Monday, November 24, 2014

A great place for gifts in Miami...

I was recently invited to a party for a two year old boy.  It does not seem that long ago that I was going to two year old birthday parties every week but with two teens in my house and birthday gifts (besides gift cards) a thing of the past,  I was totally stumped. I needed to bring a nice gift to this party.   I don't really know the child or the parents very well but they are work colleagues of my husband so I wanted to bring something good.

I stumbled into Give Wink which is right next to Aroma on Miami Gardens Drive (Aroma is a coffee bar which may have the best croissants in town). 

Give Wink is a boutique that sells high end baby and kids gear , toys and bedding. The best two things about it (besides being next to the croissants) is that they not only gift wrap for free  (a rarity these days) and they personalize tons of gifts.

The very helpful sales clerk immediately had many suggestions for my two year old recipient and I ended up getting this adorable dino backpack which they instantly embroidered with the birthday boy's name and a matching water bottle.  Give Wink gift wrapped it and through it into a reusable shopping bag and I was off to party town.  The boy's mom absolutely loved the gift ! She texted me right after the party to tell me so.

If you are in the need of a special baby or little kid's gift, check out Give Wink! 



DISCLOSURE: Like 99.9999% of my posts, this is not a paid post. Give Wink does not even know that I am writing it. I was given nothing in exchange for it.  I just liked the store and feel that I am doing a favor to my local readers. 

Another Life-Changing Tip courtesy of Japolina...



I think that this tip may be more life-changing than my COSTCO tip  that I posted a few weeks ago.

If you shop at Publix are you aware that you can order your sliced deli meats and subs ahead of time? You just download the app or go to Publix.com and  fill out the form as to what you want and it is waiting for you at the deli. You don't even have to ask for it, they have a spot where you just walk up and grab it.  This is life-changing to moms on the go and saves at least 5-10 minutes off of my weekly shopping trip.  

You can thank me with sliced cheese.

As a side note, when my children were infants, Publix tried a delivery service. You would just order online and they would deliver it within a two hour time frame that you chose. It saved my sanity during those early years. Publix stopped the service but how I wish they would start it up again! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My favorite new site...


One of the good hings about getting older is that you know what looks good on you and what does not.  I know what style dresses that I like but it is not always that easy to find them.  This is why I wore the same cocktail dress to at least 15 Bar Mitzvahs before I had to retire it but that is another sad story for another day.

That is why I was excited when Eshatki.com contacted me and asked if I would be interested in customizing a dress that they would then send to me for free! How could I say "No" especially when they made this offer with no strings attached. They said that they would send me the dress that I chose and customized and if I liked it, I could blog about it but there was no obligation.

Eshatki looks like a regular clothing site but you can customize any of the clothing. You chose the garment that you want and enter your measurements and they make it for you! In addition you can add sleeves, etc

I chose this mullet/hi lo dress.  I put in my measurements which I took by myself with a tape measure and it showed up within 10 days. 
High-low hem stretch crepe maxi dress


It fits perfectly and is really cute.  The best part, under a 100 bucks! A true bargain. I promise you, it is really cute and looks great on! I wore it for my 20th anniversary (I'll blog about that soon!) I will defintely be ordering from them again.


Disclosure: Sometimes companies send me free stuff. If I like it, I'll tell you. If I don't like it, I'll either tell you or won't blog about it. I always tell the truth and I will never sell outt. Eshatki sent me a free dress with no strings attached. I promise you that if I did not like it, I would have not have blogged about it. Trust me, this happened recently with a company that sent me some flowers for free and wanted me to blog about it. It was a horrible experience so I did not blog about it. I only tell the truth her at Japolina! 

Monday, November 10, 2014

We are now those parents..

  I was having dinner with a bloggy friend of mine, Rachel of Silverunpolished.com , last week. I've known her since I was a million months pregnant with my first son. Her kids are 7 & 9. Mine are almost 15 & 17.  We have much in common in terms of mothering such as our agreement that sleepaway camp is mandatory and that toothpaste in the sink left by children is very annoying. However, we are worlds apart when it comes to how our kids feel about us.  Her cute boys love when she talks about them in her blog.

  On the other hand, my boys have reached the point where my husband and I are completely embarrassing to them. Not just in public but on the world wide web too.  I'm not allowed mention them in my Blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter posts. (They won't show me how to use snapchat) In fact, the mention of the toothpaste in the sink above may get me yelled at   after school today.

   A few days ago, at 5:45 a.m.,  my husband and I were goofing around while we were both making breakfast for the kids (yes high school starts disgustingly early around these parts). We had these funny tabasco things left over from a Houseparty.com Tabasco party that I was selected to host and we were just being silly.  I posted on Instagram because we look exhausted and ugly and stupid. 
Photo has been disguised to protect our children from further humiliation

   During the school day, I got this first text from one of my children   "I think that your instagram is inappropriate and that you should take it down"  I ignored as I do not think that texting this during school is appropriate either. 


   Later that day my other son explained that one of his friends was making fun of our instagram to all of their other friends. He was mortified that I had accepted a follow request from one of his friends and by our ridiculous photos. I responded by telling him that his friends were just jealous that his parents were so fun, especially at 5:45 a.m. I added that he was lucky that his parents even get up and make breakfast (and school lunches) at that ungodly hour. I'm certain that some other mothers don't even get out of bed and just let the kids fend for themselves. I also blocked the kid.

    When did we go from being cool to being totally embarrassing? Were we always totally embarrassing but the kids did not know it? We were ever cool? Thoughts? I'd love to hear them. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

GIVEAWAY!!! Free Blu-Ray/DVD of Beethoven's Treasure Tail!

Universal Studios Home Entertainment is getting ready to release a fun kid's movie on Blu-ray/DVD on October 28th and one of my lucky readers can win a copy! How exciting! This will make a great holiday gift  (if you can wait that long to actually watch it! The film is called Beethoven's Treasure Tail and stars that adorable St. Bernard!

All you have to do is leave a comment below! That is it. Could not be any easier. A winner will be chosen on October 27th by a good old-fashioned name in the hat pull so make sure you leave your name below! Universal will Fed ex you a copy directly! (US addresses only)


Get ready to howl with laughter in this all-new family comedy starring America’s favorite St. Bernard, the one and only Beethoven! After a doggone disaster of a movie shoot, the big-hearted pooch and his trainer, Eddie (Jonathan Silverman, Beethoven’s Big Break), are heading home when they get stranded in a small coastal village. When Beethoven befriends a local boy (Bretton Manley, Ted), he helps him find a pirate map to lost treasure and together they em-bark on an adventure that brings the whole town together. Co-starring Morgan Fairchild (Flamingo Road), Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator), it’s a heartwarming “tail” about finding fun wherever your nose leads you.



Don't forget, leave a comment below by 5p.m. EST on October 27th!

Tell your friends! 



Sunday, October 19, 2014

A trick for Costco Shoppers....

    


     If you shop at Costco, you know that one of the best, albeit unhealthy, deals  is their hotdog special . The huge hotdog plus a soda is still only $1.50.  The other food in their café is also very inexpensive and if you're like me, you spend a lot of time, energy and cash shopping at Costco which can be very hunger-inducing.

    My Costco generally has a huge line at the Café which is often a deal breaker after doing a major shop. You can imagine my shock when I learned that there is a legitimate way to cut the line.  I often hate to share these types of secrets because, as the saying goes, you tell two friends and they tell two friends and before you know it, everyone is doing it.

    However, I'm in a giving mood today, so I'll share this amazing secret with you... Order while you are paying for your regular Costco stuff.  Tell the cashier what you want and pay for it at the same time you are buying enough toilet paper for a year. Then you just walk right to the front of the café line and show your receipt and they give you the food!

    You will thank me for this one day!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Letting them be Pizza

Pizza 
       I spoke to my sister yesterday while she was in the midst of costume shopping with her five year old. He wanted to be a slice of pizza for Halloween. She thought it was a dumb costume. 

     "Should I just give in and let him be the slice of Pizza?", she asked. "Of course you should", I answered. It seemed like a no-brainer to someone with 10 more years of mom-experience more than she.   "He should be able to express himself however he wants", I smugly added.

      Remember that I have two teenaged sons. We are pretty much past the days of me telling them what to do. There are certainly family rules but I am mile away from telling them what I think that they should dress up as for trick-or-treating. Like really far. 

      I'm in the middle of high school parenting and all  that this brings. They pick their wardrobes, hairstyles, friends and activities without any input from me. 

     I figured that where to go to college was going to be a joint decision but I think that I am wrong. The college fair was coming to my son's school this week. Before we went, I highlighted the schools on the list that I thought he should visit at the fair. He made his own list. I think that there was one school that we both had on our lists. 

       Obviously I'm older and wiser. I know more about college than he does. I'm the one who will be paying. I will be the one wiping away the tears or holding this biggest party once those rejection or acceptance letters start appearing during his senior year. However, I have to let him be the pizza.

     Other than nagging and coaxing about what he has to do this year to get ready to send out applications next fall , the work is really up to him. He has to study for his classes, study for the SAT, fill out the applications, write the essays, etc. He has to try to figure out where he can get in and make a plan about the next few years of his life. He is the type of kid who will be happy wherever he lands. Where you go to college is not an irreversible decision but a pretty big one, especially in the life of a teenager.

  Letting them be pizza is easier said then done. Will someone pass the parmesan cheese?