July 20, 2016

The best summer treat is…ice cream! obviously.

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I recently had lunch with my 3 year old friend, Oliver. I asked him – Oliver, what is your favorite part of summer?  He looked up at me with his doughy eyes and said…ICE CREAM!

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Oliver was spot on. What’s better on a super hot day than an ice cream?

Now as fun as it is to hit up your local ice cream shop or discover new and quaint spots, it’s also great to just enjoy ice cream at home.

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When I host friends and family over the summer I always make sure to have a container of Haagen Dazs ice cream on hand. Sometimes I pick up a few flavors because let’s be honest…the second I see those bad boys in the store, I get excited and want them all. Plus, Haagen Dazs will be running a special BOGO promotion from July 24-31st at Duane Reade and Walgreens locations in New York City.. when you buy one 14 oz. container of Haagen Dazs ice cream, you get a second free.. any flavor!! Sign me up!

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When I have a group of kids to feed, I like to surprise them with a super fun dessert. I recently told Gavin and Luke that I was going to set up an ice cream bar for them after dinner one night. Their eyes lit up like it was Christmas.

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We made chocolate dipped cones coated with candy (DIY coming tomorrow!) and toppings like sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut and a bowl of cherries.

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The kids could not have been happier. They got down and dirty enjoying their cones, and then hopped right into the bath. Summer nights rule.

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Be sure to check out all of the out of this world Haagen Dazs flavor options at your local New York City Walgreens or Duane Reade locations! Also, if you’re interested in trying out some FREE samples, there will be sampling event held at the Haagen Dazs store at 310 East 2nd St. in Manhattan on Monday, July 25th from 1-3 pm.. don’t miss out!

This post was sponsored by Walgreens as a part of their #HDOpenContainer Campaign, but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Photos by Maggie Antalek

xx, Seri
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July 17, 2016

It’s the thought that counts

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It’s pretty cliche…but when giving and receiving a gift, it is the thought that counts. I have always believed that. The way a card is written or the effort put forth in finding the perfect gift is a telling sign of how someone feels about you. That’s why, when we were asked to participate in the #HallmarkatWalgreens #CardsandCake campaign, I was very excited to use this opportunity to find the perfect cards for my son Luke for his 4th birthday!

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This year for Luke’s birthday we had a big ol’ pirate pool party. Since that was a party for a large group of our friends and family, I wanted to celebrate more intimately just with my boys for some one on one quality, birthday time together.

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We had dinner on the patio with an easy meal of pizza and salad and ice cream sammies for dessert. Naturally I set the table with an Everyday Soiree Party in a Box making the prep and clean up a breeze.

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My favorite part about putting together this small dinner party for Luke’s 4th birthday was choosing the birthday cards. We had family members from Canada send Luke gifts through Amazon so to spice things up I wrapped each gift and added a card with a note that they dictated to me for Luke.

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I went over to our local Walgreens and found the most fantastic and I mean fantastic Hallmark Signature birthday cards that I have ever seen.

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One card had a felt mask that you could take off and wear, one had a photo prop mustache on a stick and one was a party in a box! Do these people at Hallmark know me or what?! I was floored. Each card was better then the next. I could not choose! There was one that stood out as a perfect card to come from Gavin and that was the card with text written in CANDY! FABULOUS!

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Of course Luke ripped through the gifts excited to see what he got while Gavin spent the time reading each card to his little brother. It was the sweetest thing I’d ever seen.

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I have always been the type to save birthday cards. I have shoeboxes upon shoeboxes of cards dating back to when I was a kid. Now I do the same for my children so they can look back on their special birthday wishes because these are the Hallmark moments worth saving.

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Our friends at Hallmark will be giving away our Everyday Soirée in a Box as a part of a prize pack to four lucky winners! These winners will be chosen from people who participate in the Twitter Party hosted by @hallmark on July 28th from 8-9pm around the hashtags #HallmarkAtWalgreens and #CardsAndCake. Be sure to tune in to be eligible!

This post was written in partnership with Hallmark.

xx, Seri
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July 13, 2016

DIY with LMP: Paper Fish Lanterns

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LMP loves nothing more than a summer bash. Yesterday Seri and Michelle had the pleasure of throwing an Under the Sea Party at Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai. So to contribute, I made some fish lanterns for the decorations! They are SO easy and a perfect addition for your next nautical celebration.

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All you need is:

paper lanterns (any color, we chose blue!)
tissue paper (black, blue, white)
tape or glue stick
scissors

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Step 1: cut your papers for little eyeballs and fish fins.

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Step 2: Glue the black pupils onto the white eyeballs.

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Step 3: Glue two pieces of fins together, leaving the bottom .5″ unglued to attach to the top of the lantern.

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Step 4: Glue the remaining edges of the paper onto the lantern.

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Step 5: Repeat for both side fins and tail fins.

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Step 6: Repeat these steps to make as many fish as you need for your party!

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Our fish lanterns brought smiles to all the children who participated in the Under the Sea themed celebration as did the treasure chest crafts that were supplied by Imagination Lane.

It’s always nice when a little bit of effort goes a long way. We hope to be back at Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai bringing cheer to the kids again soon.

xx, Maggie
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July 6, 2016

4 Years Ago…

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It’s hard to believe that my baby is turning 4. I have pangs in my heart every time I think about him growing up. I love the sound of his high pitch squeaks and constant jokes. His blue steel eyes and his hugs and kisses. His little arms wrapped around my neck. I don’t ever want this to end. Thinking about it hurts.

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With all that said, my baby’s turning 4. So we be PARTYING!

It’s so awesome having a summer baby. Pool parties are the best! And this year, we made sure all Luke’s dreams came true. We started with a pirate theme, for his love of Jake and the never……the name is too long. You know who I’m talking about.

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I did tell him I was going to have a guy dressed up like a pirate at the pool. I failed him there however many people did come dressed to our theme so they made up for it!

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Ok his other big dream…that he’s had for about a year now…is a water slide.  He keeps asking me if we can add one to our pool.  I continuously explain he’s welcome to add a slide when he gets a job and would like to pay for it himself.

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So for his birthday this year….we brought in a pretty amazing water slide that had a bouncey castle to boot. The kids were in heaven. As I’m sure you can imagine.

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For themed decor we love working with Minted. They make it so easy. The color palettes are always amazing, the designs are fantastic, and they ship super fast! Plus you always have the option to customize.

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When guests arrived I had a few items set on the table for instant gratification…
– crudités, chips, ranch dip and some homemade salsas
– Beverage dispenser of water and ice topped with a pirate hat (that I found at my local party store)

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Lunch was served by Seasons of Southampton. We copied our menu from last year’s pool party with lobsters, mussels, corn, potatoes, bbq chicken and watermelon. Let’s put it like this…no one left Luke’s party hungry.

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So what do the kids do at a pool party? Swim, obvi. I had a lifeguard on deck to man the kids. She’s one of a kind and gets right in there with the kids. But what else? I thought, let’s set out a craft! So I asked my girls at Imagination Lane if they could put together an eye patch making craft and boom, it was awesome. Every now and then a kid would end up at the shaded table and make one. They were adorable.

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Dessert is where we really got to shine for Luke this year. I think we pulled out all the stops by hiring Belinda from Carolena Cakes. I mean….c’mon! She nailed this cake and it was out of this world delicious.  We had barely any leftover.

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We tested out Mister Krisp to add a little skull to our table…

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And my two favorite Pinterest finds:

Pirate bananas. I loved these guys so much I kissed them. There was nothing to it. Tie a bandana around the banana’s head and give him a face with a black sharpie. Don’t forget the stubble!

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2. Treasure chest of gold sprayed Oreo cookies….I mean, DUDE! Look at these! How adorable?! Make a lot..these went FAST!

(Abby found the edible gold spray on Amazon here)

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Then there is the bar. I wanted nothing but simple this year. Water, water, water, wine, wine, wine and some beer. We put out Coke, Diet Coke and apple juice…and that was IT! How easy is that?

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The pool was bopping, beats bumping and kids were jumping. Luke’s party was a blast.

Happy 4th birthday to my baby. I love you.

xx, Seri
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June 15, 2016

Mandy Loves Minted!

Hi again! It’s me, Mandy from Mandy’s Meals and More. I’ve been in hiding for a couple months but I’ve emerged.

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Not sure if you are aware but in Canada we are lucky enough to have a year of maternity leave. Sadly that time is coming to an end for me.

Dylan my daughter is headed to day care in August so when I got the email informing me that Minted is now doing gorgeous name labels for clothes, lunch boxes, etc.. I was beyond stoked!

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As with all categories on minted, there are millions of options, sizes, colors and shapes. And the quality is unreal.

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I am seriously planning on sticking these things on everything!

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As sad as I am for this amazing year to ‎come to a close, I am so grateful to spend each day watching Dylan grow into the amazing tiny human she has become.

xx, Mandy
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