Product Review: Stride Rite Sneakers for Summer

There’s nothing my daughter, Ava, loves more than shoe shopping. Ok, there are probably a few more things on her list of favorite pastimes, but I assure you that shopping for sandals, sneakers and any other kind of footwear certainly tops that list.

When I told her that I had recently attended a press event showcasing the latest summer offerings from popular children’s brand, Stride Rite, she was bummed that she’d missed out.

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Although she wasn’t able to partake in the media sneak peek, I did share with her the photos of my two favorite shoes from the lineup: Made2Play® Phibians and Leepz. When I saw the Phibians, I knew that they would be the answer to my summertime footwear prayers. Like many parents can attest, finding shoes that are water-proof and can still withstand constant running and non-stop tumbling (I feel like my living room has become a gym!), is no easy feet (pun intended). It’s basically a sandal and sneaker hybrid made in heaven. Available in a variety of shades, these shoes provide that no-slip grip that kids need—at the waterpark, playground and everywhere in between.

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My daughter, Ava, sporting her Phibians in the backyard. (available here, $38)

The other shoes that caught my eye were the Leepz. Having a toddler son, I knew he’d be obsessed with these light-up sneakers. Not only do they light up when he jumps, which is cool, but they also offer memory foam support and provide sturdiness that I’m always looking for when shoe shopping for my son. He runs, jumps and of course, leaps, when wearing these sneakers.

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My son, MJ, posing and playing in his Leepz. (available here, $50)

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If you’re looking for practical, fashionable and kid-approved sneakers, check out Stride Rite. It’s no wonder they’ve been around for nearly a century!

* I’ve partnered with Stride Rite for this post. All opinions are my own. 

How many pairs of shoes do you pack for your kids for a vacation? 

Jane Iredale Launches New Skincare Supplements

Last week, I had the pleasure of celebrating my 37th birthday at a swanky Manhattan hotel.

I was beyond thrilled to start my special day on a foliage-trimmed terrace overflowing with beautiful spring blooms and sunshine gloriously beaming through the glass-enclosed ceiling.

However, the lovely setting wasn’t reserved for me, but for one of my favorite makeup brands: jane iredale.

The premier mineral-based cosmetics line hosted a super chic garden party at the gorgeous Gramercy Park Hotel to showcase its upcoming offerings including five new skincare supplements launching this summer. Each of the supplements promises to treat common skin issues such as: excess oil, aging, dryness, and acne. In addition to highlighting the new products, the event also included a Q&A with founder/CEO Jane Iredale, live demos, and a generous shopping experience for us bloggers and editors.

Being surrounded by nature in the lush space served as the perfect backdrop to launch the natural beauty products developed for a radiant, healthy glow. While I haven’t tried the supplements just yet, I did pick out a cream blush called “Charisma” that has now secured a spot in my springtime beauty routine. The sheer berry hue gives just the right amount of flush to my cheeks, ideal for spring. Plus, unlike powder blushes – a brush isn’t required, which makes for easy on-the-go application. It’s become an instant-fave.

I’ve been using jane iredale products for nearly a decade now. In fact, it was one of the very first brands I partnered with when I launched my blog ten years ago. The quality is unmatched and the range of products for us BGs is outstanding. If you’re looking for makeup that is created to enhance, not mask skin, definitely give jane iredale a try—you won’t be disappointed.

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What are your favorite springtime beauty products? Have you ever tried a skincare/beauty supplement? 

‘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.