Kind kids

Chica and I visit with Willie on the Today Show

Chica and I visit with Willie on the Today Show

In case you missed it, Chica and I were invited to visit The Today Show to make a special announcement: Sprout has launched its “Kindest Kid Contest” again and they’re looking for submissions! (The deadline is Sept. 30) As mommy to two little ones, the topic of kindness is really important. I want my girls to know that being kind matters and any act or demonstration of kindness, big or small, counts towards making the world (even if it’s just our little corner!) a better place. It seems so obvious, even to me now as I read what I just wrote, but it’s interesting how quickly it’s forgotten. I think about the last time I saw someone coming through a door behind me, or struggling to carry packages, or attempting to merge into my lane of traffic…what did I do? I’m the first to admit that I’m far from perfect and there have been so many times where I’ve been too busy or distracted to hold that door open.

But, to be honest, now that I have those two little girls I have found myself making a conscious effort to have more patience, slow down, and pay a bit more attention. These little ones learn from my example at home. Now it’s on me to make sure that I’m showing them how to be kind to themselves, to each other, to our pet and other animals, and, of course, to our environment.

I’ve had many parents ask me what sort of “act of kindness” does their child have to do in order to enter. That’s a great question and the answer is simple: anything! To me, the point of the contest isn’t to name one winner who did some amazing deed, it’s to get a conversation going in every family about what being kind means, why it matters and how we can all be a bit more kind everyday.

So, if I were to enter Bianca, my 2 year old, into the contest I would say she was very kind yesterday. She saw a candy jar with mints at a restaurant and asked me for one. I took her to the jar, she picked one, and without hesitation and with a look of concern, she asked if she could get one for her sister too. Of course I said she could. That only satisfied her for a second! Then she asked if she could get one for me and her father too! So sweet and thoughtful. To me…that’s kindness!

Now, if I were to enter my 4 year old, Gia, I would have to say her act of kindness was when she picked up the scraps of paper from the table (after some crafty project we did) and walked to the kitchen and threw it away in the garbage. This teeny tiny act was kind in so many ways!  First, kind to me! She saved me the trouble of asking her to do it or having to do it myself. Second, kind to the environment!  Perhaps she doesn’t understand the importance of recycling or of not littering (because she’s only four!), but this is how and when that learning process begins.

So, as you can see, my kids aren’t out there forming non-profits or organizing fundraisers! They are doing little things here and there, like I’m sure all of your kids are doing. It’s when we shine a light on all of the kind acts – big and small – that we see what a big difference we can all make together!  The deadline for submissions is coming up on Sept. 30 and I can’t wait to see what acts of kindness you’ll share with Sprout!

3, 2, 1…Astroblast!!!

Astroblast Characters

Hold on to your hats Sprout fans! A brand new show is launching on Sprout in 2 days! Astroblast is filled with fun (and really adorable) animals that live in outer space on a space station.  In celebration of the launch of the new show, which is produced in partnership with Scholastic Media, Sprout hosted a luncheon for some wonderful moms and their Sproutlets in NYC…at the Sugar Factory, no less! Those present were lucky enough to watch a sneak preview of the show, but worry not dear reader! Check out sproutonline.com for a full episode and sneak previews.  And, if you just have to see it on TV you’ll only have to wait until Saturday July 12 at 1pm EST or 8pm EST to watch on Sprout!

And, speaking of July 12….we will be broadcasting the Good Night Show LIVE from 6-9pm EST on Sprout! It’s been a while since Star and I took over the Sunshine Barn (which is where the Sunny Side Up Show lives) and I can’t wait! We have a few surprises planned, but rest assured that we won’t deviate too much from our trusted nighttime routine that gently eases our little Sproutlets to bed every night. We are just so excited for the launch of Astroblast that we felt it deserved a huge welcome!

Astroblast coloring pages from sproutonline.com

Astroblast coloring pages from sproutonline.com

I hope you’ll visit sprout’s website and take advantage of the printable coloring pages and really cool interactive games they’ve created to support the launch of Astroblast.

Yummy Sundae at the Sugar Factory!

Yummy Sundae at the Sugar Factory!

Yes...like a kid in a candy store!

Yes…like a kid in a candy store!

Having fun with some super sweet Sproutlets

Having fun with some super sweet Sproutlets

 

 

Awesome Dallas Mom Bloggers!

As promised, here is a list of the lovely ladies I met in Dallas and links to their websites!  Thanks again for coming out to meet the Sprout crew :)

Jamie, Roubinek Reality

Holly, Kids Activities Blog

Autumn Rose, Mama Challenge

Lee Ann, Mommy’s Wish List

Emily, Sweet Bella Roos

Dawn, The Frugal Mom

Trista, Mommy Upgrade

Molly, Digital Mom Blog

Debra, A Frugal Friend

Jennifer A Real Posh Mom

Channa, Life as a Coaches Wife

Arena, The Nerd’s Wife

Courtney Solstad, My Crazy Savings

 

A little bit of press

20140530-230154-82914355.jpgI have been a busy little bee over the past couple of months doing a bit of work for Sprout and filming a few commercials too! This past month in particular was a whirlwind! I started out in NYC for the Upfront Presentation for all of NBC Universal’s Cable family (which is where Sprout proudly lives!).  This event was a very special treat for me since we’ve only been 100% “in the family” for a short time.  And, I have to say, I couldn’t be any happier. They treated me like a queen!  And trust me, this is not how I normally live!!! I got a Glam Squad treatment, hit the red carpet, then mingled with some really fabulous people.  My fav celeb sighting of the night (my teen crush) was Ian Ziering who was beyond sweet and a proud father of two adorable kiddos who are huge fans of Nina & Star! I was also super excited to spot one of my favorite designers, Diane Von Furstenberg, and geek crush, Wil Wheaton!

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The following week I was in Dallas at the Mansion on Turtle Creek.  What a great hotel! And what a fabulous lunch I had with a group of amazing mom-bloggers! These women just blew me away! Their blogs and twitter feeds are thoughtful, well-researched, full of amazing pictures and tips….needless to say, I was humbled and I’m so grateful to have met each and every one of you! (A list of their blogs and websites will be posted shortly).  Being in Dallas meant I got to hang out with some family, most importantly my little nephew, Greg :) and eat Tex-Mex (YUMM!).

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Finally, I was asked by Sprout to appear on a local Miami NBC show, “6 In The Mix” to talk about raising kind kids and to promote an event this weekend at the Miami Children’s Museum called Operation Kind Kids.  The event is a collaboration between KIND and Sprout which is designed to teach kids the importance of kindness.  We are all hoping that parents and kids can find inspiration and discover new ways to incorporate kindness into their daily routines.  Remember, small, everyday acts of kindness can make a big difference.

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And on my way home I randomly came across a special message at the Miami International Airport.  PEACE & LOVE. What a great way to end the month!

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The Age of the Selfie

Selfie with my chicas!

Selfie with my chicas!

We are living in a new era! It is the age of the “selfie”.    Be it an impromptu funny moment or a need to document a fabulous outfit, whatever the reason everyone from the Pope to President Obama seems to be doing them.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find college level psychology classes dedicated to the subject in the near future.  As a matter of fact, after a recent review of my camera roll on my cell phone, it would appear that my 19 month old daughter is becoming quite adept at taking them too!

Inspired by some amazing close-ups of her little nostrils and left eyeball (which I will never be able to delete!) I decided I needed to work my way into some of those shots.  Time is not on my side!  These little girls are growing up so fast and changing everyday.  When I look back through my camera roll I see hundreds of pictures of my girls and maybe one or two of me! Gia is now at the stage where she will look at a picture and remember something about that particular day.

Last week she saw a photo of herself dressed in a tutu and said, “Mommy, remember that was Anastasia’s birthday party?”  That’s when it hit me.  She’s going to remember that day but maybe not that I was there with her.  We played with chalk on the sidewalk and flew a kite together, and I really wish I had handed my camera to someone or taken a “selfie” of the three of us.  Honestly, now I’m more motivated than ever to move from behind the camera and get into more pictures with my little ones!

Last weekend we had such a lovely time hanging out in the backyard…Spring has definitely sprung! When I saw the girls playing on the tire swing together I thought to myself, these are the moments I live for! And I have to admit, this is when I’m so grateful to have a phone with a camera.  I wanted to capture this moment forever. This was a moment I wanted to insert myself into.  I joined them on that tire swing, snapped a shot of the three of us and then swung us round and round until we laughed!

I hope you all will make a point of inserting yourselves into more pictures with your kids and take selfies when you can! And, right now, you can share those special moments with Sprout.  MomIsHere is an awesome initiative, which was created by Sprout, to remind Moms to jump into those pics with our kiddos and capture some unforgettably special family moments that you will always remember.  Upload your pictures at http://www.momishere.com or on Instagram by tagging your photo with #MomIsHere.  I can’t wait to see all your smiling faces!!

 

 

Happy Spring!

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Rainbow by Gia!

I don’t know about you, but I get so happy when Spring officially begins.  What I love to see all around me are the bright greens shooting up through the ground, the buds appearing on the tips of the mango tree full of promise of juicy fruit, and ,without a doubt, nothing brightens my day more than pictures of rainbows drawn by my little Gia!

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One small act of kindness…

Last month I had a couple of trips that took me away from the girls.  I prepared the house and my husband for the trip by making sure everything was planned, shopped for, and meals were made and frozen.  I actually looked forward to the trips.  There would be some “me” time blended in with work.  As I sailed through the TSA checkpoint at the airport without a stroller, diaper bag and wandering toddlers to hold me back, I relished the thought of sleeping in a quiet hotel room and the million other things I did BK (before kids). Wrong, wrong, wrong!!

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