Healthy Essentials for the Holidays

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The weather outside is frightful in NYC right now. The seasons went straight from summer to winter, completely skipping over fall. The effect of this drastic weather change is showing on my face and the kids faces. At night my face feels like it went through a battle and is chapped from the icy wind blowing on it Plus the sun is still out and bright most days compounding a burn on the chapped.

Johnson and Johnson Healthy Essentials logo

So when Johnson & Johnson sent me some CLEAN & CLEAR Night Relaxing Deep Cleaning Face Wash, cleanandclear.com for their Healthy Essential for the holiday program I was excited to try it out. This face wash has deep sea minerals and sea kelp extract, and is a purifying cleanser that cleans deep to effectively wash away daily build-up – like dirt, oil and impurities deep in pores. It is so effective that this foaming cleanser even washes away dirt and oil you can’t see while calming aromas help wind you down – leaving you clean and relaxed. Oil-free. Won’t clog pores. Won’t over dry.

CLEAN and CLEAR Night Relaxing Deep Cleaning Face Wash

The kids hair is also full of static from the wind and the JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® Detangling Sprayjohnsonsbaby.com Works to instantly unlock knots and tangles in wet or dry hair. Easy detangling and manageability. Gentle NO MORE TEARS® formula.

JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® Detangling Spray

With the holidays around the corner, I am also looking for something to help relax me at night and the CLEAN & CLEAR Night Relaxing Deep Cleaning Face Wash does the trick. Also something to keep the kids hair under control and the JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® Detangling Spray is a lifesaver. Plus right now is the perfect time to unwrap great savings on the Healthy Essentials website! You can save up to $35 on some of your favorite products by visiting HealthyEssentials.com to download coupons in December.

We are traveling next week to California to spend some time with the family and we are all excited to get out of this cold. Christmas in California with family is the best, we  always spend a few days at Disneyland, go to the beach, bake cookies with Mema and spend time catching up with family and friends. We usually only make it out west two times a year, so their is a lot of catching up to do.

Splenda Brown Sugar

From looking your best when catching up with family and friends, and baking tasty treats for holiday celebrations with Mema to staying healthy and taking care of yourself and your family, you’ll find products for the holidays and every day at HealthyEssentials.com.

This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Holiday card fashion and design inspiration {GIVEAWAY}

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It is holiday card season! I love sending out a beautiful holiday card just as much as I love receiving them from all of our family and friends. Sending out a yearly holiday card is the only mail I still send each year, it forces me to update our address book and I love getting the whole family dressed up for our photo. We alway try to snap that perfect photo, the day after Thanksgiving, so we have more than enough time to get our Minted holiday cards out before the rush of the season.

When dressing for our family photo we try to all dress in the same color family, but I make sure we are not matching too much. I found the cutest little girls dress from RUUM at their holiday preview a few months back, and decided to plan our outfits around that dress. The RUUM metallic lace dress is easy to pull on, and is made out of a stretch lace, it features a trendy ombre foil technique. For H I found a similar ombre sweater from RUUM, the sweater is a lightweight cotton and can be easily dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

RUUM Holiday

They looked so festive together hanging out at ABC Carpet and Home, One of my favorite NYC stores, it is especially magical during the holiday season. We received tons of compliments and their coordinating holiday outfits.

ABC Home holidayLuckily my parents were in town, so they were able to take our family photo, on a surprisingly sunny and warm NYC morning in late November. Plus after having them take over 100 photos, I was happy enough with one that can be used on our Minted holiday card.

Now I need your help in picking out the best holiday card design, to send out to all of our family and friends! Minted makes it so easy to design that perfect holiday card, that you will spend the most time going through over 600 card choices. The see your photo in many cards at once option was a timesaver, and I could instantly see which cards did not work with our family photo. Plus they have a “buy now, personalize later” option and you can lock in the best rate, and finish when you are ready. The Minted Envelope is also a fun new custom design feature where your cards can match the envelopes, and recipient addressing all for FREE (perfect for this busy mama).

Option One- Be Merry

Be Merry My Strange FamilyOption Two- Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays My Strange FamilyOption Three- Be Joyful

Be Joyful My Strange Family

The best part is RUUM and Minted are partnering with My Strange Family to giveaway to one lucky reader

(1) $100 RUUM gift card and (1) $100 Minted gift card

To enter please leave a blog post comment- What card option should we pick to be our 2014 My Strange Family holiday card?

For additional entries please leave separate comments for each!

  1. Like My Strange Family on Facebook
  2. Follow Kristrange on Instagram
  3. Follow RUUM on Instagram
  4. Follow Minted on Instagram
  5. Share post on Facebook
  6. Tweet about the giveaway. Sample tweet:

“Enter to win a $100 gift card to @RUUMkidswear and $100 to @Minted #MyStrangeHoliday http://wp.me/p1IHBv-1aY via @mystrangefam”

Congratulations Comment #38 Play Wash Rinse Repeat Blog you win! I will be in touch with prize fulfillment info.

Random.org

This giveaway is for US residents only and will run from today until midnight EST Tuesday December 9th 2014. Prize fulfillment will be sent out directly by RUUM and Minted.

I was not compensated for this post just provided with review items and giveaway items. All opinions are my own.

D.C. from a four year olds perspective

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After traveling to Washington D.C. as a family for a long weekend, H shared with his preschool class all about his fun trip. The sweetest part was his teacher helped him write it all down so we will have his perspective of the D.C. trip as a memory forever.

“In Washington D.C. I went to the Air and Space Museum, and the Washington Monument. I also went to the Lincoln Memorial. I went to the circular museum and you can’t touch the statues. We were there for three days. We had doughnuts and went to the zoo. We had chicken nuggets, too.”

Air and Space Museum

Washington Monument

Lincoln MemorialWashington DCWe did so much in our three days there, and I hope he will always remember how much fun he had while learning all about our nations capital.

Disney Kids Preschool Playdate!

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I received free products in order to host the Disney Kids Preschool Playdate. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Once H started preschool his friends were now chosen by him, no longer by me. After a few weeks of preschool he kept speaking of all these new friends, so I though it would be a perfect time to set up a playdate. I wanted to get to know his new friends and their parents, outside of the school setting. Most previous playdates involved snacks and making a mess in the toy room, now that the kids are older I felt the playdates should evolve, to more organized activities and possibly a theme.

Thanks to the help from Walt Disney World Resort and MomSelect, the playdates theme was selected, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! I received a fun Disney theme celebration kit, full of party supplies, party favors, Disney themed activities, yummy snacks and more. The night before our Disney Kids Preschool Playdate H helped make some muffins for his friends and their caregivers. We used a muffin mix box from Trader Joe’s, so all we had to do was add egg, oil and water, perfect for a preschooler to help. Also this silicone muffin pan makes perfectly cooked muffins and it is really easy to extract the muffins from the pan.

Disney Kids Party prepWe used all of the party supplies to decorate the apartment, H could not wait for all of his friends to arrive and show them all of the cool things.

Disney Kids My Strange FamilyThe kids first colored Disney Junior activity sheets while they waited for everyone to arrive, the pictures were then hung on the wall as a gallery of decorations throughout the party. The different coloring styles of preschoolers impressed me.

Disney Kids coloringThe kids also loved making Disney Junior straw banners, these were helpful through out the playdate so the guests would always know which cup was their own. A few of the kids used scissors for the first time!

Disney Side Straw BannersOnce everyone was here the whole group played Disney Side BINGO, once a child placed 5 markers in a row they called out “BINGO” we had a few false wins at first but they soon got the hang of it. The winner went home with an awesome Mega Blocks Hot Wheels monster truck!

The kids then broke into small groups and played either a Disney attraction memory matching game or “Which Disney Junior character are you?” fortune teller game (cootie catcher as I called it growing up). All the kids got to bring home their fortune teller game, to play on their parents or siblings.

Disney Kids party gamesEveryone was now hungry so we all sat down for snacks, everyone had muffins, Disney fruit gummies, granola bars and Crunchmaster Crisp crackers (a tasty, nutritious alternative to regular processed wheat snacks.)

Disney Kids PlaydateThe Disney Kids Preschool Playdate was a success and everyone left happy, the best part was I got to put faces to the names of all the kids H speaks of all of the time.

If you want to host your own Disney Kids Preschool Playdate tons of information such as themes, activities and recipes can be found at disneysidecelebrations.com

Thank you Walt Disney World Resort and MomSelect for the opportunity to share my family’s love of Disney with our friends.

ABC Home Santa: A yearly tradition

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It is that time of year again when Santa comes to visit ABC Carpet and Home. Santa has been visiting ABC Home for over twenty years now, and this year marks our family’s fifth time, making it a magical yearly tradition. For us, Christmas isn’t Christmas until a visit with Santa has taken place.

ABC Home Santa

We always visit the ABC Santa the Friday after Thanksgiving, because the lines are the shortest on that day. The lines get longer and the days get colder everyday closer to Christmas. ABC Home does not have a photographer on hand, so make sure to bring your own camera and be ready to take hundreds of photos in under two minutes, for that perfect shot.

H’s favorite part, the yummy lollie from Santa.

ABC Home Lollie

Do your kids have their lists ready?
Here are the hours for the ABC Home Santa for 2014.

Friday, November 28, 10-3pm
Saturday, Nov 29, dec 7, 14 & 21, 10am-3pm
Sunday, Nov 30, dec 1,8, 15 & 22, 11am-3pm

After visiting Santa we always let the kids pick out their yearly ornament for our mini Christmas tree. This year H picked out a beautiful snowflake, and lilStrange is obsessed with doggies, so she picked out a glass ball with a French Bulldog inside.

ABC Home ornaments

Does your family have a yearly holiday tradition?

Movie Review: All Relative

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All Relative is a thoughtful movie reminiscent of The Graduate. Relationships between spouses, parents and children, and dating couples are explored in sensitive and comedic situations. Plot twists are clever. New York City serves as a beautiful backdrop. Connie Nielsen embodies the character with perceptiveness and respect. The audience would be 20-70 year olds. Seek out this indie movie in limited theater release or on iTunes starting November 21st. For more details about the movie All Relative check out this two minute trailer.

Staring: Connie Nielsen, Jonathan Sadowski and Sara Paxton Director: J.C. Khoury

All Relative Movie Poster

Thank you to The Moms for the sneak peak of this movie