Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Food & Drink

SHOP MY FAVES

SHOP MY FAVES
SHOP MY FAVES

STYLE

STYLE
STYLE

Tomorrow is 31 cent scoop night at Baskin-Robbins

There's nothing better on a warm spring evening than ice cream. Tomorrow, April 27 from 5 pm to 10 pm, Baskin-Robbins is hosting its annual 31 cent scoop night to benefit America's firefighters. Participating stores will drop the price for a scoop to 31 cents. The Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation is donating $100,000 to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF).

Grab the family and take them out to support those who put their lives on the line to save ours.

To find a participating location near you, visit the Baskin-Robbins Web site.
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Restoring Faith in the Easter Bunny

A few weeks ago when we discussed going to see the Easter Bunny, Emma said, "I'm not sitting on his lap, Mom. I'm too old."

My first thought was, "Oh no! Not already." How can an 8 year old have given up so quickly on the Easter Bunny? I wasn't sure exactly where she was coming from, and I certainly wasn't ready to address it.

So when she suggested that we see "Hop" on the first day of spring break last Monday, I was elated.

In a nutshell, "Hop" is a comedy about E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand), the teenage son of the Easter Bunny. On the eve of taking over the family business, E.B. leaves for Hollywood in pursuit of his dream of becoming a drummer. He encounters Fred (James Marsden), an out-of-work slacker with his own lofty goals, who accidentally hits E.B. with his car. Feigning injury, E.B. manipulates Fred into providing him shelter, and Fred finds himself with the world’s worst houseguest.


"Hop" has the ability to transform any nonbeliever into a believer again. Lucky for me, if Emma had any doubts about the reality of the Easter Bunny, they were quickly dispelled. She walked out of the theater asking when we'd visit the Easter Bunny for pictures. And I was grateful. I'm just not ready to cross that bridge yet. Kids should be kids for longer than 8 years old.
My little believers with their furry friend.

Hope you had a glorious Easter!
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{Closed} Stonyfield Farm Giveaway

{THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED. THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY.}

Last week when I attended a luncheon hosted by Stonyfield Farm, the attendees received tote bags filled with all sorts of Stonyfield goodness. In addition to attendees receiving the bags, the children who attended also received bags as well. Since both of my children were in tow, they both received bags. Although it was incredibly generous of Stonyfield to give each of us a bag, we certainly didn't need three of them.

So, I decided to pass along the generosity and offer a bag to one lucky reader.

Front and back views of the tote bag:


The contents of the tote bag:

Here's a list of the goodies that you'll find in the tote bag:
  • One Stonyfield Organic Yogurt Cookbook
  • One "Up, Up I Go" Growth Chart by Eric Carle
  • One recipe booklet, which includes 5 recipes and the history of and story behind Stonyfield Farm.
  • One baby's bib
  • One Oikos spatula
  • Two coupons, one for (1) free 5.3 oz cup of Oikos yogurt and (1) free 4-pack Stonyfield YoBaby Yogurt
How to enter:
Head over to Stonyfield's Web site to view the product offerings. Come back and leave a comment to let me know which product is your favorite (if you've tried Stonyfield products) or which product you would love to try (if you've never tried Stonyfield products).

It's that easy!

I will choose one winner via random.org on May 2nd at noon. All entries must be submitted by that deadline. Giveaway is open to residents of the continental United States. Once notified, the winner will have 24 hours to respond with shipping address.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary tote bag filled with Stonyfield products at a lunch sponsored by Stonyfield Farm. I was not compensated to write this post or offer this giveaway.
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0 to 5 in 60 seconds

Let me start by saying that I've been writing this post for about 3 weeks now. Every time I've opened it, I've started to meltdown, and I quickly have to close it and move on to something else that is less emotionally moving for me.

Today, I finally sat down to finish it. I may or may not have had some tissues at the ready.

Almost 2 months ago, Harper turned 5. I'm still trying to process this, which is why I haven't written about it. When I sit down to write about it, I become sentimental and emotional.  This week, as I finish completing registration forms for Kindergarten, it's been on my mind constantly.

I can't figure out how she's gone from 0 to 5 in 60 seconds. Not 60 months, but what seems like 60 seconds. It makes me recall a conversation I had with my dad about 15 years ago. He told me that life literally flies in front of your eyes once you have children. At the time, although I appreciated his words of wisdom, I couldn't relate to them. I wasn't a parent.

Now that I am, I want to stop time in its tracks. Freeze it and bottle it. Put it on a shelf and keep it there forever. Sometimes if I think about the passing of time too much, it freaks me out. Thinking of what's to come overwhelms me. I know there will be a day when neither of my girls needs me. I already see it happening, and it makes me sad.

Whenever I look at pictures of Harper as a baby, I am brought to tears.

From her first very moments of life, I have wondered what kind of person she would grow to be.

I miss my baby.

What I wouldn't give to turn back time, just for one day.

The very thought of this little girl roaming the halls of a school filled with 750 children frightens me.

I know I can't stop time. I can't trap it in a bottle and preserve it forever. Nor would I want to, really. But turn it back for a day? Sure, I'd take that.

I am deeply proud of my daughters and the young ladies they are becoming. I want to be the type of mother who encourages them and supports them in their endeavors. I would never want to hold them back from their potential.

But hold them for an extra 30 seconds during a hug. Yep, you bet I'll always look for an opportunity to do that.

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The best thing I've done for my blog...

You know that feeling you get when you see or are notified of a new comment? It's a rush of adrenaline.

Every single comment makes me think, "Wow. Someone cared enough about something I have to say to take the time to type a comment."

Comments are special. They are the virtual equivalent of a touch on the arm or a hug. They show us that someone cares.

Several months ago I decided to install Disqus, a global commenting system. I wasn't satisfied with Blogger's basic commenting system. I wanted more. I looked into several and decided that Disqus was the best option for me.

As a blogger, one of the most important rules for me is to engage my readers. Writing posts accomplishes only part of that goal. To fully engage readers, I needed to be able to reply directly to comments. I wanted my readers who took the time to comment to know just how appreciative I was. Their interaction meant that my post struck a chord not only with me but with them as well.

Disqus allows me to reply to comments easily and effectively. And I can easily comment on other blogs using Disqus also. Once you create an account at http://www.disqus.com/, it's super easy to install as a widget in Blogger. You can access your account online to review comments and see "likes", and there are add-on platforms if you are looking to expand the basic commenting system.

I have to say that making the switch to Disqus was, by far, the best thing I've ever done for my blog...and for my readers!

Disclosure: I received no compensation in exchange for this post.
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Tuesday's Tasty Treat: Banana Blueberry Smoothie

If you have trouble getting your kids to eat their fruit, try a smoothie. They are a quick and easy way for children (and adults) to get 2 servings of fruit. I've been making smoothies for my daughters for years, and here is one of their all-time favorite recipes.

Banana Blueberry Smoothies (Serves 2)

Ingredients
1 cup of orange juice
1 cup non-fat yogurt (We like Stonyfield Farm Oikos Greek yogurt)
1/2 cup blueberries, washed
2 bananas, cut into pieces (preferably frozen)

Preparation
1. Measure all ingredients into a blender and place the top on it.

2. Blend on the puree setting until smooth, about 30 seconds.






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Lunch with Stonyfield Farm and Robyn O'Brien

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending a luncheon at Fork in Philadelphia hosted by Stonyfield Farm. The special guest and speaker was Robyn O'Brien, a mother, an author, and a clean eating activist. O'Brien, a former food industry analyst is using her experiences, both personal and professional, to uncover how eating has become a risk to our health.

O'Brien spoke for about an hour, and I was mesmerized for the entire presentation. She spoke from the heart and with great conviction. She was never condescending and presented her facts in an informative manner. She was standing directly in front of where I was seated. At one point during an emotionally charged part of her presentation, I noticed that she had goose bumps on her arms. Yes, even after all of her speaking engagements, she is still reduced to goose bumps when she speaks of the dangers of our everyday foods.

Here is a mother, like you and I. A mother who painstakingly watched her daughter suffer through an allergic reaction. A reaction that prompted O'Brien to take action. She took action against food companies using food dyes, hormones, and toxic chemicals in food production. O'Brien urges consumers to do the right thing. Her insight was eye-opening, and it most certainly has changed the way I've prepared meals for my family. O'Brien offers this advice for starters:

1. Cut artificial colors. Yep. You know those color-coated candies you let your kids eat? Well, they are encased in artificial colors. Is blue a natural color in plants? Not likely.

2. Eat less fake foods. If you can grow it, eat it. If it comes in a box or a bag, it's probably not good for you.

3. Each person will make this journey in their own way and on their own time. The importance of it is to begin the first step. Make change happen.

If I haven't quite convinced you, take a look at a video of Robyn in action. It is 18 minutes long, but trust me, it's the best 18 minutes you will spend online today.



Robin is also a critically-acclaimed author whose book, The Unhealthy Truth, helps to shed light on the alarming facts about toxins in our foods.


Not only was O'Brien's presentation worth my trek to Philadelphia, but the lunch served by Fork was fabulous. Many thanks to Stonyfield Farm for hosting us.

The fabulous menu
Stonyfield Farm offered childcare, which I took advantage of being that Harper was out of school that day. Because Emma had a half-day, I had to keep her out of school and bring her with us. The childcare was fun and included fun tattoos!

Disclosure: Stonyfield Farm hosted several bloggers for a luncheon. In addition to lunch, we received swag bags which included a cook book, coupons, a children's growth chart. a baby's bib, and a spatula. I was not compensated for this post nor was I encouraged to write it. All opinions expressed herein, unless otherwise noted, are my own.
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Lucky Kids Magazine

As I was leisurely browsing the shelves of Barnes & Noble today, I turned my head towards the magazine rack. It took about a nanosecond for me to spot what is sure to become a nightstand regular in my house.

One of my favorite magazines is now available in a version filled with fashions for our pint-sized counterparts.

Lucky Kids hit newsstands last month and is filled with all the fashion and fun that the adult version is famous for. If you haven't picked up your copy yet, what are you waiting for? Style icon, Angie Harmon, offers her picks for spring must-haves for little girls.

The issue is chock-full of deep discounts on some of my favorite brands that are accessible yet chic.

The only downside? Lucky Kids is slated to be published only twice per year. :( I could definitely get used to ready this magazine monthly. :)
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A Change Will Do You Good

Have you seen Drew Barrymore's new hair color? It's a ravishing red, and I am loving it. So much so that I am tempted to go red. I used to be very experimental with my hair. I'd often change hues and styles. I never feared going from long to short or light to dark. But as I've gotten older, I've become less adventurous when it comes to my hair.

I just love Drew's transformation.

According to her stylist, Drew likes to change it up and keep it fresh with her hair. In conjunction with the changing of the seasons, Drew wanted a change. She decided on red.

So, what do you think of the change? Was it a good choice? And what are your thoughts on going darker for the warmer months? I'm still thinking about that one...

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Wine of the Week - Layer Cake Shiraz

I'm not going to lie. It was the label of this wine that did it for me. Cake. How can you resist?

All kidding aside... It won't be long before the reds are retired to the wine cellar (read: wine rack in the dining room). Once the warm weather hits, it's white wines until the air becomes brisk again. I decided to try Layer Cake Shiraz while the air is still nippy. And I wasn't disappointed.

Produced in South Australia, Layer Cake Shiraz is a dark and complex wine. Although I tasted hints of fruits, I couldn't quite put my finger on the exact fruits. I had to refer to the Layer Cake Web site for some help. According to the site, Layer Cake Shiraz contains complex aromas of black plum, Bing cherry, and blackberry. My guess is that there's quite an infusion of blackberry because of the overwhelmingly dark color of the wine. I liked the fruity undertones and could taste of hint of chocolate.

This wine is best paired with a light meal or appetizers. Because it is robust, Layer Cake Shiraz goes well with a light dish such as Penne Vodka or Chicken Piccata. And don't forget to enjoy it with a slice of layer cake!

At about $14 per bottle, it's easy to stock up on Layer Cake Shiraz!
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Affresh™ Washer Cleaner - Product Review

Did you know that all top-load washers should be cleaned once a month? I never knew that, but it would certainly explain the stench emanating from my washing machine.

Our house was built about 15 years ago. We moved in 5 years ago, and I am almost certain that our washer is the original one that was purchased after construction was completed. But like most people, we have no plans to replace it until it breaks. However, I am always looking for ways to add "newness" to it.

Included in the swag from Getting Gorgeous was Affresh Washer Cleaner. Affresh prevents odor-causing residue from accumulating in the washer. Resembling those dishwasher detergent tablets that I am so fond of, Affreshis super simple to use. Just watch the video below to see for yourself.



Over the weekend, I decided to give Affresha whirl. I wanted nothing more than to get the nasty smell out of my washer. After I adjusted the settings on the washer, I dropped in 1 tablet and let it work its magic. The washer was like a "watched pot". I kept checking on the dial to see when it would be finished. I couldn't wait to smell it.

I was completely surprised at how well Affreshworked. I had confidence that it would tackle the smell to some extent, but I wasn't holding my breath that the stench would completely be eliminated. I gave the washer a full 24 hours of rest. I wanted to see if the washer retained its neutral smell. Sure enough, several days and several loads of laundry later, Affreshis still wowing me!

For more information on Affresh, visit the Web site.

Disclosure: I received a package of 3 Affresh tablets  at Getting Gorgeous. I was not compensated to try the product or write this post. All opinions expressed herein are my own. For my full Disclosure Policy, click here.
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Time for Tinted Moisturizer

Now that winter has released its deathly grip on the Northeast, it's time to get serious about spring and summer beauty routines. In addition to evaluating my wardrobe, I like to take some time to re-evaluate  my skin and hair-care products and routines.

Warmer weather always means less is more in terms of makeup. But since I don't like to spend a whole lot of time in direct sunlight, I am forced to choose another alternative to a sun-kissed glow. While bronzers do the trick for many, my skin is too fair because most bronzers are too dark.

My go-to item for glowing skin? Tinted moisturizer. I absolutely love tinted moisturizers. For me, they serve as moisturizer and foundation all rolled into one bottle. Because I suffer from rosacea, I need a base color on top of moisturizer to even out my skin tone. Because using foundation plus moisturizer is too heavy in the summer, I rely on a tinted moisturizer for a non-cakey, light touch of color and hydration.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Philosophy Hope In A Tinted Moisturizer
I swear by my Hope In A Jar moisturizer. So when I learned that Philosophy made a tinted moisturizer, I had to try it. Available in 8 shades, it is lightweight and offers sheer color. It has a 20 SPF which is one of the highest I've seen in a tinted moisturizer.

Cost: $38 for a 1.7 fl. oz. bottle

Available at QVC.com and Sephora.









Clinique Moisture Sheer Tint
Ever since I began wearing makeup, I've been a fan of Clinique products, especially the cleansers and moisturizers. The Moisture Sheer Tint is an oil-free moisturizer with a hint of color. It is available in 3 shades and has an SPF of 15.

Cost: $27 for a 1.33 fl. oz. bottle

Available at clinique.com and Sephora.






Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer Tinted Moisturizer
This is, by far, the best value for the money. In addition to hydrating with a sheer, lightweight tint, it also smooths fine lines. With vitamin-infused Retinol, this tinted moisturizer is available in 6 shades and has an SPF of 20.

Cost: $11.50 per 1 fl. oz. bottles.

Available at most drug stores.




Disclosure: I received no compensation from any of the aforementioned brands. The purpose of this post is for me to share some of my favorites with you. All opinions expressed herein are solely mine.
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WINNER - $100 GNC Gift Code

WE HAVE A WINNER!
CONGRATULATIONS TO DEANA! HAPPY SHOPPING!!




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An Artist's Rendition and Mystery Reader

Last Friday, I volunteered to be a mystery reader in Harper's preschool classroom. It was exciting for me, and and a complete surprise for her. She had absolutely no idea!

After I read the book that was chosen for me by the teachers, the children played a game, and then they were seated at the tables to do an art project. Their task: to draw something they remembered from the story and include the mystery reader somewhere in the drawing.

As the children drew their pictures, I wandered around admiring the work of the budding artists. Although they were all magnificent, one of them caught my attention. Harper's classmate and friend, Brady, is quite the Picasso. His attention to detail is envious. I don't think I'm as detail oriented as he is...even as a grown up!

This is how I was depicted by Brady.
Check me out! He captured it all: my boots, jeans, trench coat, hoop earrings, and my hair in a ponytail.  And look, he's even got me holding my camera!!!! I look better in his drawing than I do in real life!

Something tells me in 25 years, we'll all be paying big bucks to hang his artwork on our walls!



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Dream Water Product Review

At night when everyone winds down, I rev up. It's the only time in my day that I can get anything done uninterrupted. After preparing my "To Do" list for the following day, I'm usually too excited to tackle the list to sleep. Sometimes, I'll get a head start on my list by cleaning or writing. Often, I'll relax in bed with a book and put my big comfy socks on. And other times, I'll pour myself a glass of wine and indulge in some guilty pleasure TV. However I choose to pass my alone-time, I'm usually awake until about midnight.

When I finally decide to throw in the towel, sleep eludes me. I toss and turn. Doze off for about 20 minutes then lie awake for 2 hours.

At Getting Gorgeous, I was introduced to Dream Water, a zero calorie sleep and relaxation drink. Dream Water contains key, natural ingredients that work together to help you sleep. Dream Water contains Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid, Melatonin, and 5-HTP and is available in 2 flavors, Snoozeberry and Lullaby Lemon. Dream Water is available in 2 sizes, 2.5 oz. and 8 oz. bottles. The 2.5 oz bottles are designed to pass through airport security and are the perfect portion for longer flights.











After chatting with reps from Dream Water at Getting Gorgeous, I grabbed a few 2.5 oz bottles and was looking forward to trying it. The fact that it is all natural was a big draw for me.

Sunday evening rolled around, and everyone retired for the night...except for me, of course. Sunday nights are especially tough for me. I'm jacked up for the week ahead. Some of my favorite shows are on TV on Sunday nights. Sleep does not come easy on Sunday nights.

So, after checking out the product specs on the Dream Water Web site and carefully reading the directions on the bottle, I took the plunge and drank a 2.5 oz. bottle. I had gotten into bed, drank the Dream Water and turned off the lights. I remember starting to feel very relaxed in about 5 minutes or so. The next thing I remembered was waking up on Monday morning. I am not kidding. I usually wake up at least once during the night, but not this night. The next morning I felt great and had none of the usual after effects of traditional sleep aids.

If you have trouble sleeping, Dream Water is for you. To try a free sample, head over to Dream Water to request one.

Disclosure: I received several 2.5 oz. bottles of Dream Water at Getting Gorgeous. I was not compensated to try the product or write this post. All opinions expressed herein are my own. For my full Disclosure Policy, click here.

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Wordless Wednesday: When Mama's Away...

...Daddy spoils for the day. I've posted before about what goes on around here when I'm not around.

On Saturday, while I was being pampered at Getting Gorgeous, E and H were being pampered, too! Yep. The Hubs took them for manis and pedis and then took them out for lunch. Is that a great Daddy or what?

For more wonderful Wordless Wednesday photos, be sure to check out Beautiful Mess, Parenting by Dummies, Wordless Wednesday, 5 Minutes for Mom, and Better In Bulk.
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Tuesday's Tasty Treat: Roasted Tomatoes

With The Hubs being off pasta, rice, and bread during Lent, I've had to get inventive with vegetables. I must say that I can follow a recipe, but I'm not great at throwing together a meal on the fly. I just don't have that creative touch when it comes to food. I rack my brain for ways to add zing to everyday ingredients, but I come up with zip.

So, when I found this recipe in a cookbook, I was excited to try it. I added less salt than the original recipe called for.

Roasted Tomatoes (Serves 4)

Ingredients
4 Roma tomatoes, halved length-wise to make 8 halves
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil or dried thyme
1/2 tsp. black pepper (I prefer freshly ground)
4 cloves garlic, finely minced

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on a greased foil-lined baking sheet.
3. Combine olive oil, salt, basil (or thyme), pepper, and garlic.
4. Spoon mixture over tops of tomato halves.
5. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
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Menu Plan Monday

Every week, I have every intention of posting my meal plan. And every week, ironically, I have the meal plan, but not the time to post.

This week, I vowed that things will be different.

Since Lent began, The Hubs has shunned pasta and bread, which makes meal planning IMPOSSIBLE. It has been nothing less than challenging. I like a starchy side dish with meat. So, I've been making pasta and rice, but The Hubs has had to abstain. Oh well, who gives up pasta and bread for Lent anyway?? ;)

Monday: Stuffed peppers (I'll add rice or orzo to 3 of the 4 peppers)

Tuesday: Penne Vodka and Salad (Hubs has a business dinner)

Wednesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Thursday: Breaded Chicken Cutlets with mixed greens (I'm going to try PopChips as the breading...stay tuned!)

Friday: Salad and Broccoli Cheddar Soup (since we are Catholic, no meat on Fridays, and SURPRISE! The Hubs doesn't eat seafood)

Saturday: Grilled chicken, grilled asparagus, roasted potatoes

Sunday: The Hubs is always responsible for dinner on Sundays. :)

What's on your menu this week? Do you have a plan or do you wing it?


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Getting Gorgeous with Degree

I'm not going to lie. I love pampering just as much as any mama. The problem is that it's so easy to lose sight of taking care of and pampering yourself once you have children. Round the clock care of children leaves little time to focus on ourselves.

This past Saturday, I put everything aside to hop the train into New York City to meet up with some of my favorite Philly, Jersey and NYC girls to attend Getting Gorgeous.

The fabulously talented and gorgeous Vera Sweeney and Audrey McClelland invited women bloggers to New York City to indulge themselves for the day. With opportunities to connect with big-name brands whose products are geared towards women, Getting Gorgeous is a chance to take some time out of our busy schedules and focus on ourselves while we learn about and sample lots of great products. With an emphasis on social media marketing, Getting Gorgeous aims to connect bloggers and brands in a fun, informal, and informative setting.

Our lovely hostesses: Vera (l.) and Audrey.
Photo credit: Getting Gorgeous

This year, Getting Gorgeous boasted a list of impressive sponsors:
In addition to the title sponsor @DegreeWomen, other sponsors included @TidetoGo, @HanesComfort, @FlipOutSandals, @SarahPotempa, @DreamWater, @GoodyHair, @Miraclebodyjean, @MiraclebodySwim, @Shopafrolic, @BJsWholesale, @AmyTaraKoch, @LifetimeMoms, @WeightWatchers, @sandalsresorts, @HairRoomService by Michael Duenas and @GetGorgEvents.

After check-in, we headed straight for the mimosas, provided by Simply Orange. What a fabulous way to start the event. Wouldn't you agree?

There was no question what to pair with the mimosa...a Georgetown Cupcake, of course! I may or may not have had more than one. I'll just say that they are like potato chips, and that is all I will say about that!

In addition to hopping around to learn more about the sponsors, there was plenty of mingling. There's nothing better than meeting bloggers in real life. A chance to get away from the computer and get in front of people is priceless.

Rebecca and Tina had their hair styled by Hair Room Service by Michael Duenas.

There was a "red carpet"-style walkway at the entrance. It provided plenty of photo ops.
I fretted over what to wear. I changed my mind at least ten times. Every time the forecast changed, my prospective outfit changed. In the end, I decided on something stylishly comfortable, and the only new item I purchased was the top. Shopping your closet requires creativity, but I was up for the challenge.
Jeans: Old Navy $29.99
Top: Old Navy $9.99 (sale)
Jacket: Ann Taylor $59.99
 Boots: Kenneth Cole Reaction $15.00 (Marshalls)
Necklace: Kohl's $5.40 (sale)

Jersey Girls are in the house! 

Some Philly girls

(l. to r.), Tina, Jessica, Me, and Mel
back (l. to r.), Rebecca, Joey, Melissa, Shannon, and Tara
Photo credit: Found the Marbles

Taking a break to hang with Joey Fortman.

After working the room, we needed a break! We headed to a local hot spot, Merchants Chelsea to unwind, catch up and refuel.

If about to collapse due to sheer exhaustion is any indication of how wonderful the day was, then I had an absolutely fabulously fantastic day. By the time, I sat down on the train Saturday evening, I was completely cooked. Done. The entire day was packed with good times and good friends. Just what we needed.

Many thanks again to Audrey, Vera and Degree Women for making my first (and certainly not last) Getting Gorgeous event a complete success!

Many sponsors have generously offered the bloggers in attendance and their readers the following discounts:

Belli Pregnancy Safe Skincare: 20% off using discount code: BLOG4401.

Totsy: Exclusive access to top brands and great deals. $15 credit at checkout. At www.totsy.com/vipcom, enter promo code VIPMOM at checkout.

FlipOut Sandals: 20% off using discount code: GORG, expires December 31, 2011.

Lichi Super Fruit: Enjoy 50% off on any LichiSuperFruit.com purchase. Enter promo code gettinggorgeous through April 10, 2011.

Miraclebody: Take 20% off any purchases you make at Miraclebody.com now through April 18, 2011. At Checkout, use Discount Code: GGNYC20.

patemm: 20% off all their patented, award-winning, eco-friendly, round diaper changing systems. Use coupon code: PATEMM.

Pishposh Mommy Stuff: 20% off your purchase with coupon code BUMP20.

Sarah Potempa: Celeb stylist Sarah Potempa has created a line of flat irons and curling irons to help every woman achieve red carpet glamour. Enter promo code: GG2011 to receive $50 off the purchase of a titanium or ceramic flatiron.

Sue Devitt Beauty: 15% off your next purchase using code GGEVENT11 at checkout. Offer expires 4/17/2011 at 11:59 PM EDT.

zulily: Tweet @zulily #gettinggorgeous to receive $10 off $30.

studio jewel, lisa j lehmann designs: 20% off your next order with code: ggNYC11.

Disclosure: I received a swag bag filled with products from the participating sponsors for my time and consideration. I was compensated in no other way to write this post. All opinions are solely mine and are based on my experience at the above event. To view my full Disclosure Policy, click here.
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Did someone say "Party"?

Yep, someone said it, and it's happening right now. It's the 5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party or better known as the UBP for those in the know, and it's become an annual tradition around here.
If you're not familiar with the UBP, you can get all the deets here.

If you're stopping by from the party, welcome to my spot in cyberworld. I'm Sheila, wife to 1, mom to 2, sister to 3, friend to many. For more, visit my About page.

I've been blogging for a little over 2 years. I write what I know and what I live. Pieces of a Mom is a collection of my experiences, my trials and tribulations as a wife and mother, my fears, my successes, and my complaints. Yes, I do whine occasionally, but hey, sometimes you just need to vent.

I love products, especially beauty products. Often I share my favorites as well as some fun, fabulous finds. Occasionally, I do reviews and offer giveaways for products that I love and use on a daily basis. In fact, I am currently offering a $100 GNC gift card giveaway. Click here to enter.

I hope you'll hang out for a bit. The best way to get to know me is to sneak around and read some random posts. You can also follow me on Twitter where I've got plenty to say! In the meantime, I'm going to start partying by blog hopping. Be sure to let me know that you were here so that I can return the favor by stopping by your blog. Can't wait to "meet" you!

xx,
Sheila
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