I think my one-and-half year old has found her calling in life: ambulance driver. Watch out, because the need for speed is apparently an innate trait perpetuated by Automoblox, the coolest toy on the market right now. For any toddler and beyond, Automoblox has a whole line of originals, minis, and exclusive cars, trucks, and the latest: the Emergency Response Line! The new line includes a police car, a fire truck which looks more like a futuristic SUV, and my personal favorite, the rescue truck. As I watch our mini-driver take apart and put together the truck at dizzying speeds, I realize she’s moving faster than I could even think about what goes where. Despite myself, I can’t stop from “borrowing” the cars for a bit to admire the workmanship that goes into Automoblox. From the hot chrome wheels to the removable passengers, I’m impressed with the fit and quality of each specimen. There’s more to the trucks than meet the eye: because Automoblox cars run so smoothly, they fly across hard surfaces like a well-oiled vehicle should. In the midst of her playful delight, our toddler has channeled her creative side, building a sort of obstacle course for the trucks. First step is rolling them down her slide (and squealing as they pick up speed), then slowing them down by crashing them into an oversized pillow, only to have trucks climb the next precipice. I can’t help but feel the motion sickness of the little silver passengers sitting inside! (more…)
Even though my lil’ girl has a while before she has enough hair for braids and ponytails, I adore finding mini bows for her hair to complete an outfit (and make sure that no one thinks she’s a boy!). One of my favorite sites to find the cutest accessories is Lil Sugarplum. Started by a creative mom who dreamed of making hair accessories for her daughter, she named the company “Lil Sugarplum” after the nickname her father gave her when she was young. Any imaginable shape, bow, and animal, and even fruit (think cherries!) can be found on the seemingly endless pages of Lil Sugarplum. The clips will actually stay in baby hair, even if there’s not much there! The baby hairclips are small and cute as a button, and stay in with a snap of the clip. The alligator clips are larger and work perfectly on a toddler, and are lined with velcro to ensure they stick. My favorite design is the little pink butterfly, which goes with pretty much any outfit and comes in two sizes, the alligator clip for a more dramatic look, and the adorable baby clip. The clips are top quality and won’t end up losing tightness after a few wears. The vibrant colors and fabrics are even better looking in person, which is a rarity! Even for newborns, Lil Sugarplum’s stretchy-soft headbands add a splash of color and girliness to any outfit, perfect for meeting grandparents or getting portraits done. Just be prepared for lots of “ooohs” and “aaahs” and other moms asking where to find the clips. I’ve got my eye on a Hello Kitty clip- just irresistible! (more…)
In New York, there’s always a wait for anything good! After my long-anticipated facial with Cecilia Wong, I can now see why she is considered a guru for facials in a city full of the best spas and salons. It was difficult to choose from Cecilia’s carefully crafted menu of treatments, but I finally settled on the Hello, Moisture facial treatment since autumn is upon us and moisture will be harder to come by! I admired Cecilia’s own flawless and glowing skin as she welcomed me to her downtown spa location, a spacious and airy oasis over the hustle and bustle of the city. As we sat down, Cecilia reviewed my concerns, and actually custom tailored the facial to my needs. I have a tendency to get patches of red, irritated skin as the seasons change, which were addressed with the soothing facial. (more…)
On the drive to the gem that is Kiawah Island Resort just outside Charleston, South Carolina, I fell in love with the South all over again. The sun twinkled through the towering trees and hanging spanish moss to create a fantastical charm that simply cannot be found anywhere else. The resort is built on an island 10 miles wide, lined with wide scenic beaches and is one of the world’s premier destinations for golf (the Ocean Course is a past host of the PGA Tournament), thus making it my husband’s favorite place on earth. Accommodations can be custom tailored to visitors’ needs, from the award-winning Sanctuary Hotel to gorgeous houses ranging from traditional to contemporary that can be rented by the night (perfect for our next visit with our daughter!). The Sanctuary is an elegant mansion overflowing with graceful decor from sumptuous fabrics to soaring windows, inviting the panoramic ocean view in. The resort has won several Conde Nast Travel awards, including #1 Resort on the U.S. Mainland and #1 Island in North America. The top-notch service of the resort is a testament to their recognition, with someone always eager to be of help, whether in the pools or restaurants. (more…)
Being a new mom means that my days are now full of discovery…of the latest and greatest kid gear! Below are my three favorites of the moment.
Lollacup. I can’t gush enough about this simple but well-made weighted-straw travel cup. The idea is that toddlers haven’t figured out (along with not throwing food on the floor) that gravity will prevent straws from being as effective as they want. So the smart people who look out for all of us parents came up with Lollacup, which allows sipping even at horizontal angles. I love that the cups are free of BPAs and made exclusively in the USA, and feature a cute chick-face on the cover (we just have to say “cock-a-doodle-doo” and our lil girl knows to come have a sip of water). As for the parent aspect, the straw disassembles easily for quick cleanup and even includes a nifty brush for the inside of the straw. Lollacup is built for battle, as it’s taken quite a few tumbles from the high chair and still looks new. For travel, the top flips forward to prevent spills in the go-bag. What’s not to love? (more…)
As soon as I sauntered into the James Royal Palm on South Beach, I felt like I was transported back to 1963, where I might turn a corner and run into Don Draper on assignment. Everything from the coffee bar in the lobby to the green-on-wood entrance to the Florida Cookery restaurant screams retro chic. The beachfront location affords prime views and service, so instead of running to the action, it comes to you. This 1939 Art Deco classic recently underwent a top to bottom renovation, preserving the original aesthetic with a modern sensibility.
The original green-glass reception desk has been perfectly preserved and restored, and now serves as the coffee bar while art installations throughout the hotel are a nod to Miami’s famous modern art scene and deserve a double take when passing through the halls. Dapper gentlemen and ladies at the front desk direct guests to its 393 guest rooms and suites My go-to source for happening hotels, Conde Nast Traveler, has taken notice of its gorgeous makeover and featured the James Royal Palm on its 2013 Hot Hotels List! Speaking of hot, the hotel’s club SL draws the beautiful young Miami crowd in with its earth-shaking sound system, so guests need not worry about traveling to find the action or bump elbows with a few celebs. (more…)
I was tickled pink to get my hands on the brand-new Burt’s Bees Baby line, which is soft and cuddly and ridiculously cute! I’ve always loved Burt’s Bees products for their philosophy of using nature’s best beeswax and honey to make skincare and beauty products. Along the same vein, their baby and toddler clothing line is made from 100% organic cotton of the highest quality, so it’s extremely soft and durable. Organic cotton is grown without pesticides, so when it’s resting against your baby’s fragile skin, there are no residues. I foresee many romps around the playground and dancing around to just about anything in these basics. There’s a ton to look through on their new website, so I’ll outline a couple of my favorites, perfect for fall weather!
1) Bee Essentials Striped Lap Shoulder Dress. I love that this is a onesie but has a pretty little dress attached to it, making it one of my favorite essentials. I know I’ll be stocking up on these since my baby will be wanting to wear these every day, and it’s quick to slip on. It’s so comfortable that she’ll be able to play and nap in it, and of course it’s easy for diaper changes.
2) Knit Terry Hooded Robe. I actually squealed when I saw how cute and soft this robe is. The deliciously delicate terry lining cuddles baby’s skin and keeps the cutie warm after a soothing bath. The pretty pastel colors on the outside are beautifully contrasted with the white terry inside. What a cute shower gift, or something to bring to a new mom! Fits 0-9 months, perfect for the petites.
3) Cozy Bee Sweater Set. This is so adorbs for winter, with the signature bee knit into the sweater. With a matching hat just putting it over the edge of cuteness, this will garner so many compliments. The organic cotton is so lofty, it actually gets softer after washing, if that’s even possible. I’m picturing this with a little denim skirt and boots! The button detail on the shoulder is both sweet and functional.
4) Favorite Terry Play Dress. This might be the softest piece of them all- I want one in my size! The ragged finishes make it edgy (never too young to start!) and smart. The muffler pocket in front will keep those little hands tucked in and warm. Since it’s a versatile grey, I can get creative and pair it with brightly colored tights and shoes to make it a statement piece!
Shaving is the one thing that I inevitably forget while showering, and if I do remember, it is my least favorite part! Stubbly legs are not cute, but unless I shave frequently, those pesky hairs won’t leave me alone. The best appliance I’ve tried all summer not only saves time, it results in smoother legs for up to weeks (just imagine the freedom!). Philips Satin Perfect Epilator is an innovative at-home hair removal device that works just like you’re plucking your eyebrows, but much quicker. Satin Perfect pulls out hair at the root, without irritating or pulling the skin, and actively lifts hairs to ensure that even shorter hairs are removed. A built-in light illuminates the area you’re working on, so you can make sure everything is gone. Two options for speed control make it ideal for comfort and sensitive areas. The result is priceless, in my book: smooth and silky skin for much longer than a razor will afford. The epilator is perfect for those impromptu trips to the pool or beach since it’s so quick, and should be used on clean dry skin. I’ll be honest- I wanted it to work on my armpits as well, but it was just too sensitive for me.
The design is pretty and ergonomic–no scary looking metal springs or anything of the sort. Cleaning is a cinch–just click off the roller and put it under water, spinning the white ceramic discs with your fingers for a minute. It’s ready for use after just an hour, and provides 40 minutes of action. It took a few tries for my legs to get acclimated to the Epilator, and I found it most effective after a warm shower and exfoliation. At first, it pulled out some hairs at the skin’s surface (much like shaving), but after a few uses, my hair actually became a bit finer and seemed easier to pull out by the root. Since hair growth happens in stages, I use the Epilator weekly just for touch-ups. Results will vary depending on hair thickness, but I found that the slower speed works more effectively for taking out hair. My legs are ready to take on the beach–and I haven’t shaved for a month!
A couple weeks before our “summer’s last hurrah” trip to Miami, I finally faced the reality (with some panic) that I’d have to be in a swimsuit in public for a week. As I slowly floated back down to earth, I also realized that all that eating, drinking, and playing (ie. not going to the gym) I did over the summer was not simply going to disappear from my system. It was time to call in the pros at Urban Remedy, a company whose philosophy is that “food is medicine,” and fuses traditional healing methods and a fresh approach to health. Their juice regimens use only 100% organic and sustainable ingredients, and are created by founder Neka Pasquale, a chef who has studied healing and various traditional therapies. I decided to go for the Super Green Cleanse, because as my hubby always says, go big or go home, right? I wanted maximal results with the most detox I could manage in a day, and it turned out to be quite an adventure, detailed below. (more…)
With fall fashion’s new bold and architectural looks on my mind, I’m realizing that a polished hairstyle is the only way to complete a look. My current (seemingly unending) obsession with hair continues, and along that vein, my new favorite toy is the Ferrum Professional Styler. Don’t let it fool you, it is so much more than just another straightener. Let me preface by saying that I don’t straight-iron my hair very often out of fear of split ends and brittle dry hair. Ferrum’s new innovative design eases my mind: one side consists of a specially designed German-engineered fabric plate, allowing hair to breathe and retain moisture, while the other side heats and straightens. Besides being gentler and healthier to use on hair, the fabric plate allows me to use thetool at my roots, so a sleeker, professional look is achieved- sans the burnt scalp. Compared with conventional straighteners, my hair feels softer and healthier! The fabric plate is actually designed to encourage volume, so you don’t get the same one-dimensional flat look that other irons create by mashing hair. It’s the best of all worlds- damage and burning are averted without compromising efficacy. (more…)