PLAY IT FORWARD WITH ROSE & REX

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I absolutely adore Rose & Rex. If you haven’t heard of this amazing toy boutique before, their primary focus is on open – ended play. Founded by Alison Klein, a former pre-k teacher with a background in early childhood development, each toy in her shop is chosen with an intent to support the creativity and imagination of children (without the use of batteries and gadgets!). Another reason to love Rose & Rex is their Play it Forward program. Every toy purchased provides toys to children in need through Second Chance Toys – while shopping you can look for the hand icon to see how many toys each item provides and when you check out you can see the total number of toys that your purchase has donated.

Below are some of my favorite toys for the holiday season!

Rose & Rex Penelope Rabbit – This is an exclusive toy in collaboration with Hazel Village and provides 5 toys for children in need with every purchase. Lillie is in a huge lovey stage and hasn’t let her rabbit go. She undresses her, redresses her, pretends to feed to her..it’s so adorable to watch her play with her new friend.

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Maileg Little Gantosaurus – This adorable dino provides 3 toys for children in need with every purchase. It also comes in rose. A quick story on why I chose this toy for Lucas. As a child my mom used to tell me a story before bedtime about 3 puppies. We named them and it took on a life of it’s own. Every night for years she would come up with new adventures they went on and at some point I would help her tell the stories and it became such a special tradition. About a year ago I made up a story one night before bedtime about a little boy who found a dinosaur egg in the subway station – Lucas named the dino Marshmallow and ever since Lucas loves to hear about all the NYC adventures Marshmallow has been on. So when I surprised him with this toy I told him it was Marshmallow – his eyes lit up and to say he was excited is an understatement. I really feel that this toy is a perfect example of all the Rose & Rex encompasses. Making imagination come to life.

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Sunday Arch – This wooden arch is even more stunning in person and provides 5 toys for children in need. Lucas uses it when building his lego cities as a backdrop and Lillie loves to take it apart and put it back together (over and over and over ;).

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Some of my other favorites from the shop include:
+ Farm Felt Play Mat
+ Machi Building Set
+ Rainbow Building Tray
+ The Pioneer
Mini Baby Buggy

You can also check out the Rose & Rex gift guide for more holiday shopping ideas!

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MY SKIN CARE ROUTINE X BIRCHBOX

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My beauty routine is fuss free. Especially when it comes to make-up, I always keep my look very simple. On occasion I might do a bold lip but on a daily basis that about as fancy as it’s gonna get. Honestly it’s a bit overwhelming for me and I think that’s why I always stick to what I know. When I got the opportunity to work with Birchbox I felt like a kid in a candy store. It made me realize how much I actually love trying new things and mixing it up can be such an awesome pick me-up. Especially when you’re a tired mama who doesn’t have the energy to drag two kids into a store to try out samples. Every month is like a treat! And what I love most is that they tailor the box especially for you so chances are that you are really going to love everything that is sent to you. I also love that everything included is not make-up. It ranges from beauty tools to skin care and hair products which I think is amazing.

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Along with the samples and products you get to try out monthly, Birchbox also has an awesome shop where you can purchase just about any full size beauty product you can think of. I selected five products that I’ve been wanting to try and honestly really needed. My biggest beauty thing right now has been trying to take better care of my skin. I don’t want to look younger but I do want to make sure I am taking proper care of my face. And getting rid of a few fine lines wouldn’t hurt. Am I right? Below is a breakdown of how I have been using the products in my skin care routine.

Morning

Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream SPF 30 – I have been on the hunt for a daily moisturizer that felt light on my skin but also had SPF so I wouldn’t have to apply two different creams. I have been using this every morning and I’m in love. It feels rich when applying but dries light enough that my face doesn’t feel heavy.

Evening

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair – I would say that this is a cult favorite among those in the beauty world and is a product I have wanted to try for a looong time. And well, now I know why it’s so popular. It’s a serum that when applied nightly helps with signs of aging, fine lines, dry spots, etc. I have been applying just a few drops (3-4) in the evening  before I moisturize. I wake up with a glow and it makes my skin feel so so soft.

Philosophy Anti-Wrinkle Miracle Worker – I really needed a new cream specifically for night time and chose this after reading amazing reviews. I apply after the night repair is fully absorbed (I wait about 5 minutes or so). It feels amazing when applying and I love that it’s working while I sleep. Wins!

Weekly

Oribe Gold Envy Mask – I’ll be honest. I wanted to try this because I wanted to incorporate masks into my routine and this looked fancy. Mama needed a pick me up and what better way than slathering your face in a gold-infused mask that promises to make you look amazing. It has ingredients like evening primrose and sweet almond oil to improve elasticity in your skin as well as caviar to get rid of any dead skin you may have. The glow is real ladies. After using for a few weeks I see a noticeable difference in the texture of my skin and I am just so happy with this product.

Dr. Brandt Magnetight Age-Defier – This is my favorite product of the bunch. Which is big since I truly love all of them. I was skeptical about it but wanted to try because I’ve been seeing dozens of videos floating around about magnetic masks and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. The removal process is pretty awesome (everything comes off with a tiny magnet) but honestly the mask works. Like really, really works. Whenever I use this I have Ivan touch my face afterwards and we both can’t get over how smooth my skin feels. It’s unreal!

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Processed with VSCO with a6 presetWearing the Gold Envy Mask!

I am SO impressed with Birchbox. From the service to the selection of products. It has made me enjoy experimenting with both my beauty and skin care routine so much more and that is such a huge plus for me. It makes everything so easy which I think every mama needs with the amazing bonus of feeling like you are being pampered.

THE STORY BEHIND OUR ROCKER

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When Ivan and I moved into our first apartment my mother gifted us an NyChairX rocker and ottoman that used to belong to her. It had been put away in storage for many years and she thought it would be perfect for us to rock our newborn to sleep. I have so many fond memories of early mornings and late nights, sitting in the rocker with Lucas cradled in my arms. A chair with so much history that was passed down with love from my mami.

Sadly over time the canvas cover began to tear (I think the chair was about 30 years old at the point). It got to the point we had to put it back into storage because the more it was used, the more damaged it became. Over the past year I began to research cover replacements and even if it was possible to make it ourselves. When I found Placewares had replacement covers I was beyond ecstatic. Finally!!! We received the covers (in a gorgeous camel) a few weeks ago and once everything was all set up I was all sorts of emotional. First of all the chair and cover are absolutely beautiful and feel like the missing puzzle piece to our family room. But what also touched me is all the new memories we will make – rocking our children, movie nights, reading stories all cuddled up with a blanket. Basically it’s giving me all the feels and I’m sure our rocker is going to make the long winter ahead a little more fun and cozy.

Placewares has an incredibly beautiful selection of goods for your home. You can also purchase the NYchairX here. Follow them on Instagram and Pinterest for more product selection and inspiration.

MIS AMORES

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The first time I saw these images I cried. Life can feel so rushed and full of routine most days that we sometimes forget to step back and admire the beauty that is right in front of us. This is us. Toys everywhere, diapers, laughter, meltdowns, hugs, bare feet, kisses, and love.

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CUP OF JO X THIRD LOVE

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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to work with the incredible Joanna (founder of Cup of Jo) and Third Love on a collaborative shoot for their bra collection. I am a long time reader of Cup of Jo AND a long time wearer of Third Love so this shoot was pretty much a dream. In case you’re wondering this is my go-to, must have bra. I wear it every day, it’s that good.

A big thank you to the Cup of Jo team and Julia Elizabeth, the incredible photographer.

A WEEKEND IN WARWICK

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Swimsuit from Miss Annette 

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In July Lucas went off on his yearly solo trip with his nana (my mom) and Ivan surprised me with a weekend getaway to Warwick, NY. It was originally just supposed to be a parents only trip but we decided to bring our Sol and I’m so happy we did. I honestly wish Lucas had been there as well! Early Saturday morning we jumped in our rental and made the 2 hour drive to Pioneer Farm. I didn’t realize at the time that where we were staying was right next to where I have been taking the kids apple picking every year. The town is beautiful and it was such a great escape from the grind of city life.

We were basically “glamping”. We had two solar powered houses all to ourselves as well as an outdoor shower, tub, and kitchen area. The pool was a highlight as well as the walks around the property where we discovered a small lake. Humphrey just about lost his shit and jumped right in. In the evenings we lit a small bon fire, chilled out with music, and drank cider and rosé. The sky was filled with a million stars and all you could see ahead were thousands of fireflies buzzing about – it was magic. Honestly the best part was just being with my two greatest loves (minus one 5 year old who was having the time of his life in Florida). Living at a slow pace – nowhere to go, nowhere to be, and staying in our swimsuits. I can’t believe how fast the summer has flown by but I’m hoping to take Lucas away in the next few weeks for some quality family time. It’s amazing how just two short days away can leave you so refreshed.

Back to School with H&M


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I remember always being so excited for back to school shopping – new spiral notebooks, pencils, a fresh backpack, a first day of class outfit, new threads – it was such a highlight for me. H&M has always been a go-to for myself and the kids and this upcoming season is no exception. I love that I can always find staples (basic tees, denim, versatile sneakers) to mix and match with fun prints and pieces that I know the kids will love. When dressing Lucas for school I always look for a comfortable but well-fitting bottom and tops I can layer. This is key for Lucas because even as the temperature drops he usually peels off his tops during the school day. This means tees, button downs, hoodies, and light jackets. The same goes for Lillie when we are out and about in the city.

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I’m also obsessed with the classical silhouettes and color selection for women. I recently did a huge closet purge and I am slowly adding in pieces to my wardrobe that I feel are timeless. My goal is to be able to reach for anything (with the exception of more formal wear) and feel good about what I’m wearing without too much fuss. This white sweater is one of my absolute favorite new pieces. It can literally be thrown on with jeans, trousers (such as these red ones which I am also head over heels for), or even layered over a dress.
I wanted to tell you about two amazing ways to save on clothes for your family with H&M:

+ H&M Garment Recycling Program: All year round you can receive 15% your entire purchase when you bring in clothing from any brand, in any condition, to be recycled (this means literally any piece of clothing you have in the back of your closet waiting to be donated). From 8/3 – 8/20 you’ll get TWO 15% off vouchers! This program is incredible and was created to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry by decreasing the amount of waste ending up in landfills (95% of the clothes and textiles that wind up in landfills can actually be re-used).

+ Receive 20% off your entire kids purchase of $60 or more 7/31 – 8/13 (in stores) and 7/31 – 8/6 (online)

We’re still here relishing in the last few weeks of summer but I’m thankful we got a head start to back to school shopping with H&M!

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On Lucas:
Outfit 1
Tokyo SweatshirtGrey High TopsPants | Army Green Bomber Jacket 
Outfit 2
Hands up SweatshirtGrey Joggers

On Lillie:
Outfit 1
Polkadot Hooded JacketPolkadot SkirtWhite Velcro Sneakers
Outfit 2
Kitten SweatshirtEmbroidered Skinny JeansGold Star Sneakers

On Nicole:
Red Cropped Pants |  White Top

FOR MY SOL

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Dear my beautiful Sol,

Happy birthday! Two years around the sun! You came into our lives on August 1, 2015 and since then our world has been filled with magic and so much love. You completed our family in a way I can’t even begin to properly describe into words. You are FUNNY – so so funny and witty and cheeky. I have yet to meet another child who can roll their eyes the way you can. Sassy is putting it lightly. You still love to nurse and you refer to it as “goodnight” and recently you’ve been saying “I want boob!”. Your kisses are magical and your hugs are amazing. You are so affectionate and constantly tell Lucas, daddy, and I how much you love us. One of my favorite things ever is when you say “huggy time”. Your hair is growing and even though we’ve trimmed it, those little ringlets seem like they are here to stay and I am beyond thrilled for you to have daddy’s hair. You and your brother have the most incredible relationship and I am in awe of the bond you have formed together. You love baby dolls and playing in your kitchen but you also love Pokemon and legos.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. I am so proud and honored to be your mama. You are forever mine and I am forever yours.

Love,
Mommy

Photos taken yesterday during a birthday trip to Wave Hill. Lillie’s outfit is from Telegraph Ave

MORNINGS WITH SOL

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Processed with VSCO with kk1 presetBonnet from Petite Soul

I look back at Lucas’s baby/toddlerhood with such fondness. We spent so much time just hanging out, him and I. We would head out with no real plan and spend our days in parks, playing, and exploring the city. It’s much harder to get that one on one time with Lillie and so I have been savoring our mornings together especially now that the weather is warming up. Waking up, getting dressed, and heading to Central Park. I pack a few toys in the stroller, some snacks, and that’s really all we need until it’s time to pick Lucas up from school. Also, how much better are naps under the breeze and shade of the trees? Just saying.

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