We’re Still Wearing Sandals—And This Pair Is Our Fave!

When it comes to personal style, I’m not a big believer in “rules.” If anything, we, at Momtrends, encourage our readers to be trend-setters, sartorial rule breakers, and stylish risk takers. (If you’re going to wear leggings as pants, we fully support you! Just please, PLEASE make sure your tee at least skims the top of your bum.)

Seriously though, we wear what we love and want to encourage you to do the same. That means, go ahead and rock white after Labor Day (it’s an outdated mandate anyway!), mix denims, pair two supposedly “clashing colors,” and march to the beat of your own fashion-forward drum.

Wear what feels good and looks good, that’s my motto—and don’t worry that it’s September 8 and you haven’t yet put away your flip-flop and espadrille collection.

So what if you’re sipping a pumpkin spice latte in a pair of sandal slides!?! Who cares if you’re apple picking in thong sandals?! What’s wrong with attending a football game in wedges?! Call these oxymorons, I say they’re a style statements. I vote for banning booties for another few weeks, and wearing those beloved sandals until your exposed toes feel the nip of crisp fall air. We, the ladies of MT, salute you… Heck, we’ll join you!

Truth is: We just discovered a new favorite sandal brand; and we intend on squeezing in every possible last “wear”  in these versatile puppies.

Cousin Sandals was launched by, you guessed it, a pair of cousins. Not only is each style is named after a cuz (must be a big family!), they’re all made of 100% cowhide leather, and feature an extended back for heel comfort and a solid rubber sole for heavy walking. They’re truly the ideal pair of sandals for NYC mamas on the move. So you better believe we’ll be wearing them well past the autumn equinox. We’ll even wear ’em with our “legging pants.” That’s just how we roll around here.

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.

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3 End-of-Summer Cocktails

Put down that pumpkin spice latté. Fall doesn’t officially arrive for another 21 days–what’s the rush? Before we pick apples at the orchard and break out our favorite boot, let’s enjoy these last few fleeting days and weeks of summer. And what better way to celebrate the season’s close than with a few delightful, delicious, and totally sizzling summer cocktails? We’ve rounded up five that you simply must enjoy before Sept. 22 arrives.

Fresh Peach Cocktail: Gin and Lillet give this sweet peach of a drink its kick! It’s great served individually in a glass or scaled up in a large pitcher (who’s entertaining this weekend?). Get the full recipe.

Frozen Watermelon Cocktail: A watermelon-vodka slushie? Does it get any more “summer” than that?! This refreshing drink/dessert is all you need to channel hotter days. (Why does it already feel like fall in New York?) Get the full recipe.

Adult Arnold Palmer: Iced tea, lemonade, and vodka… Yes, please! This grown-up version of the classic drink is as refreshing as it sounds. Get the full recipe.

This is not a sponsored post.

 

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Masala Baby Swim Styles

Summer is in full swing. Pool days, beach trips, park visits—it’s all become a big blur at this point in time; and we still have another month and a half to go! But it’s true what they say—time flies when you’re having fun. And we’ve definitely been having fun and making the most of the sun, sand, surf, green grass, and cool pool. The season is fleeting, and we want to enjoy every hot, humid, and muggy moment.

I tease, but we’ve also been getting a LOT of use out of our Masala Baby fashion finds. You may remember that we wrote about this incredible collection just a few short weeks ago—and we’re so beyond obsessed with their bohemian kiddie styles, we just had to give them even more love. Made in India, featuring a medley of colors, textures and motifs, Masala Baby’s styles seamlessly blend modern comfort and style.

With a global aesthetic and modern feel, Masala’s kiddie caftans are so gorgeous and equally effortless. This one is soft (100 percent cotton) and easy to throw on when you’re little girlfriend is done splashing around the pool. The beautifully intricate embroidery and pompom detailing makes a simple, playful, and stylish statement.

Likewise, Masala’s swimsuits are intricately designed with fashion and functionality at the forefront. Made with comfort and coverage in mind, they hold up to typical summer wear and tear, and look good by the pool, at the beach, balancing on an oversize flamingo, or even doing somersaults in the backyard. Carefree and vivacious—because that’s what Masala Baby, is all about.

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.

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5 Activities to Add to Your Family’s “Must List”

I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that we’re almost half way through July. Wasn’t it just Memorial Day weekend? Didn’t we just celebrate the solstice? Where is summer going? Slow down! I need more mornings at the beach, afternoons at the playground, and evening cookouts under the stars.

Summer does have a way of flying by, and that’s why I’m committed to making the most of the fleeting weekends with my crew of crazies.

I have lots of things I want to do and accomplish, lots of day trips on the calendar, and lots of sun to soak in.

Have you considered creating a summer “bucket list” for your family. Make a list of all the things you want to do, places you want to go, and experiences you want to have with your loved ones this season, and then check them off one by one. And don’t forget to add these five often forgotten bucket list to-dos! They epitomize the simple pleasures of the season… Fun, sun, sand, and relaxation.

See a Beach Sunset

I am usually crazy about bedtime. Last summer, I insist that my kids were tucked in by 8 PM sharp. Even in the midst of summer lightness. “But Mommy, it still bright outside.”

Speaking of light, I’ve learned to lighten up a bit about bedtime routines. The kids stay up a little later and we all enjoy some more family time together during the summer months. Better yet, we can watch the sunset. We took them to the beach a few nights ago to see the sensational sky and the water wash over our feet. It was dreamy, magical, and totally worth the late bedtime.

Watch a Movie Outdoors at Dusk

Lots of community parks offer music and movie nights under the stars. There’s nothing like packing a picnic (complete with a bottle or rosé or some shandies) and enjoying live music with your loved ones under the beauty of the sky. Only thing better: watching a movie together with a breeze in the air and the stars twinkling above.

Go to a Carnival

Popcorn, funnel cakes, and cotton candy. Super slides and pirate ships and haunted fun houses. Find a local carnival and splurge on a big book of tickets. Or, head to a local amusement park. We took the kids to Sesame Place a few weekends ago, and it was magic to experience it through their little eyes.

Fill Up a Baby Pool

Seriously, this one doesn’t get any simpler. Even if you have a gorgeous big, deep in-ground pool, there’s something so awesome about filling up a mini baby pool with freezing cold water from the hose and watching your kids slash and soak and sunbathe. Pull up a lawn chair, grab a book, and supervise. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Visit a Farm Stand

We love to go picking fresh fruits and vegetables during the summer. Nothing beats the taste of berries you’ve plucked off the vine yourself. Better yet, stop for some homemade pies or treats at a local stand. A strawberry cream pie is the epitome of summer.

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.

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Detox Your Body With Fruit-Infused Water

Can I tell you one of my favorite things about walking into a tropical resort, destination hotel, or spa center? … It’s the abundance and availability of fruit-infused water. I know, I know… I’m easy to please; it’s just one of the simple pleasures and little luxuries I can rarely resist.

Gimme some strawberries or citrus slices in plain ole tap water, and I feel like I’m somewhere exotic and foreign. Hydration with fresh fruity flavor… it really doesn’t get easier or more refreshing. I love it, and, better yet, so do my kids! They generally want juice, so it makes me so happy that I can get them drinking H20 with a few fruit chunks!

Beyond the benefits of hydration and flavor, I never really gave fruit-infused water too much consideration. But then I was introduced to Simply Fae, a beautiful lifestyle site launched by NYC wellness enthusiast, _. She believes in the detoxifying powers of fruit-infused water, and is sharing her wealth of knowledge with Momtrends. “Detoxing is what your body does naturally each and every day to neutralize, transform, or get rid of unwanted materials or toxins.  You can improve & optimize your own body’s detoxification by supplementing meals with detox drinks,” Fae says. (P.S. you didn’t see our Facebook Live, head on over and watch Fae in action.)

Fae doesn’t encourage using detox water as a cleanse (and we love that, because we like to eat around here!), but she does promote drinking one bottle a day. I can do that… You can do that! Heck, even my littles can handle that!

Each ingredient has its own benefits for detox water. For example, strawberries are rich in antioxidants, which can help to flush toxins, fight inflammation, and boost the immune system. Citrus aids in digestion, bolsters the immune system, rejuvenates skin, supports weight loss, and can help prevent kidney stones.

Image courtesy of SimpleFae.com

When Fae stopped by our Dumbo offices, she made us a batch of strawberry, lemon, and mint water which couldn’t have been light and brighter and more rejuvenating for summer–and now we can wait to try a few more recommended varietals, like strawberry, kiwi, mint water–yum!

To see all of Fae’s favorite recipes, visit her site Simply Fae. Cheers to good health and beautiful Instagram accounts.

DIY easy detox water recipes to make at home

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.

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Bohemian-Inspired Maxi Dresses

Throughout most of the year I’m a jeans kinda gal. Jeans and a bulky sweater in the winter. Jeans and a tee in the spring. Jeans and light layers in the fall… But in the summer, I trade out my beloved denim almost entirely for maxi dresses. I love a good maxi dress because it’s fitted and loose in all the right places, and effortlessly stylish.

Right now, my favorite Maxi dress is this bohemian-inspired number from Wayf. It’s got a hippie-chic vibe that’s equal parts easy going and prettily polished. This peach hue and floral print is feminine, the bottom pleats fall beautifully, and the bell sleeves make it ideal for rooftop nights in NYC.

Better yet, a maxi like this requires minimal accessories. I let the dress speak for itself, and kept it simple with stud earrings and simple wedge platform shoes. My favorite accessory? The delicious glass of rosé wine!

I’ve rounded up a few more bohemian-inspired maxi dresses to live in all summer… From backyard cookouts to evening rooftop soirees, these styles will keep you looking and feeling breezy and cool.

 

  1. Billabong Linger Here Off the Shoulder Maxi Dress, $65/ 2. Eliza J. Blouson Dress, $168/ 3. Hinge Print Off the Shoulder Maxi Dress, $79/ 4. Wayf Lace Maxi Dress, $109/ 5. Felicity & Coco Tie Dye Jersey Halter Maxi Dress, $78/ 6. Charles Henry Cold Shoulder Maxi Dress, $89

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.

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3 Fitness Trackers for 3 Different Moms

Do you own a fitness tracker? These wearables have become all the rage lately and are more than just a fad. If you don’t yet have one, you may be surprised how motivated you become when you see you have climbed fewer stairs than yesterday or managed more steps than a friend you’re competing with. Today, we’re sharing three fitness trackers for three different kinds of moms. Find your perfect fit and watch your fitness accomplishments grow!

Summer is here and mentally I often think that this will allow me more time to workout. Instead, the lack of school schedule and the addition of family vacations often means that I’m less likely to fit in fitness during the week. Sound familiar? Finding the right fitness tracker isn’t always easy – you need to find one with the features you like and a style that matches with your own. Whether you are a sporty mom, a minimalist mom, or a mom that thinks the more bling the better, we’ve got a fitness tracker for you.

Fitness Tracker for Minimalist Moms: Ringly

Ringly’s tagline is “Smart jewelry that keeps you active, mindful, and in the moment.” Their simple and low-profile fitness trackers don’t have a screen, but pair with an app and it can blend in easily with either day-at-the-office or park-play-date attire. I tried out Ringly’s GoSmart Bracelet that offers Activity Tracking + Mobile Alerts + Guided Meditation in a compact and stylish bracelet. It looks like any other bracelet you might wear, but this one is tracking my number of steps, miles covered, and calories burned as well as providing smart phone alerts through light and vibration that I can customize to know when the people I care about most are trying to get in touch. I love that both the band and tracker are thin and small yet stylish and still provide the basic fitness information I need to keep me motivated. Ringly also offers their Luxe Bracelets (bottom row) which offer a bit more style and their Smart Rings if you prefer not to have something on your wrist.

Fitness Tracker for On-The Go Mom: Fitbit Blaze

I know there are benefits of slowing down, but motherhood often has me playing the role of a multitasking master. I’m schlepping kids to sports practice while trying to fit in a workout while taking a work call on my headphones during said workout while still needing to make sure I’m home in 25 minutes to take the chicken out of the oven. Sound familiar? In situations like this, you need the Fitbit Blaze which is part watch, part fitness tracker, part smart phone. While the original Blaze comes with a sporty black band, I opted for the thin-version leather band to make it a little less obtrusive and suitable for work. While it’s still much bigger than the Ringly, I love that with the Blaze I can answer a call or play my music through Bluetooth headphones, track my steps, stairs climbed or workouts completed PLUS get texts and the most basic of all, figure out what time it is – which I was constantly having to ask my kids for. The battery life is crazy long (4-5 days between charges) and it has a built-in guided mediation feature which yeah, I may have used too many times during these last few weeks of school before summer. Fitbits also allow you to challenge other Fitbit wearers in your family, friend circle or office if you like competition. If the Blaze seems too big for your style, you can also try out Fitbit’s new Alta HR which offers all the same features in a more streamlined design.

Fitness Tracker for the Mom With Style: Wisewear

Wisewear fitness trackers are not for those who want to be discrete. True, while the tracker doesn’t have a screen like the Fitbit, the jewelry that houses it takes a certain kind of woman who doesn’t mind wearing attention-getting jewelry. I tried out the Calder bracelet in rose gold which was gorgeous and also way above my style ability. 😜 Wisewear also offers the Duchess which has a slight splash of color and the more subdued Kingston in gold, palladium and rose gold. These trackers are high on style, but also high on function. The Wisewear trackers will keep track of your step count, distance, and calories burned, will give a gentle vibration to notify you to check your phone for important calls, texts, emails, calendar events and even has a built-in panic button that will alert pre-set emergency contacts with a text message and GPS drop pin location with three taps of the bracelet. All in a seriously stylish tracker that no one will believe is tracking your daily miles.

So what’s YOUR perfect fitness tracker?

Momtrends was not paid for this post. Some samples were provided.

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Best Red Wines With BBQ

Grill season is here! Yippee! Time to head outside and create meals that you can make entirely on the BBQ. From grilled meats to corn on the cob, garlic bread to a grilled cesar salad, summer is the time to explore all the wonderful benefits of barbecuing.

Equally as important, is what you’ll be drinking. While a cool rose can be good to sip while the grill is warming up, for my meat-loving family, I like to pair up the perfect red wine with what’s cooking on the grill.

First a few “rules” when pairing wine with BBQ:

  1. Don’t break the bank. When there’s a good chance of eating with your hands, your wine shouldn’t cost more than your meat. Aim for the $10-$20.
  2. Consider chilling your red. Seriously. If it’s really hot out AND you’re going to be standing by a hot grill, a slightly chilled Pinot or Malbec will taste refreshing and delicious.

Onto pairing your grilled meats with great wines….

Beef

If ribs or burgers are on the menu, you can’t go wrong with a big bold red like the 2013 Backbone Cabernet Sauvignon from Motto Wines. It has a tasty blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 10% Petite Syrah that pairs perfectly with a juicy steak, burger or anything covered in barbecue sauce.

Sausages or other Spicy Grills

If your grill menu has some spice to it like sausages or Santa Maria style tritip, head for a Zinfandel, Shiraz, or Malbec. The 2014 Unabashed Zinfandel from MOTTO wines paired so nicely with the fresh-made sausage from my local butcher, that I had to have another – glass of wine, that is. Ha!

Pork or Salmon 

If you’re serving up a grilled pork loin or a salmon fillet, pick out a Pinot Noir to pair with your entree. Pinots, like those form Oregon or the Russian River Valley, play well with lighter meats and fish dishes without overwhelming them like a Cab or Zin would.

What are you grilling up this weekend?

Momtrends was not paid for this post. Samples were provided.

 

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Best Headphones & Speakers For Summer Fun

Summer is here! Time to celebrate! Whether you are headed to the beach or the pool, on a long road trip or a plane ride overseas, parents and kids alike need a way to take their summer playlist with them. Today we’re sharing our favorite speakers and headphones for the whole family – wherever your summer adventures take you!

After our speaker and headphone picks, be sure to scroll down to the bottom to find a Spotify summer family playlist from Family Circle – sure to kick off your summer in (musical) style! 🎶

At the beach or by the pool

Music is a great addition to any beach day or pool party but there are often two issues. First, you need something that you aren’t freaked out about getting wet and second, you need a way to boost the sound beyond your phone. The JBL Flip 4 is the perfect solution for bringing your tunes to any watery summer adventures. The fully waterproof portable Bluetooth Flip 4 wirelessly connects to up to two smartphones or tablets, lets you access Siri or Google Now, and has an impressive 12 hours of playtime. And they aren’t joking about it being waterproof – you can completely submerge the Flip 4. You know, when the song is so good even the fish need to hear it. Buy: Amazon

When the kids want to rock out (but parents don’t want to listen)

No shame – when we go on long car rides, I love relying on tablets to keep my kids entertained. What I don’t love is listening to hours of bells, dings and booms from their favorite apps. That’s when we pull out our Kidz Gear headphones. These kid-friendly headphones come in two options – Wired Kidz Gear KidzControl™ Volume Limit Headphones that limit the volume about 80% of the original max regardless of how many times they press the volume up button and the Wireless Bluetooth Headphones which can sync with a tablet or phone. I love that both styles are durable and designed to fit kids as young as 2yrs+ – though after 9-10, kids may be ready to move on to the Bluetooth ones. Plus they come with an included carry/storage bag to make sure they last. BUY: Amazon

When you’re short on space (but still want big sound)

Whether you’re trying to pack light for a day on a boat or the car is already crammed for your family road trip, sometimes you need BIG sounds in a tiny package. The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM is a pint-sized, portable Bluetooth speaker that can fit in the palm of your hand while still putting out big sound. The WONDERBOOM is fully waterproof, provides 10 hours of playtime, can be paired with another WONDERBOOM for surround sound, and has a convenient little loop so you can carabiner it onto your bike, boat or beach umbrella. Its small size makes it easy to bring just about anywhere, and the sound quality is top-notch.  BUY: Amazon

When you want to block out the umpteenth viewing of Frozen Sing-a-long on your roadtrip…

I’ll be honest. Sometimes on a long car trip, I just can’t listen to another kid movie. Or my husband and I want to listen to our own music or podcast. In these times, we pull out the big guns like the JBL E55BT Wireless over-ear headphones. These headphones are perfect for car trips or plane rides because they are cordless (though they come with one in case you need it), go over-the-ear to block out surrounding noise, are ridiculously comfy, and have a whopping 20-hours of battery life. Plus, it’s simple to switch from your favorite podcast to taking a call and the headphones lay flat for easy packing. Now to catch up on episodes of RadioLab… BUY: Amazon

When you’re trying to fit in a vacation run

While vacation might seem like a time to stay up late and have one-too-many margaritas by the pool, some people like to exercise on vacation. Like Momtrends CEO Nicole. If you follow her on Instagram or have seen any of her many workout posts, you know this woman values the importance of fitting in fitness – even on vacation. Music is a must for me when I workout so this summer, I’m hoping to motivate myself to move with these 1 Voice Wireless Bluetooth Active Lifestyle Earphones. Designed for active use, these Bluetooth headphones are comfortable, portable and very lightweight, and specifically designed to stay in place regardless of your workout. The built-in mic will let me make hands-free calls when I need and the 7+ hours of playtime is sure to last me for a vacation-worth of workouts. As long as I can get out of my lounge chair by the pool…. BUY: Amazon

Ready to get your summer party started? Try out this free Family Circle Family Summer Playlist featuring everything from pop favorites like One Direction and Katy Perry and classics like The Jackson 5, Elvis and Little Richard. Click on a song below to play!

 

Momtrends was not paid for this post. It does contain affiliate links. Some samples provided

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Corn on the Cob Recipes

I’m pretty sure my family could sustain exclusively on watermelon and corn on the cob during the summer months. Of course, we eat a lot of other things too, but suffice to say, we go through a lot of melons and ears! Even my four year old, the pickiest eater on the planet, can chow down on corn with the best of ’em, and he’s perfected his very machine -like chomping technique. (It’s impressive.)

Corn on the cob is so simple. You can boil it. You can grill it. You can roast it. You can eat it plain or slather on butter and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. But you can try some other delicious toppings too! Corn doesn’t have to be Plain Jane. You can take it up a notch and use it as a vehicle for some serious flavor and spice.

To celebrate National Corn on the Cob Day and welcome the season of husking, I’ve rounded up eight absolutely delicious recipes. The only question: Do you eat your corn on the cob it in straight lines or in circles?!

Grilled Corn With Fresh Herb Butter via Peters Food Adventures

Crock-Pot Corn on the Cob via Spicy Southern Kitchen

Mexican Corn on the Cob via Damn Delicious

Roasted Chipotle Honey Life Butter Corn via Carlsbad Cravings

Peruvian Street Corn via Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Corn on the Cob With Creamy Jalapeño Sauce via Joyful Healthy Eats

Cheesy Roasted Garlic Corn on the Cob via Just a Taste

Kicked-Up Corn on the Cob via Cook This Again Mom

 

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