Stylish Mother’s Day gift ideas

Mother's Day gift ideas
I know, I know, it’s not even Easter yet and here I am talking about another holiday. But, the truth is, if you want to give someone a truly special gift, it’s never too early to start.

I’ve found some really unique and stylish gift ideas, some that you can even personalize for mom. Since the jewelry pieces are custom, you’ll have to allow 2-3 weeks before it can be shipped to you, hence why I’m telling you about these items now. You’ll want to get them in time for Mother’s Day!

Personalized necklace mom is sure to love:

Jewelry worn by the stars:

  • Celebrities like Katherine Heigel and Tori Spelling have been seen wearing Isabelle Grace Jewelry. These are timeless pieces that can be personalized with your child’s name or initials. Isabelle Grace is located in New Bedford, Massachusetts and all pieces are made in the USA.

Gifts for the “fit mom”:

  • The Bathroom Begonia: Mom can hang this in her bathroom and do six, effective exercises during her beauty routine.
  • The Office Orchid: While mom is busy at work, she can drink her favorite beverage and exercise while executing everyday work place tasks.
  • My Urban Halo headband: Known as comfort “couture,” these fashionable headbands are no slip, no headache and no sweat. Can be work for fitness or fashion.

Check out my appearance on The Rhode Show. I joined them on Tuesday, April 15, to talk about these fabulous finds!


What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

Spruce up for spring and wipe out winter blues {Pampers Giveaway}

Disclosure: This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Pampers. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Spring has officially sprung and I am in cleaning mode. I’m even in the process of making my own all-natural cleaners. Which is a bit ambitious, but believe it or not, is super easy.

Spring is also a good reminder to go out with the old and in the with new. Or to spruce up what you already have.

During this time, I’ve also been reminded to go through my children’s products and check the expiration date and see if anything needs to be tossed and replaced.
Pampers Logo
This process can be rough, especially for moms of babies.

My son has super sensitive skin, so since he was born I’ve been testing products out that are really gentle on his skin.

A constant for us since the beginning has been Pampers. Whether it be their sensitive diapers or sensitive wipes, they’ve been great at keeping my little guy dry and clean.

Pampers Sensitive Wipes has recently updated their features, giving moms new reasons to love them.

- They are thicker than before. Thicker wipes provide more protection for mom’s hands during cleaning.
- New fiber blend. We have added microfibers to the wipes which help improve cleaning performance. Importantly, these fibers are made from the same material as before; we have just changed their size to deliver better cleaning performance with the same softness.
- They have a new wavy pattern embossed on the wipes. The new wavy texture works with the new microfibers to provide gentle cleaning.

And what’s stayed the same? They are still fragrance free! I only use fragrance free products on my son because his eczema will flare up if not.
Pizza face
While specifically designed for diaper change clean-up, I’ve used the wipes on other body parts, including the face, for a quick once over.

My little boy needs his face wiped down a lot, especially when he eats Italian food. (As seen in the picture!)

Pampers assures moms they are safe to be used at every diaper change.

We use them on the go if we need to wash our hands, too. They’re great to keep in a diaper bag or purse.

I’ve even used them over my son’s hair and head if he gets food stuck in it! They really are super gentle and they get the job done. Which for me, is exactly what I’m looking for.

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Birthday memories: A pony, egg hunt and a snowstorm

“The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” – Lucille Ball

Every year on my birthday, (which also happens to be April Fools’ Day) I’m always surprised at how quickly time has gone by. Even more so as I grow older.

I remember my sixth birthday where my parent’s rented a pony for my party (a bit much, no?), I remember an Easter egg hunt themed party, my sweet 16 party and a birthday that got a snowstorm in 1997. Too many memorable ones to count.

What I remember most though is, how as a kid, birthdays just made you feel so special. I felt different and giddy the whole day.

I still kind of get that now, but having kids has changed me. Everything I do in life I think of them first. Call it instinctual, but I no longer think of what I want. I probably should, because a lot of one thing isn’t always good, it’s just about finding a balance.

My balance for today was, I wanted to go out to lunch, but knew it had to be a place the kids enjoyed. It was the first time I went to a restaurant alone with my two munchkins, but it all went great. I decided we’d venture out when I picked my daughter up from preschool. It was such a last minute decision that I had left the house with no diaper bag. So, it was a huge risk! I was crossing my fingers that my one-year-old didn’t poop while we were there, or else I’d be up the creek without a paddle. Or, realistically, at Newport Creamery without a diaper!

As I sit here and type this, I think about how I’ve spent my other birthdays and the truth is, they’re special no matter what I’m doing. I’m glad to just be alive, healthy and able to spend time with those I care about. That trumps a party and a wrapped present any day.

This morning, my best friend, Danielle, texted me a slew of photos of her and I over the years. They made me smile, giggle and reflect on where I’ve been and where I hope to go.

It’s so comforting to know that I’ve had a best friend know me as a young child, through my teens and now through my adulthood. I think it’s really important to surround yourself with people who know where you came from.

I always say to my husband, “I wish we knew each other when we younger.” He says, “don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll tell that story at least 10 more times, so it’s like I was there.” Oh, he’s a funny one.

Either way, another year has gone by and I look forward to celebrating more. I’m also looking forward to making a wish for myself tonight as I blow out the candles on my fruit tart (I’m not a fan of cake!) Ah, the simple stuff.

Check out the below photos of my friend and I through the years! Ages range from 12 to 30-something. Gotta love the shiny skin and braces!

What do you love about birthdays?

Mom’s balanced snack with Alpine Lace® Deli Cheese

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When I was a kid and wanted a snack super close to dinner, I remember my parents giving me a piece of sliced cheese with yellow mustard on it, folded in half. Sounds kind of weird but it’s actually really tasty and I sometimes find myself eating my tiny mustard sandwich even as an adult.

Being pregnant, we’re asked to eat more frequently than usual and smaller sized meals. So, it turns out I do a lot of snacking and have to get creative every once in a while to mix things up.

Alpine Lace Deli Swiss Cheese

My modern day twist on a childhood favorite steps up the flavor of the original and is a bit prettier to look at it. Alpine Lace Reduced-Fat Swiss Cheese loves the sweet tang of a berry, so I paired it with Cranberry Honey Mustard on a thin pretzel crisp. It’s great for a midday snack or for a pick me up as I’m cooking dinner.

Alpine Lace Deli Cheese

That time is especially crucial for me as I’m feeling the effects of “the witching hour” as well. This little snack gives me the fuel I need physically, and also provides me with a memory from my childhood. I welcome both during snack time!

Assembly is super easy, all you have to do is cut your sliced cheese into squares, place them on several pretzel crisps, then top with a bit of Cranberry Honey Mustard. It’s sweet, salty, cheesy and crunchy. What’s not to like?!

While there’s two layers of flavor on the pretzel crisp, the real star is the Swiss cheese.

Alpine Lace Reduced-Fat Swiss Cheese is made with wholesome ingredients like reduced-fat milk. It’s calcium-rich and a good source of protein—meaning your bones and your muscles will thank you. There’s 8 grams of protein in just one ounce!

It’s available at the deli counter, freshly sliced exactly the way you like it or in pre-sliced packages.

I love that Alpine Lace® isn’t just about eating healthy, they’re also about living healthy.

Right now on their website you can make a Personal RDA just like like mine and answer the question “What goes into a happy, fulfilling life?”

For me, it’s a balance of laughing hard at least once a day, playing with my kids, whether it be dress up, hide and seek or coloring and of course, spending some moments alone. Even if it’s just for five minutes.

If you create a Personal RDA, you can share it with some friends on Facebook.

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For more helpful information and recipes, be sure to “Like” the Alpine Lace® Deli Cheese Facebook page. #LifeIngredients

What snack fuels you during the day?
Disclosure: Many thanks to Alpine Lace for sponsoring today’s story and for letting me share My Life Ingredients.

{Recipe} Rhode Island-Style Pizza Strips

If you’ve ever been to Rhode Island or grew up here, you know what a pizza strip is. It’s crunchy and chewy pizza that is topped only with red sauce and sometimes grated cheese. It’s found mostly in bakeries and is a bit sweet and super delicious!
Rhode Island Pizza strips
Most bakeries are closed in Rhode Island on Mondays, (I’m not sure if that’s the case anywhere else?), but I was really craving some and I figured I’d try to make my own at home.

I am no chef, although I wish I played one on TV. :) I just like to experiment in my kitchen and if all goes well, I’ll keep it in my dinner rotation.

-Rhode Island-Style Pizza Strips-

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of fresh pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (this will be divided. Some for sauce mixture, some for bottom of pan)
  • 1 16 oz. can crushed tomatoes or 2 cups of homemade pasta sauce (this works if it’s all you have)
  • 1 TBSP white sugar
  • 1 TBSP fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • couple of shakes of garlic powder
  • couple of shakes of dried oregano
  • 1/2 TSP of salt
  • black pepper to taste (not too much!)
  • cookie sheet for baking

Steps:

***Be sure to let your fresh pizza dough rise for a couple of hours before making pizza.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine crushed tomatoes (or homemade pasta sauce), 1/8 cup of olive oil, sugar, cheese, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Make sure everything is incorporated and distributed evenly.

3. Put the remaining olive oil on the cookie sheet covering completely.

4. Roll out dough and position to fit inside cookie sheet. Be sure to give yourself a little crust along the edges.

5. Prick the dough with a fork to prevent it from bubbling.

6. Top the dough with your sauce mixture. Smear it on evenly and close to the edges as you would with normal pizza. You can also sprinkle cheese on the sauce before cooking too if you’d like.

7. Bake at 400 degrees on the middle rack for 15-17 minutes.

8. Let cool, then cut in strips or squares.

—-

This pizza is delicious for lunch, to take to the beach, to serve at a party or just for any ol’ day.

I hope this works out for you as well as it did for me! Mangia!