10 Of My Favorite Ways to Treat Myself

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Some days you just have to treat yo’self. After working long hours and coming home to take care of my precious daughters, I have earned a treat. If you are like me, you understand the necessity of treating yourself to something special every now and then. Depending on my mood (and my budget), the way I choose to treat myself varies widely. All that matters is that I am doing something just for me.

1. A Glass of Wine

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Some days the easiest way to treat myself is with a glass of wine in the evening after the girls have gone to bed.

2. Fresh Flowers

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I love having fresh flowers in my home, so this is one of my go-to ways to treat myself. Their beautiful blooms always brighten my mood.

3. A New Handbag

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When I really feel the need to treat myself, I head to Rebag and make a handbag swap. Nothing says “treat yo’self” like a luxurious handbag.

4. Fabulous Footwear

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By now, you all know my love for fabulous footwear. The way I most often treat myself is by splurging on the newest designer footwear.

5. Eat Extravagantly

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Life is busy, and my meals are often rushed, so when I feel the mood to treat myself, I like to eat well – really well. No microwaveable dinners or fast food. I want fine dining and food I can’t eat every day.

6. Drink Coffee Leisurely

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All moms know that we seldom get to drink our coffee while it is still warm, so on a “treat myself” day, I make it a point to enjoy my coffee while it is hot. I head to my favorite coffee shop and linger. No rushing and no waiting until it is too cold.

7. Soak in the Tub

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My bathroom is my sanctuary. When I soak in the tub, the kids no the bathroom is off limits to them. This is me-time. Plus, have you heard a hot bath burns as many calories as taking a 30-minute walk.

8. Indulge My Sweet Tooth

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We don’t tend to have candy in our house at all times. It is a special treat for the kids, but it is also a special treat for mom. Every now and then, I have earned the right to indulge in my favorite sweets.

9. Lotion Up

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I’m also a big fan of things you can do for yourself as a special treat that are also good for you, like pointing on a great body lotion. Lotions are so good for your skin, but they also make you feel good. When it comes to treating myself, I use a lotion that I don’t just every day.

10. Read a Gossip Magazine

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Somedays the best way to treat myself is to turn my brain off. I like to do this by reading a trashy gossip magazine. It takes little brain power, but it is highly enjoyable.

What about you? What are some of your favorite ways to treat yo’self? Let me know in the comments!

Your Kid’s Bedtime Routine Just Got So Much Easier

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As a working mom, I savor all the time I have in the evenings to be with my girls. But, no matter how much I try to get these done ahead of time, the time still seems to go by so quickly. Before I know it, we’ve arrived at bedtime. While I naturally look forward to the time to myself, I also look forward to those few sacred minutes before my girls drift off the sleep.

Rather than fighting the bedtime routine, I’ve come to embrace it. I understand that it is time when I can bond with my daughters in a way I can’t during the busyness of the day. Now, bedtime is my favorite part of the day.

Brush Those Teeth

Of course, the bedtime routine starts by brushing teeth. It is so important to teach your kids the importance of healthy dental hygiene starting when they are young. If you want teeth brushing time to not be a fight, invest in fun toothbrushes for kids. They have toothbrushes that sing, that light up, and make funny sounds.

Put On Those Jammies

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After the teeth have been brushed, it’s time to put on pajamas. I love to spoil my girls with pajamas with their favorite characters. Once again, these character jammies are just a way to make the bedtime routine easier. Kids are less likely to fight getting dressed in their pj’s if they like what they are wearing.

Turn Off the Lights

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Then, I tuck my babies in and turn off the lights. This is where the fun really starts. I have invested in the Moonlite Storybook Projector, and now bedtime is magical. Once the lights are off, I turn on the Moonlite app on my smartphone and choose the book for bedtime.

Enjoy the Show

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The Moonlite Projector is an app and a storybook projector that allows you to project the storybook images onto any surface. My girls like laying on their beds and looking at the story on the ceiling. Not only do my girls love seeing the projections, they love hearing the sweet music and dunny sound effects.

If you do not yet own a Moonlite Storybook Projector, you can purchase the starter pack which includes a projector and five stories. For those of you who already have a Moonlite Projector, it’s time to purchase new stories! My girls love the Disney story pack.

Close the Door and Mom Can Escape

Now, if you are thinking this will hype your kids up rather than help them go to sleep, you are wrong. The projector was designed to limit blue light emissions (the kind on your phone that keeps you awake). Just like reading before can help lull you to sleep, so can Moonlite Storybook Projector. No more fighting or fussing – just sweet dreams!

After you have successfully bonded with your kids, it’s your turn to rest. Enjoy the rest of the evening and your own personal nighttime routine.

What’s your bedtime routine like?

Partnering with REBAG to Make Your Handbag Dreams Come True

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I’ve shared recently about my love for purses and handbags. But, it’s time for me to let you in a little secret. I’ve found a way to make sure I always have the newest, most desirable handbags season after season. I have discovered Rebag and my handbag collection will never be the same, which is why I’m partnering with Rebag, the ultimate destination to sell your luxury handbags and sharing my secret with you.

Why Rebag is Unique

At this point, we are all familiar with consignment shops and Rent The Runway. What makes Rebag different from these online stores is that it works to make sure you are constantly able to refresh your handbag collection by allowing you to sell your purses, exchange them, or earn credit for other Rebag handbags. It is THE luxury handbag destination.

Rebag is unique because they:

  • Generate upfront price quotes

  • Purchase bags outright (no consignment hassles)

  • Pay via check or direct deposit instantly

The Easy Way Rebag Works

Rebag has made it super easy to sell the handbags you are no longer in love with. All you need to do is take photos of the bag you want to sell and submit them to the app or website. Then, Rebag will provide a quote. At this point, you deliver your used handbag to Rebag.

Upon approval, you will receive instant payment. Approval also isn’t a huge worry like other resale shops because they provide clear guidelines for approval. Trust me - Rebag is the simplest and most straightforward way to sell your handbag. When submitting a bag to sell, use my code RachelChoy for preferred pricing.

Ladies of NYC, Rebag is Handbag Heaven!

If you live in NYC, Rebag is going to be your new favorite thing. When you sell a bag, you can have your bag picked up from your home OR you can visit one of their retail locations to receive an instant quote and immediate payment. It can not get any easier. Plus, a visit to their retail locations is like a trip to handbag heaven! You can even opt to exchange your Rebag handbag at at a Rebag Bar within 6 months to receive at least 70% of the purchase price.

Plus, Rebag is Granting Wishes for Women Across the US

For those ladies who do not call NYC home, Rebag is still the perfect option for keeping your handbag collection fresh. They offer free shipping anywhere else in the US. All you have to do is use their app or website. Get preferred pricing for your handbags with my code RachelChoy when you submit them for a quote at Rebag.com.

It’s Never Been Easier to Have an Endless Collection of Luxury Handbags

No woman wants to carry the same bag all the time. Here’s a way to have a new bag right when you want one without breaking your budget.

For when your it-bag becomes your forget about it bag. Sell your handbags on Rebag.com using my code RachelChoy to receive preferred pricing!

Why Purses are the Perfect Fashion Accessory

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Women are spending more money than ever before on purses and handbags – a lot more. According to one study, “US women spent $11.5 billion (£7.9 million) on handbags last year.” We love our purses and the fashion industry is noticing. Today, purses are seen as status symbols with women willing to spend a nice chunk of change on designer purses. Studies show I am not the only one.

As Caroline Cox explains, “It's partly because they've become a unique outward statement of a woman's status, fashion savvy and earning power - and the rising popularity of handbags over the past 100 years has followed the increasing social independence of their owners.”

Just a Few of the Reasons Women Love Purses

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All women know the importance of a owning a purse. It is necessary for holding the things we need daily and in case of emergency. Most women would feel naked without her purse – I sure would! But, there are far more reasons for purse love than simple storage.

  • The right purse can dress up any outfit.

  • Purses come in so much variety – size, shape, color, material, and cost all vary greatly. This allows women to pick out a purse that is more personal to her taste and a reflection of her style.

  • You can change out your purse as often as you’d like – much easier than changing your hair. Purses can change depending on your outfit, the occasion, or the season.

  • Purses look good on all women – no matter your size.

  • Purses are now viewed as investment pieces. Women are willing to spend more on purses for this very reason.

Some of My Current Favorite Purses

Since women aged between 18-45 own an average of 13 handbags from seven different brands, you should not bat an eye when I share some of my favorite purses with you. I’m betting you have several in your closet, too.

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I am in love with my Delvaux purses. These purses are all high quality, fine leather. Plus, they are the official purveyor to the Royal Court of Belgium.

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My love for my Loewe bag knows now end. All the heart eyes for this one.

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Fendi is known for stylish handbags like this one. I love the shock of color.

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If you haven’t figure it out by now, I am a huge fan of pink. This one from Celine makes my pink-loving heart happy.

Ultimately, women are purchasing purses for style and quality rather than merely purchasing for a brand logo. While I am all about a designer bag, even I know quality and style trumps a logo. But, when I find the perfect combination of designer plus style and quality, I know it is a win!

Shout out your purse love in the comments!

Why Every Woman Needs to Celebrate Galentine’s Day

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Ladies, we need one another. It’s been said that “Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.” I don’t know where I’d be without my girlfriends. As much as I love my husband and my daughters, I crave alone time with my friends.

As everyone uses February as an excuse to celebrate the ones the love, I absolutely have to include my girlfriends. I love having a special opportunity to celebrate our friendship – now commonly referred to as Galentine’s Day. If you are not familiar with Galentine’s Day, allow me to introduce you to your new favorite holiday.

Why All the Hype Around Galentine’s Day

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Galentine’s Day was officially coined by the character Leslie Knope on the television show “Parks and Recreation,” which was celebrated on February 13th (the day BEFORE Valentine’s Day). The character on the show proclaims:

"Every February 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies."

However, even if you are not a fan of the show, you can still celebrate the holiday. Trust us. Galentine’s Day is officially becoming a thing – even Martha Stewart and Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP feature articles on how to throw a Galentine’s Day party.

5 Wonderful Ways to Celebrate with Your Favorite Gal Pals

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For those of us who don’t have the time to pull off a Martha Stewart or Gwyneth Paltrow level soiree for Galentine’s Day, I’ve come up with five things you can do to celebrate the most important women in your life. The ultimate goal is to have fun and celebrate your friendships.

1. A Simple Party at Home

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Kick your husband and kids out of the house and host a simple brunch or dinner party for your besties. Choose your favorite foods and make a signature cocktail. You know your crew better than anyone else, so do whatever makes you all happy and relaxed.

2. Enjoy Some Pampering at the Spa

Nothing screams Galentine’s Day as much as getting mani’s and pedi’s with your gal pals. Book appointments for your nearest and dearest in advance and enjoy some pampering at your favorite spa or nail salon.

3. Head to Your Favorite Restaurant

If you don’t want to cook or clean, opt for making a reservation for your group of ladies at one of your favorite restaurants. Just make sure it is a grown-up spot – one you would not usually go to with the kids.

4. Go On a Treat Yo’ Self Shopping Adventure

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If your girlfriends love to shop as much as mine, then a shopping trip may be the perfect treat for Galentine’s Day. Empty the trunk and head to your favorite shopping spots. Then, shop ‘til you drop (and fill up those trunks!)

5. Indulge in a Wine Tasting

For the wine lovers, leave the family at home and head to a winery with your closest female friends. If there isn’t a winery nearby, you can host a wine tasting in your home either on your own or with he help of a company like Traveling Vineyard.

7 Things Your Man Actually Wants This Valentine’s Day

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Let’s be honest, ladies. Valentine’s Day is really for us. Most men will claim they don’t even want anything at all for Valentine’s Day. But, since Valentine’s Day is the quintessential couples’ holiday, it just feels wrong not to give the man you love something special.

Ultimately, your guy just wants you to show that you love him. How you choose to show him that he still makes your heart beat fast is all up to you, but you can’t go wrong with any of these 7 gifts.

A Day Off

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All men want a day off from everything and everyone now and then. As adults, it is harder than ever to get away from it all. If your man is always busy at work and then coming home to complete a honey-do list around the house, give a coupon for a day off. It will show him you love him and appreciate how hard he works.

A Good Meal Cooked by You

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A fancy dinner out is always nice, but most men will be just as happy (maybe even more so) with a home cooked meal. Choose to cook his favorite dishes or order a meal kit from Hello Fresh.

Beer, Wine, Whiskey

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A man will never scoff at his lady gifting him his favorite spirit. Just be sure you splurge on something nicer than what he normally buys. He will be impressed with your knowledge of his tastes and your willingness to spoil him.

Tickets to a Sports Game or Comedy Show

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Look for tickets to an upcoming show that he will love – even if it doesn’t take place on Valentine’s Day. Giving him tickets to see his favorite team play or hear his favorite comedian live will be an experience he will never forget.

His Favorite Sweet Treat

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A way to a man’s heart is his belly – even in small doses. Your man will know you love him if you give him his favorite sweet treat such as baking his favorite cake or showing up with doughnuts from his favorite shop.

A Love Letter

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Women are often the ones on the receiving end of love letters, but men love them just as much. Your husband will be overcome with emotion as he receives a beautifully written love letter from his wife. Take time to be sure your letter is full of compliments, affirmations, and funny inside jokes. It will be a gift he never throws away and rereads year after year.

S-E-X

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Come on, you know I had to say it. What your man wants the most is some alone time with you in between the sheets! Honestly, you don’t even have to give him a gift if you turn up the heat in the bedroom.

So, ladies, what do you plan to give your man this Valentine’s Day? Is there a gift you have given your husband that he loved? Let me know in the comments.

10 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Your Kids

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. While Valentine’s Day is typically a celebration for couples, it provides parents with a special chance to show their children how much they love them. Since it seems like my girls were just bombarded with gifts at Christmas, I try not to overwhelm them with gifts at Valentine’s Day. Instead, I look for ways to show them how much I love them without giving them one more stuffed animal.

Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with kids:

1. Tell Your Love Story

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My daughters love to hear about how mommy and daddy fell in love. This is such a simple thing to do, but it is also a special way to teach kids about loving relationships.

2. Add a Heart to Their Door Each Day

Rather than celebrating only on February 14th, I like to look for ways to celebrate all month long. One thing I’ve come across online is adding paper hearts to your child’s door each day with a brief compliment or expression of your love. By the end of February, their actual hearts will be full of love.

3. Write Messages on Mirrors

Similarly, make a point of surprising your kids with a sweet message on the mirror. Just writing “You are so beautiful!” or “I love your smile!” will go a long way in building your child’s self-confidence.

4. Take Your Child on a Date

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Daddy-daughter dates are all the rage, but I don’t think this is something just for dads and daughters. I think parents should always strive to spend some quality time alone with each child now and then. For example, I like to take each daughter out for a special mom-daughter date to get our nails done.

5. Treat them to a Grown-Up Meal at Home

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Your kids will feel so special if you treat them to a special grown-up meal at home like breakfast in bed or a fancy dinner complete with candles. Whenever I do something like this, my girls feel so grown!

6. Put Love Notes in Their Lunchboxes

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I always try to leave a little note in my daughter’s lunch boxes, but for February, I am focusing on writing notes that tell them all the reasons I love them.

7. Make Heart Shaped Pancakes

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Embrace the hearts and all Valentine’s Day themed baking supplies. Simply having heart shaped pancakes or eating a cupcake decorated with hearts will make the holiday feel more special.

8. Snuggle and Read Books About Love

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Life gets busy, so it is important to find little moments when you simply snuggle with your little loves. Grab a warm blanket, a book about love, and snuggle up close.

9. Eat a Red-Themed Dinner

Create a meal that corresponds to the Valentine’s Day color palette. Choose red and pink foods and watch as your kids giggle and eat every bite on their plates.

10. Go on a Valentine’s Day Themed Scavenger Hunt

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Put together a simple scavenger hunt around your home with paper hearts and clues. It is up to you to decide what treasure the hunt will lead to, but in our house, I’m leaning towards chocolate.

A Winter Weekend Getaway to Pocono Mountains

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My family likes to escape the city often. Since I love a good weekend trip, I am always happy to explore places that are a short drive away. Recently, my family decided to take the two hour drive from new York City to Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania.

Pocono Mountains is a wonderful family-friendly destination – especially in the winter time. In addition to all the fun winter sports you can participate in, there are also indoor waterparks allowing you to experience a little bit of summer in the winter. This trip we did our best to experience the best of both.

Play in the Snow

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Both of girls are now old enough to experience the thrill of snow tubing in Poconos Mountains. There are several places where you can take your family snow tubing. Speeding down the hills on the tubes is always a blast and something we look forward to each winter.

While snow tubing is fun period, it becomes even more fun when at night as galactic snow tubing is now a thing. How cool is this?

Enjoy Kalahari Indoor Waterpark

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Another popular reason to visit Poconos Mountains during the winter is to check out one of the indoor waterpark resorts. This trip we stayed at Poconos Kalahari, which is America’s largest indoor waterpark. This huge waterpark facility is kept a warm 84 degrees all day every day. The resort tricks you into forgetting about the snow outside!

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The waterpark has several water slides and kids play areas. There is enough to do in the waterpark are of the resort to fill up a whole day. My girls had a wet and wild time!

If you want to visit Poconos Kalahari but don’t plan to stay at the resort, they do offer a limited number of day passes.

Tons of Indoor Fun

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In addition to the awesome waterpark, Poconos Kalahari is indoor fun central. They have everything to make your kids have the time of their lives. For example, they have a game room, virtual reality, escape rooms, mini golf, and mini bowling. That’s not even including the kid-friendly dining options.

Rest and Relax at the Spa

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Last but certainly not least, Poconos Kalahari has an outstanding spa. When I have spent the weekend snow tubing and riding water slides, I need a little time for relaxation. I also need a small break from loud children. So, I head to the spa which is for guest 18 years old and up.

And, it was heavenly! On top of offering traditional spa services, they also offer a halotherapy room (where pure salt is vaporized into the air) and a hydrotherapy room which includes a steam room, a sauna, a relaxation sanctuary and more.

Now, before you judge me, they also have Spa Kalahari Junior where your little ones can be pampered, too. Spa Kalahari Junior offers manicures, pedicures, facials, and make-up application.

After seeing all the fun we had in just a weekend, don’t you see why the Poconos Mountains makes a great winter weekend escape?

10 Wintry Ways for Families to Have “Snow” Much Fun in NYC

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Do you remember when you were a kid and you were thrilled every time it snowed? If you are a New Yorker, that feeling has likely passed. But, if you are a mom, you have kids who are just as excited as you once were.

The next time it snows, I hope you look for opportunities to embrace the magic of winter. To help you out, I’m listing ten of my favorite ways to spend a snow day in New York City.

1. Cuddle and watch movies at home

Ideally, my favorite way to spend a snow day is cuddling with my husband and daughters indoors. This is especially true on the days when the snow seems to make New York City come to a complete stop. We like to get under warm blankets and watch our favorite movies all day long.

2. Bundle up and play in the snow

But, I have children and they have to get outside and play in the snow – even if just for a few minutes. Building a snowman (or woman) is so easy and it brings my girls so much joy.

3. Search for the best hot chocolate

There is an abundance of hot chocolate options in the city, and a snowy day is the perfect time to try a few and see which place has the best. Plus, drinking hot chocolate makes walking back home in the snow much more enjoyable.

4. Head to your favorite indoor play place

Rather than being stuck indoors without any way to get their energy out, I love to head to one of our favorite indoor play places. Check out TimeOut’s Best Indoor Playgrounds in NYC to give you ideas of ones closest to home.

5. Go ice skating

If you want the quintessential winter experience, then take the kids to Central Park to go ice skating. The rink and the scenery are beautiful and perfect for families on a winter day.

6. Hit the hills

Similarly, we love to go sledding! NYC has several great hills for sledding such as Central Park’s Pilgrim Hill and Cedar Hill. Here’s a secret – adults love sledding just as much as the kids.

7. Explore a new-to-you museum

In NYC, you never run out of museums to visit. So, take this opportunity to visit a museum you haven’t been to before – or at least introduce your kids to a new museum. This is a great way to take a break from the cold and be away from home at the same time.

8. Visit an indoor trampoline park

If you really want to ensure your kids sleep well tonight, then head to one of NYC’s best indoor trampoline parks. These places are awesome! Your whole family will have a blast jumping and flying through the air.

9. Have a baking marathon

Being stuck indoors on a snowy day is a great excuse to have a baking marathon. Call the whole family into the kitchen and cook some of your favorite treats.

10. Do some snow science

Just because the kids are out of school doesn’t mean the learning has to end. Try some of these Snow Science Experiments for Kids. Most of these experiments only require snow and things you already have at home.

Does Your Skin Have the Winter Weather Blues? Here are My Best Tips

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I love the changing seasons – especially winter. I love the snow and the excuse to cuddle under warm blankets. I especially love having clear reasons to wear all my favorite winter clothing items and accessories like boots and scarves.

What I don’t like about winter is the way it wreaks havoc on my skin. As all women know, the chill of the winter air leaves our skin feeling dry, itchy, and chapped. And who wants that?! After dealing with dry skin and NYC winters, I have learned some tricks to make my skin feel soft and nourished even on the coldest, driest days.

I’m sharing my winter skin wisdom with you below.

Moisturize and Moisturize Some More

As the winter air dries out your skin, you can battle the dryness by using moisturizers all day long every single day. Put on a good moisturizer after you shower. Keep lotions in your purses, on your nightstand, and in your car. Anytime you feel dry, lotion up. I love Olay Whips to keep my skin feeling soft and nourished all winter long.

Avoid Hot Water Baths and Showers

Yes, you are cold, and nothing sounds better than a hot, steamy shower. Unfortunately, those hot showers only dry your skin out even more. Instead, use lukewarm water for your showers and washing your face. You’ll thank me later.

Lip Balm is Your Winter BFF

My lips are constantly dry day and night during the wintertime, so I always have lip balm nearby. On my nightstand, in every one of my purses, in the pockets of my coats, and the car. I like to use Blistex Superfruit Soothers because it includes ingredients with antioxidants and vitamins C & E. Plus, with SPF 15, it protects my lips from even more protection.

Just Because It Is Cold Does Not Mean the Sun Doesn’t Shine

Too many people forget to wear SPF during the winter because they mistakenly believe that since it is cold, the sun doesn’t shine. Wrong! You should use SPF every day, including the winter. Plus, the sun reflects off snow and ice and can do damage to your skin.

Drink Water All Day Long Every Day

Possibly the best way to keep your skin hydrated during the winter is to drink water. Healthy skin is just one of the many benefits of drinking water. You can also use water-based products like Neutrogena Hydro Blast Water Gel to keep your skin hydrated in the winter.

Switch Out Your Summer Products for Winter Ones

Last but not least, you need to change out your beauty and skincare products. As much as we love our products, this is something we neglect to do. The stuff you put on your skin in the summer should be different than the stuff you put on your skin in the winter. Why? In winter, you need products that moisturize whereas in summer you need products that keep you from being oily. Likewise, since winter air is hard on your lips, it is best to skip matte lipsticks.

What tips do you have for having beautiful radiant skin during the winter?