Summer Friday!

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Woo Hoo!  MDW is here and (in my mind) it is now officially SUMMER!  After the long, horrible Winter we had in NYC I could not be more excited for some Sunny beach days!  

Today I am linking up Today I am linking up with AprilAmanda and Della for Friday Faves.

 Here we go:

1.  Today my office is closing early for the Holiday weekend, so I am sitting here counting down the hours.

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2.  Tomorrow I am getting my highlights freshened!  Woo hoo!  I love getting my hair done!  I was thinking of doing a chop a la Kristin Cavallari but I am too chicken for now.

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3.  Charlize Theron KILLED the Cannes red carpet.  Sometimes I dont love the color yellow on blondes but she is making me reconsider that notion in this gorgeous dress.  #obsessed

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 14:  Charlize Theron attends the "Mad Max: Fury Road" premiere during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2015 in Cannes, France.  (Photo by Laurent Viteur/FilmMagic)

4.  I was in the grocery store the other day and I saw some chicken chop meat and it occurred to me that I have never made chicken burgers.  We have been using our grill like crazy and I think it would be nice to switch it up from beef and experiment.  Then, I found this recipe from Pinterest and it pretty much sealed the deal.  How delicious do those look?

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5.  Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a fun bundle of accessories from Ankit! 

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Alright loves, I hope you all have a fabulous and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend!  xo

Summer 2015 Bucket List

2015 Summer Bucket LIst Final

Since Memorial Day is this weekend (and in my mind that means it is officially Summer) I figured it was time to sit down and make a list of things I hope to accomplish in the warmer weather.  I first did this last year (as I mentioned yesterday) and it was really helpful!  I hung my bucket list on the fridge and when we were looking for things to do we would use it for inspiration.  While we did not cross everything off, we were able to complete a lot of things.  It was so much fun that I decided to try it again for 2015.

Some of the things on this list are new and some we did last year and liked so much that we hope to do them again.

What is on your 2015 bucket list?

2014 Summer Bucket List Recap

Summer Bucket List Final

I sat down just now to write out my 2015 Summer Bucket List and it occurred to me that while I shared my list last year I never followed up with a post about which ones I was able to complete.  This was a super fun idea and we got through quite a few of the activities I listed.

 Some of my favorites were:

Go to a Baseball Game:  We managed to cross two things off the list with this one.  We went to go watch the Yankees play in Toronto, so we traveled to another Country and went to a game.  It was a great weekend.  Here is my a link to my recap.  

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Go to a Drive-In Movie:  This may have been my favorite activity on the list.  My hubby did all the research, found the theater and planned a “family date” as a surprise because he knows how much I have always wanted to go to a drive-in!  We went to the Warwick Theater.  It was about an hour and a half from our house but the trip totally worth it.  We got there early, got our spot and set up.  Taylor immediately befriended a whole group of kids and starting playing ball with them.  It was a warm night and we sat with the windows open.  Some people set up chairs and watched the movie outside.  This experience FELT like Summer.  It was so casual and outdoorsy and fun.  It will DEFINITELY be on my bucket list again for this year.  I wish it were closer because I would go all the time.

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Ride the Cyclone.  We go to Coney Island every year but 2014 was a milestone because Taylor was finally tall enough to ride the Cyclone!  The Cyclone is a roller coaster that has been around since 1927.  It is on a rickety, wooden track and while I am sure it is safe, it feels like it is going to break at any moment.  That is part of the fun though.  Usually, my hubby and I take turns going on it while the other one stays with T.  She was excited about being able to finally experience it herself…until it came to ride it and then she tried to chicken out.  She is a trooper though and she overcame her fear to go on it TWICE (and she only looked mildly terrified both times).  

Coney Island Cyclone Coney Island Cyclone

Make Homemade Ice Cream.  I first read about making ice cream in a Ziplock bag on the internet.  I thought there was no way that it would work but one rainy day my girlfriend and I were trying to think of ways to entertain the kids (who were bored and on the verge of a revolt) and I figured we should give it a shot.  Wouldn’t you know?  IT WORKED!  The kids were so impressed and the ice cream was actually good.

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Spend a Day at the Beach.  We met my Aunt, Uncle and Cousins out at Lido Beach on Long Island one day in August and it was bliss.  Hopefully we can do that again this year.

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Go Fishing.  We went out on a charter boat for my husband’s birthday and did a lot better than one would anticipate (considering Taylor and I are quite the girly girls and fishing isnt really our thang).  We may not have baited our hooks or touched any fish but we definitely caught a few and had a great time.  Go us!

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Not everything went according to plan.  Here are some fails and some of the activities we were not able to accomplish:

Release Chinese Wishing Lanterns.  Oh boy.  I bought these from Living Social.  We got a pack of 5 for like $10 and they were colored and pretty and seemed like a great idea.  We went to the beach the night of the Supermoon to set them off.  One thing I never considered was that we live in a very populated area and even though it was cool to watch them float away, I was beyond terrified that they were going to fly back towards houses and set someone’s property on fire.  Thankfully, that didn’t happen but I would not set these off again unless we were somewhere VERY remote.  

Catch Fireflies.  We didn’t do this and I don’t even know why it was on the list.  It sounds Summery but I don’t mess with bugs (light up or not.)

Have a Picnic, Watch a Sunset, Make Smores, Fly a Kite, Have a Water-balloon Fight, Camp in the Backyard, See a Play, Go Strawberry Picking.  We did not get around to these last year.  I definitely intend to add some of them to this year’s list though.

What is on your 2015 Summer Bucket List?

Ankit Giveaway!

Good morning loves!  Happy Tuesday!  I hope you all had a relaxing and fun weekend!  Sorry for my lack of posting yesterday but it took me a minute to get caught up on my weekday responsibilities and I would rather share nothing than put something up that is half-assed.

 To set this week off the right way I am hosting a really fun giveaway from Ankit.  Even if you are unfamiliar with the name, you have probably seen some of their products as they are sold in PacSun and (my fav) Forever21.  They make adorable ear buds, tech accessories and novelty items.  They recently sent me a few products to review and I have been fighting with Taylor over them ever since they arrived.  

Ankit Giveaway

This change jar is so hilarious and useful!  I loathe having coins floating around. It is a pet peeve of mine.  (Ask my husband.  He is forever getting in trouble for chucking change in the center console of my car.  Who does that?)  Now, at the end of the day we put our coins in this bad boy and I swear it is filling up really quickly.  Plus, I really love the saying.  Totally my style!

Taylor has been trying to gain ownership of the gorgeous rose and gold headphones and charger they sent me.  So far she has been unsuccessful because they are adorable and I am keeping them.  I may buy her her own pair though since Antik has so many cute designs.  How amazing are these?

Ankit Giveaway Ankit Giveaway

Today, the lovely team at Ankit is giving one lucky reader the opportunity to win a change jar, earbuds and a charger of their very own!  You can enter below using the Rafflecopter widget.

 Good luck!  xx

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Happy Friday!

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Happy Friday ladies and gents!  I had to choose the above image for today’s post because one of the things I am most excited about from this week is that I got a bicycle for Mother’s Day!  I have been wanting one for a long time and I cant wait to ride it this weekend!  

Today I am linking up with AprilAmanda and Della for Friday Faves.  Here they are:

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1.  Schwinn Carrington Bike.  Isn’t she a beaut?  I just ordered the cutest basket for the handlebars, too.  Yay!

Jennifer Lancaster

2.  I Regret Nothing by Jennifer Lancaster.  Its no secret that I have not loved Jennifer Lancaster’s last few books but this one is getting great reviews and I am hoping it is as good as Bright Lights Big Ass or Pretty in Plaid.  I am pretty excited to start it this weekend.
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3.  Lupita Nyong’o.  Her green Gucci dress KILLED the red carpet in Cannes.  I want this dress so bad!  I also have to give props to her makeup team because I am obsessed with the way her hair and pink lipstick go so well with her outfit.  

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4.  Hudson Krista Jeans.  I know these are a bit pricey but I refuse to be jean-shamed about them.  I was having a major fat day and I tried these on in Bloomingdales and they made my butt look fantastic.  They could have costed $2455676434 and I still would have bought them because that feeling is priceless.  (I probably would have had to return them when I regained control of myself later though.)    

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5.  Secrets of a No-Guilt Mom.  My blogger friend, Elle, put together a hilarious list for Buzzfeed this week and I had to share.  I am so proud of her and she cracks me up!  Check it out here.

Alright loves, I hope you have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by my little slice of the internet!  xo

Momtrends Traveltrends 2015

Momtrends Travel TrendsJust in time for Summer vacations, the fabulous team over at Momtrends hosted an event at We Work in NYC where they showcased some of the items that are trending in travel for this season. 

Nicole Feliciano began the night by telling the group about her love of travel.  One of the stories that really stuck with me was how she and her husband spent a whole year backpacking through Europe.  They quit their jobs, sold their New York City apartment and went to explore the World.  I found it so inspiring!  She is definitely an authority on travel!  

Momtrends Travel Trends

 Afterwards, we got to socialize and learn about some fabulous products all while sipping on delicious wine from Giuliana Rancic’s XO, by G!  I have been DYING to try this wine since I am a Giuliana fan and also very keen on the new trend of portable, one-cup servings of wine.  My hubby and I are not big drinkers and sometimes I want to enjoy a single glass with dinner without the commitment of opening (and most likely wasting) a whole bottle.  Xo, by G is definitely something that I see in my fridge in the near future.

Momtrends Travel Trends Momtrends Travel TrendsMomtrends Travel Trends

 (Me and my girl, Destiny of Suburban Wife, City Life)  

I also got to check out some bathing suits from Miraclesuit.  I was blown away by how hot and stylish their swimwear is!  In my head I have always pictured one pieces as frumpy but these were totally fashionable with details like fringe, studs and gorgeous patterns.  It also doesn’t hurt that these suits have built in support systems (similar to Spanx) that suck everything in and make you look ten pounds lighter!  Who WOULDN’T want to appear sleeker and smoother? 

Momtrends Travel Trends Momtrends Travel TrendsHow gorgeous (and brave) are the blogger models?  You can visit their pages here:  Food, Football & Motherhood, Apple Moms in the Hudson ValleyMami Does It All, New Mommy Bliss, 3 City Girls NYC.

Another product that I am now OBSESSED with is barkTHINS.  I had not heard of them prior to this event but I ate the entire package from my swag bag in the car on the way home.  The Dark Chocolate, Toasted Coconut and Almond flavor is my favorite!  Picture super thin slivers of rich, fair trade dark chocolate loaded with toasted coconut and almonds!  So yummy!  These would be perfect for a road trip! 

Momtrends Travel Trends

I also got to meet some of the girls from GLAMSQUAD and watch them beautify a few of the other bloggers.  (I was too busy stuffing my face with barkTHINS and Xo, G wine to participate.)  Their concept is fabulous.  You book the beauty service of your choice (hair, nails, etc.) either online or through their app and they will come to you!  It is perfect for the busy gal on the go.

Momtrends Travel Trends

Another item that I think would be very handy for travel (and even just Summer in general) is Guardian Insect Repellent.  I hate to use most bug sprays because they are heavy, smelly and greasy.  They gross me out.  This product is plant-based and DEET-free (yet still effective).  I will definitely be using this on myself and Taylor.

17042650597_9afc84426c_o Thanks again to Momtrends for a fabulous night!

Fri-Yay!

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Good morning loves and happy FRIDAY!  It is OFFICIALLY Spring in New York.  Things are beautiful.  There are gorgeous flower blooms everywhere, colorful fashion from women that have finally gotten to set aside their parkas and SUNSHINE!  May in NYC is very inspiring.  My happiness level is at an all-time high.  

Today I am linking up with AprilAmanda and Della for Friday Faves.  Here they are:

1.  The Gym.  I am not a gym person by nature.  I actually really hate it but I love to look good in my clothes (and a bathing suit) so I am giving it another shot.  This time I signed up at a really inexpensive, no-frills gym that offers cheap personal training sessions.  I think having an appointment to work out with someone will make me more accountable.  So far so good.  If I keep going for the next few weeks I am definitely investing in some new sneakers as a reward and to motivate myself to continue.  I am loving these:

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2.  The Met Gala.  I love the Met Gala!  It is on my bucket list to attend some day.  Since my girl, Blake Lively, was not there to own the red carpet, I have to give the honor of best dressed to:  BEYONCE!  I know not everyone will agree with this choice and I acknowledge that she was damn near naked but I don’t care.  I think she looked gorgeous and her look (while not something I would necessarily wear) was perfect on her.  #getitgirl

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3.  Blackened Fish Tacos.  I saw this recipe on Skinnytaste the other day and it immediately made me think of our vacation to Turks & Caicos.  We had the BEST fish tacos there and I have been meaning to try to replicate them.

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4.  Aqua Shirt.  I just went to Bloomingdales on lunch (it is both a blessing and a curse that it is one subway stop from my job and after almost walking out with nothing I stumbled upon the MOST ADORABLE TOP.  It was on sale, too!  Yay!  (Obvi, I didn’t also buy the matching shorts or the Keds the model paired with it in some of the pictures.  I don’t get fashion sometimes.)

5.  Mother’s Day.  I am pretty excited to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend!  Being Taylor’s Mom is the best thing I will ever be.  I love all the adventures we have shared thus far and look forward to a lifetime more.

alittleglitter.comHave a fabulous weekend and thanks for visiting!  xo

Going Off Script by Giuliana Rancic

Going Off Script

I could not wait for this book to come out and I ordered it right after it’s release date last month.  I’ve loved Giuliana Rancic since I watched her wedding special in 2007.  I find her to be so refreshing and hilarious!

I was a little worried that Going Off Script would be too full of Hollywood fluff and it would ruin my opinion of her but instead it did the opposite.  She touched on some serious subjects (like her battles with infertility and cancer) and it made me like her even more.  I cried during certain chapters and I laughed hysterically during others.  

I adored the tales of her childhood in Italy and of her rebellious teenage years in America.  Her stories are so self-deprecating and funny and she shares so many details that make her look ridiculous.  It feels like less of a memoir and more a girlfriend telling you about her life.  I couldn’t put it down.

VERDICT:  I highly recommend Going Off Script by Giuliana Rancic.

What should I read next?  Any suggestions?

Seat Belt Safety

 I was recently approached to participate in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Seat Belt Safety campaign and I agreed to share this message with you (my readers) because I feel strongly about it.  I was not compensated for this post.  I just think it is really and truly important to MAKE SURE that your everyone in your car is wearing a seat belt.  

I was in an accident when I was younger and luckily I was wearing my seat belt and I did not sustain any permanent damage from it.  I did, however, see how quickly an accident can happen.   One second you are listening to the radio and thinking about having Chipotle for dinner and the next all you hear is crunching metal and glass shattering.  No one sets out on the road with the intention of having an accident but sometimes they do occur and a seat belt is such an important part in protecting yourself and your child from injury.

I have an almost ten year old daughter.  Tweens aren’t little kids anymore and want to be treated differently. But here’s one rule that should not be up for debate – the car doesn’t move until everyone is wearing a seat belt. My mother had this rule for us and I have this rule with my child.  We say it and buckle up ourselves and our kids have to buckle up.  If they don’t, that’s a fight worth having.  It might just save your tween’s life.

The MiniVan Should Not Be a Battlefield – Buckle Up for Tween Seat Safety #KidsBuckleUp

Did you know that one child passenger age 8 – 14 is injured every 8 minutes in a car crash? From 2009 – 2013, 1,522 kids ages 8-14 died in car, SUV and van crashes. Of those who died, almost half were unbelted. As children get older they’re sometimes less likely to buckle up. The percentage of child passengers who die while riding unrestrained generally increases with age and is most pronounced among 13 and 14-year-olds regardless of seating position.

The MiniVan Should Not Be a Battlefield – Buckle Up for Tween Seat Safety #KidsBuckleUp

Check out this Battlefield MiniVan Video:

Buckling-up is an important habit to instill in children at a young age. Parents can lead by example by wearing a seat belt themselves and by insisting on seat belt use for every passenger in their vehicle. Seat belts and safety seats, if used correctly, dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury to children.

The MiniVan Should Not Be a Battlefield – Buckle Up for Tween Seat Safety #KidsBuckleUp

The MiniVan Should Not Be a Battlefield – Buckle Up for Tween Seat Safety #KidsBuckleUp @themamamaven

Learn More:

-Visit www.safercar.gov/kidsbuckleup; for more info about buckling up!
-Learn when to transition your child out of the booster seat to a seat belt and find out how it should properly fit. http://www.safercar.gov/parents/SeatBelts/Beyond-Booster-Seats.htm;
-Parents are the #1 influence on children’s seat belt usage:  http://www.safercar.gov/parents/SeatBelts/Number-One-Influence.htm;

Happy Monday {+ A GIVEAWAY!}

Happy Monday my loves!  Spring has (finally) sprung in NYC and I got a chance to enjoy a fabulous weekend with my family.  

On Saturday Billy and I brought Taylor and our nephew to Sahara Sam’s Oasis in New Jersey.  I will be doing a full post on it (with a giveaway!) later in the week but the short version is that we had a BLAST!  It is still a little too cool to be enjoying any sort of outdoor water sports so it was nice to enjoy the indoor facilities.  They keep the temperature at a toasty 80 degrees and it really felt like Summer to be donning a bathing suit!  The kids had so much fun and did so much running around that at the end of the day Taylor sat down and started to fall asleep while picking out prizes in the arcade and then they both passed out cold during the car ride home!

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car ride

On Sunday I woke up early and started running errands.  It was Sunny and gorgeous out and I got so much accomplished.  I dropped off my dry cleaning, got my car washed, got a mani/pedi, went food shopping and we had brunch with friends.  Taylor and I donned our favorite maxi dresses (Spring fashion is so much more fun than Winter).

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(The pic above is T pointing to the chocolate covered bacon she had as an appetizer.  Yummo!)

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I hope you all had a fabulous weekend as well and got to spend some time outdoors!

Today I am also teaming up with a fabulous group of bloggers to give away a $125 Amazon gift card to celebrate The Sequin Notebook’s 2nd Blogiversary!   You can enter via the Rafflecopter widget below and be sure to give all of these gals some love by following each of their links – after all, every link is one entry closer to winning!

The giveaway will run from now until midnight on May 12th – good luck gals!

 
B & M from The Sequin Notebook // Pamela from A Little Glitter 
Marie from Twin Living // Tif from Bright on a Budget 
Amanda from Kids & Cabernet // Meghan from Champagne + Suburbs 
Carissa from Carissa Jaded // Christina from The New Mrs. // Emily from Martinis and Bikinis
 
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