A Benefit of Using Pacifiers


Now, first off, let me say that I fully realize that I loved this article solely because it makes me feel better about my two-year-old still sucking his pacifier. This morning, I saw this article on Yahoo News about children who use pacifiers. The article states if you clean your child’s pacifier by sucking on it and returning it to the child, you are building up their immune systems. At 18 months, those children were less likely to have asthma or eczema.

I have been told my our pediatrician to try to wean Mayhem off the pacifier. That was about 8 months ago. Since then, it seems that he has been MORE attached to the pacifier than he was previously. I, of course, blame myself for allowing him to have the pacifier when he was sick throughout most of the winter in order to comfort him. Now, when I tell him, “Leave it in the crib.” I get a scrunched up face, a ‘no’, or blatant disregard. When Daddy tells him to put it in the crib, of course he puts it right in there.

With my first child, I would have found this article disgusting. Little J wasn’t very interested in pacifiers, and still prefers sucking his thumb. That is an entirely separate article, and topic! I know that soon, I will have to get Mayhem completely off the pacifier- but for now, I’ll just enjoy the fact that there is a BENEFIT to pacifiers!

Did your children use pacifiers? Does this article surprise you?


From Honolulu to Home: a DIY Honey and Yogurt Face Mask

After I posted about our family trip to Maui, I was contacted by Kendra Thornton, former Director of Communications for Orbitz. I am honored to present the following guest post!


Something about the arrival of thaw and promise of warmer weather just seems to put us back in touch with nature and makes us want to relax. As a mom, I know I could use a nice little treat after dealing with kiddos with cabin fever all winter! However, I’ve recently found myself asking why we only let ourselves relax and refresh a few times a year. Being a mom is a full-time job; why not take a break a little more often?

The thought of relaxation brings me back to a particularly enjoyable stay in Honolulu at Kahala’s Hotel Resort and Spa, which rates as one of the top hotels in Honolulu.  From the time spent on the beach to the beautiful sunset at dinner, the Kahala stands in my mind as one of my most serene memories.  

But by far the most relaxing and refreshing part of my trip was when the Kahala Spa staff introduced me to their moisturizing facial, which left my skin feeling like new.  When I returned to Chicago, I knew I had found what a beauty remedy that would be a staple in my household…. and all without leaving the comfort of my own home!

The honey and yogurt face mask can be made right from your kitchen and will leave your skin smooth and revitalized.

To recreate serenity in your very own home, you’ll need:

Honey and Yogurt Face Mask

-1/2 cup plain yogurt

-2 tablespoons aloe vera gel

-1 tablespoon honey

-1/2 peeled cucumber

-A few drops of chamomile oil

I recommend grating the cucumber to release the juices and help it blend. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl with a rubber spatula. If your daily beauty regimen tends to be a little harsh on your skin, the honey and yogurt will help moisturize while the aloe releases its healing powers.

Apply the mixture evenly, avoiding the eyes and nostrils. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

As mothers we canā€™t always be on the beach or at the spa; but with this DIY beauty mask your skin can still feel repaired and rejuvenated.  Enjoy!

Spring Break in Maui – Part 1

When we decided to take a trip to Maui for Spring Break 2013, I must admit that I had mixed feelings about it. I wanted to go, of course! But I wasn’t sure how the trip would go with our two youngest travelers, ages 2 and 4. Yes, we had travelled together before. We visit the family in New Jersey each year, but we do not stay in a hotel. We stay at my parents’ house. All of us, in one hotel room, well that hasn’t historically gone very well. Usually, Mayhem keeps us up. The last time we all slept in one room was MLK Day, this year. And I was up. all. night. So here is a summary of our family vacation, and hopefully some useful tips.

Day 1: The flight from LAX to Kahului. We woke up at 5:30 am and loaded our group into the car. They were both excited and eager to climb in. We got through security rather quickly, and grabbed some food for the plane.

Traveling Tip #1: If you are renting a car, and your child is old enough for a booster seat- the rental car agency MUST provide you with one. Don’t waste your energy dragging a booster seat around the airport!

Traveling Tip #2: Make sure you have something for your child’s ears on the plane. The pressure during takeoff and landing can be very painful. For us, lollipops are great and ‘gummy’ goodies work well too.

Traveling Tip #3: Before you leave, stock up on ‘new things’ like coloring books, stickers, and flash cards. Pack them a backpack, with their ‘new things’ for the plane and don’t let them open it until they get on the plane. Hype it up, make it like Christmas for them. I usually try to include a ‘prize’, which is an inexpensive Lego set for Little J or dinosaur figurines. For some reason, they are very exciting?

When we arrived at the hotel, we asked for a crib for Mayhem (I had called ahead to make sure this was an option). We got there around dinner time, so we ordered room service and relaxed in the room for the evening.

Day 2: We got up early, and scoped out the kids pool area. The pool had a waterfall, was only about a foot deep and there was also an adjacent playground! Oh, and the view from the kids pool? The ocean. Can’t beat that! We laid our towels out after breakfast, and then headed back to the room to get ready. We ended up back in the room pretty early for a nap, since this trip involved a three hour time change.

For dinner, we went to La Haina and had dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise. We really enjoyed this, and we had an ocean view. Live music and great atmosphere, what more could you want on vacation!


Traveling Tip #5: Don’t ‘over plan’ the trip with young children. Be flexible, and have backup options!

Day 3: We wanted to get off the hotel property for a bit, so we talked to the hotel concierge and decided to try to find ‘the blowhole’. It was not particularly easy to find, and when we got there we realized it was not a hike fit for a 2 year old. Mayhem had to stay behind with Grandma and Grandpa while Little J, Daddy and I hiked down the mountain in search of ‘the blowhole’.


After some more pool time, my husband and I got a chance to leave the boys with Grandma and Grandpa to go exploring on our own. We opted to head back into La Haina for some people-watching. We had a great time, visiting the local craft fair and grabbing a drink at Captain Jack’s.


So far, so good! More on the trip soon!

One of those days…

ImageYesterday was one of those days… One of those days where I found out, after being at work all day- that I still had the tag on my new blouse. One of those days where I had so much to do that I couldn’t get out of work on time. One of those days where when I got home, the work was just beginning. One of those days where Little J cried over everything, and I wanted to. Here’s to today, and hoping it’s one of those days that’s a little better than yesterday

Klout Perk – Earth’s Best

I recently received an Earth’s Best Klout Perk- and Mayhem immediately sucked down the Organic Fruit Yogurt Smoothie. Thank you very much. šŸ™‚ If you haven’t checked out Klout.com, it is a website that provides free ‘perks’ depending on how much ‘klout’ you have. If you check in periodically, you can find fun freebies like this one!

The Mixed Berry smoothie had Grover’s face on it, and the Klout perk was themed for Elmo’s birthday.


Earth’s Best also provided a coupon for a free jar of baby food, which I will be sharing with a friend. Thank you, Earth’s Best and Klout!

I’m here! But I’m leaving…

I am so sorry that I have been MIA during this past month! It’s been extremely busy. I just wanted to check in with you all. On St. Patrick’s Day, I turned the ripe old age of 31. I celebrated with a lovely lunch in Laguna Beach. Friends and family came to celebrate with me, and how can you complain when you are sitting on the beach in SoCal?


Little J and his girlfriend

I decided that I was going to parent MY WAY. Which apparently involves letting my two-year -old boss me around sometimes. Mayhem has found his voice, and is now using to tell everyone around him what to do… and how to do it. He’s such a joy, and his bedtime routine has been evolving. He now DEMANDS at least two books, and on one night last month- he made me read them to him IN the crib. He was sick, what was I supposed to do – say no?


That’s me, in Mayhem’s crib. Because he said so.

My family contemplated the meaning of life…We’re making a concerted effort to be healthier as a family. This will involve family walks, rather than me just walking our dogs. The boys love it, and I love being outside.Ā 


My little family. I’m so lucky. Don’t mind the dogs rear ends under the bench…

And we spent time enjoying the beautiful southern California weather at the park.


My little men, headed to the park. Off to our next adventure!

And now, we’re off to Maui for about a week. I’ll be back with stories and photos in April. How is this year going so quickly?!?!

MinuteĀ® Rice Chicken Fried Rice

MinuteĀ® Rice Chicken Fried Rice, a quick and healthy meal for busy mommas. I started by using Brown MinuteĀ® Rice. This entire meal takes about 15 minutes, so it’s great when you get home from work- and you need to get dinner on the table fast!

fried rice

The ingredients that you will need are:

  • 2 cups cooked MinuteĀ® Rice, cold (it’s important that it’s cold!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1

    onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked, chopped chicken meat


You can vary this as you like, I sometimes include green onions, mushrooms, or edamame if I have them.


  1. In a small bowl, beat egg with water. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add egg and leave flat for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from skillet and cut into shreds.
  2. Heat oil in same skillet; add onion and saute until soft. Then add MinuteĀ® Rice, soy sauce, pepper and chicken. Stir fry together for about 5 minutes, then stir in egg. Serve hot.

Both of my kids loved this recipe! I love that it’s quick, easy and tasty. Mayhem (top left picture) helped me with the taste test. And Little J (bottom left picture) enjoyed his dinner! MinuteĀ® Rice makes this meal so easy!

PicMonkey Collage

MinuteĀ® Rice is so quick and easy to prepare and is great pantry staple. When meal time seems like a hassle, MinuteĀ® Rice is a go-to ingredient your whole family will love and allows you to have more quality time doing what your want with your loved ones. Leftover rotisserie chicken or veggies from a meal earlier in the week? MinuteĀ® Rice can easily be paired with some of your leftover ingredients to make a quick, easy and wholesome meal your whole family will love in just a matter of minutes.

Visit http://www.minuterice.com/ to create a great main meal or side dish for your next family get-together or potluck. This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of MinuteĀ® Rice.

Mom and Boy – speaking my thoughts! Enjoy.

Mom and Boys


This has started to happen to me more and more.

People ā€œhelpingā€ my kids.

We will be at the playground or walking through a store and Lincoln will struggle,

He will trip over his own feet.

Struggle to get up some steps that may be too big for his little legs.

Or slide down a slide that is may be too steep.

And I will watch.

I donā€™t sit back and watch because I am a mean mother, I watch because I believe my son can figure it out.

My child is strong enough to get up those steps- he just needs to realize it.

My son is perfectly capable of picking himself up after a spill- and he has no problem doing it.

If he slides down a slide and lands on his butt, he can decide if it was worth it- and 9 times out of 10 heā€¦

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2 Quick ‘Mom Beauty Tips’

Let me just preface this post by saying that I do not consider myself an expert on ‘beauty’ tips. However, I happen to be related to someone who has been trying to help me along the path to looking and feeling better for… well, my whole life. My sister read my New Year’s Resolutions, and pointed me towards two great products that I wanted to share with you.


DHC – Deep Cleansing Oil is what I now use before I go to bed. The main ingredient in this product is olive oil, which sounded strange to me. But it feels like a mini spa treatment! It removes your makeup, including eye makeup and prevents breakouts. I love that it is a natural, deep cleaning product.


Benefit Erase Paste is the concealer that I had been searching for, to hide the bags under my eyes. My skin is very fair, so I feel that my exhaustion shows up easily. What makes this concealer stand out is that it is a creamy, blendable product. It’s not a stick, or a hard compact which are the types of products that I had previously been using. It’s easy to use, and comes with instructions on how to hide different things, including under eye circles. I highly recommend it!

The last thing my sister recommended was for me to find a great mascara that I love, and make sure I put it on EVERY Day. I know, it should go without saying. If you were going to leave the house in 5 minutes, make sure you throw on your mascara!

What beauty tips would you give your fellow mamas?Ā (Note: Keep it civil, ladies!)

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party

theme image

Saturday was Mayhem’s 2nd birthday. We celebrated with a Mickey Mouse themed birthday party, and it was a success! I wanted to share what we accomplished, so you could easily do this too!

First, I knew there we some things that I would want to order online- so I started there. I ordered the invitations from Crafts by Jillian, which I am in love with!


I ordered this adorable shirt from Little Petunia on Etsy. She makes really great quality items for kids. She customized the shirt for Mayhem, and the shirt was super soft and thick.


I also ordered the Mickey Mouse plushies during the Disney store’s 2 for 1 sale. $7 each. Next, I ordered the bounce house to entertain the kids. I found one with Mickey ears!


Then, I tackled the paper goods. Target had pretty much everything I needed there- red table cloth, red and black paper plates, black and white polka dot napkins, yellow plastic utensils, and red Solo cups. I was keeping it simple!

dessert table

We all had a great time, which is what matters most. And the kids loved the Mickey Mouse theme. I have seen other Mickey parties with ‘hot diggity dogs’, which is so cute! We just did pizza for our lunch, and served cut up strawberries and popcorn as snacks for the kids. I put ears on the kids table for each kid, and they were all running around with them on. Of course, some of the moms had them on too!

The goody bags each had one of the plush Mickey Mouse dolls, a couple bags of M&Ms, Mickey Mouse bubbles, and individual packs of goldfish. The were in 99 cent red buckets from our local party store, and we used FREE Mickey Mouse printables to decorate both the buckets and the water bottles that we put on the kids table.PicMonkey CollageWhat other ideas do you have for a Mickey Mouse birthday party?Ā