Me Time: A blowout, a mimosa and a breather at Be Styled (Plus a free blowout for you!)

As a working mom of two girls ages 2 and 4, there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day…never mind time for me. Over the past few months, I’ve found it increasingly important to make time for me. It’s not easy…but it is so important. Last week, I was invited by the awesome people at Be Styled in Chestnut Hill to come in and check out their lounge for a complimentary blow dry.

I was soooo incredibly thankful. And that’s before I knew they’d serve me champagne!

It just so happened that 1) I had a light schedule last week and could make time for a blowout, 2) my hair had been in a braid for DAYS and desperately needed some TLC, and 3) I was going out to dinner with my girlfriend that evening. Perfect timing all around.

I arrived in a braid.

Check-in was super easy and after I gave my name, they asked if I wanted water, coffee, cappuccino, champagne, a mimosa…I didn’t even let them finish and I was sold on a mimosa.

The wash was great, and the scalp massage following it was even better. 

They show you an iPad where you can select the style you like. Be Sleek, Be Soft, Be Swirly, Be Swanky and Be Trendy are your options. Be Trendy is a style that changes monthly and right now is a beachy waves type of style. I chose be soft.

I enjoyed the blowout while sipping my mimosa and watching Bridge Jones Diary on the large flat screens.

I loved the style I chose. I was so happy with how it looked.


It was the best $35 I never spent…thanks to Be Styled because they invited me for free. But I would totally spend the $35 once in a while for a little pampering. Seriously, it’s worth it. Especially on a hot summer day when you don’t want to do your own hair…or before a date night or a girls night out. My blowout lasted for days, even in some light rain and humidity.

And the best news….you can get a FREE blowout at their new location in Wellesley, MA! The Wellesley lounge is opening later this week and is giving FREE blowouts, yes you read that right, FREE blowouts on Friday, August 9th and Saturday, August 10th. You can book online and even though it says $35, all blowouts are FREE these two days!

You deserve it…book a blowout…and enjoy!


I was invited for a complimentary service at the Be Styled lounge in exchange for this review. However all opinions presented here are my own. 

My New Healthy Lifestyle

Me + Healthy Lifestyle hasn’t always been the perfect fit. I’ve always been active. I was a dancer and gymnast growing up and then I was a cheerleader during my days at Syracuse University.


Despite my past, I’ve never really been a huge “health & fitness” person. I know, it’s almost embarrassing to admit. I’ve never been the one to WANT to eat a salad for lunch or WANT to go to the gym. I always accepted being a few pounds overweight to be able to enjoy the life I wanted to live (and the cocktail or pizza).

Things changed last year, as I’ve written about, when I was not feeling well after I gave birth to my second daughter. Doctors suspected I had Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus based on blood work and symptoms and I did not like that diagnosis. I began a Paleo lifestyle and it’s changed my life. You can read more about that here, here, and here, and I post my Paleo recipes here.

What was my catalyst?

These two are why I am now focused on living a healthy and active lifestyle. I want to set a good example for them. I want to feel good to be able to run around with them and keep up with them. I want them to be proud of their Mommy. These two are my inspiration and motivation.

And there is more….

For the past year, I’ve had the healthy nutrition/diet thing down. The exercise…not so much.

And then April 15, 2013. The Boston Marathon. A date that has forever changed my city and in a sense, all of us.

Have I ever been a runner? No. But have I gone and watched the marathon almost every year as an adult? Yes. It’s a state holiday, it’s our state holiday, Patriots Day. It’s one of my favorite days of the year here in Boston.

And now I want to run. Do I want to run the Boston marathon? Yes. Can I? That remains to be seen. But yesterday, I put on my gear and started running.


I started running because I can. So here I go, for me, for my children and for my city.


I received gift cards as compensation for promotion the C9 at Target Line, which is 90% of my workout wear. However, all opinions are my own, and as you can see from this post, this is very personal to me. 

Potty Talk

 This is a sponsored post. I was compensated by Potty Time Stickers and given a free Potty Time Sticker chart. Although I was already using the sticker chart before they contacted me, so shhhh!!! don’t tell them. I’m saving my new chart for when we potty train my youngest. All opinions are my own. 

Breaking News!!!!!

My oldest is potty trained.

I may have said I’d never write about the potty, but I’m so proud of my little one, I just can’t help it. And this has been a LOOONNNNNGGGGG time coming. Yahooooo!!!!!

So just to give you some background, my daughter is 3 years, 10 months. I really think we missed out opportunity last summer when she was showing a lot of interest in the potty. But to be honest, we are on the move all the time, and diapers were actually easier for all our travels. I really never thought it was going to happen…and I was prepping to do an intensive three-day cold turkey intervention.

And then it happened.

One day after gymnastics class, she wet through her diaper and outfit. I explained that she was too big for her diapers and now that she is almost four, the diapers just don’t fit anymore. I told her we were going to try undies. She protested. And I mean really protested. Screamed, cried….total tantrum. I tried to put undies on her and she would not allow it. I asked her what she wanted to wear and she said nothing.

So that’s what she wore. Nothing. For about two hours. No diapers, no undies, no pants. After two hours, she got cold and asked for pants. Still no undies. And that was it. Sayonara diapers. And she never looked back.

When I dropped her off at school the next day, I had to explain the situation to the teachers and tell them she was commando. She went commando for a full week.

A week later, we had a dentist appointment. For some reason, she equates the dentist with being a “big girl,” and apparently also “big girl” with undies. So she woke up and asked for undies!


She has such a different confidence about her now. I’m so proud of her.

Okay, so I’m not an expert but here are some of my notes, key learnings and advice from our potty training process:

Skip the little potty chairs. Start with the big potty and if needed, get a training seat that goes on the big potty. Maybe this isn’t for everyone, but my little one was not impressed with the potty chair. It isn’t what Mommy and Daddy use so why should she.
Don’t think there is a right or a wrong way. There is not. There is the way that works for you kid. The way that worked for my kid was commando.

Pick a method and stick with it. For rewards, we used stickers and dark chocolate chips. We used the big potty only. We didn’t have her sit on it for long periods of time. And make sure you and your significant other pick the same method. Also, make sure to clearly communicate with teachers/daycare providers so everyone is on the same page. The last thing your little one needs is different messages from all over.

Use rewards. I know not everyone likes this philosophy but it worked for us….eventually. We used dark chocolate chips and also the Potty Time Sticker Chart. Created by a working mom, the chart is now available at CVS stores nationwide for $2.99. It’s easy to hang in the bathroom and my favorite part was that there is an “end”. There are places for 40 stickers…and it just so happened, we kicked the diapers on the 37th sticker. Coincidence? I think not. My little felt part of the process and loved picking the new sticker for her chart.

Stock up on laundry detergent. There will be a lot of laundry.

Be prepared. Accidents will happen. Just be prepared so you’re not stumbling around in the middle of the night. Have an extra pair of PJs and undies easily accessible. Bring full changes of clothes in the car if you are out and about. Some people have found post-it notes useful to put on auto-flush toilets when they are out (sometimes they scare littles).

Don’t over-buy undies. I bought a bunch of pair when we first started the process. Now they are too small and I needed to buy new ones.

Boys undies are perfecting acceptable for girls. My daughter LOVES her Mickey Mouse, Jake and the Pirates and Handy Manny undies I got her from the boys section at Target. While it was odd to be putting “Handy Manny” undies on my almost 4-year-old girl, she wanted them and she loved them. Who cares right?

 This is a sponsored post. I was compensated by Potty Time Stickers and given a free Potty Time Sticker chart. Although I was already using the sticker chart before they contacted me, so shhhh!!! don’t tell them. I’m saving my new chart for when we potty train my youngest. All opinions are my own. 


TinySophisticate’s Holiday Gift Guide 2012 v2

T-minus 5 shopping days (including today) until Christmas. If you are one of those people who still needs to buy a gift or gifts for the special someone in your life, just go for jewelry. It’s really the easiest to buy and in my opinion, the most appreciated. If I get a little box, I know it holds something good.

To make it even easier on you, just go to Fragments for anything you may need. And like the other gift guide that I published last week, the top items I’m showcasing here are basically my personal picks…I’ll take one of each for anyone who still needs to buy for me. Size 6 for rings. Thank you very much. Items below range from $135 – $8,020…so if you’re looking for a last-minute Secret Santa gift under $30, turn around and look elsewhere…but if you want to find an amazing gift, check these out!

  1. Side cross necklace
  2. Square studs
  3. White Diamond Bar Necklace
  4. Faith Bracelet
  5. Cuff
  6. Ruby Bar Ring
  7. Grey Diamond Hoops
  8. Round Cocktail Ring
  9. Smokey Quartz and Diamond Drop Earrings
  10. Om Pendant 
  11. Tassel Earrings
  12. Clover Bracelet
  13. Quadrant Earrings
  14. Bangles
  15. White Diamond Leaf Earrings
  16. Medallion Pendant

Gorgeous right? It’s really hard to go wrong with jewelry…and even harder to go wrong if your shopping at Fragments. I stumbled upon this site and found some of the most gorgeous jewelry. Fragments is a curated gallery of both fine and fashion jewelry, and features numerous amazing artists. They have a robust website, and also a retail store in NYC’s SOHO neighborhood. Honestly the jewelry is gorgeous. But if you’re looking for an amazing gift for your wife, girlfriend, mother, sister, best employee (hint hint to my boss), you’ve found the perfect spot.

And these gift ideas are not just good for Christmas…keep these in mind for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, push presents or anniversary gifts!

Happy Holidays!


I was compensated for this post but all opinions and suggestions are my own as per TinySophisticate’s policy. And let’s face it…all this stuff is amazing.



Checking out the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40

I was excited to be invited to an event sponsored by Graco to learn more about their new car seat, the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40. The event was hosted by Charlene of Charlene Chronicles and SITS Girls.

First off, I have to give kudos to an amazing event. As someone who has planned events as part of my “day job,” the event was well-done. The event was held at MiniLuxe Wellesley and it was the perfect spot to get a bunch of moms (some with little ones and others who are expecting) together to learn about Graco’s new product.

There was a chance for a little pampering…wine…and a chance to learn about the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40. I think all the moms who attended were very appreciative of the spa services, as well as learning about an awesome new car seat.

Now for the car seat. The Graco peeps are super nice to have given me a car seat to take home from the event. I wish I had photos or video of this happening…I carried it on my head, teetering to my car in my 4″ stiletto Louboutins. Working it all the way! Here is a picture of the car seat box in the back of my small SUV.

Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 is the only infant car seat that provides rear-facing protection for babies from birth to 2 years old, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The infant car seat grows with babies from four pounds up to 40 pounds, so parents can keep their children rear facing longer, while making sure they stay comfortable as they grow. You can learn more about the car seat by checking out the Graco Safety site.

I decided to take a video of me installing this new car seat in my car. So check it out:

I used the car seat all week and here are some of my thoughts:

  • I love the idea that Graco provides an option to help us keep our babies safe in a rear facing seat up to 2 years or 40 pounds.
  • It’s great to be able to get longer use out of baby gear, so to be able to keep baby in the same seat for 2 years is great. Then transfer to a forward facing seat!
  • It was very easy to install and figure out how to adjust the settings
  • There are eight (8) different recline positions to provide more room for growing babies…
  • HOWEVER, as you give baby more and more space, you lose more and more space for the front passenger seat. I have a small SUV and it was a TIGHT squeeze on the last recline position, and that is with the front passenger seat pushed all the way forward. If we are to use this seat going forward, we will need to put it in my husband’s car, since the front passenger in that car is usually little ole 4’8″ me!
  • I’d be shocked if you could put the seat in full extended mode in a compact or mid-size car
  • My 15-month-old seemed happy in the seat….I think 😉


The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 – the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.


A Magical Journey to Brasil/Brazil at Macy’s

I’ve always been a huge fan of Macy’s. It seems as if whenever I need something, I can always find it there. Whether for myself, my family or for a gift. I’ve loved their celebrity designer showcases and their inclusion in NBC’s Design Star. I’m super excited about something new…just in time for summer! Macy’s is bringing specially-curated in-store shops, from well-known Brazilian fashion designers, to some of their stores. The curated shops feature authentic Brazilian products in a variety of categories, including fashion, home, beauty, accessories and art pieces, and have been hand-selected to create a colorful and inviting main floor environment in 300 Macy’s locations. Macy’s is also including a fundraising and awareness program to benefit the Amazon Rainforest.

Be part of the excitement when Macy’s kicks off Summer with a host of spectacular events inspired by the fashion, food and flavor of Brasil. If you are in MetroWest, (Massachusetts), check out these great events:

  • Thursday, May 17th at 6pm, Macy’s will have a Samba performance by Moves and Vibes Dance Co, a demonstration by Jiu Jitsu experts from Capoeira Brasil Boston, tropical music provided by a DJ, and a sampling of traditional Brazilian cuisine.
  • Saturday, May 19th at 12pm, Macy’s is hosting a kid-friendly event with a carnival-like atmosphere. Kids can test their skills in an interactive soccer challenge (a national sport in Brasil), enjoy balloon twisting, face painting, and more! At 2pm, there will also be a swimwear fashion show where you can create your very own Brasil inspired “Kanga” sarong with any swim purchase, and attendees can try their hand at soccer too.

If your are not in MA, here is a list of other Macy’s events around the country:

Macy’s Brasil Events:

Other Brasil Events:

I’m looking forward to checking out this taste of Brazil just in time for Summer!


I have been compensated by CharleneChronicles to write this post on behalf of Macy’s. But trust me, and ask my husband, I am a loyal shopper of Macy’s. And it is TinySophisticate’s policy to only work with companies/products/services that I use and believe in. 

Review: Dr. Panda, Teach Me! iPad/iPhone App

My daughter is 2 years 11 months and loves my iPad, so much so that she calls it HER iPad. I’m always on the lookout for new apps, especially kid friendly ones that will not only entertain her but also teach and engage her.

I recently tested the Dr. Panda, Teach Me! app for the iPhone and iPad. Dr. Panda, Teach Me! is an interactive educational application for toddlers ages 2-5 years old with fun, engaging animations, sounds and educational activities.

I gave it a quick glance to make sure it was appropriate for my little one (she is 2 years 10 months) and then I turned it over to her to see how she liked it…let’s face it, that’s all that matters. And she loved it! It was easy for her to navigate and it held her attention for a while. More than a week after I first let her play it, she continues to ask for it.  “Mommy, I want to play Dr. Panda!”

Check out this video of her playing:

Why I recommend it: 

  • I loved the colors, sounds and animals. It is charming and adorable and I knew my little one would love it.
  • I was surprised that my little one was as into the activities as she was. Some were challenging for her but I like that she is challenged.
  • There were no links, notifications, advertisement or in-app purchases.
  • Dr. Panda’s Teach Me is certified by the kidSAFE® Seal Program.

Why my little one loves it:

  • Animals. All her favorites were represented.
  • Sounds. She loved the sounds and that she could trigger them.
  • She loved the rewards when she completed the activities correctly.
  • There were so many different activities and things for her to do, she did not get bored, and in fact she continually wants to play it.

Dr. Panda, Teach Me! was created by TribePlay and is available from the iTunes store for $1.99. In addition to the full version, there is also a FREE version called Dr. Panda, Teach Me! Lite (I have not tested the free version and do not know what options is has or does not have).

***This a sponsored post for which I have been compensated. However it is TinySophisticate’s policy to only write sponsored posts for products or services that I believe in, use and/or endorse.***