Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Girls' Getaway

My friend Judy recaps her girls' only vacation--something we all need now and then!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

                                     Photo courtesy of My Most Favorite Food restaurant/bakery/caterer, NYC

What to do when the kids are too young to stay up for the fireworks? Create some of your own...
-Check out the local 4th of July parade in your town; don't forget to dress them in their flag tees (available anywhere this time of the year) and bring their red, white and blue sunglasses from Target
-Make patriotic cupcakes and cookies like the ones shown above
-Decorate cut-up fruit with red, white and blue sprinkles and serve with flag toothpicks from Target
-Read Betsy Ross by Alexandra Wallner, a perfect read for kids
-Put them to sleep with red, white and blue nightlights--they'll be thrilled!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's a Miracle! (suit)

If you've ever tried a Miraclesuit swimsuit, you know its aptly named. I have been a big fan since I promoted it as part of a handful of fashion shows on different TV news stations and am thrilled to learn of this event going on in NYC this Thursday. Stop by if you're in the 'hood or check out for some hot offers. Sponsored by MomTrends, this is an event worth checking out!

Miraclesuit Swimwear is celebrating the start of summer with splashy day of events. Roshumba Williams, a five-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Hall of Famer, will play hostess as we load up an iconic double decker bus and hit the streets.

The bus will depart from Rockefeller Center at 11 am with 20 real women in swimsuits and 30 style bloggers, as we set out to showcase the latest trends in this year's swim fashions.

Join the fun! Throughout the loop around the NYC, Miraclesuit Swimwear, the brand known for making women look 10 pounds lighter in 10 seconds, will be giving passersby and twitter followers the chance to win thousands of dollars of swimwear and other summer fun fashion and prizes.
       Make this you most fabulous summer yet.
Follow @miraclesuitswim on twitter and keep up with all the 6/21 action online with hashtag

If you're not able to make the event, don't worry. Everyone can enjoy Free Shipping all day June 21st on Miraclesuit swimwear. 

Twitter Giveaway: Tweet for a chance to win a Miraclesuit swimsuit.

Entry rules: On 6/21 during the hours of 11-1 EST follow and tweet @miraclesuitswim & @momtrends Winner will be selected at random. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

If you're a klutz in the kitchen like I am, you need to keep UnBurn Sunburn Relief (by Water Jel) in your cupboard. After years of my husband telling me to be careful when cooking, he finally got burned! It was a slight burn on the back of his hand but painful nonetheless. I had just received a tube of UnBurn to test-drive and immediately applied it. The cooling sensation worked right away and took away the pain. The next day, we noticed that I had missed part of the burn, unfortunate for him but fortunate for my review as I could see the difference between the area where I had applied the product and where I hadn't. The treated area was smoother and had healed faster overnight. 

UnBurn is a pain relieving gel that instantly pulls heat from the skin to soothe, calm and cure burns caused by the sun, stove, straightener – you name it. Ingredients include spearmint oil, tea tree oil, aloe and 2.5% lidocaine which helps to relieve pain instantly, making UnBurn a great solution to curing/calming bug bits and other skin irritations, as well.

There’s a huge difference between UnBurn and the typical aloe vera treatment when it comes to soothing sunburns. When you burn your skin, the heat remains beneath the surface (like a turkey removed from the oven continues to cook beneath the skin!). In order to start the healing process, the heat from the burn must be conducted outward - UnBurn does just that using heat transfer technology. It immediately drops the temperature of the burn, allowing the gel to penetrate through the skin for instant relief.

UnBurn is re-launching now with a new design and 8 oz. bottle – just in time for summer! It’s available in Walmart stores nationwide for $11.99. I hope I don't get a sunburn this summer but I'm throwing my UnBurn into my travel bag just in case. It's always better to be prepared. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pampered Mommas: the go-to mom's concierge service

All moms need help--so enlisting this mom's concierge service is a no brainer.

Pampered Mommas, the brainchild of Rochelle Walker, is a mom's concierge and baby planning business with all moms in mind.

"I am such a lucky woman," says Walker. "I have two beautiful, healthy boys and a husband that supports me in all aspects of my life, but more importantly a husband that is an amazing 'papa' to our boys.

Sammie and Jax are my world, no doubt about it, but the road here was not an easy one. When I gave birth to our first son, Sammie, in 2006, I was scared out of my mind. I had no clue what I was doing. Yes, I had been around babies all my life, but I had never been a mom. No one shared with me the challenges that were ahead (keyword: EXHAUSTION). I thought I was prepared but in reality, I needed help, I was just too scared and embarrassed to ask for it. My second pregnancy, with Jax, was extremely difficult, with months of bed rest and ultimately a hospitalization. After a few weeks in the hospital and no improvement, an emergency C-section was required at 32 weeks. Jax was born weighing 4 lbs 5 oz, a good size for being so early, but still required a lengthy stay in NICU. He was a fighter and showed us that he was one to be reckoned with, and he continues to live up to that hype.

During my time on bed rest and in the hospital, I was constantly reminded of services that I wish had been available to me, things that might help with the stress of the situation, but these services were hard to come by and in often cases, non-existent. Not just services for me, but services that could help my family as well.

I am a firm believer that if we take care of ourselves and allow ourselves a little “me” time we will ultimately be better, more patient moms. When creating Pampered Mommas, I thought of all the services that I wish I had when I became a first time mom, as well as help for the second time around. We don’t stop needing help when the baby is 6 months old, or even 2 years old. As a mom, we are constantly “at work” and my goal is for Pampered Mommas to be the place you call when you just need a little help. Whether you want to be pampered with an In-home massage, help preparing for your baby’s arrival, or maybe you are so exhausted you just want to take a nap, we can help with that and so much more."

Pampered Mommas Q&A:

Kidandcaboodle: What's the most popular service you offer?
Rochelle Walker: "In-Home Pre/post Natal massage and our Bed Rest package."

K&C: Which services do you yourself partake in and what do you like about them?
RW: "I love meeting Moms, whether they are expecting their first child, or already have three, I just love to connect with them. I, myself, do all of the Baby Planning and Concierge services. Baby Proofing Consultations, Registry Assistance, Nursery Organization, etc and I arrange all the other services as well. So I get to meet or speak to everyone and try my best to meet them all face to face. For me, it is about relationship building I want the new mom to know that she can call on me for anything. Having a newborn (and heck even a toddler) is scary and sometimes quite difficult and if you are lacking support that makes it even harder. I want any mom to know that she can call on us and we will do everything we can to support her and walk her through motherhood."

K&C: Describe one of the most meaningful jobs you have done for someone or the best feedback you've received for your services.
RW: "I know it sounds cliché but each client I have met has been meaningful, honestly. To name a few: I met with a mom while she was on bed rest and hospitalized and our stories were so similar. We were able to treat her to a facial right there in the hospital, which just made her “feel” better. And most recently, I did a meal delivery for a mom that is going through chemotherapy. She was just so grateful and I was thrilled that we were able to provide her with a bit of a break (and a yummy meal)."

K&C: What services do you hope to add in the future?
RW: "There are quite a few services that I hope to add in the future. I would like to begin to offer Infant Massage Classes and pre-natal nutrition just to name a few. Pampered Mommas is also going to be hosting monthly social gatherings for Moms (Moms Night Out, if you will). These
will range from adult nights for mom, or events that will also include the family. I plan for Pampered Mommas to be the place where all moms go for services ranging from pampering to preparation to social events. I want moms to remember who they were before they became mom and realize they can be that person again, it is just about learning the balance."

K&C: What do you like most about helping other moms deal with motherhood?
RW: "I LOVE knowing that I am giving a mom a break. Even if just for a little bit, I take great pride in being able to do that. As moms, we ALWAYS put everyone else before ourselves and I hope that Pampered Mommas will be the place where moms know they can turn to, when they are ready to add themselves to their own to-do list. We are all better mothers, when we take care of ourselves as well."

K&C: What have you learned about yourself through your work with pampered mommas.
RW: I have learned that I made the right decision by starting this business. When I meet a mom and she tells me how much she loves Pampered Mommas, it fulfills me. When I share my business with others and hear them say how amazing it is, how they wish they had something like Pampered Mommas when their kids were younger, it makes it all worth it."

For more info about Pampered Mommas or to request their services, go to

Friday, March 2, 2012

tangles are "knot" funny! get the knots out with knot genie

When my daughter's straight baby hair started to turn into corkscrew curls, I panicked! How was I supposed to know how to work with that? I envisioned hours of my life being lost to time in front of the mirror frantically trying to brush out split ends, tangles and knots.

Fortunately, it hasn't been that bad. Now, at age 4, she dreads any oncoming brush but a few minutes of TV time during detangling plus the right tools will cure that. I always use a good detangling spray (more on that to come) and a good brush. That's why I was excited to try Knot Genie, the detangling brush like no other.

The Knot Genie detangling Brush was created for every mom that has endured foot stamping and screaming matches that come with brushing their child’s hair. With Knot Genie, curly, knotted hair slips through unique bristle configuration which boasts teeth that come in varying lengths. You won’t harm the cuticle and your child’s hair will end up looking smooth, silky and shiny.

I just comb through hair after a bath when it's a bit damp, and let it dry. It sometimes takes a couple of strokes to smooth out the knots at the ends but overall it's a great design and a welcome beauty tool. I especially love the cloud-shaped top that fits nicely in the palm of my hand, making the brushing process quicker and more gentle.

For info, go to, or to order, go to Or tweet about this post @kidandcab by Friday, March 9th at 4p.m. and you could win one for yourself.

Monday, February 27, 2012

show your love of family...with melvin jewelry

Most moms would agree...when you've got kids, you want to flaunt them. The famous multi-colored Aaron Basha baby shoe charm collection and the designer discs displayed on chains with each child's initial, are just a few of the "Mommy" status symbols you see around women's necks and wrists at the local playground or on the mat next to you at Gymboree.

While I love the concept, I always found myself looking for something different to display my affection for my mini me's.

So I was thrilled when I walked into the Ora showroom, set in the heart of NYC's fashion district, and found the Melvin jewelry collection, a variety of eclectic bracelets, cuffs, earrings, necklaces and rings with definite tribal and exotic influences.

Amidst these amazing works, I fell in love with the Charm Necklaces and Bracelets in the Out of Africa collection, designed to really get their messages across. Inspirational words like "bravery", "good fortune," and "health" were inscribed on the back of the crystal studded charms to interpret the symbols featured on the front. These symbols are used to tell the stories within African Mudcloth.

My favorites were the "Love of Family" charms, available on stacked gold or silver chains, which echoed my sentiments exactly, and even boasted four crystals which could easily represent the four members of my family--myself, my husband, my son and my daughter. I would be proud to wear them anywhere.

For more info about the Out of Africa collection or to shop for Melvin Jewelry, go to

Friday, February 10, 2012

gabriel & co cutest couple contest: enter now!

Want to celebrate your mutual adoration and win a gift certificate for some pretty amazing jewelry at the same time? Enter the Gabriel & Co. "Cutest Couple" contest and you'll still have a chance to WIN one of three prizes:

1st place - a $500 gift certificate

2nd place - a $300 gift certificate

3rd place - a $200 gift certificate

These gift certificates will be issued by Gabriel & Co. and are redeemable for any Gabriel & Co. merchandise at a store that carries one or more of our collections.

If your store is not already a Gabriel & Co Facebook fan:

  • Go to your store's facebook page
  • Click "Use Facebook as Your Store Name." This is located on the right-hand side of the page, just below Admins.
  • Go to the Gabriel & Co. Facebook page. (
  • Click "Like" at the top of the page

For your store and your Facebook fans to participate:

  • Go to your store's facebook page
  • Click "Use Facebook as Your Store Name." This is located on the right-hand side of the page, just below Admins.
  • Go to the Gabriel & Co. Facebook page. (
  • Look for the "Cutest Couple" Facebook post
  • Click "Share"
  • You can write additional information if you like
  • Click "Share Photo"

For more information about our exciting "Cutest Couple" contest go to our facebook page and click on the "Cutest Couple" tab. Good luck and may the cutest couple win!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

get a handle on shopping...with cool cuddlers

Ever worry about all the germs and contaminants that lurk on the handle of most shopping carts? You will next time you lift your child into the seat.

Cool Cuddlers to the rescue. They are cart handle covers that create a barrier between your kids and the dirty handlebars so you can shop worry-free. Created by a group fitness instructor and personal trainer, Cool Cuddlers is a result of a study conducted at the University of Arizona which found that shopping carts to be one of the most contaminated surfaces in the market place with only playground equipment and public transportation hand rails ranking higher.

Cool Cuddlers come in two reversible patterns (flowers and dogs) and have snap tabs that enable toys to be attached to keep the kids entertained while you shop. They are environmentally friendly because they are washable and you don't have to worry about your store having wipes available.

More patterns are on the way. Purchase one at ($14.95) and you won't leave home without it. Even after the kids are grown, you may still want to use it for yourself.

Friday, February 3, 2012

big apple abc's: a great gift from mr. boddington's studio

Tired of all the typical kids' artwork that adorns your kids' walls? Jazz things up a bit with a whimsical version of an ABC poster from Mr. Boddington's Studio. Forget "A" is for "Apple" and "B" is for "Boat." Each letter corresponds to something special about New York City. "A" is for "Alternate Side of the Street Parking" -- what kid doesn't know about that?! "M" is for "Metrocard," that thing they play with and inevitably lose when they pull apart your wallet. "Y" is for "Yellow Cabs" because we learn to hail them at about age 2 (a true story about my cousin Sara!), and "Z" is for "Zillionaire Jogging" because that's why Central Park was created! If your kids don't get some of the jokes ("P" is for "Pigeons and Pilates", or "O" is for "Overworked Attorneys"), you definitely will. Only $20 on, where you can also get some very chic wedding invitations, place cards and baby announcements.

Papa, how do you spell big apple? NYC loves ABC Poster. Hand-drawn , 11" X 17", flat matte in brilliant color. ($20)

Monday, January 30, 2012

what a difference a blowdry makes! thanks to the Paul LaBrecque Salon and Spa

Growing up with straight hair, I always wanted my sisters' gorgeous curls and they always wanted my stick straight locks. After all, the grass is always greener. Seems like this concept holds throughout the generations.

My four-year-old daughter, who has the most gorgeous curls, would give anything for her friends' straight do's. This weekend, I took her to the well-known Paul Labrecque salon and spa on Manhattan's Upper West Side (, where I get my own hair cut, for a much-needed trim. Her only request was for my favorite stylist, Jasmine, to cut off her curls!

Jasmine kindly explained that if she cut off the curls, her hair would still be curly and offered her an allover trim with a little angling in the front and a professional blowdry instead. My very shy daughter sat staring in the mirror as her hair was straightened, leaving Jasmine and I trying to determine whether or not she was going to be happy with the results. But the second she was finished, a huge grin spread from ear to ear at the fact that she has rediscovered herself as a girl with straight hair!

For the rest of the afternoon, she was in heaven--prancing around town, swinging her head from side to side in disbelief. We pinned her hair up so she could take her bath and not ruin her 'do, and this morning, she put on her best dress and party shoes to go to school to show off her new look. Let me tell you...she walked down the hall of her preschool as if she was on the catwalk! Teachers and students stole second glances and made a big fuss over her transformation. I have never seen her so happy!

Thanks to Jasmine and the amazing Paul Labrecque team for pulling this off--it will truly be a day she remembers for life! As for me, I am dreading tonight's bath when we have to wash her hair and the curls will reappear. Jasmine, do you have any openings tomorrow?

For more great cut, color and styling ideas, plus some amazing hair care products, go to

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Saving Seed: Growing a Financially Healthy Family Tree

"I want this!" "Mommy, can you buy me that?" are just a couple of cries that are all too familiar when it comes to buying things for your kids. In many cases, they just don't understand the concept of money and the fact that it doesn't grow on trees. It's important to find ways to let them know the value of money and there's no better person to tell us how than Ashley Parks.

Ashley Bogard Parks, CFP, holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from Texas A&M University and a graduate certificate in Financial Planning from Southern Methodist University. She has been advising clients since 1999 in her hometown of Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her family. Her book, The Saving Seed: Growing a Financially Healthy Family Tree, is available for purchase on her website, Here, are her tips for talking to your kids about money...

Kidandcaboodle: What is the right age to introduce the concept of money?
Ashley Parks: "Children begin to count somewhere around age two. And at this age, role play, fine motor skills, verbal development and sense of self are blossoming as well. Each of these areas presents opportunities for introducing the concept of money. A child may not know the difference between a nickel and a quarter, other than one is larger than the other, but they can surely begin to count coins and sort them into like piles. Simple, practical, everyday exercises such as this begin to develop a child’s awareness of money. In your make-believe play, bring in the concept of shopping with one person being the store owner and the other the shopper. Again, simple concepts weaved into everyday life and they’ll be off to a great start. Use money words in everyday experiences. At the store checkout line, verbalize what you’re doing, “I’m now paying the clerk for the groceries we just purchased.” Whether banking online or at a physical branch with your child in tow, verbalize it, “I’m telling the bank how much money to pay for our house,” or “I worked today so I’m putting some money in the bank to save for later.” You’re planting these seeds that will grow into their understanding of money and its uses in the world. Lastly, age two may be the time when the word “mine” is used quite frequently in the household. Introduce the concept of sharing so that when giving is later introduced they have a base to build on. Children can understand more than we may realize. Exposure plants those seeds in them for future growth."

K&C: Any advice on how to teach your kids the value of money?
AP: "We each put a value on what money means to us. One person spending $100 on a haircut may seem well worth it but ludicrous to another. Likewise, that person wanting a $5 haircut may feel that $100 spent on video games was worth the cost. When teaching the value of money, link it back to what your family personally values and where the money goes to fulfill that value. Children may not value money spent until they’ve had to work or sacrifice for it. A child who earns an allowance and has had to save up that hard-earned money to buy something tends to think much longer about spending that money than someone who was handed it. Allowance is a great way to help children start to value money. There are different money issues that should be discussed as a child ages. You need to tailor the lessons to their developmental stages. My book, The Saving Seed: Growing a Financially Healthy Family Tree, goes into detail each stage from Toddler through Teen to give great, practical tips as they go through each stage. You’re not just teaching your children the value of money. You’re teaching them responsibility, consistency, appreciation, confidence and awareness. You’re laying the groundwork for their financial lives."

K&C: How do we help our kids create savings?
AP: Savings must start with some seed money. That seed money is their allowance, money from gifts and other income they have been given or earned. A fun activity to begin is creating a savings jar, spending jar and giving jar. They want to physically see that money, they worked for it and they want to know it’s there! I recommend that any income received is broken down 10% giving jar, 20% savings jar and 70% spending jar. As your children age, you can convert the jars into bank accounts."

K&C: Can you give us some basic terminology they should know?
a. Money
b. Bank
c. Owe
d. Spend: use now
e. Save/Saving: to be spent later
f. Give: share with others
g. Cash
h. Credit
i. Debit
j. Account

For more great financial advice, or to purchase The Saving Seed: Growing a Financially Healthy Family Tree, go to

Thursday, January 12, 2012 Accessories by the Bundle

Sometimes it's hard to get out of your "mom" clothes--what you wear to the playground or to the PTA meeting--but every now and then it's a necessity. And when you do, you want to look your best. Not only do you want to sport a chic outfit but you want to pair it with beautiful accessories at a price you can afford to complete the look. And after a day of changing diapers and settling arguments, you want it to be easy. This new website saves the day, with cutting edge designs, affordable prices and savvy style tips. (BAB) is the brainchild of founder Bill Mazhar, whose family business was located in the heart of Manhattan’s wholesale district. “I saw that there were numerous stores with great designs and good prices for accessories but they were only available to big retail shops who had to purchase a large quantity of accessories to even qualify for an order. Luckily, our store allowed both retail and wholesale purchases.” But there was still something missing. Mazhar realized that customers wanted experienced stylists to help them match their favorite accessories and they wanted discounts for purchasing items that matched perfectly together. In addition, they preferred trusted name brands when purchasing their accessories. By combining these factors, he established a new way to purchase jewelry and BAB was born.

BAB has a team of designers that curate jewelry from quality brand names and sells them in a bundled set which we call a ‘Mini Boutique’ at a steep discount. Mini Boutiques are brand name accessories composed of two or more items. is different from other sites because it sells all of its products in bundles prepared by experienced stylists at prices that are heavily discounted. After all, who doesn’t love a bargain? The website provides customers with designer bundles at discounts over 50% off the retail price. Stylists pair up with name brands to offer styling advice and create very trendy mini-boutiques to sell on BAB for unbelievable discounts. Choose from a handful of must-have collections including: BOLD (statement pieces), EDGY (innovative jewelry made of wood, gun-metal, beads and animal prints), BOHEMIAN ( eclectic options) or SOPHISTICATE (a cultured, cosmopolitan look).

Some of our favorite bundles: The Swan Necklace and Bracelet from Elizabeth J’adore. The faux pearl necklace is an edgy alternative to the one your grandmother gave you for your high school graduation and pairs beautifully with the flower white leather bracelet (bundle price, $64). The Luxe Sophisticate features a necklace, bracelet and earrings crafted from a mixed medley of materials, including stunning crystal stones, glitzy rhinestone chains and an ultra-delicate floral motif made from minted gems (bundle price, $144).

The best part: At, you get expert advice on how to wear the items you are purchasing. Let leading industry stylists help you put together a winning accessories look that will take you from work to day to night with ease. Go to to choose your favorite jewels.

Monday, January 9, 2012

help! it's cold and flu season

Welcome to cold and flu season…it’s time to get educated! Help Remedies’ Medical Director David Pompei (Pharm.D) provides the below tips on navigating through the drugstore clutter and other useful information for surviving cold/flu season. Keep them in mind when taking care of your kids, but practice what you preach and follow them yourself as well.

1. PREVENT yourself from needing to visit the drug aisle - wash your hands regularly, exercise, consider getting a flu shot; these basic public health measures do reduce the chance of getting sick.

2. IDENTIFY YOUR SPECIFIC SYMPTOMS. If you do get sick, avoid characterizing your condition using ambiguous terms such as 'cold' or 'flu'. Instead, identify your specific symptoms; do you have a headache, does your body ache, do you have a fever, are you congested, do you have a runny nose, etc. and select product/s with active ingredients that focus on your specific symptoms rather than catchalls that may have medications that you don’t need.

3. TAKE LESS. Take just the amount of medicine you need. If a small dose relieves your symptom, there is no additional benefit in taking more. Start with a moderate dose – if you need more you can take more, up to the recommended dosage per day.

4. ASK QUESTIONS. The drug aisle can be confusing at times, and the pharmacist is there to help you get the right medication for your needs.

5. DON’T OVERDO IT. While you’re sick, take care of yourself. Rest, use a sick day, drink lots of fluids (including that old remedy, soup).

For more great info, go to