Friday, February 29, 2008
Roasted Squash, Pear, and Ginger Soup
One 2 1/2 # Butternut Squash
3 ripe but firm pears, quartered and seeded (or apples)
1 chunk fresh ginger, about 2" long, thinly sliced
2 T butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup creme fraiche or plain yogurt (whole milk is to die for!)
1 t cinnamon
1 star anise
Preheat the oven to 425F. Cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, then cut each half into thirds (DON'T peel). Put the squash pieces on a large baking sheet that's been covered with foil. Add the pears and all but a few slices of the ginger. Toss gently with olive oil, season with salt and bake until fragrant and tender, about 40 minutes to an hour. Turn pieces once or twice so they can caramelize on each side (this gives them a sweet yumminess). Transfer to a bowl, and let cool. Once cool, scrape the flesh from the squash skins. You should have about 2 cups.
To make stock, bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add the star anise, the squash seeds and skins, the remaining ginger and 1/2 t salt. Lower heat and let simmer, covered, for 20 - 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in the soup pot. Add the onion, give it a stir, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown and is fragrant (about 10 minutes). Add the pears, ginger, cinnamon and squash. Strain the stock into the pot. Bring all to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Cool briefly, then puree until velvety smooth in a blender or with a food mill. Serve as is, or swirl with creme fraiche or yogurt and add another sprinkling of cinnamon.
* For an extra special treat, dice an apple or pear, sprinkle with a little sugar, and caramelize in a little butter to make "croutons" for this delightful, silky soup.
On Swanky Moms: Drink Your Water! Swanky Moms reviews HydraCoach, a computerized bottle that helps keep track of how much you drink.
On Moms Buzz: Lypossage - Body Contouring Massage You May Want to Try!
On Mom Finds: Post-Baby Shapewear Guide. Lift those breasts, tuck in that tummy and fight flabby thighs with the best shapewear for new moms.
On Modern Mom: Join the Club...
the Modern Mom Book Club. This month, Modern Mom introduces its online book club. Grab a book and join the fun!
On Classy Mommy:
Win a Mutsy Spider Baby Stroller. One lucky reader will win the hip Mutsy Spider valued at $250!
On Healthy Bump: Belly Bars: A tasty bar for your belly. These all natural bars are designed to meet the needs of all women before, during, and after pregnancy.
On Boston Mamas: Fuss Free Framing. Frame your family photos artfully (and nearly instantly!) with the online framing service, Imagekind.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
I'll admit, I have been very fortunate in the skin department. I have been blessed with good genes, and after years of taking good care of my skin, wearing sunscreen, and eating well, I'm very proud of my complexion. But, after turning 40 last month, I am quickly realizing that time stops for no one, and no matter how well I treat my skin, wrinkles happen. Fortunately, I think I've found the solution.
Tripeptinon Nightly Facial Lift Capsules are truly amazing. After I had used them for just a couple of days, I noticed a difference in my skin. With my very first application, my skin felt softer than I ever remember it feeling. And after using them for two weeks, my mom even commented on how great my skin looked (without me having to ask)!
Most products simply remain on the skin's surface. Tripeptinon's secret is that it penetrates deep into the skin to lift, firm and strengthen the connective tissues of your skin, resulting in youthful-looking skin. The connective tissues are what form the support structure for your skin cells. When they start to break down, it results in sagging, loss of firmness and wrinkles. Sun, wind and harsh weather (think chilly winters) can exacerbate the aging process and the breakdown of these tissues. With it's trio of powerful anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, anti-sagging technologies in each capsule, Tripeptinon travels through the cells to hydrate and nourish your skin's connective tissues, giving you the highest level of hydration possible. The result is beautiful, velvety smooth skin.
The price tag on Tripeptinon is a bit steep at $79, but compared to the price of a facelift, it's pocket change. Plus, Amino-Genesis will give you your money back if you're not pleased with the results. My guess is you'll be thrilled!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
With all the joy new moms experience upon the birth of a child, the pain quickly becomes a distant memory. But when you have a C-section, that pain can often linger for longer than you'd like. With more than 30% of women in the US having C-sections, there are a lot of mamas out there who find it uncomfortable getting dressed and having anything rub against their delicate scar post-surgery.
Czela Bellies are made just for C-section moms. These fun and flirty boy shorts were designed by a mom who had multiple C-sections, and knows just what moms need to make wearing underwear (and anything with a waistband) more comfortable after surgery. The waistband is lightly padded with the most luxuriously soft cotton velour, creating a barrier between your tender skin and the waistband of your pants or skirt, and giving your incisions much needed protection.
Designer Jennifer Bourgoyne created Czela Bellies not only to feel good against a mom's skin post-surgery, but also to give moms a bit of a pick-me-up. With her chic fabric choices of leopard prints, flowers and hearts, these are designed with a sense of fun that moms can appreciate.
Available for $27 each from Czela Bellies. For LA mamas, you can find them at the Pump Station.
Win a Pair of Czela Bellies
We're giving away one pair of Czela Bellies in a lovely pink print, size Large. To enter, simply comment on this post and tell us what would have made you more comfortable after your C-section. If you haven't had one yet, just leave a general comment. Deadline is Midnight, EST, March 3. The winner will be listed at PRIZEY Winners.
Voted "Best Dad Carrier" by Greatdads.com and a recipient of Creative Child Magazine's 2007 Seal of Excellence, the Baby K'Tan is a soft carrier that marries the comfort of a sling with the functionality of a more structured carrier and offers the best of both. The Baby K'Tan has no buckles, rings, snaps, plastic or metal and can be worn in five different positions, making nursing convenient, and it even works for twins! Its double loop design helps to distribute weight evenly on your shoulders. This secure carrier is made from a washable and breathable stretch cotton and comes recommended by chiropractors and therapists.
Exclusive for One Chic Mama ReadersWin a camouflage Baby K'Tan carrier for yourself (or your hubby), size S (fits women 6-8 and men size 38), PLUS, a camouflage onesie (size 12 - 18 mo.) and matching hat with the word "Conserve" on the front from My Conservation Baby. To enter, simply comment on this post and leave your email address. The deadline is Midnight, EST, Sunday, March 2.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Beauty icon Jennifer Garner looked stunning at the Oscars on Sunday. But doesn't she always? She's such a graceful persona, both on screen and off, and I can just imagine her as a natural mom, going to the park with her kids in jeans and a t-shirt (and very little make-up). But when it's Oscar night, it's time to pull out all the stops. Jennifer's makeup looked nothing short of flawless and lovely.
Here are a few tips from celebrity makeup artist and Neutrogena Cosmetics Science Expert, Matin, on how to achieve Jennifer’s look at home, without spending a fortune on cosmetics:
First off, Matin recommends priming the skin by using a light-weight oil-free moisturizer to set your foundation. For a foundation that will enable you to achieve Jennifer’s flawless, even look, try a sheer mineral foundation. Matin recommends Mineral Sheers Powder Foundation from Neutrogena. It creates a perfect matte finish while providing time-released antioxidants and SPF to help improve the clarity, tone and texture of your skin. To create Jennifer’s intense eyes, Matin recommends the new Neutrogena's Healthy Volume Mascara in Carbon Black to increase lash volume by up to 400%. To finish off the look, apply a glossy pink lip color with a touch of shine.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Face it – doing laundry isn’t fun, but it is necessary. Why not make it as simple as possible? Dropps Liquid Laundry Pacs help make doing laundry a little easier and a lot greener. Dropps is a phosphate-free concentrated laundry detergent that comes packaged in a “pac” that you simply toss in your washer – 1 for a light load and 2 for a heavier load – without measuring or mess! We love this biodegradable detergent that creates less impact on the environment without sacrificing quality, and leaves your laundry fresh and clean. Try a free sample at Dropps.com.
Dropps are $22.46 for a 3-pack at Amazon.com and also available at select Wal-Mart stores.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Since I first laid eyes on Justin's ethereal, textured creations made from layers of chain and beads with a Baroque sensibility, I have been smitten. Yet his prices don't readily allow for most mamas too indulge. So, alas, I have pined from afar. But no more! I will now be able to own my own piece of this extremely talented designer's work.
Justin was recently the recipient of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers' Awards), a prestigious award offered to only the most talented designers.
Whether designing or creating artwork, Justin draws parallels between art history and modern design to explore themes of fine art and commercial design. His thought is the only difference between the two is where you sell it. Well, Justin, you've just crossed over into one of the most commercial venues of all, and we couldn't be more pleased!
February can be a hard month. With the holidays long gone, and Valentine's Day having already made its appearance, we're left with chilly days and a few weeks (or longer) before we can get outside and enjoy the sunshine. That doesn't mean we can't start dreaming up our most perfect spring wardrobe for adventures fit for a heroine. We took at peek at the spring offerings from Victoria's Secret and found ourselves dreaming of spring.
Paisley prints swirl gracefully to create a flirty look in this pretty Paisely Halter Dress ($119). Wear this dress to a party with a pair of wedges and dance the night away, or slip on some ballet flats and a soft sweater for an afternoon of sight-seeing (or just grocery shopping).
If florals are what quicken your pulse, this chic Pink Print Wrap Dress ($98) is the perfect thing to wear while taking your kids to the local museum, or paying a visit to Monet's waterlilies in Paris. With a painterly inspired print, this dress adds romance while making an appearance at a birthday party, or a backyard barbecue. Add a pretty pair of wooden heeled Platform Sandals ($89) and you'll be the chicest mama at the party!
With some pretty new things to wear (or just to dream about), You may find yourself humming "It Might As Well Be Spring".
Friday, February 22, 2008
Felicia Sullivan was a very brave little girl. In her memoir, The Sky Isn't Visible From Here: Scenes From a Life, she tells us the story of her tumultuous childhood, with a mother addicted to drugs. With a close aunt also addicted to drugs, and no father around, Felicia was left with few, if any, positive role models in her life. After making a life of her own, and successfully entering the Ivy League, Felicia's mother simply vanished soon before she graduated. To this day, Felicia has not heard from her. After having battled her own addictions, Felcia's story is one of survival.
After years of surviving her mother, Felicia learned to survive herself. Watching as her mother grew addicted to drugs, and experieced wild mood swings, Felicia's mechanism for coping became escape. Escape into her own little fantasy world when she was little. Once she got older, the escape was into her own blurry world of black-outs where she easily drank 2 bottles of wine and did countless drugs each day. But through it all, Felicia was able to pull herself up and out of the mire, and forge ahead. Determined to make something of herself, Felicia took her life in her own hands and came clean.
As a mother, this book really tugged at my heartstrings. I found myself thinking, "How could any mother..." and then I stopped as I realized that our own childhoods play such a part in who we are. Felicia's mother grew up being ignored, and didn't have a close relationship with her own mother. This book has inspired me to be a better mom to my kids, because their childhood will surely affect their lives, the lives they touch and the lives of their children.
Like a modern day fairy tale, The Sky Isn't Visible From Here tells the story of a heroine who overcomes all obstacles and becomes a noble woman, sure of who she is, and successful to boot. Through it all, Felicia has grown stronger and I acknowledge her for having the will to create a better life for herself. Felicia, you are an inspiration! Kudos to you!
Thanks to the Parent Bloggers Network for bringing us a great read! They're giving away a copy here, so you have a chance to win one for yourself.
On Healthy Bump: Belly Bars - A Tasty Bar for Your Belly. The all natural belly bars are designed to meet the needs of all women before, during, and after pregnancy.
On Boston Mamas: Just Tell Me What to Say. For those parenting moments when stress, fatigue, or just being human result in a short fuse and loss for words, there's "Just Tell Me What to Say."
On MomFinds: Bye-Bye Frump, Hello Fabulous - Oprah Makes Over Shlumpadinkas. Shop in your PJs or wear your husband’s sweatpants? Do your kids run and hide when you pick them up at school? Then you might be a Shlumpadinka.
On Swanky Moms: LA's Nanny of the Year Contest. If you live in the LA area and have a nanny you love…or a manny to be fair…ok, or even a granny that’s a nanny…this is fun…you must check out www.BabyCelebrationLA.com/nanny.php.
On Classy Mommy: BPA Free Baby Bottles. We give BornFree BPA Bottles a go and are thrilled with the results!
On Clever Parents: Too Cool For School? Not With Fabkins in the Lunchbox. A Clever Parents reader tipped us off to this fabulous find: Fabkins, the brainchild of two friends and moms who wanted to offer kids a fun and easy way to be a part of saving the environment.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Robeez are some of the best shoes your new walkers can wear. Indoors, that is. Once outside, little feet need a bit more protection. So when I found out Robeez would be introducing Robeez Tredz, I was excited to see they had a pair named just for him (the Dylan, left). Keeping everything we already love about originals (including an elasticized ankle and a design that's healthy for growing feet), Robeez Tredz gives little feet the protection they need with the addition of a hard, yet flexible, sole. With fun, colorful styles for boys and girls, they'll keep your kiddos looking tres chic!
Exclusive for One Chic Mama Readers:
Win a pair of Robeez Tredz (value $42) for your own kiddo, just in time for Easter! Simply visit the Robeez Tredz website and leave a comment on this post telling us your choice of size and style. The deadline is Midnight, EST, Feb. 27. Winners will be listed at PRIZEYWinners on on Feb. 28.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
It was wonderful to hear what you ladies can't leave the house without. An overwhelming majority said it was mascara and lipgloss. Some of you named brands, some just general cosmetics. But one thing became clear. You love make-up, and love winning it even more. So if you didn't win this time, keep reading. We've got more fabulous beauty giveaways coming that are designed to keep you looking and feeling amazing!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
We mamas know what it's like to be pressed for time. On those days when we're trying to get out the door in a flash, we need makeup that works with us (even if our kids won't). When you need a bit of natural-looking polish, here are the bare-bones essentials to keep you from looking like you just rolled out of bed:
1. Concealer - Smooth under the eyes and up to the inner corners of your nose (if there are dark shadows).
2. Stick Foundation - This is easy to apply and blend (even if you have one one free hand).
3. Cream Blush - Again, easy to blend. Try Orgasm for a fabulous shade!
4. Tinted Lip Balm - Gives you two for one - moisturizes and gives you some color. Can't ask for more than that.
5. Mascara - If you have time. It will give you the finishing touch.
So next time you wake up and want to get out the door pronto, or just have a fussy baby or toddler who doesn't care if you're made up or not, try this quick fix. Or, better yet, keep a bag of your favorite portable cosmetics stashed in your diaper bag and do your face in the car (not while driving, mind you) or in the restroom at your local coffee shop or library. Sometimes when baby has a change of scenery, and is safely tucked away in the carseat, stroller or baby carrier, she'll give you the five minutes you need to pull yourself together.
After bringing kids into the world, many of us find ourselves having to become budget fashionistas out of necessity. With all the added expenses having children can bring, it doesn't have to mean losing your sense of style. But let's get real here. I mean, who wants to wear their brand new $200 top when it's just going to have spit-up, milk (of one kind or another), and dirty handprints on it by the end of the day. Being a chic mama means having a whole new fashion strategy for looking great while wearing clothes that can be tossed in the washer and dryer at the end of a long (and messy) day.
Fortunately for us, Kathryn Finney has decided to share the secrets of being a budget fashionista. She's learned how to navigate the world of fashion and keep a great sense of style while keeping her budget intact. In her book, How to Be a Budget Fashionista: The Ultimate Guide to Looking Fabulous for Less, Kathryn offers up some great advice, starting with your budget. She advocates really getting down to business when it comes to the numbers, and knowing what's truly going to work for your household. Once that's determined, then comes the fun.
Do you know what your style is? You may be steeped in all the latest trends and know who sent what down the runways a few weeks ago. Or you may have absolutely no idea, and aren't too concerned about it. Either way, no worries. Kathryn offers a quick quiz to help you determine whether you're more sporty, trendy, conservative, an urban trekker, a socialite, or a romantic. Somewhere in between? I thought so. But having a direction will help you define your style, and what goes into your closet. It also makes it a little easier to toss something you've held on to but haven't actually worn in years.
Kathryn offers us her version of the perfect ten. That is, ten items that you can mix and match to create myriad looks for all occasions. She even goes so far as to give us eight dressy outfits and eight casual outfits, allmade up of the "perfect ten". This can be used as a guide for those days you want to look great but can't even think straight and the baby won't stop crying.
The last part of How to Be a Budget Fashionista brings us to Kathryn's tried and true budget shopping strategies. With tips for navigating those messy discount stores, to scoring coupons and getting the inside scoop on sales, she's got you covered. Kathryn even has a blog, The Budget Fashionista, highlighting sales, trends, and more to keep you looking your best on a budget. This girl's really working hard so we can look great without spending all our cash.
One winner will be selected to receive a copy of How to Be a Budget Fashionista. Simply leave a comment on this post telling us your best budget fashion tips. Deadline is Midnight, EST, Feb. 24. The winner will be listed at PRIZEY Winners on Feb. 25.
Monday, February 18, 2008
If you haven't heard of the fabulous online children's boutique, Chittypulga yet, you're gonna love it! With a goal of offering "casual elegance for extraordinary kids...and their parents too", Chittypulga does just that. With a clever mix of products including this lovely Tea Rosario Velvet Jacket, handcrafted journals and frames, bath towels and burp cloths with attitude, and much more, Chittypulga strives to give parents an easy-to-navigate and pleasant shopping experience.
Chittypulga has just started their winter clearance sale, so you've got a great opportunity to be introduced to the site and to save from 30 - 50% off all winter clothes for babies and toddlers. Their offerings include Tea Collection, Zutano, Pluto Tees, Luna Luna, Knuckleheads and more. When you sign up to receive Chittypulga's newsletter, you'll get an instant e-coupon good for $10 off your next purchase of $50. Add free ground shipping on orders over $75, and you're practically being paid to shop at Chittypulga!
Exlusive for One Chic Mama Readers!
Enter to win a $75 gift certificate from Chittypulga, to use on anything from the site that you like! Simply take a peek at their site, then comment on this post and tell us what you'd use it for (we're just curious...) Deadline is Midnight, EST, February 22nd. The winner will be listed at PRIZEYWinners on Feb. 23.
Bellybar, the makers of the popular snack bar for pregnant and nursing moms, have now come up with a portable bite-sized treat packed full of DHA. The Citrus-on-Board flavor is reminescent of those teenage favorites, Starburst fruit chews. If you're craving chocolate, try the Chocolate Cuddles. Fortified with all-vegetarian DHA, these are like eating a healthy Tootsie Roll. Each chew packs just 20 calories, along with calcium, Omega-3 (from vegetarian sources) and folic acid - just what new mamas and mamas-to-be need.
Toss a handful of Bellybar Chews ($9.99 for a bag) in your purse or diaper bag for when cravings strike and you'll be well-armed with a satisfying treat. You can even give them to your kids when they are having a meltdown moment and you need a few more minutes at the grocery store. My toddler son enjoyed these (cut up into little pieces), and helped keep him calm (and busy, chewing) during an afternoon outing. Kids need their DHA, too, so these are great for mamas and kids alike.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Mamas, get ready! March 2 is when the flirty new collection from Jovovich-Hawk hits the racks of Target. This hot collaboration, as the latest installment in the GO International program, brings two world-reknowned models-turned-designers to the humble aisles of your local Target store and online. With them come flowy, graceful looks accented by whimsical details including pretty dresses, pintuck tops, and high-waisted denim trousers, with a saucy sprinkling of swimwear and accessories.
With heady swirls of flowers, eyelet accents and billowy sleeves, this Square Neck Spring Floral dress is already making us swoon. Priced between $12.99 and $39.99, you can be sure it's not the prices making you feel faint.
Friday, February 15, 2008
On Swanky Moms: With lots of cute styles to choose from, your little girl will be a dazzling diva in her Taia clips!
On Moms' Buzz: Parenting Style 101 - What's Your Parenting Style? Promoting self-discipline and self-esteem of one’s children often requires an emotional juggling act by parents. It is not easy to be firm and demanding one minute, then warm and affectionate the next. What' Your Parenting Style?
On Mom Finds: Tell us how you spent V-Day for a chance to win a Haute Kiley Bag from HMR by Christine Price.
On Healthy Bump: If you are looking for a comfortable, trendy and affordable maternity tee then you need to take a look at the adorable tees at Baby & Momma.
On Modern Mom: Win a Disney Dream Vacation Giveaway.
On Clever Parents: Caroline spills about her preacher's-wife mother who also writes romantic novels of the smutty variety.
On Classy Mommy: We're giving away Board Books from the Good Night Our World Series. Prep your kids for bed as you read about your very own city, favorite vacation spot, or a future destination you are planning to visit.
On Boston Mamas: BPA & Baby Bottles. Get the lowdown on Bisphenol A (BPA), and which baby bottles are or are not BPA-free.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Mamas, we love you! To show our love for you, we're giving away some fabulous beauty treats. It's our way of saying "Happy Valentine's Day!"
Included in this fabulous little "goody bag" (value $110) is a whole stash of great new products to keep you looking your best, all packaged in a handy little Gold Heart Envelope from Dante Beatrix.
Inside, you'll find:
Two tempting shades of Zoya nailcolor, "Chelsea" and "Tess". This tolulene- and formaldehyde-free formula is even safe for pregnant mamas, and the long-lasting formula keeps your nails looking their best for quite some time.
A luscious Neutrogena MoistureShine Lip Soother in "Fresh Rose". This highly moisturizing treatment for dry lips keeps them soft and kissable, while protecting them from the sun's harmful rays with an SPF of 20. Dry, chapped lips are comforted with the infusion of plant extracts and botanicals packed into this flavorful lip treat.
A Neutrogena Sheer Highlighting Blush in "Pure", a soft mauve with a warm wash of pink. This multi-shade blush is a patchwork of transluscent hues you can layer to create a sheer, natural look.
A Neutrogena Nourishing Eye Duo in "Sugar Plum", a deep mauve with a rich plum. This nutrient-infused shadow conditions the skin around the eyes while enabling you to blend and layer color to create a look that's all your own.
A Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Powder Foundation in "Natural Beige", packed with minerals and anti-oxidants. This is a soft and blendable pressed powder in a convenient compact that allows you to build layers to create natural looking coverage.
A Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara in "Carbon Black". Mascara is the one beauty product makeup artists say you should never leave home without! Healthy volume is a new mascara that builds your lash volume by up to 400%, and conditions lashes with olive extract, meadow foam seed and sweet almond.
To enter: Leave a comment below telling us what your favorite beauty product is. Deadline is Midnight, EST, February 19th. Winners will be listed at PRIZEYWinners on February 20th.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
The stickers were so easy to stick on the wall. We were able to put up quite a few in a short period of time, with my 4 year old doing a majority of the work - with just a little help (mostly with positioning). After about an hour, she had transformed her room into a Disney fairyland. These lovely, and very BIG, stickers, gave her bedroom a whole new look and were much, much easier than having a mural painted or wallpaper put in. They create a lovely new look for Ivy's bedrom and she couldn't be happier! The best part is, when she grows tired of them, or we move, or she decides Tinkerbell needs to be closer to her bed, all we do is peel them off without a hitch. I was a bit skeptical when we first put them on the wall. I gingerly peeled back a corner, expecting the worst. I was pleasantly surprised when the sticker came right off, and the paint stayed right in its place.
If your and your kids are looking to give their bedroom or playroom a fun lift, the wall stickers from Fun To See is an inexpensive solution (between $60 - $70) to a themed room makeover. With looks from Jungle Safari and Undersea Adventure to Disney Princesses, Cars and Winnie the Pooh, there are a wide variety of looks to choose from. Best of all, you don't have to invest a fortune having something permanent put in. These stickers can go up and come down as easy as pie.
The lucky winner of our South 'n France Polka Dot Heart filled with handmade bon bons is Cheryl F. of Indiana. Cheryl chose coconut as her favorite flavor. Congratulations, Cheryl! I know you're gonna love these!
If you want to get some South 'n France handcrafted bon bons for yourself (or your sweetie), just take a peek at their delicious selection and give 'em a holler. Whether it's peanut buttah, pistachio or chocolate brownie you crave, there's a flavor just for you.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
February is the perfect time of year for chocolate, not only because of Valentine's Day, but because we're in the throes of winter and we need a little something to get excited about. Who am I kidding? Anytime is a perfect time for chocolate, if you're like me.
That's why I fell head over heels for Sweet Riot, the chocolate covered cacao nibs that let you indulge your chocolate tooth without blowing your diet. Favored by such celebs as Sarah Jessica Parker and Eva Longoria, Sweet Riot is a wonderful way to include chocolate in your diet and stick to it. Tiny little cacao nibs are covered in your choice of 50%, 65% or 70% (with a hint of espresso) dark chocolate, and packaged in sweet little tins you can just toss in your purse or diaper bag. One tin has just 140 calories, and 11-12 grams of fat (just 3 Weight Watchers points). In short, you can eat the whole tin at one sitting and feel good about it. Plus, there are no GMO's, they are kosher, dairy- and gluten-free, and they're packed with antioxidants. The tins are recyclable, and the cacao and chocolate are all Fair Trade certified. So enoy this 'cacao with a mission' and leave the guilt behind.
Sweet Riot is available in packages of 12 purse-sized tins (your choice of flavor or a combo of all three), on sale right now for $39.99 (regularly $47.99). So tell your partner and your kids - mama needs chocolate!
After I put my toddler to bed, I head for the bathroom and a quick bit of "me" time. I start by using a make-up cleansing wipe to get rid of all mascara, foundation and make-up. Then, I lather up with Bobbi Brown's Lathering Tube Soap. This unique soap formula has a rich, lathering action that removes any remaining dirt, make-up or other yucky stuff. A coconut extract derivative helps to clean deeply, yet gently, and apricot oil helps to hydrate the skin, leaving it feeling clean and refreshed. Although it sells for $24, it's well worth the price! It only takes a tiny dab to create enough rich lather for your entire face, so this stuff really lasts. It leaves my skin feeling wonderful - not dry but certainly not greasy - and it smells divine! My Lathering Tube Soap ritual helps me get a second wind in the evenings (so I'm not tempted to go crawl in bed myself) and helps keep my skin looking, and feeling, fabulous!
Think of Mary Jo as your cheerleader. She wants to see you succeed at the daily dinner challenge. She offers up her knowledge starting with setting the stage for easy prep work, to planning seasonal menus that not only take advantage of featuring the freshest and most affordable produce, but also includes recipes that are best-suited for certain times of the year. Mary Jo feels your pain, so she even includes meals that are well-suited to those PMS days (or stressed out, had a bad day...) Hint: these are quick, easy and light. She includes easy-to-follow, step-by-step 14-day menu plans that focus on seasonal produce. There are holiday menu plans that also give you something to do with that extra turkey and ham. She includes tempting recipes for classic dishes and some new favorites even your kids will love, and clever ideas for dressing down dishes for picky eaters or jazzing up meals when you're expecting company. She even includes a glossary, a food and wine pairing guide and stain removal tips. But the best part is that she breaks it all down to include comprehensive grocery lists for every dinner in the book, with instructions on how to make one trip to the grocery store every two weeks. Once you get home from your big shopping trip, she'll have you freezing, storing and portioning out some of your stash.
The Frantic Woman's Guide to Feeding Family and Friends seems like a great way to make sure there's always an answer to the question, "Mom, what's for dinner?" and can save you some money while keeping you organized.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Baby showers, first birthday parties and baptisms are all special occasions we want to mark in our own special way. Couture Keepsakes can help to do just that. With their adorable favors for guests, there are many styles to choose from. Bibs, onesies and frilly dresses, all hung on a miniature hanger with jordan almonds and personalized with your very own message, each of these becomes a keepsake for all to take home. Celebrities such as Marsha Cross, Gwyneth Paltrow and Eva Longoria have all had their very own Couture Keepsakes created to mark cherished occasions in their lives, including baby showers and bridal showers.
Whether you select on of their designs, or work with Couture Keepsakes to create a custom design of your very own, your guests will thrill at how cute Couture Keepsakes' favors are and are sure to remember the event for years to come. Memories will be made!
Exclusive For One Chic Mama Readers
Get free shipping on your next order from Couture Keepsakes with coupon code OCM09 through March 9th, 2008.
Erica Ecker over at The Spacialist had a great idea. She suggested that we keep an address book specifically for storing our passwords. Aha! What a fabulous idea! What better way to remember your login for Amazon, Sk*rt, or GMail than to write them each in this cute V&A: Pocket Address Book: Haute Couture: London & Paris 1947-1957 (Address Book). I love Audrey Hepburn and her easygoing, classic style, and this period of fashion, the "new look" for women was one to remember. This pocket sized book (just $9.95) is perfect for tossing into your purse or laptop bag, or easily stashing in your desk drawer, to keep your passwords close at hand. Just write each password/login ID under the corresponding letter (for example, Amazon.com would go under "A"). Just make sure you keep it safe, free from little hands, and somewhere you can find it when you need it!
Friday, February 08, 2008
BabyLegs may have been created just for babies legs, but they have so many other uses. Tia Carrerre's daughter sported them on her arms during an appearance on Oprah. They make great knee protection for your active toddler; they can be worn by big girls and moms too, as arm-warmers or leg-warmers. There are so many uses for BabyLegs that you're sure to enjoy them for quite some time. My toddler sports his with a onesie while running around the house before he gets dressed in the morning. I can tell he likes the freedom of not wearing pants, but I don't have to worry about his legs getting cold.
BabyLegs come in all sorts of colors for both boys and girls, and sell for $12 per pair. Just in time for Valentine's Day, BabyLegs has added a Sweetheart print and a pretty pink and red stripe, sure to tickle your little ones pink!
Currently, Baby Bella is having a sale on Baby Legs, so now's a good time to stock up!