A Mom’s Tips for Avoiding the Winter Plague

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This winter has been rough for illnesses. If you are in a close working environment or have young children at home, you have no doubt spent a significant amount of time Lysol-ing everything around you. If you are like me, you hear the smallest cough and run in the opposite direction.

Plus, if you have kids, when they get sick, your whole life stops. According to John Hopkins Medicine, “elementary school children get six to eight colds each school year.” That’s a lot of times I have to take off work to stay home and take care of my kids.

During the winter, colds, the flu, and other viruses seem to spread even faster. This is because we spend more time indoors close to others, have drier nose passages, and there is low humidity where cold viruses thrive.

So, how do you survive the rest of the cold season without getting sick? Try following these tips for staying happy and healthy all winter long.

1. Stay Home When Sick

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Please, please, please leave the sickness at home. Do not come to work sick and do not send your sick kids to school. Yes, it is inconvenient, but it is the right thing to do for everyone.

2. Avoid Others Who are Sick

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If someone does show up to work sick, avoid this person as best you can. For example, do not hug or shake hands with the individual.

3. Get Plenty of Rest

Getting enough sleep is one of the healthiest things you can do. Not only does it help you recuperate when you are sick, but it is also a way to prevent getting sick.

4. Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is another way to stay healthy all year long. Our bodies need their daily dose of exercise to stay fit.

5. Keep a Healthy Diet

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If you are filling up on junk, you will not have the reserves you need to fight off colds and viruses. Instead, eat healthy.

6. Wash Hands Often

Quite possibly the most effective tip is to wash your hands with soap and water often. The rule of thumb is to wash your hands for the amount of time it takes you to sing “Happy Birthday.”

7. Always Have Antibacterial with You

Just because you cannot always run off to the bathroom to wash your hands, you should always have antibacterial on you. I have bottles of antibacterial lotion everywhere – my desk, my car, my purse – and I even attach the keychain ones to my daughter’s backpacks.

8. Use Your Own Water Bottle

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Did you know water fountains are one of the worst places for germs? It’s true. So, instead of going to the water fountain, take your own reusable water bottle with you and send one to school with your kids.

9. Take Your Vitamins

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Protect yourself in advance by taking your vitamins. My whole family takes our vitamins, and I know it makes a big difference in our overall health.

What are your best tips for avoiding winter sickness?

 

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?

These Boots are Made for Walking

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Boots make me happy. As a shoe lover, I want my feet to look just as stylish in the winter as they do in the summer. Boots give my feet added warmth during the winter, but they also all chic and trendy. Paired with slim fit pants or a short skirt, boots take an outfit from cute to attention-grabbing. Plus, boots never go out of style.

Today, there are more styles than ever before giving you multiple options. They come in various heights and heel styles. Add in all the different fabric and color choices, and you can practically have a different pair of boots for every outfit.

Why Every Woman Needs a Few Pairs of Boots

Every woman should own at least one pair of boots, but truly, women need more than one pair. With their versatility, you really need boots of different styles. The right pair of boots can dramatically change the overall look of your outfit. Any excuse for more shoes is reason enough, am I right?

Some of My Favorite Winter Boot Styles

Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite winter boot styles. They vary in style, designer, and cost. Browse through the pics and let me know in the comments which ones are your favorites.

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Knit Grosgain Booties from Chanel

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Winter White Boots by Gianvito Rossi

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Black Combat Boots by Chanel

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Fendi Boots

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Tory Burch Slouchy Boots

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Christian Louboutin Animal Print Boots

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Isabel Marant Dicker Suede Ankle Boots

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Tory Burch Brooke Booties

How to Store Your Phenomenal Boot Collection

After browsing the above pics of fabulous boots, I bet you are thinking about how to make room for all the new boots you are getting ready to purchase. Naturally, boots take up more closet space than your strappy stilettos. But the space issue is worth it for the perfect pair of boots that will warm your toes and make your heart happy.

First things first, boots need to be stored in a position that ensures they stay straight and shaped. You can do this by stuffing your boots yourself or by purchasing boot shapers. If you cannot fit your boots in your closet shoe organizer, consider purchasing boot hangers. Boot hangers work as boot fillers, but they have a hanger so that the boots can be hung from your closet rod.

Finally, find ways to store your winter boots in the offseason. Purchase storage boxes designed for boots. For example, the Container Store sells a clear plastic boot box. These boxes are large enough for boots of all heights, and they have room to fit boots that have been filled so they won’t lose their shape while in storage.

I’m Dreaming of a WARM Winter and an Escape from NYC

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Alright, Santa, you want to know what I really want this Christmas under the tree? Plane tickets. I want plane tickets to someplace warm and sunny so that I can escape the cold of New York City this time of year. Please, Santa, I’ve been good this year.

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But, for real, Christmas break is an awesome time to travel to sunnier climates. While traveling takes planning, if you already have the days off work, why not be spontaneous and choose to celebrate the holidays on white sandy beaches instead of a snow-covered city? If you can’t make it happen this year, there’s always next year. It’s never too early to plan!

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Here are a few warm weather destinations for your family vacation during the holiday season:

Disney World in Orlando, Florida

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Disney World at Christmastime is even more magical. Everything is dripping in festive lights and colors. With an average high of 73 degrees, it is a safe bet you will enjoy much warmer weather in Orlando than back home in New York.

Hawaii

Hawaii is a hugely popular Christmas vacation destination. Not only is it warm, but it is also stunningly beautiful. Plus, celebrating Christmas at a beach luau sounds marvelous! No wonder so many people head that way during the winter season.

San Antonio, Texas

Head South to San Antonio, Texas for warmer weather and friendly people. San Antonio also turns its historic Riverwalk into an amazing light spectacle that will amaze everyone in your entire family. Plus, the city offers fun holiday events.

The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida

The average December temperature is 77 degrees in Palm Beach, Florida making it a great place for some warm weather celebrations in the sun. The Breakers Resort is my pick for a family-friendly vacation over Christmas break. It offers tons of activities for both kids and adults.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan has unique Christmas traditions and festivals that make it a fun place for families to visit over the holiday break. In addition to the festive holiday stuff in the city, there are also beautiful beaches offering just the right amount of sun, warmth, and relaxation.

Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau is home to the mega Atlantic resort which will have your kids mesmerized. Even if you don’t stay at Atlantis, Nassau has several family-friendly resorts and tons of attractions the whole family will love.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Want to celebrate Christmas with a fiesta and a siesta? Then, head to Mexico for the holidays! Puerto Vallarta is a popular tourist destination because of its beaches, attractions, and numerous all-inclusive resorts which cater to families.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana is another fantastic place to visit over the holiday break. Offering beautiful beaches and scenery, Punta Cana is an all-inclusive playground. Families have their pick of resorts with excellent dining and entertainment options.

A Cruise to Anywhere Warm

Feeling super spontaneous? Look for last-minute cruise options! Cruises are great for families, but they also do a great job of making being on a boat at sea for a holiday an exciting adventure.

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While you’re dreaming of a warm Christmas this year, go ahead and start planning a trip to Australia for next year’s Christmas vacation.

Final snowstorm of the winter...oop I mean first day of Spring!

Just when we thought we were ready for spring, mother nature sent us a quick reminder that just because we’re ready, doesn’t mean that she is! I had my fingers crossed that this week was going to be the first of the spring weather we’ve been expecting. I had just put away their Moncler and Canada goose jackets, ready to shift their wardrobes into spring; so ready to just take the girls out to the park without having to lug around extra scarves, gloves, and hats so they don’t get too cold. Lone and behold, we are hit with another big snowstorm!

 

 Though, as much as we all like to express how inconvenient a snow storm is for us adults, we can’t deny that a snow day for the kids is something they wait on all winter. To be honest, I felt like a child myself when I heard that of the severity of the storm.  Knowing the girls would have a snow day it gave me an excuse to take the day off as well to spend it with them. So my husband and I gave in to the weather, and cancelled all the plans we had for our day allowing our entire family a day of fun in the snow! And what a day it was, thanks to Toby. Our world had been blanketed with enough snow to all the snow things that our girls love. We had snowball fights, built forts, and even a snowman, which of course, the girls named Olaf (how original). It’s funny how kids never seem to realize how cold it is when they’re playing in the snow. They play and play until their cheeks are all rosy, and their snot is running down the little noses. Thankfully their coats were not put away too far, and we still had their Sorel boots in the closet, which assured me despite their looks, they were kept especially warm in their snow-ready clothes. How un-expectantly grateful I was to have this snow day with the entire family. It’s a great opportunity for us grown-ups to feel like kids again and roll around with our little ones; to remember what it’s like to have so much fun in the snow that you don’t even feel you’re cold until you come inside. And my most treasured part of a day like yesterday, is when everyone is back in their pajamas, dry from the icy snow, sipping Swiss Miss hot chocolate to warm our hearts while telling stories to my little snowbunnies!