Happy weekend, friends! It’s the first Saturday of spring, and we’re ready to celebrate, regardless of the wet weather we may be experiencing in New York. Sunshine and warm weather will be here before you know it– the calendar mandates it, after all. And so we’re embracing the lighter, brighter, more bubbly side of the new season with a few favorite Prosecco cocktails. Because, nothing says spring like champers, and nothing says “let’s celebrate” like Saturday!
Hello, spring. (Well, hello officially, at least.) We’ve been dreaming about you, and counting down the days until you’d peek your sunny little head out from behind winter’s bleak and cold and cloudy horizon. Alas, here you are! The Vernal Equinox—could we love you any more?!? The day that signifies the change in seasons. Of course, the weather is still rather unpredictable (is that snow I see in the upcoming weekend’s forecast?). At least, we know the temperature will slowly but surely rise, and the sun will steadily make more of a regular appearance. We’re counting on you, spring!
While we may have to hold our breath a bit for more spring-like conditions, one thing is fast on the way: spring break! Time to go somewhere beautiful and exotic (unless, of course, your a ski fam), and get a sneak peek at the summer weather on its way.
My crew cut out a bit early for our own officially unofficial spring break vacation last week in Florida and the Bahamas. Sunny days, balmy nights, sand, surf, and warm-weather fun—it was exactly what we needed to recharge our tired bodies and minds.
Seeing my two babies soaking up the rays (protected with SPF and wide-brimmed hats) warmed my heart and soothed my Vitamin D-deprived soul. Not only did they look adorable rocking big straw hats in Boca and Sarasota and Nassau, they stayed shady, calm, and cool. So don’t forget to pack your favorite kid-friendly sunscreen, some flip-flops, and a few haute little toddler sun hats (I mean what more could you possibly need?… ahem, diapers?), if you’re headed somewhere tropical these next few spring-break weeks!
I’ve rounded up a few fashionable and functional toddler sun hats for your smallest spring breakers. Enjoy!
Despite the recent snow storm on the east coast, Spring is actually just around the corner. Sunshine and warm weather will be here soon, as will Easter. Perfect time for reading with the kids! Board books are our personal favorite for early readers. They are easy to grip and stuff in a diaper bag. Most especially, you can wipe them off when sticky or dirty fingers get a hold of them. If you are in need of some Easter basket fillers, books are the best presents. They keep on giving for years to come. Need some suggestions? Here are four must-read titles that caught our eye available wherever books are sold.
Colorful Books for Spring
Bunny Roo, I Love You by Melissa Marr is a delightful tale celebrating the various ways animal babies are welcomed into the world. From bunnies to kangaroos and lizards, each of these animals is loved and cherished just like our own babies. Our fascination with nature continues with The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Easter Colors by Eric Carle. In this bright and beautiful board book, your kids will explore a rainbow of colors along with animals, plants, and insects. If you have adventure seekers in your family, both these colorful selections will intrigue their curious minds.
Bunny Books for Spring
At the end of the day, tuck your little ones in bed with a story about Beatrix Potter’s classic characters in Sweet Dreams, Peter. Imagine what tomorrow might bring by reading about some favorite backyard animals like squirrels, ducks, and cats who are settling down for the night. Before long, they’ll be drifting off to sleep dreaming of the next day’s adventure.The Easter Egg by Jan Brett will get your kids excited about the coming of Easter. If Hoppi the bunny can create the best Easter egg ever, then he will have the privilege of delivering eggs with the Easter Bunny. Let’s be honest. Who wouldn’t want to meet the Easter Bunny?
No matter which of these books you choose to read, your family will look forward to celebrating Easter this season. Happy spring!
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It was a blustery cold day in NYC, but the Momtrends team was channeling spring at our #MTHalosFun event this past weekend, at the Children’s Museum of Arts in downtown Manhattan.
An event that combines two things we love: healthy food and family fun! What’s not to love…
As moms, we want to find healthy, delicious, and convenient snacks for our children that meet our high standards and satiate our kids’ nonstop hunger. Luckily, Wonderful Halos mandarins check off every box on our lenghty list of requirements. They’re 100 percent California-born and raised, and non-GMO-project verified. They’re sweet, juicy, seedless, satisfying, easy-to-peel, portable, fresh, and good for you to boot! What more could a mom (and her picky eater) ask for? Oh, I don’t know… perhaps a snack that doubles as a craft supply?!
Yes, to celebrate our favorite seasonal fruit, we teamed up with Halos to a host a day of spring-inspired snacking and crafting, and invited a few of our favorite local bloggers and their families along for the fun.
While lunching and munching on delicious dishes chock-full of mandarins and sipping smoothies, we got our arts-and-crafts on with some super-cute and silly projects, featuring the star of the day: Halos mandarins, of course!
Want to get in on the creative action? The Wonderful Halos website features all sorts of amazing recipe and craft ideas you can try at home. Here, we’re sharing our two favorites from the event! Enjoy… just try not to eat all your Halos before you finish your work of art!
Wonderful Halos Island Breeze Smoothie
prep: 10 minutes, serves 2
2 wonderful halos mandarins, peeled
1 cup coconut milk
1 banana, peeled
1 cup frozen pineapple pieces
1/3 cup of macadamia nuts
1. Combine everything in the pitcher of blender
2. Cover and blend on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes
1. Cut the chick’s wings from yellow paper. you can create a feathered effect by cutting little slits into the paper’s edge. fold them bck at the base nd secure to the sides of the halo with glue dots.
2. Use a yellow pipe cleaner to form the legs and feet
3. Fold yellow paper and cut a little trainge for the beak. use glue dots to add the beak and google eyes
I’m experiencing some major travel envy right now. It’s February break and it seems that everyone is on vacation… Everyone but me, of course. Facebook and Instagram are chock-full of amazing family getaway pics—bronzed moms lounging on the beach with sleeping babies, fearless toddlers belly-flopping into palatial pools, and happy dads sharing rapidly melting mid-day ice-cream cones with their giggling littles… Meanwhile, here I am typing away on my couch, huddled under a blanket and sipping tea. Wah. (Can you say “first-world problems?”)
Okay, okay. My winsome whining is obnoxious and unnecessary; I just can’t help but feel a pull to hop on a plane and escape the February blahs. I’ve got a major itch and a serious case of wanderlust. I’m thinking tropical thoughts… And those phenomenal 61-degree days we’ve had in New York lately are a total tease.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I think Nicole’s passion for ski travel is incredible. (She makes cold weather look good!) And I have immense admiration for her commitment to get families out on the slopes… But, um, right now I’m, personally, craving the beach. Palm trees. Beaming rays. Balmy breezes—sand and surf and sunshine. I want to trade out my thick boots for flip flops and my heavy sweaters for gauzy tops and tunics.
Yes, I’ve been on the hunt for some vacationy looks for an upcoming Florida trip (yay!), and I think I hit the jackpot. Nautical stripes, billowy peasant-inspired skirts and maxi dresses, pretty palm prints, and tropical hues are inspiring my style, fueling my fervor, and fanning my wanderlust.
Maybe it’s the warming weather. Maybe it’s the sore throat that been going around. But for some reason, it seems to be increasingly common to find a package (or two) of popsicles in my freezer. Which makes this cocktail one of the easiest to make this Saturday.
I opted for Trader Joes’ fat-free Caribbean Fruit Floes, but am also interested in trying these with TJ’s triple layer Fruit Frenzy Bars popsicles with layers of grape, tangerine and blood orange.
Popsicle flavor of your choosing
Champagne, Prosecco or other sparkling wine
Pour half glass of champagne or other sparkling wine into a wine glass or martini glass. Taste test first. You know, just to be sure it’s good.
Put popsicle in wine and let sit.
Now you have two important options. You can swirl the popsicle around in the wine, turning your wine into a slowly fruit-flavored slushie. Or you can take the wine-soaked popsicle out and eat it. Both are excellent options to consider.
Check out more of our Saturday Sip recipes or head on over to The Shopping Mama to see what they are serving up tonight!
Spring is in the air….which means so are my allergies. Between our black lab and local flora, I’m sneezing and sniffing my way into spring most years. This year, in additional to allergy meds, I’m looking to cut down on the number of irritants in my house with these products designed to filter out sneeze-causing allergens.
While you can’t control that blooming acacia tree outside your window, you can take steps to remove and decrease the allergens inside your house. Here’s how:
1. Create a shoe basket.
File this under “Things You Didn’t Want to Know.” If you wear shoes in the house, you are tracking in everything from bacteria and pollen to fertilizer and fecal matter. Yuck. And potentially dangerous if you have little ones crawling around on the floor. Create a shoe basket or shelf in your entryway to dramatically cut down on the number of allergens tracked into your house.
2. Use a certified asthma & allergy-friendly vacuum.
Not all vacuums are created the same – especially if you’re dealing with allergies or asthma. Ideally, you want to search out a vacuum that bears the “Asthma & Allergry-Friendly” seal like the Dyson Animal + Allergy Cinetic Big Ball. This vacuum boasts whole-machine HEPA filtration and an airtight, sealed system. While other vacuums may allow microscopic particles like mold spores and pollen to make their way through to the filter and back out into your house, the Cinetic Big Ball ensures that no dirty air escapes.
In addition, the Cinetic is designed for life with pets with a bristle bar and special attachments designed to pick up all of Fluffy’s pet hair and dander from your furniture. If you’ve ever had a Dyson vacuum before, you know about their amazing suction and great turning radius, but this new Cinetic Big Ball is also the only vacuums with NO filters to wash! Instead, the Cinetic relies on these special tips that oscillate back and forth at 5,000 Hz, separating the microscopic dust that clogs all other vacuums. With no filters to clog (and wash), the Cinetic NEVER loses suction. I also love that this Cinetic Dyson comes with seven accessory tools including a new mattress attachment, a multi-angle brush, a soft dusting brush and an accessories bag to hold them all.
3. Invest in allergy-blocking bedding.
Ready for gross fact #2? The average mattress contain between 100,000 to 10 million dust mites inside, along with dead skin, sweat and pollen. So spending 7-8 hours a night with your face pressed into your mattress and pillow can not surprisingly cause allergies to flare up. You can help reduce your exposure to these by investing in allergy-blocking covers for your mattress and pillows that will keep these irritants from getting into your eyes, nose and skin and are easily washable.
4. Purify your indoor air.
Keeping your windows closed and relying on air conditioning is your best bet if you suffer from spring allergies, but it’s also important to purify the air with a HEPA filter to remove airborne allergens. There are a number of air purifiers on the market from this affordable desktop Holmes to larger floor models like this Germ Guardian. I also love these incognito air filters like these by Breathe Fresh Air and Alen (shown above) which will blend right in with your decor.
Here’s to a sneeze-free spring!
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Whether you are pregnant or just need a new bag, we are loving these gorgeous new diaper bags for spring! Check out the new silhouettes and fabric styles from Petunia Pickle Bottom, Skip Hop, and JJ Cole.
Petunia Pickle Bottom has released an updated edition of their iconic Boxy Backpack this spring! The new version includes a larger compartment opening and sleeker front panel, a top grab handle, and stroller straps are now included with every Boxy. They’ve also upgraded the hardware and added vegan leather detailing. I’m loving this new mod floral Brittany Blooms pattern and some of the other fun geometric designs.
Also, for something completely different from Petunia, minimalist moms who don’t like patterns will flip for PPB’s new Pathway Pack that comes in black/birch or stone/birch coated canvas and can be worn as a backpack, crossbody or with the top grab handle. And when all you need is a changing pad, wipes and a few diapers, there is also the Crossover Clutch that can be carried as a clutch, wristlet, or crossbody bag. As someone who fears most prints, I’m in love with these!
This spring, Skip Hop is offering two new backpack diaper bags to keep you hands-free for playdate picnics and park exploring. The chic Chelsea Diaper Backpack has lots of compartments, an expandable drawstring opening, and a lightweight but durable fabric to keep you hands-free and on-the-go. I love how the compact backpack won’t overwhelm my frame while still holding a ton, and that the chic black/gold accent design belies the crushed Cheerios and burp cloth inside.
The second backpack is the unisex Duo backpack, based off their best-selling Signature Duo diaper bag, and is available in a heathered grey and a bold blue graffiti print. I love that this bag is hands-free and easy to switch back and forth between mom and dad. Skip Hop also has a new blue and white spring-ready print for the Duo Special Edition.
JJ Cole also has a trio of new bags for spring: the Freeman bag in a chic black and white plaid, a satchel bag in that same print, and the Bucket Tote.
I just love springtime…The weather has warmed up and everything is so fresh and vibrant, including the food we eat. There is nothing I love more than taking advantage of the beautiful produce that’s available in the spring. One of my favorite vegetables to cook with, for instance, is asparagus. It’s such a lovely versatile vegetable. It’s just delicious broiled on its own with a sprinkling of olive oil and sea salt, but it’s even better as a part of one of my family’s go-to spring dishes, Asparagus Alfredo Lasagna.
Now I’m part Italian…and that Italian blood doesn’t come from my mama, but she is a wizard in the kitchen and it was her that inspired my love of Italian inspired cuisine. Not too long ago we were having one of our family dinners and were looking to see what she had on hand since we weren’t up to taking the kids to a restaurant…and that’s how Asparagus Alfredo Lasagna was born. It couldn’t be easier to make and is the kind of dish that will impress your family despite the minimal effort it requires. Haha!
2 jars of Bertolli Alfredo Sauce
asparagus spears bunch
no boil lasagna noodles
¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup of grated Mozzarella cheese
olive oil (to grease pan)
1. Lightly grease an 8.5 x 11-inch casserole dish with olive oil.
2. Pour 1/2 of one jar of Bertolli Alfredo sauce in the bottom of the dish.
3. Layer no boil lasagna noodles on top.
4. Layer sliced raw asparagus spears (slice on an angle) on top of the sauce.
5. Pour the other half of the jar of sauce on top to cover.
6. Layer the grated Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top.
7. Repeat the whole layering process again. Layer the noodles, asparagus, sauce and cheese.
8. Bake at 350 for an hour.
We call this Asparagus Alfredo Lasagna, but you could substitute the asparagus for any fresh spring vegetable that inspires you!
As Bertolli celebrates its 150th anniversary, they also want to help you commemorate your special moments this year big and small. Check out their Facebook page to see how you can win a dinner celebration and other prizes.
Viva Bertolli® and join me in celebrating 150 years of delicious Italian food, friends and family. Felice Anniversario and Buono Appetito! Visit Bertolli on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter for more inspirations and ideas to bring Tuscany to your table.