‘Wild Kratts Live’ Coming to Beacon Theatre

Do you live in New York City and have a little explorer in your home? If so, keep reading.

This weekend, my husband and I are so excited to take my 3 ½ year old son son, MJ, to see “Wild Kratts Live” at the historic Beacon Theatre on the city’s upper west side. It’s perfect timing considering he’s reached the age where he’s intrigued by countless critters and creatures. Plus, he’s also a fan of the hit PBS animated series, “Wild Kratts,” from which the theatrical stage show is based.

Similar to the show, the two brothers, Martin and Chris Kratt, will take inquisitive audiences on a wild adventure as they discover fascinating facts about animals. Since it is a live performance, a large, multimedia screen will be utilized to help bring the humorous, yet educational show to life.

If your child enjoys learning about wildlife and the world around him, this is a show you and your family won’t want to miss!

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Tickets are on sale now for this weekend’s performances. Click here for more information.

Do your kids watch “Wild Kratts?” 

3 Reasons Why Post-it Notes Keep Me Sane

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t find joy in using Post-it® notes. There’s just something amusingly satisfying about scribbling a quick note on a small, sticky pad of paper. That’s why I was excited to check out some of the brand’s newest products at a media sneak peek last week.

Known for their classic yellow sticky note offering, the brand has since expanded into a kaleidoscope of colorful options, cool designs and other fun supplies to keep our daily lives in order. From electrifying, neon colors to cute emoji-shaped pads to stylish dispensers and planners; Post-it® has become synonymous with practical, yet playful notes and office supplies.

Like many working moms, you can find Post-it® notes scattered everywhere around my house and office. Whether I’m jotting down passwords or using an adhesive dry erase board to write down weekly meal plans, Post-it® has been my go-to for list-making and staying organized at home and work.

Here are three top reasons why using Post-it® notes and supplies keep me sane:

  1. I’m super forgetful so I have to write things down. Otherwise, I’ll never remember my tasks at hand.
  2. At work, I’m in countless meetings throughout the day. To stay on top of things, I use colorful tabs to keep my notes and files organized.
  3. Being a wife and working mom of two, keeping track of everyone’s schedules can be tricky. Using a dry erase surface helps me stay on top of my family’s whereabouts.

Check out some of the cool items I came across during the media preview:

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At the event, attendees were asked, “What do we want to make stick in our lives?”I shared that I want  be more present. So, I’m going to ask you the same thing? “What do you want to make stick in your life?” 

‘Born in China’ Tells a Universally Touching Story

If you’re looking for a fun and entertaining way to celebrate Earth Day, look no further than your local movie theater.

Today, Disneynature’s “Born in China” hits the big screen nationwide. My family and I got a chance to screen the heartwarming movie back in February during Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration.

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The endearing, documentary tells a touching story surrounding a topic that the majority of us can relate to: our families. Filmed in China (no surprise there based on the title), the movie features four animal families and highlights the beautiful universal cycle of life.

Capturing the lives of golden snub-nosed monkeys, snow leopards, pandas and chiru antelope, was no easy feat, but the filmmakers behind this movie made it look easy. Narrated by actor John Krasinski, the animals, half of which are endangered, came to life and served as central characters that were charming, intriguing and downright fascinating to watch.

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From the mischievous, yet lovable monkeys to the ultra-elusive snow leopards, the movie follows the animals, documenting their lives throughout the four gorgeous, awe-inspiring seasons. It explores births, hunting for prey, good times and unfortunately the inevitable, death.

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Both of my children enjoyed the film from start to finish. The monkey scenes especially amused my son because of their fun-loving, playful spirit. For me, I found pleasure in witnessing the family dynamics that even animals endure. It is definitely an instant classic that the entire family can enjoy.

Watch the trailer here:

Do you plan on seeing “Born in China?” How does your family celebrate Earth Day? Be sure to download this fun “Born in China” activity pack that your kids will enjoy!

Unilever Fools Beauty Lovers in Epic Campaign Prank

Throughout the years, I’ve witnessed some pretty clever hair and beauty campaigns, but none quite as clever as what the folks at Unilver pulled off yesterday.

Bloggers and editors were invited to an exclusive first-look at a new hair care brand, Evaus, claiming to bring “prestige” beauty and share-worthy strands to the masses. As a BG with natural hair, I was excited to find out what this new line would offer for those of us with curls, kinks and coils.

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Held at one of my favorite hotels in the city, the Crosby Street Hotel—the chic, yet quirky event space was the perfect backdrop for the sleek, minimalistic packaging. Evaus’ modern aesthetic seemed ideal for millennial consumers who seek all-things cool.

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After taking a whiff from one of the bottles, I was sold! I instantly fell in love with the delightful scent of the sweet, citrusy fruits that wafted from the container. Finally pulling myself away from the display samples, I along with the rest of those in attendance were whisked to a screening room where we were shown a video—but it wasn’t what many of us were expecting.

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The clip showcased several bloggers and influencers gushing over Evaus and how its products had transformed their hair. From women with pin-straight hair to cropped natural ‘dos, all were impressed with how this new line made their hair look and feel. However, as the video progressed, it was revealed that “Evaus,” wasn’t a new innovative, high-end brand. In fact, it was a brand they were all familiar with all along.

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Shockingly, we learned that “Evaus” was actually SUAVE (spelled backwards)! The popular drugstore hair care brand had gone undercover to prove the incredible power of label bias. The geniuses at Unilever wanted to drive home the point that price and labels do not have to be indicative of quality. Research shows that 7 in 10 women feel that premium or higher-priced brands and products are more trustworthy than value or lower-priced brands and products, which just isn’t true.

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Suave Honey Infusion Collection is available at drugstores nationwide.

I’ve personally always loved Suave as a brand (drugstore beauty/hair care shopper here!) so I am not surprised by the results the bloggers received after using the brand.

This fun and super creative campaign is one of the most memorable activations I’ve ever seen. I’m proud to say that I’m a #SuaveBeliever!

Watch the brilliant video here:

Are you a victim of judging a product’s quality by its price? Do you use Suave? If so, what’s your favorite product and why?

GIVEAWAY: My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Fashion Runway Playset

I don’t know about you, but growing up, Easter was by far my favorite holiday. Sure, Santa Claus, countless gifts and yuletide carols made Christmas wonderful, but old Saint Nick didn’t have anything on the Easter bunny.

See, I love the spring. Trench coat weather, flowers in full bloom, pretty pastels abound and of course, Easter! What’s not to love? My penchant for Easter and spring has been passed down to my kids too.

From egg dyeing to backyard egg-hunts, I make Easter fun and hopefully unforgettable for my family. This year, I’ve partnered with Hasbro to make my daughter’s candy-filled Easter basket even more special. The popular toy brand has recently released, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Rarity® Fashion Runway Playset, that I know my daughter will fancy. She’s been obsessed with My Little Pony since she was four—I am an ‘80s baby so I totally understand—I grew up collecting the adorable ponies too.

The fashion-centric playset comes with 3 super cute clip-on outfits and 7 hair and fashion accessories. I know my daughter is going to flip when she sees this in her Easter basket on Sunday. I’ve never put toys in there before so I’m sure this will be a welcomed surprise. Now, I have to figure out what toy the “Easter Bunny” will place in my son’s basket!

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My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Rarity® Fashion Runway Playset available here, $20

What are you planning to put in your children’s Easter baskets this Sunday? Since it might be two late to get this playset in time for Easter, it would still be a pretty awesome just-because gift that I’m sure the little girl in your life would adore. Simply leave a comment below sharing your most memorable Easter growing up (or as an adult) or tweet me @BrownGirlGumbo.  Two lucky winners will be randomly selected and notified via email on or by Thursday 4/20/2017. This giveaway is only open to U.S residents. 

New Victory Theater’s ‘Something’ Has Something for Everyone

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Living with two small children under the age of 8 can sometimes make my apartment feel like my own private circus. Every night I get the pleasure of sitting ringside watching my kids in action—the nonstop acrobatics, tricks and constant stunts seem to transform my living room into a stage of never-ending antics.

So, when I heard about New Victory Theater’s new show, Something,” I knew that it was something that my kids would love! This past Saturday we headed to Times Square to see the contemporary Italian cirque (circus). Featuring awe-inspiring aerial acts, dance, and physical comedy, the show was jam-packed with entertaining bits throughout. Comprised of an incredibly talented troupe of seven, the 60-minute show was perfect for my two kids. My 3-year-old son couldn’t stop clapping while my 7-year-old daughter’s looked on in amazement.

From colorful balloons seemingly lifting a performer into the air to a foot-tapping game of poker, the fun props, costumes, silly sets and scenes set the stage for an enjoyable afternoon. In fact, some of acts didn’t end at the theater—for me; many of the scenes were “recreated” the rest of the weekend back in my living room. The only thing that was missing was the popcorn.

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New Victory Theater always offers complimentary arts and crafts that complement the performance before and after each show.

New Victory Theater always offers complimentary arts & crafts and educational activities that complement the performance before and after each show.

New Victory Theater always offers complimentary arts & crafts and educational activities that complement the performance before and after each show.

New Victory Theater always offers complimentary arts & crafts and educational activities that complement the performance before and after each show.

“Something” runs into April 16, 2017. Click here for tickets and more information.

What’s the last live show you’ve seen? What’s your favorite Broadway or off-Broadway show?

Dove Continues Its Celebration of ‘Real Beauty’

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of previewing Dove’s latest installment of their longstanding, “Real Beauty” campaign. To celebrate the brand’s 60th anniversary and its inspiring message, Dove unveiled a stellar showcase of stunning photographs from renowned photographer Mario Testino.

Held at Affirmation Arts, the New York City-based gallery was filled with 30 gorgeous portraits of women from countries around the world in all their wondrous glory. Testino’s breathtaking photographs captured the true essence of each woman’s real individual beauty. I loved the fact that these women were all different ages and from a wide range of backgrounds. Seeing those striking images evoked a sense of pride and an unspoken bond with all of the women in attendance. It was a powerful afternoon.

Dove is a brand that I admire and respect for their unyielding commitment to celebrating women and inspiring them to embrace their bodies and celebrate their uniqueness. Not only do they promote confidence, their products actually help women feel their best.

I don’t know about you, but when I step outside of the shower and my skin is as soft as silk, I instantly feel good. Their new Deep Moisture Foaming Body Wash does just that. It’s been my go-to for the past few weeks because it’s light and frothy, but still manages to cleanse and moisturize just like its thicker, original body wash. Plus, the pump dispenser automatically makes it a winner—no more failed attempts at squeezing out that last bit! I also love how the scent lingers on my skin after showering. If only they made a body lotion to complement these offerings. (wink)

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Dove Deep Moisture Foaming Body Wash available here, $6

If you’re on the hunt for a new body wash, definitely give this new lightweight foam a try.

Below, take a look at some pics from the showcase.

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Me watching and listening to outtakes from the new campaign that was displayed in a theater-style area of the gallery.

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When do you feel the most beautiful? What does #RealBeauty mean to you?

3 Reasons to Love the Disney Wonder Cruise

Last month my family and I went on our first Disney cruise and I can’t stop thinking about our wonderful experience. We sailed on the newly renovated Wonder, which is an absolutely stunning ship and one of Disney’s four vessels in their cruise line fleet.

For three nights and four days, we sailed from Orlando to the breathtakingly beautiful Bahamas and docked at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. I’m still daydreaming about endless eats and turquoise sea. Our cruise was truly a trip of a lifetime. Even though we went as part of Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration, the average cruiser would also be blown away by the amenities, activities and outstanding dining options.

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Incredible Eats

Who doesn’t love good food? Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, carnivore, or somewhere in between, the food options onboard the Wonder are endless. The ship boasts three fine dining restaurants: Tiana’s Place, Animator’s Palate and Triton’s. The food at each restaurant was top-notch, high-quality cuisine. From southern classic shrimp and grits to scrumptious pastas to delectable desserts, my family enjoyed everything that was served. Plus, for those midday and late night nibbles—Cabanas, a casual dining option on the top deck provided quick bites like chicken fingers, French fries and tacos. Oh and did I mention 24-hour room service? We ordered from the extensive menu each night, including warm, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. The outstanding service and delicious food exceeded our expectations every time.

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Southern classic, shrimp and grits served at Tiana’s Place.

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MJ eating breakfast at Cabana’s.

Grilled Garlic-marinated shrimp served at Animator's Palate.

Grilled Garlic-Marinated shrimp served at Animator’s Palate.

My daughter, Ava, is allergic to eggs so the chef at Triton's served this special egg-free ice cream sundae to her delight.

My daughter, Ava, is allergic to eggs so the chef at Triton’s served this special egg-free ice cream sundae to her delight.

Kid’s Club fit Kings & Queens 

If you have a child over the age of three, the Oceaneer Club will be their favorite hangout. Admittedly, I didn’t think that we’d use this drop-off service during our time aboard the Wonder, but boy was I wrong! Like many paranoid parents, I was hesitant to leave my toddler and 7-year-old in a giant playroom in the middle of the ocean without us around. The impeccable security put all of my fears to rest. Plus, the staff was incredibly personable, friendly and patient—all of the things you need to be when dealing with children. The space was truly a child’s dream: interactive games, arts &crafts, food, movies, slides, iPads, character appearances and more. I literally had to bribe my kids to leave because it was that much fun!

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High-Caliber Productions

We live in New York City, home of the Great White Way. So we’ve been to a couple of Broadway shows, but let me tell you, they aren’t cheap. For a family of four, ticket prices can soar upwards of $800 for a popular musical. That’s why we were so impressed by the shows performed onboard each night. They were comparable to multi-million dollar productions that keep theatergoers coming back to Broadway time after time. During our cruise, we were lucky to see “Golden Mickey’s,” “Dreams” and last but definitely not least, “Frozen.” Each of the shows displayed high-energy performances, awesome storylines, and amazing sets & costumes.

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If you’re Wonder-ing if you should take a Disney cruise, the answer is “yes!” The memories you’ll make with your family will be priceless. We’re already planning our next cruise. Maybe we’ll see you real soon too!

Have you ever sailed aboard a Disney cruise? If so, what was your experience? If not, do you have plans on taking one?

Movie Review: ‘Boss Baby’ Will Deliver a Bundle of Laughs

If you’re a mom, chances are you’ve often wondered if your beautiful newborn baby was in fact your boss. From their big demands to always being on-call, it’s hard not to imagine your tiny infant calling the shots in your life.

For many parents, that notion never really goes away. That’s why I couldn’t wait to check out Dreamworks’ new animated movie, “The Boss Baby.” But, I was in for a few surprises. The movie, which was adapted from the popular 2010 book of the same title, touched on babies being the bosses of us helpless parents, but the film’s main focus was how a new baby’s arrival impacts families, especially young siblings.

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Told through the eyes of an imaginative 7-year-old boy named Tim, the story unfolds with the classic sibling rivalry tale. With hilarious hijinks throughout, Tim soon finds out that his new baby brother isn’t what he seems to be.

Voiced by Alec Baldwin, the Baby Boss is an adorable suit-wearing, briefcase-carrying infant who is really an undercover spy in a baby’s body. In order to complete his mission, he’ll need Tim’s help and his big brother is more than willing to lend a hand—for his own gain.

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The film is full of funny bits that both of my kids enjoyed. Unlike the brothers, my children have never displayed any signs of sibling rivalry. In fact, their super close relationship is something I’m the most proud of as a mother. Despite not witnessing any sibling rivalry in my home, I know that many parents will totally relate to the characters’ somewhat rocky, yet endearing relationship.

If you’re looking for a hilarious, yet endearing animated movie that the entire family will enjoy, “The Baby Boss” is a sure bet.

It arrives in theaters March 31st.

Check out the trailer here:

Special thanks to The Moms Network for hosting the private screening and treating us mom bloggers with yummy Subway sandwiches after the film. 

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If you’re a mom of two or more, did your children ever experience  any sibling rivalry?

3 Reasons Why You Need to Add Micellar Water to Your Skincare Routine

If you’re unfamiliar with micellar water, you’re not alone. I’ve found that outside of my fellow beauty editors and bloggers, not many women are familiar with the French toiletry staple.

I remember trying it a few years ago, but it didn’t make its way into my skincare routine—until now. This time I picked up a different brand, Garnier® SKINACTIVE™ Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser. The look and feel of the bottle just screamed purity. I don’t know about you, but there’s something incredibly satisfying and promising about a product that’s completely clear and has the word “water” in its name—I was sold.

After using it daily for a couple of weeks, I noticed that my skin looked clearer, not as oily and was virtually blemish free. I’m now convinced that this “miracle” water is responsible for my newfound fresh-faced look.

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Garnier® SKINACTIVE™ Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser available here, $6.99.

Here are three reasons why you need to make space for this product on your bathroom shelf or toiletry bag.

  1. Easily removes makeup in a single swipe. I’m a huge fan of makeup removing wipes, but most dry out my skin or irritate my eyes. Simply squirt a little micellar water on a cotton pad or ball and viola, stubborn mascara and makeup dissolves and disappears effortlessly.
  2. Works well for oily skin. Since I have super oily skin and am prone to breakouts, I’m always worried that certain formulas will clog my pores. This gentle cleanser purifies my pores and provides a bit of moisture without making it greasy.
  3. Cleanses without overly drying. Even though I have oily skin, sometimes cleansers can strip my skin of its natural oils leaving it tight, which irritates my skin leading to breakouts.

BONUS: It also serves as an awesome makeup brush cleanser!

If you’re looking for a simple cleanser that can remove makeup (even waterproof), won’t clog pores and cleanse without irritation, give micellar water a try!

Have you ever used micellar water? If so, what’s been your experience?