Just Between Friends Sale is in the Mahoning Valley THIS WEEK!

The Just Between Friends consignment sale will be in the Austintown Plaza THIS WEEK.  Yes- that is correct- Starting Thursday if you have a pre-sale pass, you can shop one of the biggest consignment sales in this area.

October 2-4, 2015 in the Austintown Plaza (6000 Mahoning Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44515).

Pre-Sale starts on Thursday, but you must have a pre-sale pass to shop on Thursday evening.

The sale officially starts Friday at 10 AM, be there early to get the best deals and the best stuff!

Friday and Saturday 10/2 & 10/3 10 AM- 8PM
Sunday, 10/4 10 AM – 2PM

Sunday, you can find many items half off, so if you are really looking for a deal, stop in on Sunday :-)


This sale is pretty new to our area, but is welcomed with open arms from moms, dads, and grandparents.

There is still a *LITTLE* time left if you want to get your items together to consign.  Drop off is Wednesday and Thursday, so if you want to make some money, get your items together ASAP!  You can earn up to 70% by volunteering a shift during the sale.  If you are interested in consigning, stop by their website to sign up.

Check out Just Between Friend Mahoning Valley on Facebook for updates and information!

Le Méridien Chicago Neiman Marcus Shopping Package

The Le Meridien Chicago- Oakbrook Center has partnered with Neiman Marcus to offer an exclusive Neiman Marcus Shopping Package.   This exclusive package is prices at just $1059 and encompasses all things luxury!

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With this package you will receive a one-night stay in one of the Le Méridien‘s chic rooms, private access to the Executive Club and Club Lounge, a $1000 Neiman Marcus Gift Card, and you will also enjoy a personalized experience with a stylist and Beauty Insider.

With the access to Executive Club and Club Lounge, you will receive a free breakfast and access to the snack bar.  So if you are hungry at night, you can stop up for a refreshing beverage or snack.  There is also a very nice lounge to work in if you want to get some work done, but don’t want to stay in your hotel room.

Neiman Marcus Store

Oh- but the fun and luxury doesn’t stop there!  You will be hungry from all the shopping, so you can stop in to the her NM Cafe for lunch for two.

NM Cafe

I had the opportunity to stay at the Le Méridien.  It is VERY luxurious and I only hope I have the opportunity to stay again and enjoy another fabulous day.  You can read about my experience, complete with a review of the Le Méridien hotel here.

Disclosure:  I had to opportunity to stay at Le Meridien and enjoy some of the services mentioned.  All opinions are my own, honest opinions.  This is not a paid post.  

Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center is a great place to stay and shop

I had the pleasure of staying at the Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center when my family made a trip over to Chicago last month.  This was a great place for us to stay, relax, and shop before our big day in Chicago.

Le Méridien is right off the main highway, very easy to get to and about 20-30 minutes outside Chicago, so close enough that we took a cab and far enough that we weren’t in the hustle and bustle of the big city.

NM CafeThe day we got there we had a luxurious lunch at NM Cafe.  If there is one thing I could get used to- that is delicious food and elegant taste.  Everything down to the presentation is perfect and the service was exceptional.  My favorite thing was the bread and strawberry butter, I was a little apprehensive about it, but it was delicious.  Colton said his peanut butter and jelly was the best peanut butter and jelly he ever ate.


After the delicious lunch, I had a beauty consultation with Make Up Artist Ashley from Kevyn Aucoin.  Ashley is a true artist and the Kevyn Aucoin makeup helped this tired mom feel human again.  I think this was my favorite part of the whole trip.  To have just a half hour to focus on me and after Ashley was done, I felt like a million dollars.  The Kevyn Aucoin make up made my skin feel absolutely amazing too.  A little skin care goes a long way!



And I am sure you want to see my after photo, right :-)
Kevyn Aucoin

The Le Méridien room was a luxurious place to call home for the night.  When you walk in, it is beautiful, tastefully decorated, and very modern.  Since I stay in hotels a lot, the comfort of the bed is really important for me and I can give the Le Méridien a 10 out of 10 for comfort of the bed.  There is a firm pillow and a soft pillow for each person and when we got back after the big day in Chicago, I slept very well!

Le Meridian

At the Le Méridien Oakbrook there is also a spa and many other amenities.  If you are club level you have access to a free breakfast and a snack and beverage lounge.  The snack and beverage lounge was really nice, especially since we were traveling with kids, we stopped and got drinks and apples so that was a really nice thing for us.

I would love to go back to the Le Méridien to spend a day there, no kids, by myself to enjoy the spa and do some shopping at the mall that is right behind the hotel.

Disclosure: I stayed one night complimentary at the Le Méridien.  All opinions are my own, honest opinions.  This is not a paid post.  


Mom Deserves A Life Too!

Mom deserves a life

Being a Mom is the greatest job in the world, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. However, it’s a 24/7 position, and can often make you forget that you also have a life of your own.

Prior to having kids, you enjoyed an eventful personal life. While motherhood does change your priorities, you shouldn’t forget to invest in your life as well. After all, a happy Mom is a better one for the children too.

Your kids will always remain the focus, and that shouldn’t ever change. But with these tips, you should claim back some enjoyment for yourself. Enjoy.

Claw Back Some Extra Time

Being a Mom is a tireless job. Unfortunately, you’ve only got one pair of hands, and it often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Wouldn’t it be great if you could gain some extra help?

Well, you can. With the expert help of a green cleaning company, you’ll gain back valuable hours in the day. This will give you more time to concentrate on the family and yourself. Better still, the fact your home is being cleaned in an environmentally friendly way is bound to put an even bigger smile on your face.

Housework is a necessity, but it shouldn’t disrupt your life. Take control now, and you’ll never look back.

Start Working Out

Parenthood can be stressful and we all need a chance to let off some steam from time to time. Quite frankly, there’s no better way to do this than joining the gym.

Whether you go on your own or with a friend, it’s a fantastic way to relax while the endorphins will improve your general happiness too. Most importantly, you’ll be doing something that is solely for your benefit too.

Let’s face it, Daddy isn’t going to complain at your improved physique either.

Enjoy Some Space Of Your Own

If you’ve been following my blog on a regular basis, you’ll already know that having a she-shed is one of my ultimate goals. However, even if this doesn’t become a possibility, I think it’s vital that every Mom has a little retreat that she can call her own.

Dedicating a room to yourself might be pushing it a little too far, but there’s no reason that you can’t make the most of the available space in your home. Whether it’s catching up with a good book or following one of your hobbies doesn’t matter.

Meanwhile, the bathroom is a great place to shut yourself away from the world. Every woman loves a trip to the spa, and you can bring that luxury to your home with a few bath oils and candles. Now that’s what I call heaven.

And Don’t Forget Your Friends

Like any other mother, I love being a parent. However, I must concede that after hours of mindlessly watching children’s television, I do often crave a bit of adult company.

Spending time with your friends doesn’t have to be expensive. Instead of going for dinner, you could invite them over for a dinner party and film night. The main thing is that you get to spend time with your girls.

Better still, it removes the need for a babysitter too.

Reading Rainbow is now on YouTube Kids! #YouTubeKids

The kids are back to school and back to learning, so I am sure you want everything they watch geared toward that.  Do you remember Reading Rainbow?  I do!  It was one of my favorite shows when I was growing up.  If you remember the show or you are new to it, the good news is you can check it out on YouTube Kids!

Reading Rainbow

With Reading Rainbow your kids can go an an adventure in a hot air balloon and learn all about cool places like the Grand Canyon!

Colton LOVES to learn, and loves to experience things so I will definitely be streaming YouTube Kids for him after school so he can check out Reading Rainbow.  I can’t wait to tell him about how I used to watch Reading Rainbow when I was a kid too.  What is funny is LeVar looks the same as he did when I was a kid lol.

Anywho- make sure you download the YouTube Kids app for your kiddos and check out Reading Rainbow!

YouTube Kids is Now Compatible with ChromeCast! #YouTubeKids

If you love YouTube Kids for your kiddos, because you love that you can hand over your device and know they are only watching age appropriate shows than you are going to LOVE that the YouTube Kids app is now compatible with ChromeCast and you can stream YouTube Kids to your TV so your kiddos can watch right on the bigger screen :-)

Check out this Infographic on how to do this:
YouTube Kids ChriomeCast

And the Cloth Diapering Adventure Begins!

After attending MommyCon this weekend I have decided to give Cloth Diapers a second try.  I said I wasn’t going to do it this time around because it just didn’t work for Colton and after a ton of money spent, we ended up going back to Disposables.

Well- I feel like things will be better this time around!  I attended a Cloth Diapering 101 session at MommyCon Columbus, hosted by Cotton Babies and I got a TON of information.  I also left with a few cloth diapering supplies to get me started in this adventure.

My Background:
Have I cloth diapered before… yes- kind of.  Due to lack of support, supplies, and knowledge- it didn’t work for us.

But here goes nothing!!  I am going to start out using the diapers I have and once those are dirty, I will use disposables until the dirty ones are washed until I get a stash of Cloth to make it through the day.

caleb diaper

MommyCon is Columbus this weekend!

mommycon logo

I am counting down the days until Caleb and I venture off to MommyCon!  Good news, it is only 3 hours away– bad news, if you haven’t bought a ticket yet, they are currently SOLD OUT.  So- from what I hear, it is THAT good.

MommyCon is on September 19, 2015 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm at the Sheraton Columbus Capitol Square (75 E State Street, Columbus 43215).

mommy con 2


What is MommyCon?  I have not personally attended, but I have been reading their website and talking to other moms that have attended and know that I just HAVE to go!!!  Here is a description from the MommyCon website:

MommyCon is a boutique style convention dedicated to bringing modern parents and mothers-to-be together. Our focus is on natural and organic parenting methods and timeless tidbits as we journey through parenthood together. Our seminars and workshops include; babywearing, birth, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, car seat safety, natural health and medicine, baby gear, childproofing and so much more! We end our day with amazing giveaways and each attendee gets a gift bag from our sponsors.

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If you aren’t near Columbus, or didn’t score a ticket- there are still more MommyCon Events this year, so definitely check these out if you are within driving distance!  You can get tickets to these events from the MommyCon website:
Columbus – September 19th
Anaheim– November 14th
Seattle – November 21st
Atlanta- February 6th, 2016

Tickets are $40 for regular admission and there is a VIP option that can be added on to a regular admission ticket.  Wait… yes I said a VIP ticket.  Now if you want a VIP ticket, you have to be quick.  There are a limited amount of VIP passes that are released 30 days before the event.  You must have a regular admission ticket to upgrade.  I don’t know about you, but if it’s VIP- I want it lol. 

Sessions: There is a good variety of sessions to choose from like
Cloth Diapering 101
Potty Training 1 of 99 ways to get it done
Breastfeeding, pumping, and going back to work
Parenting & Your Family
Boobs & Bottles
Turning Red to Green
Essential Oils
Dinner Solved
Car Seat Safety

Exhibitors:  There will be over 35 exhibitors at the Columbus Mommy Con. Some, but not all are:  Aden + Anais, Ameda, Applecheeks, Babies R US, Baby Care Area ,Baby K’tan, Babywearing Lounge, Babyganics, Banjorjanics, Bottom Bumpers, Bundle Organics, Cotton Babies at the MommyCon Shoppe, Chompy Chic, Cloth Diaper Resource Center, Combi, Crane, Ergobaby Nursing Pillow, Evenflo Feeding, Happy Family, Innobaby, Little Dippers, Lullaby Earth, Marsupial Mamas, Meeyoo Handwovens, Moby, MommyCon Shoppe, Motherlove, Neb Doctors, Pink Lemonade Shop, Smart Bottoms, Sprout Soup, and The Breastfeeding Center.

I hope I will see some fabulous mamas and babies at MommyCon Columbus!  :-)

Your kids will NOT be the same!

Colton and Caleb on swing

Before Caleb was born, I was constantly saying how awesome Colton was, how much I loved him, and how I hoped Caleb would be JUST LIKE HIM.  Well since birth, I can tell you Caleb and Colton are pretty much 180 degrees difference.  And ya know what.  I am glad.  At just 5 months, Caleb is his very own awesome self and I am glad that he is the way he is.

Caleb on Left, Colton on right, both around 3 months old.

Caleb on Left, Colton on right, both around 3 months old.

First- your kids will not be the same size.  Colton was born at 5 pounds 13 ounces and QUICKLY grew to be a giant and in the 110% for his weight and height.  He was TINY at birth and HUGE by 2 months… and just kept on growing until he was about 1 and started walking.  And then there is Caleb.  Sweet little Caleb.  He was born at 7 pounds 3 oz and has been very slow to gain weight. He hasn’t been officially weighed since his 4 month check up, but at 4 months came in at under 10 pounds.  He is FINALLY outgrowing his newborn clothes and fits in 0-3 months.  Know what is funny…. I bought a few premie outfits because I was expecting Caleb to be like Colton and TEENY at birth which he wasn’t.  And very few newborn and 0-3 clothes because I thought he would go from 5 pounds to 12 super fast like Colton… ya he didn’t.  We got A LOT of use out of our newborn and 0-3 clothes… and are still going strong with 0-3 months and size 1 diapers.

Personalities will be SO different.  As a baby Colton seemed like he could care less about me.  He liked the milk and other than that, he didn’t care who was watching him or who held him.  Caleb… is all about his mama.  He loves me so much, I can feel it when he snuggles up with me.  In the hospital he didn’t want anyone else to hold him- and even the nurses came to my room for all his tests so he could be by me.  Now… he will let other people hold him- so that is a huge thing for him, but for the most part he only wants his mom.  ((and I won’t lie, I love it))

And both of my boys are special in their own, unique ways.  So while I was hoping Caleb would be just like Colton, I am very thankful he is different :-)

Need a getaway without leaving home? You need a She Shed!

If you haven’t heard of a She Shed- you are missing out.  This is what I want- no really- right now my dream is to have my own she shed, my very own safe haven so I can get away from the chaos that is my life- without really going away.  Oh- and a place I can store all my craft stuff because my room is just over flowing with craft supplies.

Best Buy shares six she shed ideas for using technology to create the ultimate relaxation retreat:

1.       Extend the Wi-Fi for endless entertainment
2.       Set the mood with your phone
3.       Turn ugly cables into art
4.       Bask in the sun (even when it rains)
5.       Grant access without a key
6.       Create a hidden refreshment station

If I could build my DREAM She Shed- I would definitely incorporate all of these ideas.  I would want it to be AWESOME since this would pretty much be my staycation.

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If I could only pick one thing from he list- I would definitely have to go with number 1, Extend the WiFi for Endless entertainment.  For me, Wi-Fi is a necessity.  I am always on some sort of internet connection, either through my phone or on wi-fi so having wi-fi in my she shed is a must.

How to get Wifi in your she shed is pretty easy!  You will first need to add a Wi-Fi range extender inside you home. A strategically placed extender boosts the range of your existing router so the wireless can reach more places. Once it’s set up, you can enjoy movies on a tablet or music through a Sonos wireless speaker inside the shed.

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 11.51.04 PMSince I design everything on my computer for my crafts, I will add in that I will be bringing my laptop out so I can work in peace.  I can also view the baby on my ibaby monitor via wifi right from my she shed, so I can work and know everything is alright with Caleb while he sleeps :-)

Definitely check out this article from Best Buy for more ideas about pimping out your she shed.  There are so many awesome ideas that you can do, along with how tos and videos.  All you need a space and a dream and you can make it happen!

Disclosure:  The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.