Musings About Life... After Birth
Posted by Chelsea on January 26, 2009
My Monday Mom Must-Haves generally focus on the latest and greatest kids’ oriented gear. Today, however, it’s all about us, ladies. I have found what is undoubtedly the WORLD’S BEST MASCARA. Period, end of story. This afternoon (Monday) at 2:00 PM EST, I’ll be joining Broads Molly and Christine of Sirius/XM Radio’s “Broadminded” (tune in on XM Channel 155 and Sirius Channel 120!) to spread the gospel of this mascara and give away some on-air!
I am fairly obsessed with mascara, and am always on the hunt for the one that will give me ridiculously big, full, porn star-esque lashes. I’ve finally found it: Exceptionnel De Chanel Intense Volume and Curl Mascara. It is unbelievable, in a totally face-transforming way. Why? It has a thick yet completely non-clumpy, non-smeary formula and a really amazing six-sided comb/brush hybrid applicator that really and truly coats, thickens and curls every little last lash. I have gotten so many “Wow, are those your lashes?” comments since I started wearing it, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next one was from an adult video producer.
Posted by Chelsea on September 29, 2008
The other day, Momtourage members Jen, Alison and I were eating lunch with our kids and we all noticed how curly-headed those four little buggers buggers are. Granted, that’s probably what you get with a group of nice, Jewish kids, but still - it’s pretty remarkable, especially since the corkscrewed gang resembles a scoop of Neapolitan ice cream - one blonde (mine), two brunettes (Alison’s) and one redhead (Jen’s). Curls like theirs are pretty are pretty enviable, and always bring comments; wherever we go, people always make all sorts of “Look at those gorgeous curls!” or “He looks just like a little cherub” remarks. I always thank people when they compliment him like that, and to those who make the angel reference, offer them the opportunity to take him home and discover
that’s he’s actually a little devil
just how angelic he truly is.
To maintain my kid’s curls, I use the Krly Kids products by Ouidad, the New York-based hair stylist who is known as the authority on curly hair. I know, I know - I’m definitely advancing my quest to make my son gay by using all sorts of fancy haircare products on him, but seriously, this stuff keeps his locks from getting all ratty, tangled and ‘fro-esque. If your kids have curls too, you gotta try this stuff - it’s fantastic.
Got a curly kid? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org - I’ve got four sets of the products to give away!
Posted by Chelsea on August 25, 2008
Big Bro’s gearing up for his first full year of preschool. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:15 until 12:15,
Mom he will experience three hours of bliss
a day filled with art, play, snacks, story time and socializing. I’m not sure who in our house is the most excited.
Of course, there’s a huge list of things I need to pack for his little cubby - a bag of extra clothes, a bag of diapers, a little tote bag, etc. - all of which must be “clearly labeled with his name”. Sure, I could take a Sharpie to everything, but because it’s Southern, slightly preppy me, I had to do it a little cuter. For my labeling, I’ll be affixing some “Madras Navy” vinyl stickers from Whitney English (printed up with his name on them, of course) to all of his things.
In addition to being adorable, of course, I love that these stickers are waterproof and therefore able to withstand spills, the dishwasher, the sprinkler, the ocean - you name it. They can also be used as gift stickers, book plates, lunch labels, whatever.
Of course, the stickers come in all sorts of other cute little designs. Here are some of my favorites:
Vinyl Stickers from Whitney English. LOVE them.
Posted by Chelsea on August 18, 2008
Long car trips with kids are about as enjoyable as visits from your mother-in-law (well, not if you’re Momtourage member Alison, because hers, Grandmomtourage member Marcia, is awesome). Whether it’s watching four straight hours of Dora, stopping for 15 potty breaks or enduring screams from your baby until you find a rest stop at which you can feed him, car rides with the kids can be so excruciating that you’re tempted to bag family car trips until your kids are in middle school.
There are a few road trip essentials that can make your car trip easier, however. Here are three of my favorites:
1) Munchkin Car Bottle Warmer, $6.39, amazon.com
Store your bottles cold, but when it comes time for a feeding, pop one into this handy warmer, which plugs into any car adapter outlet. Bonus: it also works for baby food jars as well! And don’t worry about leaving it plugged in amidst the chaos - there’s an safety switch that shuts off the warmer when the bottle or jar is removed.
2) Sony DVPFX810/L Portable DVD Player, $129.99, amazon.com
When we got our SUV (I know, I know, I am contributing to the destruction of the planet…. but seriously, it holds so much stuff and so many people!), my husband and I opted to not add the built-in DVD player. Initially, I regretted the decision, but now, I realize that if we had it, each and every car ride with Big Bro would involve begging to watch “Bigfoot Presents: Meteor and the Mighty Monster Trucks”. With a portable DVD player, however, you get to control when the viewing opportunities present themselves. For a total “serenity now” moment, invest in some headphones as well.
3) Toy catalogs
When your kids have had their fill of movies, bust out the reading material. Because books can be a little short (read: not sufficiently attention-holding), I always have a stack of toy catalogs on hand. Nothing keeps big bro occupied more than looking at toy catalogs; honestly, he can leaf through one for a good 45 minutes. To get yourself hooked up, go to some of your favorite toy brands’ websites (try learningcurve.com, step2.com and intplay.com) and request a catalog of their products or hang on to those One Step Aheads that come in your mailbox every week..
What are your car-trip survival tips?
Posted by Chelsea on August 05, 2008
Even though D.C.‘s been experiencing the rainiest summer we’ve ever had in like, a million years, I still need to water the herbs I’m growing on my deck every so often. I’ve got thyme, basil, mint, oregano and rosemary, which all look quite pretty. If only I actually used them when I cook. I’ll get on that eventually…..
Watering cans, though exceptionally practical and necessary, are tough to store - especially when storage space is a premium, which is the case at my house. Because their shape is weird (namely, because their spouts stick so far out), they take up a lot of room. Additionally, their awkward shapes can make for difficult filling - when doing so, you gotta angle them in some weird way to make them fit under your faucet because few actually can sit inside your sink bowl. Annoying, right? Well, at the beginning of the summer, I found OXO’s Pour and Store Watering Can at my local hardware store, and it is rocking my world, thanks to its long spout, which swivels both out to water and back inside towards the body of can, making it all neat and compact for filling and for storage.
Here it is “regular”:
and here it is “tucked in”:
These watering cans come in all sorts of pretty colors (I have the blue) and sizes. A 1-quart “mini” size will run you 9.99 on amazon.com, whereas the 2.11 gallon big daddy is $24.99, also on amazon.com.
Every now and then, I do find that the little things make me happy. Imagine that.
Posted by Chelsea on July 20, 2008
A few weeks ago I wrote about what I believe to be the cutest kids’ stationery ever. This week, I’ve got something for us, mamas.
Again, I’m somewhat obsessed with stationery. Therefore, for me to label a particular brand as my new favorite - well, that really means something. In researching for the upcoming personalized stationery piece I’m writing for The Family Groove’s October issue, I came across the sweet, cheeky, handmade papergoods from Angeline Tsao of Cake + Milk Paperie and instantly fell in love. The hallmark of Tsao’s designs is her use of fabric; many of her products are adorned with ribbon or shimmery thread, like her adorable Ribbon Note Cards, for example:
Tsao’s other designs are equally magnificent - you must check them out and get some for your very own or, if you’re feeling in the mood to give as opposed to receive, for a friend. Once you find something that strikes your fancy, type “The Momtourage ” in the “How’d you hear about our shop?” box during checkout because Tsao’s offering The Momtourage a great little freebie: set of Shimmery Flats and envelopes in your choice of color (just type that in the box too) with purchase of any personalized stationery. This offer is only good through 8/15, so don’t dilly-dally, sisters.
Posted by Chelsea on July 14, 2008
I am so sick of seeing stories about how celebrities lost their baby weight that if I read one more, I think I’ll puke until I lose all of mine. It’s neither original nor all that funny anymore to complain about how unrealistic the rates as which celebrities lose their baby weight are. Obviously, it’s their job to do so, and because they’re multi-millionaires whose job is to look amazing, they literally spend all day and millions of dollars ensuring that within 4 or so months after popping out their kids, they’re lean and mean again. Certainly, if you and I had Jennifer Lopez’s money, we’d have nannies caring for our kids (b.s. to her and Skeletor’s claims that they don’t employ nannies, by the way) while our personal chef, trainer and nutritionist (according to this week’s US Weekly) literally worked our butts off. And then, of course, we’d be rocking bikinis four months after having twins, just as she was recently seen doing.
For us real gals, the real way to lose weight is the un-fancy “eat less and exercise” program. I’m no health expert, but I know (and, naturally, hate) the simple truth that when you burn more calories than you consume, weight comes off. When I finally decided to lose my weight after Big Bro was born, I lived on BALANCE Bar Bare Sweet & Salty bars. They come in Chocolate Almond and Peanut Butter flavors, but my favorite was Yogurt Nut. What I like about these bars is that unlike other nutrition bars, they actually taste good and not all artificial and cardboard-y. They’re the perfect combo of salty and sweet, and they really do keep you satisfied for hours (note to Weight Watchers devotees: they’re four points each).
This go-‘round, I’m still on the bars, but I’ve added Momtourage member Alicia’s not-so secret secret: drink lots of water. Because I find drinking loads of plain water rather boring and therefore somewhat painful to actually do, I’ve been guzzling this new water beverage called twist. I’m freaked out by most things artificial in my drinks (my food, not so much - see above), so this stuff has none of it. Essentially, it’s an organic, low-calorie (less than 10 per serving), preservative-free water flavored with juice and organic agave nectar for just a touch of sweetness. They come in six fruity flavors: Lemon, Mandarin White Tea, Mango Acai, Pomegranate Blueberry, West Indies Lime and Peach (my favorite, because I’m from Georgia like that).
Seriously - these drinks are awesome. If you need inspiration to drink yourself come water - you must try them. You can get these waters for around $1.29 for 19-ounces at specialty grocery stores (like Whole Foods) around the country. If you’d like to try them, I’ve got a set of all six flavors to give away to 10 winners each. To be eligible to win, you must be registered for The Momtourage’s mailing list, so if you’re not, click on the green “Join Our Mailing List” box at the top, right-hand corner of this page to register.
15 (okay, 20) pounds to go…...
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- The Kiefer Cottage
Meet the Kiefers: a quirky, lovable family of five on a quest to transform their 1940s Kansas City bungalow into the house of their dreams. The budget is small, the dreams are big, the creativity is inspiring. Check them out - you can thank us later. Happy reading, everybody!
- Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® All Purpose Cleaner
I don't understand gals who claim to loooove cleaning. That said, I do get a certain joy from using Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day® All Purpose Cleaner to care for my home. You can't lose with this stuff...it is hard-working & earth-friendly, and will leave your abode smelling like a day spa instead of a chemical spill. Try Lemon Verbena in the kitchen and Basil in the bathroom. At only $7.99 a bottle, you can afford to pick up both!
- True Blood
Um, does this even need a caption? Doubtful, but let me just say that this is the hottest hour on television. Vampires are seriously sexy (especially Eric), and on this show you get to see a lot of them--if you get what I mean. Put the kids to bed and flip the channel to HBO on Sundays at 9 p.m. to taste the fun that is True Blood.
- Valentino Bow Thong Sandals
So comfy and feminine, I know I'd wear them all summer. But dang, that much money for jellies? Possibly worth the splurge. $275, nordstrom.com
- New Balance Kids’ Sneakers in wide sizes
My boys have wide feet, which means finding cute shoes for them is tough. These, however, rock. Prices vary, visit nbwebexpress.com to purchase.
- Zoya “Laurie” Nail Polish
This sheer pink polish is, without question, the PERFECT nude pink. Plus, the polish is free of formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate (read: yucky crap that isn't really safe for prego gals). $6, enailsupply.com.
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- Apparently My Husband Thinks in Sci-Fi
- Monday Again?
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- How to Sound Smarter When You Write: Free Lesson
- What Should Your Child Know? Spot On Wisdom.
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