Sunday, August 24, 2014

Amp Up Your Style with TRESemmé @Walmart #VMAStyle #TRESemmé #AmpUpYourStyle

Special thanks to Global Influence for sponsoring this post. 

Yesterday, I was transformed into a retro glamour queen thanks to Vavoom Pinups. The team of stylists pin curled and poufed my hair, opened up my eyes with stunning retro makeup and then hairsprayed it all in place...I could hardly recognize myself in the mirror! I'm always amazed by the effect that a great hairstyle and makeup can have on the spirit. I'll be sharing my photos soon!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Orkin: Fact Or Fake #sponsored #Orkin

“Daddy longlegs are poisonous.” 
“Mosquitoes prefer adults over children.”

“Ants can survive underwater.”

Which of the above statements are fact? Which ones are fiction?

Friday, August 15, 2014

National Lemonade Day at Red Robin #sponsored #RedRobin

Disclosure: The Red Robingift card, information, and additional gift card have been provided by Red Robin.

Today the kids and I enjoyed a great meal at Red Robin after my son showed off his latest horsemanship skills!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Matzo Ball Soup at Manny's Deli

Today I took my daughter to Manny's Deli after her morning ballet class.

Autumn is inching its way towards us, and we woke up to what felt like a crisp fall day. The matzo ball soup was so comforting. My daughter is turning five and it is now an absolute pleasure to have her as dining company; she enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Manny's and the cafeteria style service.

I don't want summer to end (at all!) but I do look forward to fall, a time of year when I love to both cook at home and try out new (and old) dining spots, and I can't wait to take this little gal with me as company. But that's enough about fall. Here's to a few more weeks of summer!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gudrun Sjödén Fall 2014 Collection

Disclosure: Special thanks to Gudrun Sjödén for sponsoring this post. 

In my longstanding question for comfortable fashions that will carry me from work to play and fit my very active lifestyle, I've found an answer: Gudrun Sjödén creates clothes in unique, colorful designs and natural materials – for women of all ages, shapes and sizes. Vibrant and sustainable, this is a brand that honors women who appreciate individual style and comfortable, organic materials. 

For Fall 2014, Gudrun Sjödén  dives into the rich beauty, color and patterns of the Burkina Faso. The color palette ranges from rich shades of ecru to warm and saturated colors inspired by Africa, to a variety of blacks and grays. The catalog features stunning photos from Burkina Faso. I was especially struck by the decorated adobe homes in Tiebele. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Long Weekend in Indianapolis #FamilyTravel #VisitIndy

This post originally appeared on ChicagoParent.comSee more of my Chicago Parent stories here.

Two weekends ago, our family set off to discover Indianapolis. We had two Indy missions in mind: to hang out a bit with some orangutans and to stare down some warriors made of terra cotta. Along the way, we discovered that Indy - located less than three hours from Chicago - makes for a quick, easy, educational and fun family getaway.


We spent almost an entire day at the world's largest children's museum - the Indianapolis Children's Museum - to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. This army of thousands of warriors, sculplted from terra cotta, was buried for centuries, protecting an emperor’s tomb. This beautifully presented exhibit (on display until November 2, 2014) tells the astounding story of the tomb complex of China’s first emperor, and features real Terra Cotta Warriors -- considered by many to be the Eighth Wonder of the World. We examined more than 100 ancient artifacts and enjoyed hands-on interactives which gave us the chance to pretend that we, too, were part of the archeological research team. My kids, ages four and 13, sculpted mini terra cotta warriors of their own, pieced together broken warriors and looked the warriors themselves in the eyes. This is the first time the Shaanxi provincial government is allowing this particular exhibit with eight of the Terra Cotta Warriors out of the country and this fantastic exhibit is not to be missed.

My kids make terra cotta warriors of their own at the Indianapolis Children's Museum.

Be sure to explore the other exhibits at the museum, including the thought provoking Power of Children exhibit, which highlights the powerful stories of three extraordinary 20th-century children -- Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges and Ryan White -- and the Dinosphere, which will transport you back over 65 million years ago to the land of dinosaurs.

White River State Park, a 250 acre park located in downtown Indianapolis, was where we spent day two in Indy. This sprawling state park contains the Indiana State Museum and IMAX Theater, the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the NCAA Headquarters and Hall of Champions, the Medal of Honor Memorial, Victory Field (home of Indianapolis Indians’ baseball), Military Park, the Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn Concert Series and the Indiana Cross Country Arena.

We chose to explore by bicycle, renting bikes from Wheel Fun Rentals: the 13-year-old boys opted to cruise around on choppers, while my four-year-old daughter and I hopped on a surrey. From Wheel Fun Rentals, we zipped around the park then parked our wheels outside the Indianapolis Zoo.

Exploring White River State Park by surrey!

Organized around the concept of biomes - areas of the planet with similar climate, plants and animals, the Indianapolis Zoo is the only institution accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Alliance of Museums as a zoo, an aquarium and as a botanical garden. The recently inaugurated Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center is the new home to one of the largest groups of orangutans in any American zoo. We were able to literally stare into the eyes of these amazing animals, and we took the time to learn more about their plight as an endangered species thanks to the interactive exhibits and zoo staff on hand to answer questions.


Our number one dining pick in Indy is Punch Burger (137 East Ohio St.), where you can build your own gourmet burger. Punch Burger makes a point of using only local grass-fed Angus beef raised in Indiana. Give some of the more adventurous combos a try! Bazbeaux Pizza (333 Massachusetts Ave.), located in the heart of the Mass Ave cultural district, is another family-friendly Indy staple for some of the best pies in town.


We stayed at the J.W. Marriot, a 1,000+ room luxe hotel located in downtown Indy and walking distance to White River State Park. Sophisticated yet family-friendly, we loved our room with a stunning view of the White River State Park.

Friday, July 25, 2014

#Sponsored: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: In theaters August 8and RealD 3D #TMNTmovie

This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Paramount Pictures blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

The blockbuster of the summer is finally here! 

Are you ready to watch as a team of four teenage anthropomorphic turtles battle crime while attempting to remain isolated from society?

The TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES are here to save the world! And on August 8, they'll be appearing in theaters and RealD 3D!