate
Eos Lip Sphere in Lemon with SPF 15
a Beautyblender makeup sponge
Supergoop! Sunscreen Swipes
H20+ Face Oasis Shine-Neutralizing Gel
a Tweezerman Sole Mates foot file
Twist Organic Water
Mineral Fusion Hydration Mist, Blow Haircare Beach Blow Texturizing Mist
a Gaiam aluminum water bottle
a sampling of summer haircare products from Elie Elie salon
a SurgiCare Shower Off Body Cream Kit
a lip glaze from Make-up Designory
Boscia Blotting Linens

...and tons more that we’ll talk about later (I can’t spill all of the beans now!)

To enter to win, sign up to follow me on twitter (I’m @chelseakaplan) and then send me a tweet!

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Posted by Chelsea on May 10, 2010

Okay, so how cool is this? Check it out:

I was recently contacted by the folks at the American Express Membership Rewards Program, who asked me a) if I had an Amex (Um, totally - in fact, I use it way too much and often get “Honey, this month’s Amex bill is kinda ridiculous” talks from my husband) and b) if I used their membership rewards program (Yes, all the time - those points aren’t just for frequent flyer miles and stuff, sisters - you can get Saks 5th Avenue gift cards and all sorts of other cool things with those points!). After I passed muster, they asked me if I would be interested in taking part in their “Life On Points” challenge. The task at hand: revamp a room in my home using only Membership Rewards points to pay for the things I want and need for the project, and document the experience as I go along.  They’ll credit my account with 300,000 points (roughly $3,000), alloting 50,000 points to use in week one, 100,000 in week two and 150,000 in week three. On week four, they’re giving me an awesome membership rewards prize to give away to one of you so you can begin using points to get your home spruced up for summer!

Who am I to refuse a challenge, Amex? I’m in! Bedroom, you’re about to get a much-needed facelift. (And sorry, honey, but this won’t include items from Victoria’s Secret.

So, for the next few weeks I’ll be blogging about my experience using American Express Membership Rewards points to purchase some new goods for my bedroom. Namely, a new rug to replac a seriously disgusting one we’ve had for years, some new night stands to replace the ones that absolutely do NOT go with the rest of my bedroom furniture and some new bedding to replace my mismatched sheets.

Fun! Stay tuned…...

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