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Friday, January 21, 2011
Liev & His Boys Bundle Up In NYC!
Liev Schreiber was spotted out yesterday carrying his boys Alexander and Samuel. 
 

The cold NYC weather is a stark contrast to the beautiful Australian sun the boys were playing under just a couple weeks ago.  The family spent the holidays down under visiting family and celebrating with friends.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Top Travel Gear for Parents - Our Top 7 Picks!
Traveling with kids can be stressful - especially if you haven't brought the right gear. Carrying a heavy baby through the airport, paying extra to check gear and having your little one get lose on the plane can get an relaxing vacation off to a rocky start.


From experience, these are my top picks for travel gear for parents.  Cleanliness, convenience and safety are all important to every parent.  Having a couple pieces from our list will help with this!


  1. My Carry Potty($25) -Designed for roadtrips or outdoor excursions, the my carry potty will ensure that your child always has a clean place to pee. Once their done it's airtight seal will keep it leak free until you can find a bathroom to empty it.  Portable, clean and convenient!
  2. Kokopax Carrier($99 - $180) - I am in love with my Kokopax Carrier. It is the most stylish way to carry your little one while out sightseeing or navigating through the busy crowds. It's clever design allows your child to sit up high enough to see everything without putting a strain on your back. I can't recommend this carrier enough. I have used mine everywhere - grocery store, park and even around the house when Mr. Fussy won't let me get anything done. Comes in 3 styles
  3. phil&teds lobster travel highchair - Designed for kids 6 months to 3 years, this portable clip-on highchair is both compact(weighs 3.9lbs) and convenient.  It can fit easily in your carry-on or can be packed in your suitcase.  The included tray will ensure that you never worry about your child eating off a dirty public table again. 
  4. Gogo Kidz Travelmate($79) - This convenient 'travelmate' is the perfect option for parents who want to bring their own car seat instead of renting one when they reach their destination. The board attaches to any seat easily, allowing it to be rolled through the airport like a suitcase. We have used our gogo Kidz Travelmate on many occasions and love it.  It always gets a lot of attention from other travelers as we roll our little one through the airport.
  5. Safe2go Child Safety Harness($25) - This cute character backpack, which conceals that it is actually a child safety harness. The backpack/safety harness is equipped with adjustable padded shoulder and waist straps. It comes with a retractable 38" tether which can hold children up to 50 lbs and can be retracted into the pack when not needed. There is room in the backpack for a small toy or snack
  6. Alpha Sherpa($80) - This full featured backpack is perfect for traveling parents. You can load all of your necessities into it, throw it on your back and then have your hands free to push a stroller or hold your child's hand.  Features a soft sided cooler uniquely integrated into the diaper bag backpack to store bottles, snacks, beverages, medication (holds 6-8 canned beverages)Change pad included as is a cell phone/IPod pouch slot and a sunglass case.
  7. CARES Airplane Harness($60) - If you don't have room for a car seat but want your child to be in a secure harness on the airplane CARES is the piece of gear for you.  It comes in a travel bag, installs in seconds and keeps your little on secure in their seat.  Also adjusts to fit almost every size airplane seat and is designed for children 1 year and older weighing 22-44 pounds and up to 40" tall.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011
How Much Do You Know About Bottled Water?
When people buy bottled water, they assume it is safe and purified. A report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) however says that there may be something in your water that the companies are not tell you.
 
The EWG looked at the websites and labels of over 170 bottled water brands to see how information the consumers are being give. For most brands, a distinct lack of information was found. Of the top ten domestic brands, only one offers enough information to consumers about the safety and purity of the bottled water.
 
Of the domestic brands, Nestlé’s Pure Life Purified Water is the only one that provides information on the label about the water source and the treatment methods used to purify the water. The company also includes an 800 number for consumers to call to get more information on the water quality used.
 
The EWG looked for three main points when studying the various bottled waters.
  • Where does the water come from?
  • Is it purified? How?
  • Have tests found any contaminants?
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no requirements for bottled water brands to disclose the results of their yearly water quality tests. Because of this, the EWG has begun releasing an annual Bottled Water Scorecard that documents which brands release information about their water to consumers. Although there have been improvements among many companies in the last few years, there are still many things that are not disclosed to the public.
“The industry’s lack of information on source, purity and treatment of bottled water isn’t some coincidence,” said Jane Houlihan, EWG’s senior vice president for research. “Bottled water companies try hard to hide any information consumers may find troubling. They don’t tell where the water comes from and what pollutants they may have found. Their ads depict mountain streams and natural springs. Yet nearly half the time, according to the industry’s own statistics, they’re bottling tap water.”
Many companies use advertising hype to sell their bottled waters, claiming the water comes from tropical settings and clean rain water. However, a Beverage Marketing Corporation's annual report in 2009 found that 47.8 of bottled water is basic tap water.
"Water bottlers are clearly having difficulty reading the writing on the wall or else there would already be clearer writing on their labels," said Leslie Samuelrich, Chief of Staff for Corporate Accountability International. "The public is calling on corporations like Coke to label the source of its water. State governments are calling for it. Congress is calling for it. The longer the industry avoids transparency, the more it forces the hand of civil servants to advocate the consumer's right to know."
Many parents choose bottled water over sugary soda and juices when purchasing drinks for their children on the go. This report shows that despite making an effort to make the better choice, parents are still in the dark about what their children are actually drinking. Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Haute says parents are safer choosing water from a source that they know has been tested and controlled, the water that comes from their own kitchen sinks. Not only is this water quality and source required to be disclosed to the public, choosing tap water also eliminates much of the environmental waste that comes from plastic bottles that are tossed. - Summer, staff writer
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Traveling With Kids ~ Our 7 Picks For Best Kid Gear!
Parents know that an unhappy child during travel can make a 30 minute trip feel like 10 hours.  

Arming yourself with the best gear to keep your kids organized and comfortable, can be the difference between a smooth trip and one where your fellow travelers are asking to be moved to a different section of the plane. We've all been there and it's not fun.  

Here are our 7 picks for best kid gear:

 

  1. Zoobies - A cute friend that doubles as a pillow and blanket - perfect for travel, especially on a cold airplane or overnight car ride! Available in 29 animals including Paddington the Bear, Olivia the pig and The Hungry Caterpillar.
  2. Kushies My Bag - available in both pink and blue, Kushies My Bag is the best bag for an overnight trip to grammas or to give your child his/her tote from that trip down south. My Bag contains everything your child needs to make your life easier! Each tote comes complete with cool compartments for your stuff including 1 insulated snack box, 1 insulated medicine box, 1 clean clothes bag, 1 dirty clothes bag, 1 soiled clothes bag with laundry insert, 1 spare shoes bag, a pillow and blanket and a handy hook for hanging.
  3. Kidz Gear- Headphones that are designed to fit little heads and they come with an external volume control and a volume limited to prevent hearing issues to little ears. They provide a comfortable way for your kids to enjoy the airplane featured movie or Blue's Clues in the back of your vehicle. A STEAL at $17
  4. Trunki - a child's suitcase that doubles a ride-on car for that boring trip through the airport! Available in 5 colors/styles including a lion and lady bug! Holds up to 100 lbs, has wheels stabilizers to prevent it from toppling over. $30
  5. Cuties & Pals - This pint sized hard shelled suitcase in the ideal size for a little traveler. Available in a many fun animal styles, this wheely bag also comes with a backpack! Interior features polyester lining with dividing pocket, zip compartment and garment strips for efficient packing. $90 for suitcase/matching backpack
  6. Noodlehead kid's travel pillow - Whether you are taking a roadtrip or a traveling by plane, these pillows are designed to comfortably support sleepy heads.
  7. Snack and Play Travel Tray - Keep your toddler's toys in one spot and within reach while on the road or on an airplane. The Travel Tray is built with two large side pockets conveniently located within easy reach, as well as a two-inch wall to stop toys or food from falling off. Easy and safe to use, it is also washable. $20
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Sunday, January 09, 2011
Ellen Pompeo and Chris Ivery Stroll with Their Party Girl!
A very stylish Stella Luna was photographed yesterday heading to Harlow Madden's birthday party at the Tree House Social Club with parents Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo and Chris Ivery.

 

The little star headed into the party wearing aviator sunglasses, a knitted beret and some purple hightops. She emerged looking just as cute but with a party gift - some princess wings! How fitting. 

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Jeff Gordon and Ingrid Vandebosch Vacation in St. Barts With Their Kids
Professional NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon was spotted with his Wife Ingrid Vandebosch and children Leo and Ella taking a leisurely stroll in St. Barts yesterday.

   

The family is enjoying some time together before the 2011 NASCAR season begins. While on the beautiful island they have been playing the beach, shopping and checking out the local sights.  

Leo rides in a the new 2010 Bugaboo Bee.

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Samsung Enters Video Baby Monitor Market
Yesterday electronics giant Samsung announced that they were introducing the next-generation of video baby monitors. Created for today's tech-savvy parents, the BabyVIEW devices gives families the ability to simply monitor their child from the next room or even next door. 

This wireless system is designed for maximum roaming range with a crystal clear picture so you always know what is going on in the nursery. 
"We're known for providing quality products with the latest innovations and world-class design -- our new baby monitors are no exception. The BabyVIEW devices showcase Samsung's commitment to putting the most advanced technology in the hands of parents," said Mike Palazzolo, vice president of sales and marketing, consumer products at Samsung Techwin America.
The Samsung BabyVIEW's also makes it possible for parents to share audio and video of their baby or infant with friends and family via social networking web sites such as Facebook and Twitter using the built-in SD card technology that allows video captured from the monitor to be easily uploaded.
All products incorporate a wide range of advanced features utilizing a pure digital frequency for a private, interference-free signal. Standard features include night vision, two-way talk, sound and vibration alerts, remote nightlight, SD card slot for audio and video recording and expandability up to four cameras.
When it is available in the Spring BabyVIEW will be available in 5 different models: 
  • EZVIEW – High resolution Samsung monitor with 2.4" screen; temperature sensor and alarm
  • RemoteVIEW – High resolution Samsung monitor with 2.4" screen; USB for remote view on Skype and MSN; remote lullaby; temperature sensor and alarm
  • SmartVIEW – High quality Samsung monitor with large 3.5" screen; Digital zoom; AV out for TV viewing
  • SecureVIEW – High quality Samsung monitor with large 3.5" screen; Digital zoom; AV out for TV viewing; USB for remote view on Skype and MSN; temperature sensor and alarm
  • BrilliantVIEW – High quality Samsung monitor with large 3.5" screen; Digital zoom; AV out for TV viewing; USB for remote view on Skype and MSN; temperature sensor and alarm; remote lullaby; docking charging cradle
Prices range from $199 - $299.

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Saturday, January 08, 2011
Travel Month ~ 8 Cool Indoor Waterpark Hotels!
Families looking for a quick get away without cost of flying south may want to look at spending a couple nights at an indoor waterpark hotel.

Located all over the US and Canada, these full featured resort-like hotels are a great destination for families who want to get away but don't want to go far. They are perfect for a 2 day vacation and offer more excitement than most 5 star resorts!  

With some of these waterparks offering hundreds of thousands of square feet of play, they are a destination, not just a place to stay.  

We have listed some that have that impressed us. Here are our 8 favorites!

1. Dubbed 'America's Largest Indoor Waterpark', Kalahari Resorts has locations in Wisconsin, Ohio and soon to be - Virginia. Families can relax in their own private indoor cabana or catch some rays under the Texlon transparent roof while enjoying the 12,000 sq. ft. wavepool! Thrill seekers will love the Swahili Swirl 60' diameter bowl raft ride, Zip Coaster uphill water rollercoaster waterslide, Cheetah Race 4 lane mat slides, Rippling Rhino or Victoria Falls raft rides. In addition to all of the excitement poolside, this authentic African themed resort offers a variety of suites that can accommodate families from 4 -8 people.

 

2. Fallsview Indoor Water Park, Niagara Falls - The Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is Niagara’s newest and largest indoor waterpark. This waterpark offers an impressive 3 acres of indoor water fun including sixteen thrilling waterslides (some as high as six stories), a massive indoor wave pool, year round outdoor sundeck, an activity pool, the mammoth "Beach House" Aqua Play area and much more. For your convenience, the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark features direct indoor connections to three of Niagara Falls hotels, the Sheraton on the Falls, Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls-Fallsview Hotel and the Skyline Inn.


3. Great Wolf Lodge -With 12 locations, Great Wolf Lodge is the biggest chain of indoor waterparks in North America. And while not every location offers the same features each one has an expansive water play area that includes huge water slides, pools, a giant water fort and a lazy river to ensure that the whole family has a good time. When bedtime comes your family can join all of the other pajama-clad kids down at the Clock Tower in the lobby to wind down with Story Time. Suites are decorated to feel like you are at camp. Your crew will love sleeping in their own a private and cozy tent right inside your room, complete with bunkbeds and their own TV! 

 

4. Zehnder's Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark - located in Frankenmuth, MI. the amazing hotel offers 30,000 square feet of aquatic fun for the whole family. Enjoy the Splash landing play area, Dumping bucket or for the more adventurous take a wild ride on our Giggling gorge and Perilous plunge 4 story tube slides. Relax in the whimsical whirl hot tub or just float along the Crooked Brook Creek lazy river.
 

5. Caribbean Watercove Indoor Waterpark - Attached to the Holiday Inn at the pyramids in Indianapolis, this amazing entertainment complex offers a warm and summery vacation on the coldest day! Families will enjoy 50,000 sq. ft. of waterplay. A splash pad, 3 massive water slides, a plunge pool, lazy river and a pirate ship with a dumping bucket of water await your water loving crew. Also on site is an arcade and 4 restaurants.

 

6. KeyLime Cove - Located in Illinois, KeyLime Cove Waterpark Resort is also situated conveniently across from Six Flags Great America, which offers two great destinations for family fun(season permitting). Their 65,000 square foot indoor 'Lost Paradise' Waterpark has so many waterslides that they had to run the chutes outside the building to have enough space for all of the fun. On top of that they have a wave pool, lazy river, adults-only grotto and a play pool for your little swimmer. Family Friendly rooms accommodate parties up to to 12 people with connecting rooms.

 

7. Named as America’s Largest Waterpark Resort the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells has over 500,000 sq.ft. of indoor and outdoor waterparks. That is over 12 football fields of water fun to explore. Where will you begin? Well you could start at the Wild WaterDome, a 70,000-square-foot indoor waterpark that features the nation’s largest indoor wave pool, Dueling Mammoths, a thrilling family raft racing ride that allows families to race against each other through twisting and turning tunnels and a 2,200 square foot 'zero-depth' play lagoon for the smaller ones. After that you could move on to Klondike Kavern another 65,000 square feet water park with a 180-foot body slide, two 500-foot tube rides which drop five-stories, a 400-foot lazy river and Bonanza Bluff, a huge play feature which includes 50 play & spray features, a 750-gallon tipping bucket, a 20 foot body slide and a 4 foot side by side children's slide. They apparently don't mess around in Wilderness territory because this expansive resort also has 2 - 3D mini golf courses, laser tag, a kids club, an arcade and a park for play.


8. CocoKey Waterpark - This Indoor Waterpark chain has 10 locations in 9 states. Like with Great Wolf Lodge, CocoKey's different locations all offer different play. Families can however look forward to a multi-level interactive play island with 4 slides for younger children, an activity pool for kids 6+ that features water basketball and a lily-pad adventure and three 40-foot thrilling body and raft water slides. Other amenities include private poolside cabana rentals, 5 dining options and an arcade.


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Thursday, January 06, 2011
Halle Berry Shops With Her Sweetie!
Actress Halle Berry was photographed with a tutu wearing Nahla in Los Angeles yesterday. And while the pre-schooler made faces for the cameras, both were in good spirits as they headed out to do some shopping.
 
With a film set for release in February, and a trip to Broadway in the works, the actress has been busy, but has said she would give it all up for her little girl.  

In a recent interview with UK's Daily Mirror, Halle said that her daughter always comes first,
"I have a greater purpose for being here. I love making movies but I would give it all up to be with my daughter if I had to because she's the love of my life."
Having a daughter has also changed her outlook on relationships as well.
"Every choice I make now, and that includes who I choose to spend personal time with as a partner, is not just about me anymore, it's about what's best for her."
Sounds like the actress has her priorities in order!  

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