First Time Mom and Losing It

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mia Mariu's RestauraCel-C Thermal Microdermabrasion + Giveaway!

Microdermabrasion is a great way to get younger looking by helping to diminish the the look of wrinkles, scars and uneven skin tone. It works by buffing away the top layers of your skin. As a stay at home mom I don't have the time or do I want to spend the money to go to a salon to get it done.

I was pretty curious and excited to try Mia Mariu's RestauraCel-C Thermal Microdermabrasion Set because I have tried their make-up line before and loved it. The RestauraCel-C buffs away dead surface cells, signs of sun damage and discoloration for immediate smooth and soft skin. It also helps reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, acne scars and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  It is non-irritating and oil, paraben and fragrance free. Some of the main ingredients are Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Beta-Carotene and Alpha-Hydroxy Acids.

Using the product was super easy too. All you have to do is take a dime sized amount of the Re-finisher Cream and add a few drops of the Thermal Activator. Mix it into the palms of your hand and apply to your face in a circular motion. Leave on for 3 to 4 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.

After trying the product for the first time my skin felt really soft and smooth. I also noticed that my skin was brighter and more even. You can learn more about Mia Mariu's Skin Care and Make-Up Line on their website:

Enter the Giveaway below to win your own set!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Aveeno® Eczema Therapy Give Me Eczema Relief!

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for #AveenoEczemaTherapy. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

I have been dealing with Eczema for a while now and get bad flare ups on my neck. Things get worse when it's hot outside or when I sweat at the gym. I used to get some relief when the fall and cooler weather came along but now that I go to the gym my flare ups have been year-round.

When I heard about the AVEENO® Eczema Therapy Collection I was excited to try it. The AVEENO® Eczema Therapy Collection was created with leading dermatologists and awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance because it provides gentle, superior ingredients to soothe skin with eczema. The collection uses the best ingredients in nature to help with the four symptoms of eczema: itch, roughness, dryness and irritation.

The first product I used was the AVEENO® Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream. I loved how thick it was and the great coverage on my neck that lasted a long time. I put it on in the afternoon and it lasted my entire workout until I went home and showered. I also loved how it soothed my skin and didn't get irritated. I had experiences with other creams where it would itch and sting right when I put the cream on.

Next I used the AVEENO® Eczema Therapy Hand Cream which was perfect for my super dry hands. With a toddler around I am constantly washing and sanitizing my hands. This makes my hands really dry and sometimes scaly. I loved how smooth  and soft it made my hands feel. I can't wait to try it during the winter time when my hands are at their worst.

Lastly I used the AVEENO® Eczema Therapy Bath Treatment a couple of times a week. It was easy to sprinkle into my bathwater and dissolved easily. I soaked in it for about 20 minutes and loved how soothed and soft my skin felt.

I have been using these three products for about 3 weeks now and they really do work. It has helped my skin, especially in my neck immensely. I will continue to use these products and highly recommend them to anyone who suffers from Eczema or has really dry skin.

October is National Eczema Awareness Month, Did you know that approximately 35 million
infants, children and adults suffer from eczema?

You can learn more at the AVEENO® Eczema Therapy Website: Be sure to follow Aveeno on Facebook for all of the latest news on their products and tips on skincare.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Creative Galaxy Show Makes Learning Art Fun!

Creative Galaxy is an amazing show for toddlers and preschoolers that teaches them art, being creative, shapes, colors, building and so much more. It's bright and colorful and the characters are adorable.

Creative Galaxy is produced by Out of the Blue Enterprises with Angela Santomero who works with Blue's Clues and Super Why. Characters like Arty and Epiphany travel around the galaxy to solve problems with art through crafts, music and dance.

My 2 1/2 year old loved it! Since she already knows her colors and shapes she was able to answer the questions the characters asked. She was super proud of herself when she got them all right. In the first episode we learned how to create art using Pointillism. I loved how they explained it by using paints and pom poms. Though my daughter couldn't say pointillism she got the point of it by mimicking the characters as they said "dot, dot, dot."

As a mom I loved how they showed clips of real kids creating projects that went along with the lesson learned. They showed kids using bingo dabbers, paints and pom poms to create art such as a pom pom pizza and a spaceship out of the technique of pointillism and paint.

To reinforce the lesson she learned about pointillism we did an art project using circle stickers and a rainbow. I did an Internet search for "bingo dabber rainbow printable" and got tons of hits. Then I printed one out and set the stickers out for my daughter. When she saw the stickers she said "dot, dot, dot." I pointed to each color and she told me what each one was. Then I put a sticker on the first dot of each color of the rainbow and guided her as she put the rest of the stickers. She totally loves stickers so it was super fun for her to aim in the circle and stick on each sticker. When my husband got home she ran to him with her rainbow and yelled "Daddy! Dot, dot, dot!" My husband looks at me and I explained to him how we learned all about pointillism today.

I think a show like this is super important as you see less and less arts and crafts in schools. This show would be a great addition to any toddler and preschool learning at home. Make sure you have lots of craft supplies on hand as you see the episodes because your child is going to be so inspired to be creative!

Go check out Creative Galaxy on Amazon Prime Instant Video!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Healthier Arroz Con Pollo (Rice with Chicken)

One of the easiest things to make with the ingredients I always have on hand is Arroz Con Pollo (Rice with Chicken). I decided to take my family recipe and make it a bit healthier by using brown rice instead of white, boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of skin-on chicken pieces and less oil.

Healthier Arroz Con Pollo (Rice with Chicken)
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Achiote seeds (Annatto Seeds)
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup Sofrito
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 3/4 water
  1. In a small pan add oil and achiote seeds. Fry until the seeds begin to sizzle. Strain out the seeds and add oil to an electric pressure cooker. Turn on the brown setting. 
  2. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and add to hot pressure cooker. Brown each side of chicken thigh and take out and set aside. 
  3. Add sofrito and salt to pressure cooker and cook stirring around for a couple of minutes. 
  4. Clean and drain rice and add to pressure cooker with sofrito. Mix around and cook rice for about a minute. 
  5. Nestle chicken thighs on top of rice and add any juices that have accumulated. Add the water and cover and seal the pressure cooker. 
  6. Cook on high pressure for 22 minutes. After the cook time let the steam naturally escape for 20 minutes. 
Serves 4 
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Weight Loss Journey: 37 Weeks In!

Weight: I gained  2.8 pounds for an adjusted total of 51.4 pounds lost. I am finally fed up with the scale and will be only weighing in every other week. I know there is no way I gained almost 3 pounds this week but it still is not fun seeing that number. I know I am getting smaller because I literally had nothing to wear when I wanted to go to the zoo and date night. All of my v-neck shirts fit me too big especially around the neck and chest area. I took all of my old t-shirts and put them with my gym clothes because they were all too big. These jeans that I bought a couple of weeks ago already fit me too big and I had to put on a belt. So happy that I have an excuse to go clothes shopping again!

Nutrition: I did so well with my eating 5 1/2 days of the week. I had smoothies for breakfast, lots of veggies and salads. Tons of healthy snacks like hummus and baby cucumbers and nuts. On Tuesday I enjoyed some food from the food court at the zoo and on Wednesday I went all out on a date with my husband with popcorn, a super fried dinner and dessert. After the date night I made sure to eat super healthy and clean the rest of the week

Exercise: I started my week by taking my daughter to the zoo for the first time. It was awesome to be able to walk the whole zoo without getting tired. I got tons of steps in and ran around with my little toddler. I went to the gym 3 times this week and enjoyed an elliptical workout I found on Pinterest. I also got up to 18 minutes on the Arc trainer which is my all time high. It was nice going to the gym at night because it was so empty and so peaceful. I was proud that I hit the gym all three days and even went back to back on Friday and Saturday!

Last Weeks Goals:
  • Gym or DVD 3 times - GOAL MET
  • Strength training 3 times
  • Up water intake - GOAL MET
  • Continue vitamins and probiotics - GOAL MET
  • Try a healthy dessert - GOAL MET
  • Drink at least one cup of green tea a day
This Weeks Goals:
  • Gym or DVD 3 times
  • Strength training 3 times
  • Use the dehydrator to make snacks
  • Drink at least one cup of green tea a day

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Ozeri Ultra 42 inch Wind Fan

When September rolls in we say goodbye to our Air Conditioners and start loving the lighter electricity bill. Then there are the days in September and even October that are hot. Not hot enough for the AC's to be turned on again but perfectly hot for a good fan.

First I loved the look of the Ozeri Ultra 42 inch Wind Fan. It's tall and sleek and takes up less space than the traditional old fashioned fans. The best part of the fan is how quiet it is. Even at it's highest setting there is only a super low sound coming off of the fan.

The buttons are super easy to use and the LED display makes it really easy to see. I love the extra feature of the remote so that you can change the speed and oscillating setting without getting up. The design of the fan was well thought out by adding a space on the top of the fan for the remote so that you won't lose it. I still can't find the remotes to the AC's I bought years ago!

I love that it has a 12 hour timer that can be programmed in 1 hour increments with the easy push of a button. It has three pre-programmed airflow patterns that help to foster sleep, to relax and for comfort.

If you need a new fan I highly recommend the Ozeri Ultra 42 inch Wind Fan. You can check it out on Amazon:

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Duracell #PowerForward Campaign Helps During Natural Disasters. Be Prepared Before It Hits Close to Home.

How prepared are you and your family for natural disasters? I was never prepared for natural disasters because hurricanes and earthquakes just didn't happen in NYC. After Super Storm Sandy hit close to home my whole thought on that changed. We were lucky to just have a little light flickering in our home and broken branches nearby. Had it been worse we definitely would not have been prepared. We didn't even have a flashlight or extra batteries. Now we have a whole emergency kit with essentials, water, flashlights and batteries.

I know a lot of people are still as unprepared as I was. That's why you see supermarkets and hardware stores being cleared out just before a bad storm or hurricane forecast. Duracell is helping out with their #PowerForward campaign with just that. They have these super powerful trucks stationed with thousands of batteries, charging power and wifi that they can send out to places that are affected.


I was lucky to be invited to a press conference at Battery City Park, NY to hear all about it.  The
Duracell Power Forward program has been donating batteries to people affected by natural disasters since 2011. The program is expanding it's fleet and joining The Weather Channel and to reach more people. The five custom-made vehicles are designed for the specific needs of each region and strategically stationed at hubs in Manchester, NH; St. Louis, MO; New Orleans, LA and San Francisco, CA to help reach any disaster in the continental US within 24 hours. For more information, visit­‐us/power-­‐forward

We were given a tour of the vehicles and I was so amazed at the power of these trucks. They are so powerful that they can hold and tow thousands of pounds of batteries and emergency tools. They have super bright LED lights to illuminate, secure lockers to charge devices and a WiFi hot spot with a 50' range. One of the vehicles called the Rugged Responder even acts as a snorkel with a door seal that allows it to go into 5' of water!

I always reach for Duracell whenever I need batteries. It is so good to know that my favorite brand is doing so much to help support so many people when they need it the most. 

How do you and your family prepare for natural disasters?

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