Shortly after having Victor I realized how important it was to have a nighttime routine for your little ones. It really sets the tone for bedtime and I think it eventually helps them transition into becoming better sleepers as well as helps form good habits for them as they get older. These products are my daily GO TO for Victor. As a first time mom I literally tried out and went through dozens of different brands before really falling in love and trusting everything listed here.

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As you can see, I don’t just have 1 favorite for his bath products. We are in love with all 3 of these brands and rotate them frequently.

Live Clean Baby – I was introduced to this brand a few months back and we instantly fell in love. The formula is mild which is perfect for sensitive skin and is not drying. All of their products are free of harsh chemicals, organic and cruelty free. I absolutely LOVE the way it leaves my son smelling after bath time, very fresh and clean.

Babyganics – This brand has so many great products for children. Their bubble bath is our go to, just a little goes a long way. It’s super gentle, tear free and made with some great organic ingredients. They also carry their products in travel size which is a lifesaver for when on the go.

Shea Moisture Baby – This brand is a major staple in our home for not only Victor but for myself also. While all of their products for Baby & Kids are great, our favorite hands down is the Manuka Honey & Provence Lavender. The formula is super hydrating and the Lavender and Ylang Ylang not only smell amazing but help unwind and bring a sense of calm before bed. The slumber mist is one of our favorites from this collection.

Elderberry – Victor takes a spoon of Elderberry twice a day, once in the AM and before bath time. We purchase from a local small business as they do the production and selling themselves. Elderberry is a great immunity booster which is why we use it daily. Elderberries are high in Vitamin C and also contain Vitamin A, B6 and Iron. The syrup is made with a blend of organic honey, cloves and allspice. (Please make sure to do your own research on Elderberry before using and I want to note it should not be used on children under the age of 1)

hello Kids Toothpaste – I was on the hunt for a fluoride free toothpaste and this is the winner. Victor loves the taste and it’s free of artificial sweeteners, flavors and dyes and is paraben free. It also polishes his teeth so they are brighter.

doTERRA Serenity – If you know me personally, you know we love our essential oils in my home. After bath time I roll Serenity onto Victor’s feet. I really think it helps him get a better sleep so it’s a staple in our nighttime routine. Serenity Promotes relaxation and a restful sleeping environment. (Please do your own research on essential oils before using and please remember you MUST dilute when using on children. There are many dilution guides, please follow them. If you need information on a rep to purchase feel free to message me)

FridaBaby SmileFrida – We have gone through countless numbers of toothbrushes but the SmileFrida is the absolute best. The triple brush head makes it easy for Victor to brush his teeth on his own (which he insist on doing) and gets all sides at once. I feel like this toothbrush gives a much better all around cleaning than other brushes.

This shop/post has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #SummerRefreshment #Peapod #CollectiveBias

Here in New Jersey our winters are COLD but come summer time… it is hot, hot, hot! Therefore my family and I love to spend time outside enjoying our yard, setting up little parties and just having a great time. During these hot days I am determined to keep us hydrated and refreshed and sometimes we like a little more flavor than regular water and that is when I create my favorite summer drink… an Arnold Palmer.

What you need:

-Lemons

-Mint Leaves

-Raspberries

-Ice

-Minute Maid® Lemonade

-FUZE® tea

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Instructions:

You first want to figure out if you are looking to make a single glass or a pitcher and then just adjust ingredients to your liking. I usually like making a big pitcher so I add ice, 6 cans of FUZE® tea and 3 cans of Minute Maid® Lemonade. If you like a more tangy beverage – add an extra can of lemonade. I then drop in a few lemon slices, raspberries and mint leaves and stir. You can serve instantly or let it chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes for the flavor from the mint to really blend in. I also like to use the lemon, raspberries and mint to garnish the glasses. Thanks to FUZE tea & Minute Maid Lemonade, Summers are definitely more refreshing! 

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This is also my go to beverage when having family get togethers or parties. It’s a drink that can be enjoyed by all of our guests, young and old. We like to create a really nice setup for the Arnold Palmers and surround it by the garnishing. My family really enjoys doing this together because we get creative since we have ideas from both the adults and children on how to display it. The kids love setting up a lemonade type stand and having “customers” come up to grab a glass of tea, lemonade or an Arnold Palmer. You can either purchase a cardboard lemonade stand like this one:

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OR get creative and pull out a foldable table and cover it with a tablecloth and create fun signs on posterboards. Along with displaying our beverages, we love to set up a delicious appetizer spread. Our go to platter include a variety of cheeses, salami, pepperoni, olives and crackers. This is super easy to create on your own and is always a hit with guests.

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Thanks to Peapod, ordering items for our get togethers just got a whole lot more convenient too. With the Peapod service I can order all the thingsI need on their app or on the desktop, select a date and time of delivery and I’m done. Everything arrives on time and is fresh!

IMG_0362There’s also delivery discounts including FREE delivery, 1000s of weekly specials and a ton of features to make your food shopping experience stress-free. If you aren’t familiar with Peapod, click HERE, and you will get $20 off your first Peapod order and 60 days if FREE delivery.

Chi-Town, The Windy City, Second City….

Call it what you want but this city [Chicago] is a GEM!

I have spent so much time exploring Europe over the last 5 years that my husband & I decided that we want to spend more time visiting and discovering the amazing places the U.S.A has to offer and CHICAGO was our first stop.

Where to stay?

In my opinion, Downtown is where it’s at. We decided to stay at the Raddison Blu Aqua and it was the perfect choice in a perfect location. We literally could walk to most of what we wanted to see and everything else was just a short 10-15 minute cab or uber ride away. The hotel in general was excellent and they had great amenities which include an onsite restaurant, outdoor and indoor pool, kids pool, hot tub, game room and fitness center.

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PC: Radisson Blu Aqua

What to do?

Like with all big cities trying to fit seeing everything in just a short weekend is not only tough but stressful. I always tell people to pick a few places or spots and if you end up seeing more – great! This is a list of the must-see favorites:

1. Millennium Park (Cloud Gate A.K.A The Bean)
2. Navy Pier
3. Art Institute of Chicago
4. Shedd Aquarium
5. The Field Museum
6. Museum of Science & Industry
7. Adler Planetarium
8. Skyjack Chicago
9. 360 Chicago (Formerly John Hancock Observatory)
10. Lincoln Park Zoo

I highly recommend purchasing a Chicago CityPASS.

Your CityPASS Includes:
1. Shedd Aquarium – PRIORITY ENTRY
2. Skydeck Chicago – FAST PASS
3. The Field Museum – VIP ENTRY
4. Museum of Science and Industry OR 360 CHICAGO – EXPRESS ENTRY
5. Adler Planetarium – VIP ENTRY OR Art Institute of Chicago – FAST PASS

What I loved about this pass was everything offered in it were places we knew we would visit during our time in Chicago. We went to all of the above with the exception of the Museum of Science and Adler Planetarium. The Chicago CityPASS is $100 for adults (savings of $113) and $85 for children between 3-11 (savings of $95) – Children 2 & under are free at all of the venues listed above. Another perk of purchasing the pass is the fast pass, priority and express entries you receive. Just to give you an idea of how much time the pass saved, when we went the the Skydeck there was a 2.5 hour wait but it took us a total of 20 minutes to get up to the top since we had the Chicago CityPASS. Not only did we save money with this pass but we also saved time.

Some other things we did while in town were eating pizza at Giordano’s, visiting The Bean both at night and during the day, visiting the Chicago Theatre, spending time in both Millennium and Maggie Daley Park, grabbing treats at Stans Donuts, hopped on the water taxi to explore Navy Pier and went to the Jurassic Park exhibit.

I think the media plays a HUGE part in the bad rep Chicago gets. Every city has areas that are less than desirable but overall this is a city that is so worth visiting. It’s vibrant and rich in culture and history. There’s always events taking place and the food scene is top notch.

Feel free to send me over a DM or e-mail if you have any questions. Also make sure to check out their Tourism page (HERE) as they are a wealth of knowledge and have a ton of information to help you plan your trip.

Here are some of my favorite shots from our time in CHICAGO!

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This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh B’gosh; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Can you believe it’s August already? In just a few short weeks the kids will be headed back to school but the new school year is never complete without a little refreshing of their wardrobe. If you have been following me for a while then you know we are big fans of OshKosh B’gosh in our home. They carry clothes that are on trend but are very affordable without sacrificing quality.

When sending Victor to school I always like to make sure his outfits are cute but I also want him to be comfortable since he’s there for 6 hours a day. I tend to lean towards graphic tees and stretchy slim fit bottoms. I also am a big fan of polos and loose fitting button down shirts. One of my biggest tips when shopping for your little ones is to find pieces that you can mix and match. This basically will help you save money and you’ll be able to come up with multiple outfit choices for the school year. Here are a few ways we styled our favorite pieces:

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Top: [similar] | Bottom: Slim Fit Twills 

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Top: Piqué Polo | Bottom: Classic Jeans

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Top: Glow-In-The-Dark Astronaut Tee | Bottom: [similar]

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Top: Graphic Tee | Bottom: Classic Jeans

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Click HERE to find your local OshKosh! From 8/4-8/7 you can unlock a fun snapchat filter while in store. They will also be doing a giveaway over on their instagram (@oshkoshkids) from 8/21-9/2 where 250 people will win a Style up 4 School kit so make sure to check them out.

I also wanted to share with you guys an amazing campaign that OshKosh launched back in 2014. The B’gosh Jeanius Campaign is an annual effort to support our customer’s local communities with donated clothing and school supply needs. Since then, they have partnered with DonorsChoose.org, Delivering Good (formerly K.I.D.S. fashion delivers), OshKosh Moms, families and friends to collect over $1.1 million and distribute more than 66,000 articles of clothing to impact the lives of over 260,000 students. I had the pleasure of donating $50 to KIPP Elementary School to help complete their classroom library. Join our effort by donating a new pair of jeans in-store or making a cash contribution in-store or online at oshkosh.com/bgoshjeanius from 7/25 – 9/18.

Print or screenshot this coupon to save 20% off your next in store purchase or use promo code: OKBG3352 at checkout.

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FYI: I’ll be doing a giveaway on my instagram (@pearls_and_paris) soon for a chance to win a $50 OshKosh giftcard so make sure to stay tuned!

The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America and it took place this past weekend, July 28-30th.

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Every summer I tell myself I’m going to make it out there and I honestly don’t know why – but it just never worked out. This year though I knew I had to make it happen! Some of my family from North Jersey as well as Pennsylvania wanted to join so we decided to attend on Sunday and 100% knew we wanted to make it there for the 6:30am balloon ascension.

I was really surprised by how many people were already on line and waiting for the gate to open at 6am sharp. There was only 1 balloon setting up and I noticed people gravitating towards that section so we went further out since we knew a lot more would be coming and it allowed us to have our pick of where we wanted to set our chairs.

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Seeing the balloons blowing up and then taking off was a breathtaking experience. The weather was absolutely perfect too which was a plus. While the balloons may be the main attraction for this festival there is so much to do for all ages throughout the day/night. There was a ton of rides and inflatables for kids, arts & crafters, magicians, fireworks, concerts, food vendors and the list goes on. One of my favorite activities was the tethered balloon ride which I made sure to get on. Overall I am kicking myself for waiting so long to attend The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning! I will 10000% be there again next year. Click HERE to bookmark their website so you stay up to date with next years festival. If you are interested in booking a hot air balloon ride (which I HIGHLY recommend, I have done it before and the experience is like no other!) you will want to do so early on. Here are some shots from my day:

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