Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Reading This: "Hold Me in Contempt" T.V Personality + NY Times Best Selling Author, Wendy William's New Juicy Romance Novel

*Disclosure: The opinions expressed are honestly 100% my own. I was invited as media and received a giftcard from Burlington Coat Factory. No other compensation was given.



                                                                                                                                    photo credit:{ Top R & Bottom L} Fredy Mfuko

What's the first thing you consider when invited to sit in on a fun and intimate conversation at The Hudson Bond between The Moms Denise Albert & Melissa Musen with the vivacious, cheeky and incredibly successful talk show Queen and author Wendy Williams? Of course, you are asking yourself  "What the Heck am I going to Wear?". Fortunately, Burlington Coat Factory provided us with an amazing opportunity to spruce up our wardrobes with some fun Spring finds. I won't lie, I also considered whether or not I would utter her infamous "How you doin?" back at her if given the opportunity, without sounding too ridiculous.

For a young, mom like myself who's always on the lookout for fresh finds, loves trying new looks and is on a budget, Burlington is a great place to shop. They have an array of great quality, name brand selections, at a reasonable price point {up to 70% off department store prices} that are trending. Which will most likely guarantee you walk out of the store without that dreaded buyers remorse because you know you scored a great deal!

I narrowed down the looks I wanted to go for: I'm not afraid of a fun print and I love color-blocking and had been coveting the tweed collarless jackets we see styled in the magazines lately. The Burlington experience was great because everything was organized and made my hunt for the perfect outfit that much easier.




Now, we all know Wendy Williams loves color from her fabulous Wendy Show audience, so I aimed to please.There were a few options I had in mind: tops with darker colors/ prints that I could pair with either coral or cobalt blue skinny jeans that I already owned versus brighter pieces, like a yellow blazer I ended up going with that was under $20 and a vibrant floral print tank. That morning, I  just couldn't wait for the mamarazzi event, I was so excited to show off my look, not to mention I got my hair done the afternoon before, so I was feeling Brand New! All of the guests really looked gorgeous, you could see everyone's personalities & sense of style shine through in their Burlington outfit choices.


                                                                                                                     photo credit: Fredy Mfuko

Now that you've seen the look, let's dish on her juicy book! It's a new, as she called it "Back Breaking" romance novel  titled "Hold me in Contempt" . I think all in attendance were in awe of how she manages to do it all: mother, wife, talk how host and best selling author who may I say also looks fantastic to be turning 50 this July. Wendy owns up to the fact that she has a writing partner, who's expertise is exactly that, writing and is a part of the Harper Collins family. While Wendy is good with coming up with the juicy story lines to keep us readers entertained. Keeping her supporters involved was important to her, so she had her Wendy Show watchers and Facebook fans vote on the title and cover art.

The novel "Hold me in Contempt" teaches a valuable lesson that I have found myself telling a few of my girlfriends in the past, who are overly selective when it comes to finding a man and it's the simple idea that You never know where you are going to find love, and you need to be open minded to it. The main character Kim Kinds is trying to get past her roots in the streets: A mom who abuses drugs, and prostitutes, an alcoholic father and becomes a prestigious assistant district attorney. She falls for a guy named King who has swag for days and who she shares amazing, intense chemistry with. A terrible accident puts a wrench in her plans, and she's hiding a secret that could ruin everything. When the past threatens to ruin their relationship the question: Is love enough? comes into play.





The moms asked Wendy Williams some great questions that evening as did some of the bloggers who were present.

When asked why she decided to give it a go at her first romance novel Wendy explained:
" I wasn't ready to write the second part to my NY Times best selling auto-biography  because I have more life that I want to live before giving you a part 2. Having written already about some of my comical times and tragic times working in radio, romance was my next obvious choice, that proved to be effortless."

As an avid reader, Wendy's favorite types of books & writers/ inspirations include: advice books and romance novels and authors Jackie Collins, Nora Ephron and Robert Greene {48 Laws of Power}.

Advise to her 28 year old younger self: "I wouldn't tell her much because she's too hard headed to listen to a 50 year old and thinks she knows it all, but I'd tell her: young Wendy, don't worry it's all going to be better than you think!"

After The Moms wrapped up their mamarazzi Q&A, guests each received a signed copy of the new book Hold Me in Contempt, chatted with Wendy, posed for pictures, indulged in cocktails and mingled.



                                                                                                                      photo credit: Fredy Mfuko

                                                                                                                           photo credit: Fredy Mfuko


I can't wait to see if the love and bond between Kim and King conquers all and sees them through. Be on the look out for part 2 to this book, and Wendy is hoping for a movie version with networks like Oxygen and Lifetime.




Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Well Rounded NY & Citbabes Host a Pregnancy Prep Talk for Expecting Mommy's





So you're expecting and are probably overwhelmed with everything that's happening to your body. Does the baby's arrival have you overjoyed and a little bit anxious? There's definitely a lot to figure out in such a brief amount of time, from how to prepare for labor to what products you'll need for your lil' one once you pop. Luckily the lovely ladies behind Well Rounded NY and the folks at Citibabes hosted a lovely event for expecting mommy's to help them navigate through some of their pregnancy questions by trimester with their Pregnancy Prep Talk prenatal event.

I'm well beyond the prenatal stage with two lil monsters ages 9 and 3 but even after going through it twice, I not only related to a lot of the stories shared by the panel of experts but as times change I wish I had someone to provide me with such awesome advice and that some of the various products showcased were around when we had first started out. I'm telling you, some of the new maternity lines and baby products that are out right now almost {and I heavily stress the almost} had me wishing I was preggers again because I love them so much. Luckily I have quite a few girlfriends and my lovely readers to share all this awesomeness with.

The fun filled and informative evening kicked off with delicious "Pear-fect" mocktails provided by Silver Spoon Organics, yummy & healthy treats from Junior's Fresh & fantastic massages from Edamame Maternity Spa at the Citibabes location in Soho.


          I definitely had a dose of bump envy with some really fashionable and adorable pregnant mamas.



After some mingling and picture taking at the Blink Buggy Photobooth, the Pregnancy Prep Talk got started.





 Silver Spoon founder Michelle Marinis, who's a mom to 3 boys gave some great tips on healthy eating:

  • Think about your dinning partner & fine tune your diet: include organic, clean 15 and dirty dozen foods.
  • Eat the rainbow, make sure their are lots of colors on your plate and rather than 3 big meals have smaller meals more often.
  • Water, water and more water!
  • Indulge! You should allow yourself to have that special treat because your pregnant, nows the time to enjoy it. 

Cricket's Circle was created  by Founder and CEO Rachel Blumenthal to help parents with all their questions about "must have" products for babies by providing recommendations on items that are long time favorites or new and trendy. We've all been there: Which stroller is the lightest to carry, which bottle will make for a less gassy baby, where can I find a bathtub for infants that doesn't take up space, and which breast pump will be the most comfortable while helping express milk as quick as possible? Cricket's Circle is there for parents who have a long list of questions by helping them skip some of the guessing with expert advise.

I never thought I was fully prepared for the whole process of labor especially because with both children I was a high risk patient due to my Crohns disease and neither doctors or I could predict how smoothly things would go. With my first son I told everyone I knew that I wanted to have a voluntary c-section just because I was so scared that with my tiny-framed body and lack of child-bearing hips I'd break something and be of no use to my newborn. Luckily I pushed like a champ, but wasn't able to do the same with my second delivery and needed to have an emergency c-section because our son had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and was having trouble breathing, talk about unpredictable!

Angela Le of Fifth Avenue Fertility Acupuncture has a practice dedicated to holistic reproductive health and labor support. After sharing a heart felt story about her being her sisters support system during her pregnancy Angela conveyed the importance of advocating for yourself, being comfortable with your decisions and staying informed. Another tip Angela recommended {especially for first time moms} was to have a good support system to cheer you on and share the moment.

Once the Tips by Trimester prep talk wrapped up, guests were invited to mingle and meet some of the sponsors and vendors at the event. There was a great selection of products / classes that caught our eye, that I wasn't aware existed and If we ever had a third I would quickly add to my list of musts.








As a new mom, I'd truly recommend getting out and about with your little one, so not to go stir crazy. Luckily for us NYC moms there's a host of great classes to pass away the time and meet other parents and babies. CittyBitty is a new class series for lil' monsters 12 months and under at Citibabes that focuses on the very early stages of learning. CittyBitty focuses on a baby's physical, cognitive and social development through age appropriate play.

Having nursed both boys for over a year, and having my boob exposed one too many times in a restaurant or public park, I would have loved to own a Me Beau Bebe multi-functional nursing blanket. It's 100% organic and can be used for nursing, burping, as a changing table, to cover the stroller and as a wrap for baby. Another great feature is that you don't have to sacrifice style for function because it comes in beautiful, fun prints.

Some of the other amazing sponsors that were in attendance included: Weleda, Fourth Love, Spuni, Squooshi , Rockin' Baby , Monica+Andy and Destination Maternity.
Be sure to check out Well Rounded NY, because pregnancy isn't one size fits all. This site will help you navigate and come to terms with your pregnancy in this crazy city without loosing your sense of self.

What was the best pregnancy tip you ever received or given to someone?









Monday, April 21, 2014

Girls Night Out with Toyota & "She Buys Cars" at The New York International Auto Show #NYIAS #NYIASgirls #RevelinNY


 Disclosure: The opinions expressed are 100% my own. I was invited as a Blogger and received a gift bag along with previewing the Auto show, no other compensation was given.




Last Thursday night I was invited to join a few of my favorite bloggers for a Girls Night Out / Women's Blogger Event event hosted by Toyota and She Buys Cars {some of us brought our hubbies, personally I knew I'd never hear the end of it if I hadn't asked him to join me}.While at the show we mingled, toured the showroom and discussed how the car shows aren't just for the fellas these days. Women are greatly interested in the safety and reliability of their vehicle, how environmentally friendly it is and they want their car to reflect and enhance their own personal style. What better place to be then the New York International Auto show to discover tons of great choices?

Now if you know me, you know I can't drive a lick, and yes it's crazy that I don't even have a permit! Honestly It's because I didn't grow up with car, I took the subway to Brooklyn Tech all four years of high school and to John Jay my 4 years of undergrad. And now that I'm older and a mom of 2, I'm really petrified of driving on NYC streets. Apparently, they say just like living here, if you can manage driving in New York City unscathed then you are capable of driving anywhere.

Don't get me wrong, I love the comfort and convenience of being in a car, hence why our neighborhood taxi company loves our frequent business. You know, like on that day you take a quick trip to Target to buy a Starbucks Latte, a pair of jeans and toiletries. Only to walk out with all of that, plus a new bookshelf, pull-ups for the lil' monster and 2 ginormous bottles of laundry detergent {because there was a really great sale}and a few groceries. I also wouldn't mind having a car so that our family of four could safely travel out of state more:  for a weekend in Upstate NY to see the hot air balloon festivals or even to Florida to visit friends and Disney World. For now, while the hubby convinces me that car is a necessity to have, we use our Zipcar membership.


During a study conducted by the University of Michigan a quarter of the participating teens responded to a text 1 or more times while driving, which means their eyes weren't on the road! With safety being one of our biggest concerns, one of the innovative highlights for the Hubby and I was Toyota's TeenDrive365. This collection of resources and events was created to give parents the tools to help initiate the conversation on the importance of safe driving with teens who are getting behind the wheel for the first time. Both teens and adults were invited to give the simulated distraction drive a try, while other visitors watched on the screen. No matter how safe a driver you are, when prompted to pull out their phone to text message, or to reach for a bottle of water the simulated TeenDrive365 experience proved to guests {like my hubby} that bad car habits are dangerous and could prove to be life threatening.



Dr Oz The Good Life magazine's editor in chief Alison Bower was on hand to provide a quiz to guests on Car safety and I over heard a few bloggers say they were shocked at some of the answers they got wrong after driving for years. We all received a copy of the May/ June issue of the Good Life Magazine which highlights healthy snacks to pack on the road. * Remember not to eat while driving because it's a distraction, it's safer to pull over.

  • Fill a travel mug with cardamon tea which stops sugar cravings before they start.
  • Kiwi for a boost of energy
  • Walnuts or almonds, which are proven to reduce risk of dying from chronic illnesses.
  • SeaSnax, lightly salted seaweed only has 16 calories


When making decisions about what car to purchase, function and safety are top priorities but we all want to look good driving it too! Remember the days of the bikini clad models stretched out on a car ads, well now that woman are playing a greater role in the decision making process {We buy 60% of the cars purchased here in the U.S} the car industry is definitely taking notice and is trying to appeal to our style. This year Ford Mustang is celebrating 50 years of production and recently collaborated with beauty line OPI to offer women a limited edition of nail lacquers to show off their unique sense of personal style while they steer.





The stylish moms and fashion and beauty experts Vera Sweeney and Audrey McClelland gave us the deets on the latest trends to have us ladies looking fabulous behind the wheel. You can't go wrong with bright colors, plaid and statement making jewelry this season. While the sassy & funny Latina actress and blogger Lizza Monet Morales had us creating fabulous Cover Girl moments with selfies and fantastic, vibrant lip colors.



A party's not a party without fun favors to leave with! Thanks to sponsors Tieks, Kate Spade and Ellella cosmetics, a few awesome ladies {self included, thanks Ellela}  got to walk away with some great raffled prizes.


Attending the New York International Auto Show has always been an exciting event for my family. By attending you get first glimpses at the latest, innovative cars being released and have the chance to partake in activities like the Ride Along, interactive displays, video games and simulators and may even get to meet a few celebrity personalities from the entertainment and sports industries.





We all had a great time at the The She Buys Cars Girls Night Out, and loved that the evening showed that us ladies love beautiful cars too! The New York International Auto Show is going on from now until Sunday April 27th. What do you look for when deciding on buying a car? If you are interested in a chance to go to the NYIAS, whether with your girlfriends or family, head over to my Dellah's Jubilation Instagram Page & leave a comment on the post for a 4 pack of tickets!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hop Along the #Bunnytrail & Discover New Products from Hershey's in Time for Easter

Disclosure: The opinions expressed are 100% my own. I was invited as Media to preview licensed products. I received a gift bag & no other compensation was given.




When you think of Easter, what are the first things that come to mind? Cute photos with the Easter bunny, Easter egg hunts and of course baskets filled with chocolate and fun surprises. As a mom of two kids and one 3 year old monster in particular who enjoy's negotiating for sweets "Mommy if I count them, will you give me this many?"[the number of fingers he raises increases with each syllable as he poses the question] I have to be cautious of how many treats fill their baskets.



I was really excited about my invitation to join in on the early Easter fun, and couldn't wait to checkout the latest products from Hershey's. It's nice to know that in addition to their yummy treats there are so many other cool options to fill your baskets up with. Everything from accessories and apparel to bath and body, electronics and collectible products from various Hershey brands such as Jolly Rancher, Hershey's Kisses, Twizzlers, Reese's, Almond Joy, Whoppers and Bubble Yum.  Take a peak at a few of their products and head to some of your favorite stores; Target, Walgreens, Walmart, Best Buy, Sears, Dollar Tree and Claire's to score some of these fantastic finds.








Hershey's Health & Beauty : Products are sold separately or in sets and come scented and flavored. Lip gloss, lip balm, body lotion, bath wash, hair products and nail polish come in various Hershey Brands. The small size of the products make them great for hiding in an Easter egg or around the house.
Retail Price: $3.50-$12.50

Hershey's Woven Accessories: You can gift unique Hershey's woven wrapper accessories that are made with real Hershey's wrappers. Choose from handbags, wallets, totes, bracelets, headbands & other stylish items. Retail Price $9.99-$20.00

Hershey's Shirts:  This Spring you can wear or gift a colorful and fun designed Hershey's Brand T-shirt,     sweatshirt or sleepwear. Products come in long and short sleeves, for both men and women in sizes XS-XL. Retail price: $9.99-$20.00

Hershey's Electronics: Listen to your favorite tunes in style with Hershey's branded earbuds, mini speakers and DJ-style headphones. The brightly colored products make for really awesome gifts. Retail Price $7.99

Hershey's Model Trains and Toy Train Sets: Train lovers of all ages will love the Hershey's branded model train sets to add to the favorites they already have, or to help them get started on a new one.
Retail price: $54.99 per train set item, $74.95 for Little Lines Playset.


If you are in need of an easy, Easter activity to do with the kids during the Spring break or over the weekend, try out this really adorable Easter Critter Cup craft that you can fill with lots of Hershey's goodies. Continue the fun and head over to their site to Celebrate with Hershey's and have a fantastic Easter!











Monday, April 14, 2014

Must Haves for Lil' Monsters {Kids} No. 2


After attending a few baby / family expo's this week and indulging in my Instagram feed over the weekend, my two monsters and I have found some pretty fun products we felt the need to share. We hope you enjoy!


Disney lovers everywhere must run out and get the latest Nintendo game Disney Magical World that allows you to explore fun and unique places while playing with 60 of your favorite Disney characters. Go on adventure filled quests, play with friends, run your own cafe and more!

You'll love the eco-friendly City Sklyine Glow Blocks  for your little master builder because it's view changes in the dark and it's great for hand-eye coordination.

What came first the Chicken or the Egg? This adorable Chicken Nesting Toy will teach little ones about sequencing and life cycles. For ages 18 months and up.

I've been eyeing this Maclaren Mark II Umbrella Stroller  for a few days now because it's lighter than most newborn babies, weighing a mere 7.3 lbs which makes it essential for commuting {especially in NYC subways} and makes it perfect for travel. Ages 6 months and up.

Lil' monsters will want to grab a Cuppie and find the fun, cute animal {piglet, penguin, turtle or rabbit} surprise at the bottom and won't even realize they are helping themselves transition from a sippy cup to a normal cup.

Let your child show off how cool they are in this vibrant "I'm Cool" Popsicle t-shirt [*note orders must be made by tomorrow 4.15.14]. Sizes 3-6 mos -10Y

Tiny readers will enjoy counting while traveling uptown and downtown with a little boy who's in search of his dragon friend among towering buildings and taxi's in a hurry in the wonderfully illustrated book Have you Seen My Dragon. 2-5 years of age.

Curious little minds will enjoy learning about the insides of the human body with this Body Magnetic Puzzle that will teach them all about the skeleton, muscles, organs and skin. Ages 7 and up.


Weleda's New Line of Products that are Perfect for Sensitive Skin & Our Bath-time Favorites Giveaway


Disclosure: All thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own, I received no other compensation for this post. I received products after winning a raffle at an event.




Sometimes as a parent, after the first time around you think you are pretty prepared to handle whatever the second or third kid has in store only to get thrown a curve-ball that you hope can be easily resolved. When our second lil' monster Tristan Riley was born, we weren't really familiar with eczema or products to use to help the condition. As a kid I remember my younger sister having to take weekly oatmeal baths to help relieve her itchiness and the patches that formed well into her pre-teen years and how annoyed she was with it all. My son Tristan Riley's eczema developed rather quickly after he was born, with redness and a rashy patches on the creases behind his knees and arms, on his chest, face and even on his scalp. The itchiness was so intense for the little guy it resulted in him basically pulling out most of his hair and the pediatrician prescribed tubes of stuff we could hardly pronounce to apply, when & where needed. We even had to buy multiple pairs of those little baby mittens, and sometimes just improvised with any clean pair of baby socks we had, to put over his hands {because honestly who can keep up with laundry and a newborn} just to keep him from scratching and in fear he'd actually break the skin.

Bathtime meant naptime for Tristan and was a great moment to moisturize, irritated Eczema patches on his chest & arms.

The exact cause of eczema is unknown but it's believed to be an overactive response by the autoimmune system to some form of irritant effecting about 10 -20 % of infants in the U.S and roughly 3% of children and adults. For most parents it's really frustrating when you don't know how to help your child and I'm sure if you are anything like me you always have an eye out for products that not only bring relief but that are safe and natural. We first started using Weleda products about 4 years ago around this time of year, when we discovered the line at an Earth Day event at Grand Central Terminal here in NYC. I've been hooked ever since on their Sea Buckthorn body oil {the citrus fragrance helps to wake me up}, have used their Calendula baby products for both of my boys, and I even love to use the Calendula face cream for myself.


Weleda recently launched two new products to help those with highly sensitive skin.With ingredients like organic white mallow, pansy extract and coconut oil, the Derma White Mallow Body Lotion and Face cream helps manage the symptoms of eczema by promoting healthy skin formation, moisturizing and relieving itchiness caused from dryness. What's so great about Weleda products is that they don't contain any chemical preservatives or synthetic fragrances and both new products have been accepted by The National Eczema Association because they were tested and found to be safe and beneficial for people with Eczema.


While attending a Well Rounded NY prenatal event, the hubby and I entered and won a raffle of Weleda Calendula and White Mallow products.When our package of goodies arrived, Tristan instantly requested to jump in the tub and grabbed all his bath toys. Without even opening the seal on the bottles you could smell the lovely Calendula products which Tristan said smelled like juicy fruits. The White Mallow line has a lighter scent that comes from the natural ingredients within the product.




Tristan's skin felt noticeably softer {although a little wrinkly from being in the tub way too long} right after taking him out of the tub, and when he asked for the cream for his "scratchies", I squeezed a bit in his hand and he rubbed it on his arms and legs, which is where he tends to get irritated mostly these days. I currently have to hide all the bath products and lotions because he's already been caught hiding in the tub while squeezing out way too much "fruit" cream.

To celebrate the new line and in honor of Earth Day, the lovely folks over at Weleda and I have teamed up to offer 1 lucky reader both the White Mallow Body Lotion and White Mallow Face Cream along with (1) Calendula Shampoo and Body wash & (1) Calendula Cream Bath. Just enter the Rafflecopter down below, lots of luck!



Update: The Winner is Maria Bambinos who has been notified. The Rafflecopter had to be disabled after the giveaway because of a computer bug on their end.


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