Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentine’s Day, Date Night, Romance and a Baby? || Mom Life



 “Be Mine. Kiss Me. Hugs. I’m Yours. Love.” Sweetheart candies pack so much Valentine’s Day romance into such short, yet powerful expressions. However, if this Valentine’s Day it feels more like your sweetheart candies should say something like, “Mommy’s Mine. Feed Me. Diapers. Laundry. I’m Sleepy. Repeat,” then you are definitely not alone. 
Below you’ll find ways working with a sleep consultant can help you and your beloved partner get out for more frequent dates nights, have sex more often, and generally help you have more energy to devote to one of your most important relationships - your significant other.

Here are 3 reasons why a consistent nap and bedtime sleep schedule for your baby can change your life - and love life, just in time for Valentine’s Day: 

1) Sex!!! 
We’ve all been here before - baby is down for a nap, so you grab your partner for a quick rendezvous, only to have the short-lived moment of passion interrupted by a crying baby who woke too soon. You try to help baby settle back down, but he's not having it and wants nothing more than mommy’s attention and comfort. The good news is that one of the most liberating parts about having a nap and bedtime sleep schedule for your baby is the flexibility it provides to allow the opportunity to check off your “to-do list” while little one slumbers. Or, in this case, the chance “to-do” your special someone! Whether the free time available during baby’s scheduled naps offer the chance to focus on your business, do housework, take a nap, or have some alone time with your love, it's great to know that baby’s consistent nap times are your very own free times! The same applies for night sleep. With baby sleeping in his crib, mom and dad have the bed to themselves to either, a) sleep b) have sex, or, c) all of the above! So if this Valentine’s Day you are hoping to set aside some time for romantic lovin,’ a sleep schedule offers just that. The predictably of a nap and bedtime routine is priceless when it comes to having quality alone time for mommy and daddy, especially on the most romantic day of the year.

2) Date Night 
When a baby knows how to fall asleep on her own, and fall back asleep on her own without mom’s help, parents have the freedom to put baby down for an early bedtime in her crib just in time for mommy and daddy to leave for a candlelight dinner after securing a trustworthy babysitter to hang out at home while baby sleeps. Easy babysitting job for the sitter, baby is sleeping happily at home, and mom and dad get to enjoy a hot date to relax and eat dinner with one another. As much as we love going to dinner with our little ones, it's always nice to spend a calm night out with the person we fell in love with before baby came along, in order to keep that relationship spark around.

3) Mommy and Daddy are Happier 
HALT! Does this acronym ring a bell? This handy tool serves as a reminder to everyone that it's never a good idea to argue or discuss conflict when hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (HALT). What would otherwise be a mundane discussion between mom and dad, can quickly evolve into a heated argument when both parents are extremely exhausted from having a baby who wakes several times throughout the night. Being chronically sleep deprived usually results in higher frustration and irritation amongst both parents and children. Further, anger and resentment can easily be directed towards daddy during the vulnerable times associated with having a baby or toddler who doesn't sleep. However, there is hope! The more sleep that baby gets, the more sleep mom and dad get! The more sleep that mom and dad get, the better mood they’re in, which as a result, makes everyone happier! It's the best sleep equation. Spending Valentine’s Day, or any other day for that matter, exhausted and at the end of your ropes does not lead to feeling great about yourself, or anyone else for that matter, especially your partner. A sleeping baby with a nap and nighttime schedule allows parents to get the sleep they need at consistent times each day to have more energy during the day, and function at their very best. So when becoming frustrated with each other after a night of little sleep, remember to HALT and do not hesitate to ask for help and support from someone who can offer professional baby sleep advice. Sleep can work wonders for your relationship! 

“Nap. Sleep. Date night. Romance. Love.” 
Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Author BioNatalie Willes, Infant and Toddler Sleep Expert, has been working with families all over the world as an infant and toddler sleep consultant since 2008. Natalie has worked with over 700 families to help their babies sleep through the night and nap consistently. By offering custom tailored approaches to each family and child, Natalie draws from her extensive experience to make sure each family feels confident in their sleep-training journey. Natalie works with infants starting as early as 14-weeks-old through toddlers 3 years of age. She is based on the west coast and enjoys the outdoors with her two children Olive and Milo, and her husband Michael. If you have any baby sleep questions for Natalie, she can be contacted through her websitewww.babysleeptrainer.com or at 310-279-9299

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Avocado Chia seed Pudding || Recipe


Last week, I was a Guest Mom for the #InstaWeanTeam. Every week, this group of Moms create and share recipes based on a key ingredient or theme to help inspire others! 
Last week's theme was Super Foods and I had a lot of fun making an 
Avocado Chia Seed Pudding for my family. 

It's so simple and easy to make, just

Blend
2 cups Coconut Milk
1/2 ripe Avocado
3 tsp Maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want it)

Mix
1/4 cup Chia Seeds

Pour in desired jars

Refrigerate for at least 4hrs

Top with fruits, coconut flakes, cocoa nibs...
and ENJOY! Thanks again ladies, for having me as a guest! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Coloring Contest with Oriental Trading Company


Whether you’re new to coloring or have been doing it for years, we want to see your works of art in our coloring contest.  Here’s how it works:

·         Download. Choose from three original coloring pages. Download your favorite!
·         Color. Use pencils, markers, paints – whatever it takes to express yourself.
·         Snap & Share. Snap a pic of your finished coloring page and share it to Instagram.
·         Tag. When posting your pic, tag it with: #OTLovesToColor #contest AND @orientaltrading
·         Win. We’ll announce the Grand Prize winner plus 5 runners-up on February 15th.

What are you waiting for? Visit http://www.orientaltrading.com/s3-otlovestocolor.fltr to download your coloring page and get started with your colorful creation now!

** Grand Prize is a $200 gift certificate to Oriental Trading, a 12-piece set of PolyChromos Colored Pencils, a mini marker set and four Oriental Trading Coloring books. Runners-up will each receive a $50 dollar gift certificate, a 12-piece set of PolyChromos Colored Pencils, a mini marker set and one coloring book.  

And Thanks to OTC, I'll be raffling off Adult 
Coloring Books at my 
Mom's Night Out "Vision Board Party" this Friday! 
For tickets, click HERE

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

NINJAGO World || Legoland, CA


My little Ninja is super excited because...NINJAGO™ World is coming together at lightning speed as the ride vehicles for the cutting-edge new NINJAGO™ the Ride began arriving January 15th. at LEGOLAND® California Resort! Arriving from Germany, the 2,500 -pound red vehicles were unloaded as construction continues and the ride track is installed in this new land set to open this spring.

Using technology never experienced at any other theme park in the world, guests will be able to control the outcome of their adventure through the power of their hand gestures. Through 3D imagery, high-tech sensors and the use of hand movements in a striking motion, up to four riders per car can blast animated fireballs, lightning, shockwaves and ice as they travel through dojos to master their skills before heading into battle. Riders collect points for their training and battle efforts throughout the ride and scores are displayed when their quest is completed. 4D effects such as heat, smoke and wind are also incorporated throughout the adventure, giving guests the ultimate interactive experience.
NINJAGO World features LEGO® building stations, a game to test reflexes, spinners to test balance, Asian cuisine and a new shopping venue.


Based on the popular property LEGO NINJAGO™, which is brought to life by The LEGO Group through a line of construction toys and a TV series on Cartoon Network, guests will enjoy interactive elements and this new ride where guests harness the power of four elements and use teamwork to battle the Great Devourer. The ninja excitement will be felt around the globe as NINJAGO The Ride is being unveiled at both LEGOLAND California Resort and LEGOLAND Billund Resort in 2016.


NINJAGO The Ride will be included in the cost of admission to LEGOLAND California Resort. For ticket prices, operating schedule and additional information, visit www.legoland.com or call 760.918.LEGO (5346).


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Bambo Nature || Review


If you've been following me on social media, then you probably know that my baby, Ronan, is a brand ambassador for Bambo Nature. This is not a sponsored post nor did they ask me to write a review. I truly believe-before I represent a brand/product, I have to love it enough to be able to spread the word! 

Since Ronan is my second, I'm a diaper expert...meaning, I've dealt with it all before, from leaks, blow-outs, swaddle diapers, training diapers, swim diapers, 12-hour dry, etc...etc. I've tested a lot of diaper brands with my first born, but never cloth diapers. 

With our active lifestyle, here's why Ronan is a #BamboBaby...

  • Comfort. Bambo Nature diapers are so soft (inside and out) and BREATHABLE. These features helped out a lot during the heat-wave we had.  
  • Absorbency. These diapers are so thin (perfect for travel+long car drives), yet they absorb...haven't had an issue with leaks.
  • Fit. It's light-weight and flexible for my active crawler (who's now trying to walk). Bambo Nature diapers are on the long side, which goes higher in the back, and that means...NO BLOWOUTS! ...everything is kept inside. :)
  • No Chemicals.No Perfumes.Eco-Friendly. It's a Win for me because Ronan has never gotten a rash! Plus, these diapers are biodegradable and uses sustainable resources. 

If you want to try these diapers...Enter my Giveaway, HERE

Kidsland Grand Re-Opening Party || Event



 Grand Re-Opening Event for Family-Owned “Largest-Little” Baby Boutique in Los Angeles to Offer Thousands of Dollars in Baby Gear Giveaways with all Ticket Proceeds Going Towards Newborns in Need

What began as a small booth selling children's toys in a Los Angeles shopping center 30 years ago, has evolved into a one-of-a-kind baby super store known for its boutique specialty feel, and for being the only go-to baby store within a 40 mile radius of Koreatown. This historical children's boutique is none other than: Kidsland. In celebration of the grand re-opening, Kidsland and their favorite brands will be hosting an exclusive shopping experience for new and expectant parents on Thursday, January 21st, where Kidsland and partners will be revealing never-before-seen products, and offering thousands of dollars in high-end product giveaways. All ticket proceeds go to the charity, Newborns in Need, Inc.

“Kidsland was formed 30 years ago in LA’s market place, where I started out selling only children’s toys to locals,” said Katherine Kim, owner and founder of Kidsland. “Over time, I began expanding into baby gear because I saw the need for more children’s products in the area as it became more residential." Kim has watched the business grow from its early days starting with a single booth in a shopping center to expanding to two booths, and finally finding its first official location on Wilshire & Western. Located in the same building but now on the 2nd floor, Kidsland still caters to parents searching for premium baby gear.“Our specialty now is a large selection of premium baby gear such as strollers, high-chairs, and car seats. There are not many places in Southern California that offer the brands and selection we carry,” said Kim. “Kidsland has become the one-stop shop for new parents in Los Angeles for the last several years. We have been awarded the Best Baby Store in Los Angeles for consecutive years by the US Local Business Association and LA Magazine."The grand re-opening celebration will be similar to popular baby expo events, as Kidsland plans to have over 25 vendors participate, including: Stokke, Bugaboo, Orbit, Mamas & Papas, 4moms, and many more premium baby brands. Company vendors will offer interactive product demos, never-before-seen products, helpful Q&A discussions for customers to engage in and a plethora of free stuff. 

All ticket proceeds will go directly towards Newborns in Need, Inc.,a non-profit organization that provides baby items and monetary donations to impoverished newborns in need of basic essentials.

“What I love about Kidsland is their amazing inventory. They have great quality products that have been hand selected by the owner who has over 30 years of experience,”said long-time customer, Juno Kim, mother of two children ages one and seven-years-old. “Someone can go in and ask for a product they couldn't find anywhere else, and Kidsland will have it. The Kidsland staff are trained to provide personalized services for customers, and they’re always knowledgeable about their brands and products.”

At the grand re-opening event, raffle prize giveaways will include high-value products such as the Halo Luxe Plus Bassinet, Orbit Complete Stroller System, Ergobaby carrier, Mamas & Papas Stroller, Naturepedic Organic Cotton Mattress, Bugaboo Woolmark Seatliner, a Doona Infant Car Seat, and many more big purchase items to be given away in honor of the Kidsland celebration. 
“Guests will have the unique opportunity to learn about quality baby gear products directly from the brands themselves, with access to exclusive promotions they would not see anywhere else,” said Kidsland co-owner, Paula Kim. “We are trying to give new parents in Los Angeles a fun and memorable shopping experience while giving back to the community with proceeds going towards families in need.” 

The Kidsland grand re-opening festivities will take place on the 21st from 12-4pm and again from 5-8:30pm. Guests are asked not to bring strollers inside the store, as there will be limited space with vendor set-ups and large crowds. The event will take place at: 3807 Wilshire Blvd. 2nd Floor Los Angeles, CA 90010. Tickets can be purchased at https://kidslandgrandparty.eventbrite.com with 100% of ticket sale proceeds being donated to Newborns in Need, Inc.

For further information go to www.kidslandusa.com.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

LA Cookie Con & Sweets Show || Event



LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show, the West Coast’s largest baking and sweets expo, is returning for its second year February 6 & 7, 2016. After a sold out event in 2015, the show is expanding to the Los Angeles Convention Center to make room for even more attendees and vendors. With over 10,000 guests expected, sweets-enthusiasts can enjoy free samples from over 125 local shops and national brands, meet their favorite TV stars and watch baking demonstrations, and participate in hands-on workshops in cookie and cake decorating.

The Kids Zone will offer free face painting, cookie decorating, crafts, games and more, compliments of Mommy Nearest, Urban Sitter and Baking with Melissa

Where: Los Angeles Convention Center –  1201 S. Figueroa St.

When: February 6 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and February 7 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Cost: $21/adult and $10/child for a one-day pass OR $35/adult and $15/child for a 2-day pass. VIP tickets are also available. 100% of the proceeds from the sugar art and baking competitions will benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Last year’s event raised $5,000 for CHLA. For Tickets, Click HERE 

Special Guests: This year’s celebrity lineup includes Saturday’s headliner Ron Ben-Israel of Food Network's "Sweet Genius", “Cake Wars” and famed cake decorator in New York luxury baking market. Sunday's headliner is Rosanna Pansino, New York Times Best Selling Author and creator of the show 'Nerdy Nummies', which airs on her YouTube channel RosannaPansino, garnering more than 5 million subscribers and 1 billion video views.

Other must-see programming includes a DreamWorksTV panel and meet and greets with Masterchef Junior and DreamWorksTV star Dara “The Bow Girl” Yu, DreamWorksTV lifestyle channel host Cassie Diamond, and Masterchef Junior Jimmy Warshawsky. Additionally, meet and greets with Masterchef Junior and Food Fighters contestant Troy Glass will take place. For more programming information, visit the LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show website.


About LA Cookie Con and Sweet Show:
Now in its 2nd year, LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show features over 125 vendors from local bakeries to national favorites, making it the West Coast’s largest sweets and baking convention. Presented by AKT Entertainment, LLC., the show brings in renowned bakers, TV celebrities and local vendors for two days of tastings, baking classes, family fun and more. Major sponsors include Amoretti Ingredients, Formosa Flexible Packaging America (part of the Toyota family of companies), Jen & Joe's Cookie Dough, Heilala Vanilla, organic dairy purveyor Humboldt Creamery, bakery supply distributors Americana Ingredients and Divine Specialties, and cake/cookie decorating industry staples Paasche Airbrush Company, BakersBodega and Kake Kreations. 

For more information, visit www.lacookiecon.com