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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#LetsSnuggle 30th Birthday Giveaway

Like all parents, I'm always trying to make the world a softer place for my kids, both figuratively and literally.

For example, when we moved to our new home, we purchased a super plush carpet for their playroom with the extra high foam underneath to cushion their roughhousing and discovery. Do they notice these little efforts, of course not, lol, but I know.

For 30 years, Snuggle Bear has warmed the hearts of millions of families. I actually had a Snuggle Bear stuffed animal as a child. It lived at my Nanny's house and I loved snuggling with it. I can still see it there in my room. To celebrate his big birthday, Snuggle wants to hear about all of the special ways you, your family make the world a softer place. Respond below via the giveaway form for a chance to win a Let's Snuggle Prize Pack to inspire all things snuggly.
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Monday, September 15, 2014

A Newport Beach Wedding

A few months ago, I attended the wedding of my friends Quynh and Donnie, whom I first met when I moved to Los Angeles 8 years ago. Not only did I get to enjoy a beautiful wedding, it was like a west coast reunion.

The ceremony took place in Newport Beach outside on the Newport Dunes. Raphael was one of the groomsmen, check it out, the orchids alone were amazing.
Now, this little ring barer caused a bunch of awes from the crowd when he came down the aisle before the bride holding this sign:
 Psst that's me in blue behind him. I later changed into a teal dress for the evening though. The reception meanwhile was held at a banquet hall with a photo prop station where guests were able to pose with the bride and groom. The tables carried the purple flowers seen during the reception along with wine cork accents for the table numbers and placement cards.
 Here's our table being silly for our group picture:
I was especially wow'd by the Vietnamese traditions that were incorporated from the bride's heritage, which made for an even more fun and memorable night, like with these dragon dancers:
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Giveaway: A Charlie Brown Christmas Turns 50

Not sure if you noticed the Peanuts banner in my sidebar recently, but I'm excited to share that I'm one of 30 bloggers who have been selected to participate as a brand ambassador to celebrate 50 Years on Television for A Charlie Brown Christmas. There is no compensation for being part of the program, just exclusive access to news, giveaways and interviews from Peanuts Worldwide.

As such, I recently had the honor of speaking with Jill Schulz, daughter of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz. The former professional figure skater, shared some of her families holiday traditions growing up and other fun stories about her father's work. I had asked if their real-life ever showed up in the comic strip and she shared a few anecdotes about her four brothers and sisters' adventures that did appear as did her families' love for ice skating on a pond for example.

For millions of people, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the annual viewing of the most beloved TV special in history, A Charlie Brown Christmas. BUT did you know that CBS hated it?! To the surprise of CBS, the premiere of A Charlie Brown Christmas was the second-highest rated program of the week and won an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Children’s Program,” and a Peabody Award for excellence in programming. CBS then ordered four more specials.

This December, marks 50 years! Its unforgettable moments are as familiar to us as our own family traditions: Charlie Brown choosing his pathetic Christmas tree, Linus explaining “the true meaning of Christmas,” the kids dancing to the irresistible tune of Vince Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy.”

I love that this classic bridges generations. My mom watched it, I watched it and I look forward to introducing it to my boys this year. They have already seen some of the characters from the Junk Food Clothing I dress them in and I just gave them this Snoopy plush, which they keep hugging lovingly. You can win this soft adorable plush too via the giveaway below!
Giveaway: Launch the holiday joy early, as you anticipate the 50th airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas! The soft and huggable Snoopy plush brings cheer any time of day or night, while the charming Be Joyful book keeps you in a Peanuts spirit year-round.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Unpacking Our New Signature Sleep Mattress

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Now this is really cool. Take a look at what just arrived on our doorstep ... a new queen sized mattress. Yes, that long roll is an ultimate cloud 11" gel/memory foam mattress from Signature Sleep.

For convenience and cost savings, Signature Sleep quality mattresses are shipped compressed, rolled and vacuum sealed straight to your door, resulting in a minimal carbon footprint. You can order from Amazon, Wayfair and Walmart with free shipping and depending on the mattress size (Twin-King) it only costs between $219-$410. I was a little skeptical and nervous about ordering a mattress that I had never tried out, but it worked out splendidly!

It was so easy and fun to unpack too! It expanded almost immediately; it was hard to imagine that it was ever rolled-up to begin with. Just watch the unpacking process as seeing is believing:
Previously, we had purchased our old expensive Euro Top mattress after our wedding almost 6 years ago. It was nice at first, but soon developed a lump in the middle that became the great divide between Raphael and I, lol. The lump became even more pronounced after the mattress was placed on it's side for over a month during transport from our move from Los Angeles to New York. This then started causing back and neck problems for me. So, when it came time to move again, we didn't want to spend the money moving the heavy mattress, when we weren't even that happy with it. I also wanted to try a memory foam mattress since I'm a light sleeper and I know it absorbs movements better.

This time, we went with a gel-infused memory foam mattress top, which allows for a cool night's sleep, so perfect for the warmer weather of Florida now.

Here is the full description:
"Conforming to the curves of your body, this 11-inch mattress perfectly combines gel, memory foam and five-zone foam for a restful night's sleep. Its gel-infused memory foam provides a fresh and cool sleeping surface and also helps distribute weight evenly between sleep partners. The five-zone foam is designed to relieve pressure along five specific areas of the body — head/shoulder, upper body, spine, lower body and legs. With a four-way polyester stretch cover, the Signature Sleep Ultimate Cloud Mattress is a must have in every bedroom!"

Signature Sleep mattresses also contain foam whose manufacturing process is certified eco-friendly. Their manufacturing process also prevents volatile organic compounds (VOC's) from being released into the atmosphere. Be sure and follow Signature Sleep on Facebook for the latest mattress news and information.

By the way, we are so pleased with our new mattress that we are now going to purchase another Signature Sleep mattress for our guest room.

Disclaimer: I received a product sample to facilitate my review, but sponsored or not, I only share stuff I love. Truly.
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Monday, September 8, 2014

Stock Up: Britax Free Ride Event

People always comment how with twins we must have two of everything, but it's more like three or four of everything! Just like with singleton babies, it's always nice to have an extra set of the essentials for travel and/or grandma's house. This is why at one point we had four infant car seats, one for our SUV and one for grandmas. Not to mention six pack-n-plays! Yes, it's a LOT of gear and a lot of $.

Now that we actively trying to do more one-on-one outings with our sons, we found the need for a third Convertible Car Seat for Raphael's car. So, we just installed a Britax Boulevard convertible car seat  (still rear-facing until our boys turn two) in the Laguna fashion. We did it together while the boys were napping and were amazed at how easy it was. Now, we can do separate activities with the boys, Daddy can take one boy with him on his errands while I take the other boy out with me.

Good news though, for those looking to puchase new baby gear or an extra set, Britax will be having its biggest promotion of the year Sept. 20-28 with the Affinity Free Ride Event. For a limited time, receive a FREE Britax B-Safe infant car seat (MSRP $179.99) or Affinity Bassinet (MSRP $199.99) when you purchase the stylish and versatile Affinity stroller (review here) at participating U.S. retailers while supplies last.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Giveaway: The Tea Spot Pyramid Tea Sachets

When traveling it's hard to find quality tea. Sure, there's always a local cafe for coffee aficionados, but not all carry tea and if they do it's usually the generic pressed tea bags that taste bitter. I use this trick to pack loose leaf tea, but it's still a pain having to carry all the accompanying gadgets in order to drink it.

However, this year when I went to BlogHer 14 (Things to do in San Jose), I was able to bring quality loose leaf tea with me in a convenient bag thanks to The Tea Spot.
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The Tea Spot just launched a new line of biodegradable pyramid tea sachets, featuring ten of their top-selling handcrafted whole leaf teas (5 conventional, and 5 organic). My favorites being Coconut Cabana Oolong and Boulder Blues. Each of the tea sachets holds a generous portion of full leaf tea, so you can now drink a mug of premium tea with ultra-convenience. These premium-sized pyramid bags give whole leaf tea room to expand to a full flavor and aroma, as the patented open-weave sachet material allows unrestricted full-bodied infusions. Plus they’re biodegradable, making the whole process perfectly simple and eco-friendly!
The Tea Spot - Making Loose Leaf Tea Your Everyday Luxury
Giveaway: The winner gets to pick their top tea choice from the tea sachet sampler packs here worth $22.95, including an Organic USDA sampler option. Enter via the form below. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bridgestone Drive and Learn Event at BlogHer14

One of my favorite events during BlogHer 14 was the Bridgestone Drive and Learn event. A bunch of us went out to a large empty parking lot where we got to ride with professional race car drivers in an auto cross track in BMW 325s and then take part behind the wheel on the same relay course.

Our driver went really fast around the cones and it was more fun than any roller coaster ride I've been on. I was sliding around in the back seat, my seat belt working hard to keep me in place and from falling into my new blog friend Sarah from Thank You Honey Blog who was in the car with me too. She was a little more trepidatious when she got behind the wheel, but me, I had the need for speed! I would have gone faster around the curves too, but didn't want to scare my passengers, lol.
We also had the opportunity to drive on a completely flat DriveGuard tire at 50 MPH and believe it or not I couldn't tell it was a flat tire. With DriveGuard tires from Bridgestone you can drive up to 50 miles at up to 50 miles per hour after a puncture or complete loss of pressure. I've driven on two flat tires in my life and it felt like I was going over speed bumps, thump, thump, thump, but this time it was smooth sailing allowing you to get help safely, thus ideal for riding with families.

We also learned some basic car care tips from the team at Firestone Complete Auto Care. I re-learned how to check the air in my tires and how to jump start a car. Here are some simple tips:
  • * Not only is too little air in your tires bad, but so is too much air. 
  • * Check the air in your tires monthly when it's warm and after driving 5 miles.
  • * The correct tire pressure needed for your vehicle should be listed in the hinge of your car door. 
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Brunch with the cast of Chrisley Knows Best

Back in June when I did a press trip to Atlanta to visit the set of Satisfaction, I was also able to have brunch with four members of the Chrisley family (Todd, Julie, Chase, Savannah) from the reality show Chrisley Knows Best. I'm not usually a fan of reality shows, but I had seen an early preview on YouTube last year and got hooked, so I was excited to meet them in-person. They didn't disappoint.
Todd was just as funny and outrageous as he appears on the show. After sitting next to me and hearing I was a reporter, he asked me how old after declaring I looked 12, lol. While talking to him I said something like "you have a lot of kids" and in agreement he said: "retweet," which had me laughing. I never heard someone say "retweet" like that in a conversation. Haha, love it. 
Read more about my conversations with the family and details on the upcoming second season in my Huffington Post article. Also, Todd tweeted me this kind message back:
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