Family Retreat

Jason’s traveling for work eventually takes a toll on our entire family. The kids miss their Dad, and although they may not express it, some of their mischievous or defiant behaviors are a result of their missing him. As for me, I am usually running on empty, especially when it comes to the early wake ups times, and our hectic mornings, prior to rushing out the door. It feels like I am in constant motion, doing the doggie paddle just to stay afloat. With frequent time differences, Jason and I are usually disconnected, since it is difficult to be available throughout each of our busy days.

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When Jason is home, it almost seems like a novelty for us. We really make an effort to do everything together, making all of our family time, quality time. Last month, Jason was away for a 21 days straight (yes I counted). It was a rough stretch, to say the least, so when he was coming home over the weekend, I planned a mini getaway to Westchester with the whole family. The kiddies and I picked up their Dad from the airport, and we headed straight to White Plains.

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We stayed at the super luxe, yet outrageously kid friendly Ritz Carlton, and from the moment we arrived, I was certain that the next 24 hours would be pure bliss. Upon entering our one bedroom suite, we were surprised to see that the staff had set up a mini tent filled with stuffed animals for the kids, along with a tray of mini pastries and milk. Following a quick round of play in the tent, we made our way down to dinner. The Ritz Carlton offers some great restaurants: Restaurant 42 and BLT Steak. As long time fans of the BLT brand, we were again not disappointed. The kids were shockingly all on their absolute best behavior, and in fact Jason even commented that it was probably one of best family dinners as a five top.

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The following morning, we enjoyed the Ritz Carlton’s breakfast offered in the lobby, and we shocked at how many families were actually staying in the hotel. White Plains is a charming Westchester town with shops and restaurants, large and small. It was pretty convenient, because we used the opportunity to get a jump on some early Christmas shopping.

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As if our weekend couldn’t get any better, I was treated to an Arnica Muscle Joint and Rescue Healing Bath and a Signature Facial with Mineral Herbology products courtesy of the Ritz Carlton Spa. The spa features a 10,000-square-foot luxury spa, fitness center and rooftop indoor swimming pool along with a full service salon and spa boutique.  In fact, I found the spa so relaxing and luxurious that I am considering it for a much-needed mamas getaway weekend for some close friends and I.

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Following some me time, we all decided to hit the indoor pool, located on the top floor. The views of downtown were spectacular, especially with foliage changing this time of year. And if a pool in the middle of November wasn’t special enough, we were treated to a monster 20 plus scoop bowl of ice cream, with a topping bar, which put the cherry (pun!) on the perfect weekend! After our sugar high wore off, we grabbed an early dinner, and headed back into NYC.

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The kids had a blast, and it was the perfect way to welcome daddy home. I felt like I pressed a reset button and was ready to conquer our busy week and hectic schedules ahead. Sometimes you just need a mini retreat, even if its less than 24 hours, to regroup and recharge the mind, body and soul .

Ritz Carlton provided hotel accommodations for SITC. All opinions are, as always, my own.  

Giving Back During The Holidays

This post is sponsored. Thank you for supporting SITC. 

Both Jason and I have pretty large extended families, but we make it a point to see everyone during the holiday season, which means, our holiday gifting list runs pretty long. When shopping for our friends and family, I try to find meaningful gifts that I know they will appreciate. As much as I enjoy gifting our loved ones, it is important to give to those in need, especially during this time of year. Hopefully, this way of thinking will be instilled in my children, and theirs in the future. In preparation for holiday giving, every couple months, I ask my kids to choose some of their own toys to donate to a local charity.

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I really enjoy supporting stores and sites who donate some or all proceeds to charitable organizations. It’s like a gift that keeps on giving back!  Target has one of my favorite collabs this year and is partnering with TOMS for a limited-edition collection of apparel, accessories, shoes and home goods for women, men and children. Similar to TOMS’ one-for-one giving for each item purchased, a gift will be donated to those in need. Here’s are some of my favorite TOMS’ selections that I will be giving to others this year…

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The purchase of these bracelets will help give one week of meals to Americans in need. 

 

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The purchase of these shoes will give one pair of new shoes to a child in need.

For every item purchased, Target and TOMS are donating blankets, meals or shoes. Each product is clearly labeled with its corresponding donation, so consumers are aware of how their contribution will be shared. For any apparel, accessories and home goods purchased at Target, they will donate a blanket to American Red Cross or one week of meals to Feeding America/Food Banks Canada. And, TOMs shoes will donate one pair of shoes to a child in need, for every pair of shoes sold.

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 The purchase of this hat will help give one blanket to a person in need.

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The purchase of this product will help give one week of meals to Americans in need.

This holiday season, Target and TOMS made it easy to plan for the loved ones on my list, as well as for those who I may not know but who need a helping hand during this time of year. To see more on how Target is helping my family + giveaway visit here.

Thank you Target for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

Sunday Swoon: Skylar Luna

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Although we don’t get much sleep in our house, the one thing I do actually like about bedtime is coordinating my kids pajamas. It’s probably the only time when I have them matchy-matchy and it looks cute. When choosing a brand that my kids will sleep in and most likely be wearing more than their… Read more »

First Christmas

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This post is sponsored. Thank you for supporting SITC. I can remember each one of my children’s First Christmas’ like it was yesterday. The holidays are such a special time for our family, especially when one of the kids are experiencing them for the first time. In addition to an inaugural trip to meet St. Nick,… Read more »

Weekend With The Bigs & Penguins

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The kids and I were invited on a very special premiere of the newest Madagascar movie, The Penguins of Madagascar, which hits theaters on November 26th, so we headed out to the Bronx Zoo for a weekend adventure. It’s a very rare occasion when I just have my two bigs, Ryder and Siella alone with me for… Read more »

Thanksgiving Prep {& $200 Target Giftcard}

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This post is sponsored. Thank you for supporting SITC. As the kids grow older, each year the anticipation for the upcoming holiday seems to start brewing earlier. I remember getting a Halloween catalog in the middle of summer, and the kids choose their costumes immediately. I ended up ordering their costumes by September 1, and I… Read more »

A Rawther Fancy Tea

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Being a mom and living in NYC, I have an on-going bucket list of things that I must experience with my kids. We live here on a daily basis and our everyday schedules usually get in the way, so sometimes I make it a point to enjoy all of the iconic things that NYC has to offer. We… Read more »

Sunday Swoon: Loud Apparel

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Loud Apparel is one of those children’s brands that consists of items, which immediately become staple items in any kid’s wardrobe.  They have a cutting edge, yet minimalist style, and the brand is the perfect meeting of British and Italian influence. Since it was founded in 2010, Loud Apparel catered to boys and girls ages 3-14, offering style, quality… Read more »