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2018 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD {Family Vacay Vehicle Review}

blog review Mazda CX-9

A few school systems in several regions in America and across the globe have started a new school year already. Still, many more are still out and this means that families are sneaking in their last minute getaways and vacations. Personally,  I can share that on my various social media platform feeds, I see many friends and family on weekend and weeklong excursions.

On Sunday, my family of 5, my baby sis and niece did the same and headed to Virginia Beach about four hours south of our home outside DC.

To get there,  on the drive down, I partnered with Mazda USA and Driveshop  and tested out its signature top-of-the line luxury three-row crossover sports utility vehicle, the Mazda C-X9We ABSOLUTELY LOVED this vehicle and were honestly sad when we had to return it at the end of the week.

First, it looks really regal and very expensive! The atomic grey version of the premium vehicle we were generously loaned to drive came with decadent auburn interior leather seats.  The SUV itself doesn’t even look like a heavy cargo vehicle from the outside because the car’s design features a sloped rear and sleek aerodynamic exterior.

Very nice!

Full disclosure: this was my first time driving a keyless entry, push-button start vehicle and I was nervous about leaving the key in the vehicle,  but good thing, the SUV alarms if the engine is running and you walk away with the key.

Some of our adventures during the week, during which I celebrated my 19th wedding aniversary.

Tech Features

For today’s modern tech obsessed and addicted families, this vehicle is loaded with high tech features. This 2018 model comes with its own Wi-Fi. Also new for this year are two head rest videos with wireless headphones and remotes. For our drive up and back from Virginia Beach, the kids plugged in their Amazon

Firestick on one monitor and the Roku on another, then tethered our family’s unlimited wireless phones so they could enjoy Amazon, Hulu and Netflix on the trip.

There is an XM, Pandora, and other streaming services options. We could control the dashboard as a touch screen or using a dial on the center console. There are two USB ports in the center console, two inside the pull down arm rest and cup holder. The trunk and inside the passenger side panel both have cigarette lighter ports that can be used to house another dual USB port, making it possible to charge 8 different electronic devices at the same time if we wanted.

There is an active driver hologram on the window above the dashboard that shows the miles per hour being driven. I was in awe to see a small Stop sign appear on the windshield each time the car approaches a street with an actual Stop sign on the corner. During the highway drive, each time there was construction on the road, a yellow strip appeared on the hologram to warn the driver of the more dangerous road condition. Similarly, each time the car would get close to the shoulder, there was a signal in the hologram signal. Amazing!

Active Driving Display appears on the windshield above the driving console.

All of these features are great to supplement driver’s instincts and assist for the safety of the precious cargo, the family!

A push of the button activates the push-to-talk hands free dashboard and another button toggles the dashboard monitors: miles driven, Trip A and Trip B analytics for comparisons, the gas mileage, the vehicle service update and more.

The trunk features a hands free open. You just hit the key fob and the rear opens automatically, with one touch of a button near the keyhole, it auto closes. If something is in the way, the door will retract a bit and will not close.

Navigation

The navigation system is Smart and sophisticated.

Besides the standard navigation options, even when you haven’t programmed the vehicle to give you direction anywhere, as you drive, the dashboard indicates the name of a street  or cross street you are about to enter and gives you the speed limit sign for the road you will enter before you enter it so you know how fast oncoming cars should be traveling and how fast you should go once you merge into or enter that lane of traffic.

There is a rear camera that helps you get in and out of tight parking spots or to parallel park.

The Safety Features

The high tech options on the full package  vehicle we tested included innovative safety features. One of my faves is the blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. If a pedestrian is close to the car walking across the parking lot as you’re about to back out of a space or if another vehicle is close to passing, the CX-9 gives out an audible alert. You can also see it through the rear view camera which I also appreciated because while using it, I was able to back into a parking spot at the grocery store absolutely perfectly!

There is also a blind spot signal on the side mirrors that illuminates each time another vehicle on the road coasts in your blind spot. Neat! There is a touch emergency brake button on the center console that can be easily released with the touch of a button.

It also includes in suite of active safety features such as automatic high-beams, lane-keeping assist, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and adaptive cruise control.

Handling

The car had great maneuverability and handling, typical for any all wheel standard car. I looked it up and the vehicle comes with Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control, a system that reduces engine torque imperceptibly as the vehicle enters a corner to help improve cornering stability.

The CX-9 crossovers is a 2.5-liter turbocharged I4 making 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, which is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.  The SKYACTIV®-G 2.5T Dynamic Pressure Turbo engine is a reaction to the new category of hybrid vehicles on the market. It helps this SUV get more miles per gallon. We traveled about 4 hours and a little over 200 miles from Virginia Beach to right outside Washington, DC on a half tank of gas. That’s highway miles. Excellent fuel economy.

Luxury Comforts

Although we didn’t need it this trip, there are heated seats for the driver and front seat passenger and second row seats.

Reviews

It has a close to 5-star rating by Car and Driver magazine and is listed among its 10 Best SUV Cars and Trucks List.  Edmunds gives it close to 5 star ratings on most categories too!

Price

For $38,655, you can get the front-wheel-drive CX-9 Touring with the Premium package. That Touring Premium package is an additional $1750, but adds a long list of features, including navigation, automated emergency braking, a 12-speaker Bose audio system, SiriusXM satellite radio, LED fog lamps, and a power sunroof.

Overall Pros: This vehicle is great for a medium to large family of 3-7. It looks and feel great from the exterior to interior. The sporty sleek look gives it a very top-of-the line feel, comparable to other SUVs in the market, including luxury brands. The tech features are up to par with all of the innovation out there on the market and what modern, tech driven and connected families need. The safety features gives you an extra layer of security for the family.

Cons: The USB ports in the front in the center console is hard to reach when driving and the cigarette lighter one along the center console floor paneling is awkwardly placed and very difficult to reach. It would be better if it was placed below the dashboard so it is easier to maneuver.

While we appreciate the slope in the back giving off a more sporty feel, it took away cargo space so we weren’t able to carry as many suitcases because we had two extra people in our party. However, for the average family of 5 who are traveling on a road trip, you can easily fold down the third row to accommodate more bags back there.

See some of our LIVE reviews on the Bellyitch Instagram account under “Reviews” or Watch some clips of my review above in this compilation:

The Handsfree Breastpump You Get When Ready to Return to Work (REVIEW)

Necessity is the mother of invention. That is why four savvy sisters (out of a family of nine) got together with their shared vision of creating a simple solution for busy sophisticated modern working moms who need a solution for pumping on the go and created a perfect solution!

Simple Wishes founders, sisters and moms of breastfed babies.

Simple Wishes is a chic, relatively new, hands-free pumping bra bustier on the market that can be attached to any of the most popular breast pumps,  Medela, Philips AVENT, Lansinoh, Bellema, Evenflo, and Spectra Baby. The hands-free apparatus lets multi-tasking moms go about their day and be more productive while they pump, take a break, work in the office or unwind at the end of the day, or pump while baby is sleep to relieve milk build up. 

The bra we received to review is made of quality material but is still soft and supple to the touch. It is stylish while functional and is made with a thoughtful design that provides full breast support but is much more affordable for the quality compared to other nursing bustiers on the market!

The sister founders say they learned through their own mother’s experience breastfeeding all nine of us that there are tremendous benefits, however, there can be challenges. “Through our products, we strive to alleviate some of those challenges to help empower women to continue providing such wonderful nutrition for their baby,” they write on the company’s website.

The bra holds the bottle firmly and securely in place and does the work while mom goes about her business getting other stuff done!

We are not the only ones who feel so.

The product has a close to perfect review star rating on Amazon and most of the verified purchasers say they love that the product has a Velcro panel which provides versatility. So if you like yours tighter or looser, you can easily adjust it to suit without working about fasteners and adjusters that do not work.

As any nursing mom knows, your breast can grow in size as milk fills up and get smaller. This nursing bra is accommodating.  It comes with straps that are optional and is reversible, meaning that it can be zippered going up or down. Like we said, totally customizable  to each woman’s individual needs an comfort.

The best part is that the bra slips on easily with or without removing nursing bra and shirt. This is great in situations like work when you may not have the time, privacy or accommodation to get completely unrobed on top, neither want to!

Elastic reinforcement has been built into the top of the bra for a secure fit, ensuring no slipping. It fits comfortably without added pressure that cuts into the skin.

For added versatility and support, the bra’s convertible design allows it to be worn as a strapless band or in tank, racer-back, or halter style. We like the halter style look but for women with ample breast, the tank or racer-back hold provides extra needed support.

For a product that has not been on the market for too long, it has taken off and is being well accepted and loved by new moms and vets alike.

If you’re in the market for a supplement to your breastfeeding needs and goals, do consider investing in this. The item retails for about $30 and if you order from Amazon and have Prime, shipping is FREE!  The product sells in retail stores around the country too! Find a nearby seller HERE! 

If you purchase through the Simple Wishes website and join its mailing list, you get 10% off your first purchase! Sweet!

Expecting moms who plan to breastfeed and/or return to work while still nursing, add this product to your wish list or registry! T

The 9 Members of the Simple Wishes founders’ family!

How to Get an Insurance Subsidized Breast Pump Before Baby Arrives

Content created in partnership with Stork Pump

Every expecting mom who plans to breastfeed her newborn puts a breastpump on her baby show registry wish list but because they usually are expensive, few people end up purchasing it for the mom-to-be, who is usually left scraping together her pennies to get one on her own after baby arrives.

Did you know that there is a low cost alternative to shelling out hundreds of dollars (a Medela Pump in Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump with Backpack can run $300!) in some cases to get a new breast pump?

A lot of insurance companies will subsidize the purchase of one for their insured families.

One company, Storkpump, recently opened up shop with the motto to create “a world full of happy healthy babies.” Part of that mission is making sure even moms on a budget can access a top quality breast pump so her baby is nourished with breast milk when she is away from baby.

To receive a breast pump, interested expecting parents can either fax, call or fill out a form to inquire about how to get a pump shipped to them in time for baby’s arrival.

Among the options of breast pumps available are: The Spectra S2 Double Electric Breast Pump, a perfect pump for on the go that comes with a stylish, light-weight tote so there is no need to worry about how you look carrying your breast pump.

The Spectra S2  gives you hospital quality on the go without all the noise. This pump is touted to be among the quietest in the industry and weighs only 4 pounds, giving moms the flexibility of a portable pump that is also hospital grade quality.

One of the top legacy quality pumps is the Medela Pump in Style Starter which started out as a hospital pump before the company started marketing their pumps to regular consumers. is just for you! I’ve used this pump with my three children and it is very simple to use. Attach the connectors to the pump, suction the breasts and hit the start button. This pump reportedly produces 18% more milk than competitors! Perfect!

Also, there is the Ameda Finesse which is another super quiet pump and one of the quietest in the market with its stylish look.  This machine provides a truly customizable experience so that each mother can adjust to her own body’s response.

There are a couple other pumps available too and the one you end up getting may depend on  your budget, you insurance carriers subsidy or allowance and what features you want in your pump.

I sincerely wished that such options were available to me over a decade ago when I was first growing a family and that is why I am happy to share with my audience all of these new innovative and inventive options, solutions and alternatives available to modern moms of today!

Follow Storkpump  on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for updates, specials and other information you may need to get a leg up and heads up on upcoming deals.

Reviewing Our British Soccer Camp Experience



My daughter attended British Soccer Camp held on the field of a middle school on Capitol Hill in DC and had a great time making new friends, picking up some skills and enjoying the sport. As a bonus, her camp took place during the 2018 World Cup Soccer tournament.

She has played on soccer teams since she was 4-years old or so and more recently, she’s shown to have some skill and talent at the sport. Therefore, my husband has been keen on taking her and her big brother to our local college soccer fields for training. He, himself, is a fan of soccer, or football, as they call it in his native Trinidad and Tobago (and the rest of the world. heh. heh.)

That’s why I was excited about the opportunity from the camp for my little girl to attend the camp in exchange for this review.

Each day, I’d drop her off and she got with her age group team, and was taught drills, skills, and new techniques. Her coach, Casio, was actually from Brazil but taught the camp with an Irish coach. For three hours daily Monday thru Friday, they taught two groups of about 10 kids in each group on the field.

Each day, the coaches took the players through progressive series of skill building practices from unopposed, to opposed, game related and finally into a game.

  • Soccer ABC – Players learned to limprove their Agility, Balance and Coordination.
  • Dribbling – campers taught to improve the ability to change direction and move at speed.
  • Moves – kids learned to master more than 20 different ways to turn and fake opponents.
  • Passing – they learned to improve accuracy, pace and 1st touch control.
  • Shooting – players also learned to improve power and placement with each foot.
  • Heading – some campers were taught how to safely and confidently head the ball (approved age groups only)
  • Tackling/Defending – the kids learned to improve their tackling skills and learn how to defend.

She also came home with homework: to find and wear a specific team color the next day, to design a flag of one of the World Cup teams and to mimic the design of a World Cup Team (hers was Germany) on a white T-shirt.  We had a great time designing the shirt together at home.



Overall, she learned a lot and really enjoyed the experience. I could tell that she had picked up some new tricks and honed her skills some during the week. I’m glad she had an opportunity to attend and I will be sending her back next year, perhaps for the full day camp!

For the most part, they had great weather though the last day it rained all day which put a damper on their finishing ceremony where they each got certificates. The kids were still very excited about wrapping up a great week.

Consider signing up your kid for the remaining camps this year or next!

Your Guide to My Ethnic Braided Styles and How to Get the LOOK!

A few years ago, I started a beauty blog named for myself dedicated to ethnic braided hair called JJBraids.com.

I’ve worn my hair in variety of braided styles for over a decade and usually get stopped in the streets or inboxed by friends, and strangers asking me what type of style was my hair, what particular extensions, if any, were added, and which size, color, length they were; and finally, who did it.

The answer to the last question is easy: my hair braider Dorcas N’Ja who also used to be the personal hair stylist to Venus and Serena Williams and their mom and other sisters. She used to travel down to Florida to do the women’s hair and all, though she has since retired from travel styling.

My blog has taken off and has become one of few resources on the web dedicated to ethnic braided hair styles only.

While a lot of people cannot travel to DC, where Ms. N’Da is located, they can purchase the same extensions and take them to their nearest stylist. My blog has a stylist finder you can access HERE!.

Below are my most popular styles – based on viewer and friends’ preference and where on Amazon or online you can purchase similar hair extensions.

Crochet Braids are all the rage these days. In this article’s header is my hair in crochet braids, a technique that involves cornrowing the natural hair flat and down or around, then adding extensions the same way one would crochet a scarf or sweater. Really! I posted a tutorial on my blog HERE.

The reason why this technique of wearing braided styles is so popular these days is because they take a fraction of the time to install compared to individual braids which can take anywhere from 8-16 hours to install, depending on the length and width.  Ms. N’Da usually takes a little over an hour to do my entire head of hair using the crochet method! Imagine!

The grade, texture, length, color of the hair above and where to get it can be found HERE!

Crochet styles are usually curly so a lot of people were surprised to learn that this straight pressed hair I wore to my sister’s wedding last year is actually crochet braids!

The grade, texture, length, color of the hair and where to get it can be found HERE!

Also above is crochet but smaller curls.

The grade, texture, length, color of the hair and where to get it can be found HERE!

When bright colored hair came into fashion, I couldn’t help but experiment with it also. It is also a crochet style.

The grade, texture, length, color of the hair and where to get it can be found HERE!

Yes, these look like real dread locks, sister locs, Goddess locs, water locs (they have so many different names depending on their width, softness, loosness, wavy-ness) but they are actually faux locs installed in my hair…yes, crochet style again!

I purchased about 4-5 packs of this hair  length, color of the hair and where to get it can be found HERE!

Before crochet braided styling of braids were hot, people used to do half individual braids and half weave. The braider would install the edges and front of the hair in traditional micro, micro mini or medium sized indivual braids, then use the hair weaving method on the middle.

It saved time as well, but unlike crochet braids, weaved hair grows out much faster and needs to be redone more frequently. Well that was my experience anyway.

If you like this style above, you can get my brownish auburn weave here and a matching wavy braided hair HERE!

Waist and bottom-length individual braids, installed in tiny squares across the entire head and braided all the way down can last a long time, but they take a good 14 hours to install if you get one person to do it. If you go to a hair braiding salon or gallery where a bunch of women work, you may have 2-3 working at the same time on your hair which will cut down the time tremendously. You can use the cheapest extensions, Kanekelon on this style which is great because it usually costs a lot of labor time to put in and stylists charge a lot more too.

I purchased about 4-5 packs of this hair  length, color of the hair and where to get it can be found HERE!

Here is a shorter version of the same style with a little thicker width above and a bob style below.

The following three photos are also achieved using deep wave Kanekelon synthetic hair in Ombre below that you can get HERE!

For a long while, a lot of people who wore their hair in kinky, puffy, or Nubian twists achieved this look infusing with coarse 100% kanekalon  or toyokalon fibers. Make sure to get the ones that are shorter and puffy packed. You can purchase a similar style HERE! 

The following four styles were achieved using this hair.

Finally, in between styles, I wear my natural hair out like above or wear wigs like the ones below you can get from any hair and beauty supply store. Good luck achieving one or more of these looks this year!

 

Where To Go This Summer in North, West, East and South USA

We get press releases and other insights on venues, events, and other destinations and are asked to pass them along to our readers. In this installment of ‘pay it foward’, we’re sharing an eatery, an amusement park, a writer’s workshop and a waterpark in the North, South, East and West coast of the United States

EAST

In New York City, everyone is feeling the heat. On the plus side, the hot weather means its time to enjoy the outdoor patio space at Hibernia Bar in Hell’s Kitchen. The private, shaded outdoor patio space located in the back of Hibernia Bar and Grill is good news for those of us who like to enjoy the outdoors with a cocktail and the company of friends and family during the summer.

This outdoor space is a great option for those who want to check out an outdoor bar and entertainment in New York City. If you’re itching to get out of your house with your family and onto a relaxing patio, check out Hibernia and the large outdoor space just on the backside of the bar.

A popular, authentic Irish pub which also serves as a restaurant where patrons often watch live sports, Hibernia Bar Hell’s Kitchen also offers an outdoor patio section great for enjoying the warm weather and spending time with friends and family. On its patio — or indoors, if the weather isn’t cooperating — enjoy a Guinness alongside Irish favorites and classic American dishes such as wings and calamari.

The outdoor patio space, consistently earns high praise from locals and out-of-towners for its unparalleled casual atmosphere and close proximity to Time’s Square and Rockefeller Center. It’s an ideal place to take your family, shoot hoops, and enjoy cold beverages throughout the day. Order one of Hibernia’s signature perfectly poured Guinness beers and set the tone for a down-to-earth day of fun.

Now that it is outdoor-dining weather in New York City, it is time to take advantage of the covered outdoor space at Hibernia and feel like you are escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. This patio is more of an enclosed courtyard, but that just adds to its unique appeal. When stepping onto the patio, you will immediately notice the vibrant and lush plant life dripping along the brick walls that enclose the space. If you take a look up, you will feel a sense of tranquility as you see the burnt orange cloth draped across the sky shielding you from the blazing sun. Throughout the patio the large wooden tables are the perfect setting for a lunch or dinner party to enjoy the company of close friends and family. No need to hide in your apartment waiting for the summer heat to subside or battle the crowds and take the 2 hour trek to the beaches. Instead, enjoy the summer season outdoor with your family and take advantage of our relaxing wood and brick-adorned patio space.

WEST

The Little Tokyo Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library will host Never Forgotten: A Nisei Writing Workshop, to help new writers shape their life experiences into compelling narratives. The workshop will take place on four Saturdays from July 14 – September 22 at the Little Tokyo Branch, 203 S. Los Angeles St.

“Everyone has a story to tell, about themselves or their loved ones, but might have a hard time penning their memories on paper,” said James Sherod, the Branch’s Senior Librarian. “This workshop helps give them the confidence to craft their memoirs.”

Naomi Shibata, author of Bend with the Wind: The Life, Family and Writings of Grace Eto Shibata, will lead the workshop. The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Little Tokyo Branch Library and Poets & Writers, Inc.

The workshop is free, but registration is required at the reference desk or by calling the library at (213) 612-0525. Participants should attend all sessions:

Workshop 1: Saturday, July 14, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Workshop 2: Saturday, Aug. 18, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Workshop 3: Saturday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Nisei Workshop Reading and Reception: Saturday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Free Valet Parking: Available with library validation on Los Angeles Street.

The workshop is cumulative and concludes with a reading to celebrate the new works and the program’s mission of ensuring the legacy of the Nisei, American-born children of Japanese immigrants, carries through storytelling to future generations.

SOUTH

Summers were made to be enjoyed and explored, especially on the island of Key West, FL and nothing celebrates sun and fun more emphatically than the experiences awaiting the visitors at Fury Water Adventures! For a limited time using promo code: FURY, you can enjoy great savings on their many exciting trips this summer, including $20 off their most popular excursion, the Ultimate Adventure, which gives you a taste of virtually everything that can be done on the water like snorkeling, parasailing, a state certified water park and jet-skiing as well as breakfast, lunch, and unlimited refreshments! Enjoy 15% off all of their other great trips, including the crowd-pleasing Commotion on the Ocean live music sunset sail and a local favorite, Island Adventure. After you book your trip, check-in with them on their official Facebook or Instagram pages when you arrive in Key West and you’ll also have a chance to WIN the ultimate Fury Swag Bag! A drawstring backpack, a beach towel, a pair of sunglasses, a koozie and other must-have items on your Key West vacation! The time is NOW to get down to the Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S. and experience Key West before these deals – and the summer – ride off into the sunset.

  

About Fury Water Adventures

Key West’s most popular attraction is the crystal blue waters surrounding our island paradise. For almost three decades, visitors and locals alike have been choosing Fury Water Adventures as their number one excursion in and on the waters of Key West. Offering more than 20 adventure itineraries from snorkeling to parasailing and a fleet of expertly maintained, state-of-the-art catamarans, Fury is the premier watersports experience in South Florida.

 

Website: www.furykeywest.com

NORTH

The summer season at Sesame Place® kicks-off with sizzling savings and plenty of furry fun for the whole family!   Now through 7/22, guests can save $20 on the Cookie Monster Season Pass, now only $99.  All tiers of Season Passes allow guests to visit unlimited times now through 1/1/19 including The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular® and A Very Furry Christmas™!

2018 Season Pass Member Benefits

Price

25% off In-park food and merchandise

VIP Character Meet & greets

Free General Parking

Free Preferred Parking

50% off single-day guest admission

Cookie Monster

$119

$99

Thru 7/22

X

X

Big Bird

$160

X

X

X

X

Super Grover

$238

X

X

X

X

X

Transferable

$180

X

X

X

X

Guests can take a ride on the park’s BRAND-NEW wooden-steel hybrid roller coaster, Oscar’s Wacky Taxi™!  The new coaster will send thrill-seekers of all sizes soaring down an exhilarating first drop of 40 feet, traveling over 1,200 feet of track with exciting twists, turns, and plenty of airtime hills. Oscar’s Wacky Taxi joins Super Grover’s Vapor Trail® as the second roller coaster at the park. Super Grover’s Vapor Trail, which opened in 1998 as the park’s first mechanical ride, is celebrating its 20th birthday in 2018.

Celebrate America’s birthday with everyone’s favorite furry friends from July 2 through July 6. Be sure to visit 1-2-3 Smile with Me™ to take a patriotic photo with Elmo in his red, white & blue attire! On July 3 & 4 be sure to stick around for an impressive display of fireworks presented by DASANI®!

Celebrate Christmas in July with a character dine!  Enjoy some holiday menu favorites and get exclusive photo opportunities with some Sesame Street friends and of course – Santa Claus!  The celebration continues with a festive birthday bash dine for Sesame Place’s 38th birthday!  Paid park admission is required in addition to dine reservation.

 

The 14-acre park also features two popular themed lands – Elmo’s World which opened in 2006 and Cookie’s Monster Land which opened in 2014. A total of eleven dry rides, nine water attractions, five interactive play elements, the Sesame Street Neighborhood, three live daily character shows and The Neighborhood Street Party Parade bring the joy of everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends to families.

 

 

Guess The World Cup Champ! Win a Naipo Massager!

We are down to the final four teams in the 2018 World Cup going down in Sochi, Russia: Belgium, Croatia, England and France.

Do you have any idea who till win the ultimate title? If you do, you could also win a premium Naipo massager!

Enter today for a chance at winning one of their top quality massagers.

Prizes include NAIPO:

1. Shoulder & Neck Massager,

2. Handheld Percussion Massager,

3. Neck & Back Pillow Massager,

4. Electronic Pulse Massager,

5. 50% and 30% Discount Voucher,

6. $20 and $10 Cash Voucher.

Perfect for a mom-to-be, a new mom or anyone else, for that matter.

Enter hereand check out a small sampling of their offerings below. You can see the rest on the company website after entering.

Where Kid-Friendly To Eat If You Visit NYC this Summer

New York City in its chaotic mess of over-sized apples can be a bit intimidating when trying to decide where to eat… or drink… or schlep the kids to somewhere it will be seemingly worth it.

We have no shortage of bars, but finding the balance of a solid bar with delicious food (where kids won’t find dirty hypodermics that make you answer uncomfortable questions over lunch) can be tricky. One would wager it wouldn’t take such intricate planning but one would be wrong. I’m here to help and one of my top recommendations would have to be THE WINSLOW.

Located conveniently off the L Train (until 2019 when the L stops running and ruins all of our lives) or also just few blocks from all the trains in Union Square. This East Village and Gramercy neighborhood bar boasts over 35 different kinds of gin, as well as everything else you could want. The food menu, created by Executive Chef Nathan Pauley, is an amazing fusion of English flavors with classic, fun and seasonal components. From the Cottage Pie Pasty to the Smash Burger it’s kid friendly without having the hum drum “kids menu”. Kid tested. Mother approved—mostly because she has also been sampling one of our amazing signature cocktails.

The Winslow is a good way to spend a day especially if you’re on brunch time. One of the all time favorite brunch items for the young and old alike would be the Pudgy Pancake (with choice of plain, blueberry or chocolate chip).  Plus, for the adults you can add a banging Bloody Mary or Mimosa—because you know what? It’s your Saturday too.

Everyone in the family will walk away sated and in, quite frankly, a better mood as there was something for everyone.

Win a Baltic Amber Healing Teething Necklace ($60 Value Giveaway)

I’m a firm believer in holistic and Eastern medicine and certainly the power of stones crystals.   Ancient civilizations have utilized the power of crystals to release mental, physical and spiritual blockages which are thought to also facilitate the free flow of throughout the body. On a cellular level, our bodies and quartz crystal are both made up of mineral silicon-dioxide. Because of this, we are naturally receptive to the vibrations of crystals as they transmit, reflect, store light and receive energy. When crystals and stones are placed directly on your body, they have a powerful vibratory effect that surges from the stone or crystal to you. According to the law of physics, thoughts direct energy and energy follows thought. The stones or crystals are thought to be a tool to help the thoughts of our consciousness connect with our body

I recently learned about this thing called Baltic amber, which is hardened resin from now-extinct pine trees that resided in the Baltic region millions of years ago. Amber from the Baltic region contains roughly 8-10% succinic acid, which is known to have analgesic qualities.

There is science to it too: In 1886, the Nobel Prize-winning Robert Koch analyzed succinic acid, which is the active ingredient in Baltic amber. He concluded that the acid had a very positive effect on humans, by strengthening our immune systems and serving as a healing aid. Some of its users have claimed it helps cure regular headaches, menstrual cramps, teething pains, joint or muscle inflammation. Hmmmm.

Today, there are companies that have turned these amber into jewelry that can be worn as jewelry. A few years ago, I discovered Larimar Stone which has similar qualities so it was great to learn about a new method.

The creators of the Baltic Teething Amber Necklace for example markets to families and to parents as a teething bead but the company doesn’t recommend babies actually but the amber necklace for babies beads in their mouths or for it to be worn around the neck or outside the view of parents because of the choking hazard. For that reason, I wonder whether it is safe to be worn on the neck or a baby’s wrist.  Perhaps the ankle. Older kids who will listen to and heed to strict instructions to not put them in their mouths are probably a better market.

Reportedly,  your body heat activates the succinic rich oils to be absorbed releasing the healing properties. That’s quite a claim! I’d be willing to test it out for myself to see if it works before giving it to a baby or a small child.

Do you want to try one out? The makers of Baltic Amber Teething Necklace are giving away three necklaces (valued $19.99 each) to our readers. We will pick three winners! Many ways to Enter. Contest will run for the next 10 Days!  Good luck!

Baltic Amber Teething Necklace ($60)

 

Stock Up on Summer Clothes Starting at $8 From Crazy 8s! (FREE SHIPPING COUPON CODE)

If you’re like a lot of families, you’re getting ready for Summer Break, Summer Camps, Vacations, Pool Days, Picnics, Beach Days and more. Kids grow like weeds so chances are, whatever your kids were in last Summer, they’ve long since grown out of. With that stated, if you’re on the hunt for new clothes, you will be excited to learn like I am that Crazy 8s is having another one of its big sales. They’re offering Free Shipping + 20% Off Entire Store with code MEGADEAL!

This is the same brand that brings you mid-level brand Gymboree and higher end Janie and Jack. It’s the same quality clothes with quality construction, superior stitching and hems and long lasting color but for a fraction of the price of the more premium brands. And since the kids will outgrow these clothes anyway, it’s a great idea to stock up on these pieces starting at $8 for shirts and $10 for girls sundresses!

Below is a sample of my fave picks that are on sale!

   

from $10

Summer Dresses from $10!

Button up shirts from $8