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Easy DIY Toddler Activity: Post-it Wall

During a recent afternoon it was too hot, muggy and buggy for my boys to go outside to play and they were getting bored and cranky inside by that evening. I remembered how once my boys ripped apart a new packet of Post-it notes from my desk, sticking the pieces on windows and on themselves.

So, I grabbed a colorful packet of Post-it Recycled Super Sticky Notes (more of the back side is sticky, so better for clinging to surfaces and not flapping up) and stuck them on a blank wall that the boys could reach. They were immediately intrigued and came over to pull them off and stick them back on the wall. I put a few that were a little out of reach so they would jump and stretch to get them too, which they did.

They began creating their own patterns and were busy scheming and working together and solo for a good half hour. They even returned back to the wall for some quiet fun again later on. You could also use a fridge, window or door. I liked that it was a creative, problem-solving activity and extremely easy and safe to do.

Perfect for inside fun!

My boys are just 19m, but during their pre-school years I plan to do something similar and try this Post-it Matching Game idea and Colored Masking Tape Hop Scotch board.

Traveling with Jewelry Tips & Win $1700 in Jewelry

Do you travel with your best jewelry? Or are you afraid to lose them or have them stolen?

Personally, I love dressing up and sparkling while on vacation, but am always afraid I'm going to lose my good pieces, misplace them or have them stolen. For this reason, my husband and I actually travel with a fake wedding ring and wedding band, however, it would be great to pack the real thing next time instead of the faux bling.

But no matter how careful you are, stones can become loose, hotels are not guaranteed safe places to leave jewelry, and a sandy beach can swallow up a jewel forever. In fact, a 2012 survey by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company found that nearly two-thirds of women will bring or wear expensive jewelry while on vacation, and of those women, over a quarter have lost at least one piece of jewelry. That’s why there’s jewelry insurance though!

I'm definitely going to get insurance for my jewelry the next time I go on a big trip with my husband. I originally had insurance on my ruby engagement ring the first year, but then never renewed it :( I love that Perfect Circle Jewelry Insurance protects against jewelry loss, damage, mysterious disappearance, and theft. They even have a "I left it on a beach towel" policy, lol, that's so me. Remember the time I left my ring in Vegas? *smacks forehead* Doh!

Here are some safe travel tips from Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, providers of Perfect Circle® Jewelry Insurance:

  • Choose wisely. Pack light and take only the jewelry you’ll wear while traveling and at your destination. The 4-carat diamond ring you save for special occasions? Probably not. The pearls that go with everything? Definitely. 
  • Make a list. List all the jewelry you’ll take with you. Keep one copy with you and store it separately
    from your jewelry. Leave another copy at home. Also take pictures or a video of your jewelry. 
  • Carry it on. Never put jewelry in checked baggage. Instead, wear it or stow it in your carry-on bag. If you wear it, take extra care by slipping a pendant inside a sweater or turning your ring so only the band shows.
  • Keep it with you. Put your jewelry in a favorite bag you’ll carry while traveling. Don’t leave your jewelry in an unattended car or suitcase. When checking into your hotel or condo, don’t hand your jewelry bag to hotel staff. Carry it personally. 
  • Use the safe. Always store jewelry in the in-room safe when you’re not wearing it.

My Tip: 
  • Never travel with something that if lost or stolen, can't be replaced monetarily, nothing too near and dear to your heart that it's irreplaceable. Actually, I learned that tip from the opening of the film The Accidental Tourist.

For more tips and the chance to win $1700 in jewelry worth insuring, join me and the TravelingMom panelists for a Traveling with Jewelry Twitter Party on Monday, July 21 at 9 p.m. ET. We'll be talking about the challenges of traveling with jewelry and for the chance to win two beautiful pieces of jewelry–a set of hoop gold earrings (see photo) and a necklace–created by Toby Pomeroy. RSVP and enter to win the beautiful  at: Hashtags #TreasuretheVacation and #TMOM. Tweet with you soon!

Huggies Plus Free Sample Offer at Costco

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating

We literally go through over 400 Huggies diapers each month for my twins! This is why I'm very excited to be participating in the Huggies Costco Ambassador Program.

Luckily, we are able to buy diapers in bulk at Costco though, which carries exclusive Huggies Plus products including Huggies Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care Plus Wipes only available at Costco. You can’t get them anywhere else!

I especially like and can recommend Huggies' Natural Care Plus wipes as my boys have extremely sensitive skins, even other fragrance-free brand wipes have caused a rash except for these! Also, the Snug and Dry diapers are great for overnight as they are extra absorbent and I have seen less wet PJs in the morning thanks to them. Oh, and I love that Mickey is printed on the diapers. My boys even point to him and laugh, it's too cute.

Costco Members - Click HERE to register for a FREE sample of the Huggies Snug & Dry Plus and Huggies Natural Care Plus Wipes. Hurry and register now, there will be a limited number of samples each day starting today (July 17) through July 26, 2014 so try back tomorrow if you aren't able get a sample today! You must be a Costco member to get a sample and limit 1 sample per household.

You can follow @Huggies on Twitter for their latest promotions. I do.

Sprout Launches New Astroblast! Kids Show

I had some Logan and Mommy time-only the other day when I took him with me to a luncheon hosted by SPROUT at Sugar Factory in NYC. The restaurant/candy shop is located just around the corner from where I used to live in the Meat-packing district of Manhattan pre-babies.

It was the first time I've separated our identical twins for such a long period of time. At first, Logan was a bit grumpy, but he soon warmed up and was charming the ladies with his teethy smile. He even gave me a loving hug and head bump that reassured me that I did the right thing by spending some one-on-one time with him for a change. Meanwhile, Ben back home wasn't as happy not having his big brother (by 5 minutes) around. Next outing, it will just be Ben and I though.

Anywho, I digress. Sprout is the 24-hour preschool channel that brings parents and kids together for shows, activities and adventure. Sandy Wax, the president of Sprout said the network is all about creating memories with your family and I know I'll always remember the memory of spending that alone time with my son. Here we are in front of the candy dispensers and him pointing up to the fun hanging lights:
The event provided us bloggers with a sneak peek at Sprout's newest original animated series Astroblast! launching July 12 at 1 p.m. ET. Based on the Scholastic book series of the same name, the show takes preschoolers and their parents on hilarious adventures through outer space. Run by a cast of animal characters who hangout at the coolest spot in the galaxy - Astroblast Space Station, which serves up smoothies. To go with the theme of the show, the luncheon event featured some yummy fresh fruit smoothies that Logan drank down rather quickly. Our favorite from the smoothies recipes was the following:

Raspberry Rocket Launch Smoothie:
1 cup Fresh Raspberries
8 oz. Pineapple Juice
2 tbsp. Coconut Flakes
4-5 Scoops Frozen Yogurt
4 oz. Rose Monin Syrup
1/2 Cup of Ice

Sprout also has an online game where kids can make a virtual smoothie by picking the different fruits and vegetables, coloring the cup and picking a wacky straw online here. And if you live in the following locations be sure and check out the FREE Astroblast Space Camp family events taking place:

Denver, CO7/12Park Meadow Mall
Phoenix, AZ7/19Arrowhead Towne Center
Los Angeles, CA7/26Americana at Brand
San Diego, CA8/2Westfield Mission Valley

I also got to meet the lovely Michele Lepe a.k.a. "Nina" the star of The Good Night Show that airs weekdays from 6 to 9 p.m. to help kids unwind and get ready for bedtime. We tuned in yesterday and I think we're going to start making this show part of our bedtime routine.
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Genworth Let's Talk Event with Rob Lowe

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“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Genworth. I attended a live event and received a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

Last week, in Manhattan a three story‐tall mug, adorned with facts and figures about health and long term care stood in front of the iconic Flatiron building. Presented by Genworth, an industry leader in providing long term care insurance, was giving away free cups of iced coffee in an attempt to #LetsTalk about how to plan and pay for long term care needs for our aging population.

The United States is undergoing a profound demographic change – every day, over 10,000 Americans turn 65, so that during the next forty years, the U.S. population over 65 will double, and the population over 85 will triple. Nationally, the median cost of long term care is more than $87,600 per year.

Despite these facts though, many families aren't talking about their future life plans and wishes. After all, it can be a difficult conversation to have, but the time to talk about it is now while things are good, not once the chips are down. In hindsight it would probably have been best if my Nanny had a live-in healthcare professional to take care of her at the end of her dementia. My mom and I have communicated openly about her wishes in the future, but she's young still, however, I know it will be important to continue to be open about.

Also present at the Genworth #LetsTalk tour was spokesperson and actor Rob Lowe. Yes, I seem to keep meeting him at events (read about our previous meeting here). It was a super hot and sunny day, yet somehow Rob was able to still appear as cool as a cucumber and still as charming and real as the last time I saw him.
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Here he is talking about why he got involved with Genworth, his personal experience and "As a father of two, I know there’s a definite need to have these sometimes awkward family conversations and more importantly, having them now versus later," he said.
Look for Genworth's conversation-starting giant coffee mug in Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Los Angeles too. Learn more at the Genworth Let’s Talk Tour page.

We (us bloggers) had the chance to pose for a pic with Rob Lowe, which also aired on Extra!
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Oh, and there was also a fun photo booth where along with some blogger gals (Thirty Mommy, Mom Most Traveled, Football Food and Motherhood) I got to pose with some big mugs :) 
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So, have you had the talk yet?