Mabel’s Labels Review & Giveaway!

Disclosure: I received a  Ultimate Back to School Combo pack. All opinions as always are all my own.

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Anyone else feel like September crept out of nowhere? It seems like just yesterday I was at the beach and the kiddo was having a ball at summer camp. The days were long, the sun was bright and we took our time. Fast forward to now, I’m running around like a mad woman, trying to find and return school forms, trying to find the lid to my daughter’s favorite lunch container, and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had to ask my daughter to please put away your shoes! September is kicking my booty! I’m just hoping to get through this week because next week we’re off to beautiful Hilton Head in South Carolina to celebrate the kiddos 9th birthday at the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island (more on that later).

I can’t be the only one who hasn’t gotten their stuff together right? I created a back to school organization center to keep us on track, but I’m still kind of a mess. And her room? Sigh. Can you tell we need a vacation?! Ok back to Mabel’s Labels and my review and giveaway! Mabel’s Labels makes labels for the stuff kids lose!

There are two 3rd grade classes of about 20 kids each so you can imagine how many books, notebooks, pencils and bagpacks they all have. For years I’ve been using labels so my daughter could easily keep track of her items whether at school, camp or a friend’s house. But I quickly learned that all labels are not created equally. My daughter is hard on her stuff, it gets dropped, kicked, scratched and I need labels that are durable enough to keep up! Many labels quickly faded after a rinse or ride in the dishwasher making it impossible for her to figure out which waterbottle was hers at the end of camp. So frustrating!

Enter Mabel’s Labels. I was thrilled to receive one of their limited edition Ultimate Back to School Combo packs which included an amazing 108 labels for her shoes, waterbottles, lunchboxes and everything and anything in between! And let me tell you…we’ve finally found labels that are not only unique to my daughter’s interests (hers have peace signs) but they are colorful, durable and fun! We’ve been putting the labels everywhere and I’m crossing my fingers and toes that they will help decrease the amount of items she loses this school year! I love Mabel’s Labels because they help keep me organized especially in September and my daughter loves them because they are fun and easy to put on to anything!

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Now for the good part…a giveaway! Know how I mentioned the label pack was limited edition? Yup, it’s only available until September 30 – and I’m offering one lucky reader the bestselling Ultimate Back to School Combo which includes the following items:

  • 40 Skinny-Minis™ – dishwasher and microwave safe
  • 50 Tag Mates™ – washer and dryer safe, apply to a clothing care tag
  • 16 Shoe Labels – waterproof and UV resistant
  • 2 Teeny Tags™ – waterproof and UV resistant

You can choose from 4 limited edition solid palettes or 40+ multi-coloured designs, plus 3 special back-to-school motifs (bus, books and apple)! Seriously, these labels are mega awesome and will come in handy in our home! These would also make a perfect gift…there are only 100 days until Christmas!! Enter below using the Rafflecopter widget:

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Miniluxe Review & Giveaway

Disclosure: I received complimentary services from Miniluxe. As always, all opinions expressed are my own!miniluxe2

I live for the weekends. Time to rest, laugh and have fun with my kiddo are what the weekends are all about for me. Oh and sleeping in. Can’t forget the gloriousness of sleeping in! Even though we’re a car-less family that doesn’t stop us from doing anything, and 94.5% of weekends are out and about getting into some fun activity, hanging in Boston or spending time with friends and family. We’re definitely an active family. Did I mention to you my daughter completed her first TRIATHALON a couple months ago? More on that huge accomplishment later :-)

For me mother/daughter time is precious. It’s something we both look forward too, we’re a team and it’s always so fun hanging with my mini. Though I have to admit that self-care usually gets lost in the shuffle of taking care of her and a stressful work week. It’s something I really need to work on! Last weekend I got the opportunity to not only have mother/daughter time but to also indulge in some self-care at Miniluxe on Newbury Street. I’d walked by their location many times strolling on Newbury but never knew what their story was or realized the extensive services they provide. As soon as I walked in I fell in love. The space was open, clean, inviting and bright! Miniluxe is committed to hygiene and they pride themselves on being clean freaks. Call them crazy, but good hygiene actually inspires them! I can dig it!

Miniluxe is changing the game in nail salon services and products. How you ask? Miniluxe and some smaller brands in the industry are advocating for “five-free” polishes that are not only free from the formaldehyde, DBP, and toluene, but additionally eliminate formaldehyde resin and camphor. Formaldehyde resin is another type of nail strengthener but can cause skin irritation and inflammation. Camphor is actually a natural ingredient but in larger quantities can cause nausea, allergies, skin irritation and migraine headaches. MiniLuxe’s new line of “five-free” nail polishes to be launched in late April 2014 is formulated and responsibly manufactured in the USA. As we become a more environmentally conscious society and family I love that Miniluxe is providing good for you products!

From the standpoint of nail polishes and related nail products (e.g. top coat or cuticle oil), the major players in the industry finally moved to “Three-free” polishes in 2006, meaning that their products would be free from formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalates (DBP), and toluene. These three chemicals can cause dysfunction to the central nervous system and reproductive organs, and may even cause cancer, among other diseases.

Sounds amazing, right? Our experience was just lovely, and we left smiling and with fabulous shining nails to show off! We were offered tea or water upon arrival and the technicians were friendly and gentle with giving my mini her TeenyLuxe manicure and pedicure.

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They currently have locations on Newbury Street, Brookline, Chestnut Hill, Hingham, Lexington, Lynnfield, Newton and Wellesley and offer a range of services including manicures, pedicures, waxing and luxe serices like callus treatment, warm oil or paraffin treatment. Pricing for manicures starts around $19 and pedicures at $37 – while it may seem a bit more expensive than your neighborhood nail salon – the price is worth it. No worry about cross contamination or dirty anything. Our mother/daughter time was exactly what we needed after the kiddo completed her first week of 3rd grade at a new school, and she’s told me she wants to go back for more mommy/daughter time. I agreed!

Feeling as cool as a cucumber after her mani & pedi!

Feeling as cool as a cucumber after her mani & pedi!

I really stand by how much Miniluxe values ensuring their products don’t contain any nonsense and want to am holding a giveaway for 2 of their nailpolishes from their new Boston inspired line! Head over to my pinterest page to take a look at the line and the FAB names for the polishes! Entering couldn’t be easier and can be done via this widget:

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Review: Mix it Up and Paint at The Paint Bar!

Disclosure: I received complimentary passes for a class at The Paint Bar. As always, all opinions expressed are my own!

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Can I tell you a secret? I don’t allow paint in my home! I know, I know, I’m such a terrible Mom! During my daughter’s toddler years she loved to draw and color, as many toddlers do. I have boxes full of her masterpieces that I don’t have the heart to throw away. (If anyone has ideas on what to do with kids artwork email me!). Her love for drawing and coloring slowly outgrew paper and made its way to the walls. Maybe it’s my fault though; I gave her those washable crayons you can use to write with in the tub. Either way I freaked when my pretty white wall had paint marks on it and therefore all paint was laid to rest in my house. RIP.

But thankfully my mini Picasso doesn’t have to mourn the loss of paint, as she is able to mix it up at The Paint Bar! I was sold after learning that they provide all that you need to create your next masterpiece: the paint, the instructor, the brushes, the aprons, the music. Two hours later you can pat yourself on the back for creating Boston’s skyline, Fall trees, or Moonlit Dragonflies! Oh and cleanup? As easy at throwing out your paint plate, washing your brushes, taking off your apron and heading out the door with your canvas? Are you in love with this idea already? No? They serve booze too. I know….you’re in love now!

A few weeks ago before my kiddo and I headed on vacation we were invited into The Paint Bar’s Newton location to mix it up! We’d be painting “Funky Seashells”. Mini me was over the moon excited, me on the other hand, I was worried. I’m no artist, so I was worried I’d create a piece of crap and everyone would laugh at me! Our instructor, a funny woman named Breanna quickly began the class with an overview and many jokes and also said that no shaming of our work would be allowed or we’d have to go on stage! Step by slowly created our “Funky Seashells” and sure did mix it up with the colors! With Breanna’s instruction and some music in the background we settled in and over the course of two hours left with two beautiful pieces! A few women next to me really customized their paintings adding rocks, birds and airplanes!

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You may think The Paint Bar….for kids? I’m telling you YES! Many sundays at 1:30pm The Paint Bar hosts Family Days with family friendly options like a Fluffy Owl, Colorful Birch Trees, and a Funky Pumpkin. While alcohol is offered for purchase during this time many people don’t take advantage of indulging. It’s a great opportunity for families, grandparents and beyond to get creative! What’s great about this whole experience was that I came in with ZERO painting experience…and that is ok! They are teaching folks like me how to paint and offer painting classes for anyone and everyone ages 8 and beyond! They are bringing together a great experience and fun environment where people can have a relaxing yet entertaining night (or afternoon) out for around $25 – 35 a class! And remember this includes ALL materials you’ll need and minimal cleanup! Oh and you can also purchase a frame for your canvas too! They’ve really thought of it all! The Paint Bar has two locations: 823 Washington Street in Newtonville and their newest location at 248 Newbury Street in Boston.

Didn't we do a good job!!

Didn’t we do a good job!!

We had such a fun time we’re considering hosting my daughter’s birthday party there and I’m excited to go there for date night! It’s good to mix it up and get creative!

Have you visited The Paint Bar or another paint night? What did you love most about it?



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Review & Giveaway: Noodles & Company #NoodlesMA

Disclosure: I received a complimentary Noodles tasting as compensation. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are all my own.

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I love food. I really love food. And I really love food which I DON’T have to cook! My mother would be so disappointed! Maybe it’s the summer heat, maybe it’s my crazy schedule, but I’ve had zero desire to get in the kitchen this summer. Considering how much my eight year old eats this has caused quite the problem! So when we were invited for a tasting at Noodle & Company I jumped at the opportunity to try some food that I didn’t have to cook :-)

Since I’m not cooking much these days, it’s been important to be creative about the foods we’re eating and ensure that they are nutritious and tasty. My tummy has gotten super sensitive to many foods over the past year, and many regular on the go favorites no longer agree with my tummy. So it was exciting to hear that Noodles & Company uses only the freshest ingredients to make various noodle dishes, soups and salads inspired by the world. We’re talking Japanese Pan Noodles, Thai Curry Soup and Wisconsin Mac & Cheese just to name a few! And for around $8 a dish taking your family out for lunch and dinner won’t have to break the bank!

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During our tasting we were able to try small tastes of many of their fan favorites including the Margherita Flatbread, Pesto Cavatappi, and Spaghetti. Our favorite bite of the meal was one that I wasn’t expecting I’d enjoy. Their Tomato Basil Bisque is out of this world yummy! It’s rich and tasty and perfectly seasoned….we both licked our bowls clean!!

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We went over to their location in Burlington, just across from the mall, but they also have a location over in Shrewsbury in the White City Shopping Center.

Whether you are on kitchen strike like me or are looking to change up your dinner, I’ve got a great giveaway for local readers! One lucky reader will win a Noodles tote and a Noodles for Four gift card!

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Good Luck & Happy Eating!!



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Boston Families: Annual Family Film Festival at The Shops at Prudential Center!

While August is upon us, our family has just under a month left until the school year begins. But until September 2nd rolls around we’re still enjoying the summer sun with lots of time outdoors with friends! While we prefer to be outdoors than inside watching the TV, we’re looking forward to the Annual Family Film Festival at The Shops at Prudential! The Prudential Center’s Magic 106.7 (my favorite bedtime relaxation station) festival runs until August 30 so there is still time to get the family down to the Center’s South Garden and enjoy a flick when the sun sets! Enjoy entertainment, games and gift card giveaways (starting at 6pm) and the first 20 guests to arrive receive a FREE picnic blanket compliments of The Shops at Prudential Center! Oh and did I mention there is no admission fee? That’s right, the Annual Family Film Festival is free and open to the public! If you feel like heading inside the shops and grabbing dinner or dessert of $10 or more, you can take advantage of on-site discounted parking!

Considering it is New England, in the event that it rains Saturday rain dates are scheduled for the following Wednesday. Full details can be found on The Shops at Prudential Center’s website or Facebook page.

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 Our family will be attending the August 16 film to see The Lego Movie…who wants to join us?



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