Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Food & Drink




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What We're Reading

This weekend is the unofficial kick off to summer 2017. For me that means I have an excuse to kick back and read all weekend long. There are so many good books out right now, and I'll be sharing my summer reading list in a few weeks. But for now, here's what we are currently reading as we celebrate Memorial Day.

What I'm Reading: The One & Only by Emily Giffin
I've longed been a fan of Emily Giffin's writing. I especially loved Something Borrowed and Something Blue. When I came across The One & Only last week on, I immediately downloaded it. One of the things I love most about Giffin's novels is the in depth character development. By the end of her books, you really feel as if the characters are your best friends.

What Emma's Reading: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
It's the show every teen is talking about. So, naturally, it's the book everyone is reading.

What Harper's Reading: Hidden Treasure at The Cat-Nip Hotel by Luna Snow.
Not all is as it appears in this mystery full of intrigue and cats. When a famous author dies, she leaves her mansion and her five cats to her great-niece who turns the mansion a cat lovers hotel. An eccentric man rents a room, and the adventure begins.

What are you currently reading? Leave a comment to let me know your recommendations.

What To Buy ~ Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale

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The Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale is in full-swing. With discounts up to 40%, now is the time to buy those items you've had on your wish list for a while.

Shop more Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale items here:

Don't see something you like? Click here to shop the Nordstrom sale.

Tips For Creating A Safe Backyard For Children

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With summer approaching, it is a great time to get your kids outside and playing in the backyard. From giant yard games to sand pits to swing sets, and tree houses, the kids are sure to have an excellent time. However, as many parents know, playing outside can be hazardous. Your kids love to explore, and that is a great thing until they come in with a scuffed knee or worse.
It is time to make your backyard safe, so that it's a pleasant place to play and to give you added peace of mind.

Tidy Up
It’s possible that your garden and walkways have been neglected over the colder months so be sure to head outside and clean up. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, and cut away any nasty weeds and thorny bushes. Look at the condition of the walkways and patio. If there are any loose or broken tiles, it is a health and safety hazard waiting to happen. Think about a concrete patio installation to ensure the ground is safe and good to alleviate any parental stresses.

Best Online Reads

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Eleven places every introvert should go in their lifetime via HuffPost.

2. The unmistakable signs of a bad place to work via Forbes.

3. A smarter way to clean your home via The New York Times.

4. Ten books you have to read this summer via Redbook.

5. How to say yes to the right things via Camilla Styles.

6. Twenty-seven genius recipes for the grill via Food52.

7. Four new and easy ways to go green via Clementine Daily.

8. How to teach kids about consent via A Cup of Jo.

9. An argument for why daytime plans are better than night time ones via Man Repeller.

10. The cutest one-shoulder top for under $27 via Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale.

Splurge vs. Save

It's the season for sunnies! Hitting the pool or beach this Memorial Day weekend? Well, then you're going to need a pair of stylish sunglasses for your trip. I've had these Ray-Ban Clubmaster sunnies in my cart for months, but whenever I find a similar and yet less expensive option, I have a hard time justifying the splurge.

By the same token, I love the pair of Ray-Ban Aviators that I own. Ray-Ban is a brand that is synonymous with quality, and you can never truly go wrong when you invest in a pair.

Have a surplus in your bank account this month? Grab the Ray-Ban Clubmaster sunglasses.

Saving to splurge on a new bathing suit? Pick up a pair of A.J. Morgan sunglasses at Nordstrom.

I also love this similar pair at Sole Society.

You might also like this Splurge vs. Save or this one.

Four Ways To Treat Yourself

As a parent, it's important to make time to treat yourself. Many moms just focus on the family, and this can mean that they neglect themselves and their own needs, and that’s never a good thing. I recently wrote about ways I practice self-care. If none of those work for you, here are few more that might be more in line with your wants and needs.

Find a Hobby That Gives You a Break
Sometimes, you just need to get out of the house and away from the stresses that you experience each day. This is a common need for parents, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. No one can be a mother and wife 100% of the time. You need to have some downtime that allows you to relax. Picking up a hobby is the great way to do that. It can be anything from swimming to pottery classes. What matters is that it helps you to relax and gives you a break from the things that often wear you down, so find a hobby that’s good for you.
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Teaching Your Children To Be Environmentally Friendly

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As parents, we are responsible for teaching our children how to look after the environment around them. After all, they are the future, and when we have long left the world, we want to leave it in their safe hands. Here are some useful ways to help your family be environmentally friendly and make a difference in the lives of others.

Set An Example
If you don’t take the time to recycle or reduce energy, how can you expect your child to do the same? In all the suggestions listed here, be sure that you are the first in the household to care for the environment. As you do so, explain to your child the importance of what you are doing and how it is helping the world.

From Crunching to Brunching: prAna Helps You Transition

Thank you to prAna for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

Like most moms, I lead a full, hectic, busy life of juggling events, activities, and priorities. Whether it's the weekend or a weekday, I try to fit as much into my schedule as I can without taxing myself. In the midst of all of that, I try to be more mindful about what I eat, what I wear, who I spend time with, and how I spend my time.

For the past few months I've been meeting up with a few friends on Wednesday mornings for yoga. At first we'd have our weekly practice and small chats before and after class. As the weeks went by, our chats turned into lunch in the gym cafe, and eventually lunch outside the gym and even Saturday morning yoga followed by brunch.

Since I've never been one to wear my yoga clothes all day or as part of a "uniform", I'm always on the lookout for stylish clothes that can double as gym clothes and everyday wear. When I was introduced to prAna, I knew I had found the clothes to fit my chic, active and adventurous lifestyle. They are the perfect clothes to make a smooth transition from gym to breakfast, brunch, or lunch.

prAna offers sustainable, recycled, fair trade-certified and hemp items. In addition to making sustainable, eco-friendly clothes, prAna makes giving back to communities all over the world a priority. As a consumer, I take pride in know that I'm making a positive impact each time I purchase an item from prAna.

My most recent purchase is the Mantra pant and the Petra top. I chose the combination because it's casual enough for the gym but has an element of dressiness for post-gym activities such as lunch, brunch, or shopping. The Mantra pants are made from a combination of soft hemp and stretch fabric and trimmed with organic cotton, and the Petra top is made mostly of organic cotton with pretty lace insets. Many of prAna's clothes also include recycled items. Producing planet-friendly clothing that is stylish and comfortable is of the utmost importance to prAna.

The lace detail on the Petra top is so pretty and is a nice contrast to the soft, casual cotton. I've worn this top to both yoga class and to brunch. It's the perfect anywhere top. It can be worn for city exploring, hiking a mountain, hanging on the beach, or relaxing on your patio.

prAna strives to make its clothing accessible to everyone. It's made with adventure in mind, but also mindfulness. At the heart of prAna's brand is one driving factor: to give back to this world more than it takes. Now that's a brand I can get behind.

SAVE! prAna is generously offering Pieces of a Mom readers a 15% discount on all purchases made through June 16th with code S17PCLUBPM

This is your chance to save on clothes that take you from adventure to relaxation to everything in between. Whether your outdoor activities include the mountains, the beach, or just your backyard, prAna has clothing that fits any adventure.

5 Elements To Keep In Mind When Making Fashion Choices

Fashion plays an important part in all of our lives. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be overly focused on fashion, the clothes that you put on your body each day are a reflection of who you are. There’s no doubt that looking great makes you feel great. Your appearance is the first impression people get of you whether they are friends, colleagues, and complete strangers.

Portrait Woman, Redhead, Portrait, Female, Woman, Young
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I don't consider myself an overly fashion-conscious person. However, I do pay attention to the latest trends and always try to look presentable. To do that, I focus on five elements of fashion that I think are the keys to looking and feeling great no matter what outfit you are sporting.

Tips For Telling Your Kids You're Moving

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Packing up the family and moving is often unavoidable. Sometimes it's a job transfer, the promise of a more appealing climate, the ability to be closer to family that prompt a move. Moving can be emotional for children, especially if they have to move far away from the people they know and love best.

When we returned from Tucson, we talked of eventually moving there. The climate is ideal and the cost of living is so much more reasonable than New Jersey. If we do ever decide to move, we'll need to prepare ourselves for some tears and tantrums along the way, for sure. However, there are ways to minimize the impact a move has on your kids by telling them about it in the right way.Here are some tips for telling your kids you’re moving: