Delivery Man with Vince Vaughn

I’m a sucker for Vince Vaughn movies…he’s hysterical. And then when I like the plot and message…I’m in! I recently had the opportunity to see this trailer for Delivery Man. In the film, Vince Vaughn plays an affable underachiever looking for his purpose in life, when he finds out he’s fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years ago.

Yep, you read that right, 533.

I’m sure at this point you are thinking, “Oh holy hell, I have two and can’t keep up.”

No? Oh, that’s me thinking out loud again.

Anyway, back to the movie. Now he must decide whether or not to come forward when 142 of them want to meet their biological father.

It’s clearly unconventional….but then again, look around. The “traditional” family has evolved. What makes a family? You may initially say a mother, father, child, etc., etc. But after thinking about that question…I answer LOVE.

I’m happy my four-year-old daughter understands that every family is different. She knows that some children have a mom, some have a dad, some have both, some have two moms, some have two dads. It makes me happy she can see the world without prejudice and without thinking there is one way a family should be and that’s it.

Anyway, I guess that’s why this movie touched me. Check out this debut of the film’s official trailer:

DELIVERY MAN stars Vince Vaughn, Cobie Smulders and Chris Pratt and will be in theaters November 22. Mark your calendars! And just so you know, this movie is for adults and not small children. It’s rated PG-13 for mature themes.

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DELIVERY MAN releases in theaters on November 22nd!

TinySophisticate’s Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to the Second Annual TinySophisticate Holiday Gift Guide. When it comes to the ladies gift ideas and hostess ideas…those are pretty much my personal “want” lists. So take note friends and family, I’ll have one of each. And just to get it out of the way, I’m usually a size x-small or small, 2 or 25/26, shoe size 5. Thank you :)

FOR THE LADIES:

1. Leopard print scarf from Stella & Dot – chic, simple and on trend.

2. Marc Jacobs clutch from the Target + Neiman Marcus Collection – Marc Jacobs for under $75??? It’s a steal. Grab it.

3. Colored skinnies – Old Navy, Express, Paige…they instantly brighten up any outfit and are a great gift idea

4. Chunky necklace from Zara – I’ve always loved the clothes from Zara but this necklace stopped me in my tracks when I saw it. Please, Santa…

5. Custom iPhone case – love these custom iPhone cases from Shutterfly

6. Ray Ban shades – up your cool factor instantly

7. Hunter wellies – even if she has a pair, she can use another in a fun bright color

8. Zoya nail polish – toxin free…nough said

9. Tracy Reese Dessert Plates – for the lady who loves to entertain from the Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday collection

10. Bangles – the more the merrier! These are from Banana Republic (here, here and here)

HOST/HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS:

 

1. Custom monogrammed note card - in a virtual world, it’s always great to encourage old school snail mail

2, 3, 4. TrayCocktail glasses and Shaker - love these from the Target + Neiman Marcus Collection that would be great for entertaining

5. Truffle salt - needs no explanation

6. Apron - with this apron from Sur la Table, who needs to wear clothes under it :)

7. Tea cups  – I love the color and whimsy of these cups

8. Single serve blender - for the health conscious host/hostess who loves them some protein shakes

9. Personalized return address stamp - I love these….nothing I hate more than writing out my return address.

10. Chalkboard spice jars - These type of jars are great to be left on top of the counter.

 

FOR THE LITTLE ONES (remember, I have two girls under 4 so I’m skewed toward what they would like): 

1. Fisher Price Team Umizoomi Come and Get Us Counting Car -  my little one received this as a gift from Fisher Price at the #BSMHoliday party and she loves it. The controls are super easy and my 3 1/2-year-old loves it

2. Art bin filled with all sorts of creative goodies. I got this for our girls and bought the Creative Options Grab n Go storage unit from Michael’s in pink and purple. I think the color is exclusive to Michael’s. I’m filling it with crayons, colored pencils, felt, glue, glitter, paper, popsicle sticks…all sorts of things that foster creativity an imagination.

3. Create your own watch from Disney. Choose character, band color and more.

4. Jingle the Husky Pup – love this sweet dog that “barks” along when you read the story book

5. Stacey Peasley Children’s Music - my kids love this music…I love this music. It’s a great stocking stuffer

6. Laughing Giraffe Book Sets - LOVE LOVE LOVE these books sets. It takes the guess-work out of trying to decide what books to buy the little ones, by letting the expert select for you. Laughing Giraffe Books provides themed book bundles and book of the month collections with an added surprise – a game and prize. By creating an added hook to get kids excited about reading we are helping to create a new generation of lifelong readers.

7. Rody - this ride on hopping horse is a favorite. Get the rocking base to make this toy good for bouncing and rocking

8. LEGO DUPLO blocks – I love all the LEGO DUPLO sets. Of all the toys in our house, our LEGO blocks get the most activity. We build castles. And pirate ships. And farms. And houses. My toddler’s imagination is amazing and she loves building (almost as much as the little one loves to tear down her structures).

9. Tiffany Monogrammed Pendant - It’s never too early…
10.  Doctor set - This was the bet gift we ever got for our daughter when she was two. She loves it. They have all sorts of character branded ones as well.

 

 

Some of My Favorite Products

I’m always looking for products to help make my life easier. Here are a few that I love and swear by:

  • Command Brand StripsI am terrible hanging things with nails and a hammer. Yes, I measure. Yes, I use a level…and it always comes out crooked, with many “test” holes in my wall. So often times, I shy away from hanging things because I know it will be a disaster….until I found these. I’m not scared anymore because I can’t really mess up (I’m sure there is a way…and I’m sure I’ll do it…will keep you posted). They have strips you can use with pictures frames and for mounting, and they also sell hooks that I use on the back of the bathroom door for towels. They are REMOVABLE which is the best part. Seriously, if you can use tape, you can figure this out.

  • Keurig Coffee Maker – The Keurig is perfect for our household because I drink coffee and my husband does not. And at most, I drink 2 cups a day. It’s easy to use, you can buy all types of coffee for it and doesn’t look terrible on your countertop. BONUS: It is great to heat bottles! We have glass bottles and plastic bottles (long story). But I store and heat breast milk and formula in the glass bottle…then when warm, I transfer to the plastic to serve. We “brew” a large up of hot water into an extra-large mug, insert the glass bottle, put the oven timer on for 2 minutes and VOILA! (times/temperatures may vary so test it out on your own before giving to your own baby)

  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser – If you have kids, this is a must. If you are accident prone like I am, this is also a must. It removed Sharpie marker from my wood dining room table. Enough said.

  • Neutrogena Make-Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes – I’ll admit it…there are nights when I am so exhausted, I fall asleep with all my makeup on. I know it’s not good, but it happens. Well, it happens a lot less if I have these in my bathroom. Quick and easy…and yes, they do remove waterproof mascara!

  • Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Makeup SPF 20 Foundation Makeup – I used to be a makeup snob, only buying the expensive stuff. But last year, when we learned baby #2 was on the way, I decided to try to “reform” some of my spending and find ways to save. I used to wear Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer as my foundation/base. It sells for $42. I found this Almay product to work just as good, if not better for my skin, and it typically sells for $10-$13. Nice savings huh? I still splurge on my concealer and bronzer…but hey, it’s great to save somewhere!

  • Small Cross Body Bag - As you may already know, I don’t have a real “diaper bag.” I use large purses for my diaper bags. Sometimes though, if I am walking around the city and we have our stroller, I will put my “diaper bag” under the stroller and use a smaller bag to carry. I’m a big fan of cross body bags as they are easy to put stuff in, carry a baby or toddler and get things out easily. My favs are my Louis Vuitton Bloomsbury bag and my Coach classic shoulder bag that I got at a consignment store ($30 instead of $298 new).

What are some products you cannot live without???

I have not been paid to endorse these products…they are all products I love and use all the time…in fact, I have used them all today!

How having baby #2 drove me back to caffeine…and a great bottle warming tip

My drink of choice @ Starbucks: Grande Nonfat Caramel Latte

With a two-year-old daughter and a one-month-old daughter at home, I’ve found my way back to coffee after a 3 year hiatus. I’m not proud of it, but it’s happened whether I like it or not.

I used to be a big coffee drinker. Surprisingly, I didn’t need coffee to wake up in the morning. Rather, I would jones for the java late morning or mid-afternoon as a pick-me-up. I wasn’t too hard-core. I tended to be a “fruffy” (is that a word?) coffee drinker, ordering things like a non-fat caramel latte. I’m sure the hard-core coffee drinkers of Seattle would scoff at that order, but it’s what I like. Occassionally, I’d hit up a venti cappuccino when necessary, like when I went to London for a 3 day business sleep and get 8 hours sleep total.

Once I became pregnant with my first daughter, I quit cold turkey. Even though my doctor said I could have a cup of coffee a day, I decided against it. Once in a great while, I’d have a soda, for some reason that sounded better to me. But for the most part, I really tried hard to keep my system clean and pure during my pregnancy.

After I delivered my first daughter, I remember looking forward to my first coffee. It came once I returned to work after my 3-month maternity leave. I remember waiting in line at the Starbucks near my office and hoping I remembered how to order my drink of choice correctly. I did (how could i forget) and I recall being so excited for the first sip. But about an hour later, I felt terrible. And every time after that I tried coffee, the same thing happened. Eventually, I just said, “Okay, I’m done with coffee.” That was Fall of 2009.

Fast forward to Fall of 2011. My second daughter was born on August 1st. She reminded me how easy a newborn is…that is when you JUST have a newborn. But then I think how easy my toddler is…that is when you JUST have a toddler. Combine a newborn with a toddler and it’s a different story. Thus, my return to caffeine.

I’m lucky. Most nights, my newborn wakes up just once…but on occasion, the wakes up twice. And that’s tough for me. Luckily my toddler sleeps great. And just keeping up with the two of them is exhausting. When I wake up in the morning, I’m often fatigued, with a headache. I can handle the fatigue, comes with the territory. But the headache, argh…not so much. That’s where the coffee comes in. It kind of kills two birds with one stone…helps the fatigue and headache.

I’m not going crazy…I think I’ve had 4 coffees in the 4 weeks since I’ve been home from the hospital. So my average is not obsessive. And I still stick to the “fruffy” drinks. At Starbucks, I go with a nonfat caramel latte (iced or hot). At home, I use my Keurig to make cafe au lait (lots of milk, little coffee). Mommy needs a vice doesn’t she? :)

BOTTLE WARMING TIP: I never registered for the fancy bottle warmer when I was pregnant. I figured I’d go the old fashion route and heat glass bottles in hot water on the stove. But I found an even better way. I use my Keurig coffee maker. I “brew” water (the tallest cup setting) into a large oversized mug (a Disney one I’ve had forever). Then I put the milk in a glass bottle into the hot water and set the oven timer for two minutes. That’s it!

A Great New Baby Gift – Email & Domain

Okay, let’s face it…we are in a time where technology rules. Our kids will not grow up learning cursive or taking “typing” on a typewriter. They don’t talk on the phone, they text. Things aren’t stored in servers, they are in the cloud. Kids play video games with “friends” around the world. So let’s get into this century with our “new baby” gift giving. Let’s face it…every new parent ends up with a ton of blankets, way too many towels, and onesies up the a$$. Right?

Give a gift that well…a baby won’t grow out of. An email address and a domain.

I’m sure you think I’m crazy but an email address was one of the best gifts I received when my first daughter was born. A good friend of mine named Bryan set up a gmail address in my first born’s name the day she was born. It can obviously be done in advance if you know sex and name, but we didn’t find out the sex of our baby and kept our name options a secret. I was so excited and thought it was such a great idea. I even use the address to send out updates, pictures, etc.

It’s so great that we have her name secured and she won’t be lpd837374@gmail.com. When daughter #2 arrived, I made sure to secure her email as well and also did so for a friend of mine who just had her first baby.

So why stop with just an email? Secure baby’s domain name, twitter handle, blog addresses and anything you can get your hands on! If it is available, why not? Now, I know you have to “fudge” birth dates in order to do this….but hey, it’s worth it!

And the best part? The email address is free, and domains can be secured for very little investment.

Thanks Bryan for such a great gift…and sorry that I’m stealing it now for all my friends who are having babies!

Mature? Sometimes I wonder…

I’m 34 years old. I am married with two children. I have a great career. I think I’m a mature adult until…

  • I look at my DVR. It’s filled with crap. While I think there are a few shows of merit (Closer being one of them), the majority of the shows are not winning any awards.
  • I shop at Forever 21 and I’m definitely not 21
  • I listen to rap music…with my kids in the car. Eminem is strangely soothing to a newborn.
  • I sprint to my mailbox on Thursdays for my new issue of US Weekly
  • I sing out loud to Justin Bieber…and love him!
  • Speaking of my DVR…I record the MTV Movie and Music awards…and watch in its entirety
  • I consider ice cream and chocolate chip cookies a well-balanced meal
  • I get some of my news from PerezHilton.com (not all, but some)
  • I sometimes steal my daughter’s goldfish when she isn’t looking

Optimism: Looking Forward to Fall

I feel like I’ve missed the summer of 2011. I was pregnant for much of it, delivered on August 1st, and have been recovering from a c-section since. Being pregnant in the heat of summer was quite an experience, but of course, completely worth it in the end. I was putting a doctor’s appointment into my calendar today when I realized it is August 22nd. OMG…I really did miss summer and it’s almost over! Wow!

I typically get very angry at the end of summer, but this year, I am choosing to look at it in a more optimistic, glass is half full way. I mean, really, if changing weather is my biggest problem, I live a pretty great life. In the past few years since I’ve become a mother, I think I look at life differently all around. I have two beautiful, healthy girls. I don’t live in Japan where there have been earthquakes and other issues. I don’t live in the midwest (or Western MA) where tornadoes have ravages some towns. I have a happy healthy family…my glass is more than half full.

So as we approach the end of August and Labor Day, which is the unofficial end to summer, I am looking forward to all the great things that fall brings us:

  • Apple picking
  • Curried butternut squash & apple soup
  • Pies…any pies! You name it, I’ll eat it!
  • Boots
  • Pumpkin patches…pumpkin bread…pumpkin pie…pumpkin everything
  • Crock pot meals
  • Visits from the in-laws (yes, I’m serious, I love mine)
  • New England foliage
  • Scarves
  • Long walks in the crisp fall air
I am consciously choosing to ignore all that I’ll miss about summer (including the beach, sangria, sandals and white skinny jeans), and embrace fall. What are you looking forward to about fall?

Tips for taking great baby and family photos

One of my few baby pics

I don’t remember seeing a ton of pictures of myself as a baby. It was only 34 years ago so yes, cameras were invented ;)  There are a few, and it seems that there were more when I was older, 8 or 9 years old.

My daughter is 2, and I would guess we have close to 3,000 pictures, if not more of her. Granted, there is a big difference in old film cameras, as opposed to the digital versions we use today. I remember buying 35mm film in 24 or 36 exposures. You had to make every picture count. Now, I can have more than 1,000 on a memory card. It’s crazy.

Make the most of your pictures with your little ones. They are only little once and as you know, the time flies by. Here are some tips from TinySophisticate:

1.  Check out some of the photo places in the mall. They are cheap. They are easy. They have very flexible schedules (think mall hours). They do special membership programs and promotions. And they always have custom sets for holidays (some like Portrait Simple even have live bunnies for photo opps before Easter). And if you are not paying for the sitting, just for the pictures you want, there is no risk if you little one has a meltdown. We’ve used Portrait Simple for individual photo shoots as well as a few family ones.

Family pic with in-laws

Family pic with my parents

2. Create your own photo studio at home. I bought a black sheet and a white sheet to use as backdrops. I would just lay the sheets over some pillows and then position the baby. I often got pictures as good, if not better than the professional ones.

Simple black sheet makes a great photo backdrop. White works great too

3. Make the most of spring/summer/fall months and outdoor spaces. For you DIY pictures, outdoor settings are great, especially when they are green and/or have lots of colors from blooming flowers. Nature is the best backdrop!

  

4. Chronicle baby’s growth with pictures each month. Pick a spot, any spot, but make it the same spot each time. At the beginning, you can take pictures weekly, then go to monthly. I didn’t do this as religiously as I’d like. And I have to admit, I stole the idea from my good friend Jessica who owns @MoreofMeMaternity…check it out if you are pregnant!

5. Use baby as a greeting card. I’m not sure how, when or why but I’m kind of over cards. I don’t know, they are always a bit cheesy and you never find quite the right one you are looking for. Over the past two years, I’ve resorted to using her as a human greeting card, and response has been overwhelmingly in favor of my new tradition.

6. Make good use of the free photo storing sites out there. Let’s face it, you never know when you may lose a memory card, or you computer may sh!t the bed. It’s happened to me….so trust me on this one. I’m a huge fan of Shutterfly and have been for almost 10 years now. I know there are other sites out there but I love Shutterfly. I’m obsessed. I load all my pictures there and order my prints as well. I also created a free Shutterfly share site that helps me stay in touch with family and friends who live far away. It’s a hybrid of my personal, family blog and a photo album. I also load videos there too. It’s great. And you can do other awesome things with it…create photo books, print pictures to canvas, make mugs, mousepads and all other things. Oh, and every few times I share pictures on my site, they give me free 4×6 prints! Score!

We have baby #2 arriving in three weeks….I just hope to get as many pictures of this baby as we have of #1….and then a bunch of pictures of the two of them!

Day trip in New England: Rockport

Rockport, MA

Being 35 weeks pregnant, we knew we’d be staying pretty local this 4th of July weekend. Staying local doesn’t have to mean staying home. Especially when you live in the Northeast and you have so many amazing options close by. Yesterday, we decided to journey up to Rockport, MA. It’s one of our favorite day trips and thinking back, we realized we went up there last year over the 4th weekend as well.

Early morning view from the beach

We arrived early at 8:30 am and got a meter spot right at the beach. I think we were at Front Beach…but don’t quote me on it. It’s right on Beach Street…very close to the shopping area and restaurants. It’s relatively small but has public restroom facilities that are very clean with changing tables in both the mens and women’s rooms. We set up our area and were set for a while. I’m pretty impressed that we only had one large canvas beach bag and a beach chair to carry…granted we had a bit more in the car!

Playing in the sand

My husband and daughter

We stayed at the beach for 2 1/2 hours. Westarted noticing our daughter was getting cranky which means she is hungry and tired, so we packed it up around 11, hit the restrooms, dropped our beach stuff off at the car, changed, pulled out the stroller and walked down toward all the food and shopping. Within 5 minutes, our little one was passed out! Perfect timing. My husband and I were able to grab some lunch and sit and relax on the water for a little while. I had an amazing lobster roll from Roy Moore’s, and my husband grabbed a hot dog from Top Dog, two of our favorite spots. I also grabbed an elephant ear from The Fudgery…it’s irresistable. Then we hit up some stores and walked around. After a quick nap, our daughter was up and ready for her lunch, followed by some ice cream. We were packed up and ready to hit the road by about 1:30.

It was an awesome day and an awesome day-trip for the 4th of July weekend. Here are some tips for making a day trip to Rockport fun with the family!

  • Pack everything you need the night before. Makes the morning much easier.
  • Leave early to beat the traffic – We were up at 6am (our 2-year-old daughter is our alarm clock). We were out the door at 7:15 and arrived by 8:30. We made it up there with no traffic, in great time, and we found awesome metered street parking when we arrived. We kept feeding the same meter all day…If you try it and get ticketed, sorry…but worked for us!
  • Some meters are 2 hours, others are 4 hours…so there are great options. Bring change…they take quarters, dimes and nickels.
  • Have a realistic plan. We know our daughter is great til 11am or so…then she needs lunch and nap. So we planned the day accordingly.
  • Again, being realistic, if you have a 2-year-old, don’t think you will be able to lounge in the sun for 6 hours…not happening.
  • If your car is nearby, bring only what  you need onto the beach. It makes it a lot easier. Then swap stuff out if you head to shop or eat.
  • Pick clothes for you and your little one that are 1) easy on/off, 2) lightweight and dry easy if get wet, and 3) light-colored for summer.
  • Do your research ahead of time so you’re not driving/walking in circles trying to find the right spots. Luckily, we’ve been to Rockport about a dozen times so we know our way…but do a little research in advance.
  • There are some great dining options, but there are also some really tasty quick eating options. If you get food to go from your favorite spot, walk down the end of Bearskin Neck…there is a little cul-de-sac with some benches and rocks you can sit on. It’s the most beautiful and relaxing spot to enjoy  your lunch.

I hope you find time to visit this great little New England gem. We enjoy ourselves every trip up there and can’t wait to go again soon!

Strollers for traveling

Hello everyone -

I had a great question come to me recently from a mom through Facebook about the best stroller for a Disney trip. She read my post on our first trip to Disney with our 2 year old.

I answered her question, but figured it would also make a great blog post, and more than  just a stroller for Disney, a post about strollers for traveling!

Look for these qualities in a travel stroller:

  • Full or almost full recline position. Where ever you travel, you will likely be out and about exploring a lot and you want your little one to be able to get a good nap in.
  • Full or large canopy/shade, especially since if you are traveling to a sunny destination like Disney!
  •  Plenty of storage underneath stroller for diapers, food, water, etc. and of course stuff you buy :) The more you can store under the stroller, the less you have to carry yourself.
  • Easy to fold. This is helpful at airport security and getting on the plane. Specific to Disney, it is necessary if you drive and park in a parking lot…the little tram you take from the parking lot to the monorail requires you to fold up the stroller.
  • Most importantly, a comfy stroller that your baby will be happy in! Happy baby = happy travels!

I’ve seen many families who travel with a cheap umbrella stroller…and I’ve also seen many cheap umbrella strollers in the trash cans at the Aquarium, mall, Disney and airport. Put two and two together and you get my point.

Here are some strollers that fold and travel easy and I recommend (see pics below):

Happy travels!