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About the author  ⁄ Christina Montoya Fiedler

Christina Montoya Fiedler is a Los Angeles native - born and raised. Before becoming a mom, and writing for various parenting sites so she could be home full time with her son, she was a publicist representing environmentally progressive architects and contractors - one of whom just finished building a home completely out of parts from a Boeing 747. Now that's cool!

Savvy Sassy Moms was at the red carpet premiere of The Book of Life, a new animated movie starring the voices of Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Ice Cube, Rob Pearlman and more. The stars were out in full force, as were mariachi bands, churro carts, taco trucks and a larger than life cake courtesy of Charm City Cakes master mind Duff Goldman. bookoflifeposterBottom line, if you’re going to take your kids to see any movie during the Halloween season, this should be it. It’s beautiful. It’s funny. It’s just mesmerizing. In fact so amazing my son asked if they could pause it while he ran to the bathroom. Ah, six year olds. Diego LunaThe Book of Life tells the legend of Manolo (Diego Luna), a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to rescue his one true love Maria (Zoe Saldana) and defend his village. Manolo’s antagonist is Joaquin (Channing Tatum), a dashing solider who’s also vying for Maria’s heart. And sorry ladies, Mr. Tatum was not at the premiere. Diego Luna Everything is done in the style of Dia de Los Muertos. If you’re unfamiliar with the Day of the Dead, it’s a Mexican holiday that celebrates life after death and the remembrance of loved ones that have passed. This movie captures the essence of the day perfectly. And the soundtrack is a must. Diego Luna sings! Our favorite was his ranchero version of Radiohead’s Creep. Really, you have to hear it to believe it. And his romantic numbers had us swooning. Zoe SaldanaHe hopes that his kids, six and four, enjoy the film as much as he did making it. “I don’t care what people will write tomorrow but if my daughter doesn’t like it, I might quit acting, you know? If my kid says, “Well, dad, you know what? Ah, I’m not sure. I mean, I loved Joaquin, but Manolo was kind of weak,” that’s it. It’s over. So, I have to make sure I have the right popcorn, they have a good night of sleep, you know?” Zoe Saldana wowed in a ruffled maxi dress. We’d totally wear it, preggers or not. Although she wasn’t taking questions about her impending child, she was totally glowing. IMG_2206The Book of Life premieres Friday October 17 in 3D. It’s rated PG. Can’t wait until then? Download some fun Book of Life Activity sheets here.

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Searching for the right bra ranks right up with there with bathing suit and jean shopping. You can only avoid it for only so long, but the joy that you get from finding the right fit is undeniable. Count me in that category. After baby number two, my girls needed some help. The bras I had before just weren’t fitting and, well, I needed a little more support and lift.

So, I joined the Vanity Fair LiftTOUR. Currently, they’re traveling around the U.S., fitting women, just like us, for more shape and support than they ever knew possible. Really, a new bra makes everything fit better.

Bonus. For every fitting they do, they donate a fabulous new bra to Dress for Success – a group that helps women in need prepare for job interviews. And that’s totally something we can all get behind.

LiftTOURBus_1
Vanity Fair LiftTOUR

I met up with Vanity Fair and the LiftTOUR bus at my local Kohl’s and stepped for a personalized fitting. Turns out I was wearing a size too small around and too big in the cup. Everything was wrong. They put me in the Vanity Fair Women’s Beautifully Smooth Breathable Comfort Full Figure Underwire Bra. One wear, and it was obvious why this is one of their top sellers. I now own one in black and beige.

vanityfairbraseditedWhen I was done with my fitting, I was able to pick a bra of my choice to donate to Dress for Success and write a personalized message to the woman who would be receiving the bra. I can’t lie. I got a bit teary eyed. While it felt good to give back, I also thought about what it means to feel like a woman, and how most of us take for granted even the smallest things – like having a brand new bra.

Want to give and receive too? You can catch the bus at your local Kohl’s, JC Penny, or Sears, just check the website for times and dates.

Vanity Fair_LiftTOUR_Poster


Moms, when was the last time you purchased a new bra?

 

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Back to school. It’s the words we’ve been waiting to hear. But it also means it’s time to hit the store and pick up some much needed school supplies for the kiddos. And if you’re as tired of ho hum pencils, notebooks and folders as we are, you’re going to love Yoobi. They’re products are anything but ordinary and a whole lot of fun. Yoobi Fun Day At The Grove!We hit up Yoobi Fun Day at the Grove in Los Angeles, and got to sneak a peek at their new line of back to school supplies. Bonus? We spied some celeb moms and dads who were joining in on the fun as well. Check out Soleil Moon Frye, Busy Philipps, and Peter Facinelli below. They certainly make the whole end of summer thing look good. Yoobi Fun Day At The Grove!Cool games, giveaways and crafts were all a part of the fun. Check out Peter and his girls taking their turn at the beanbag toss. So what are our favorite products? First off, we’re crushing on the vibrant colors and out of the box designs. But the oversized highlighter, bendy erasers, and super soft pencil bags were at the top of our list. yoobisupplies Buy them online or in your local store. For every product you buy, they’ll donate one to a classroom in need. Now that’s a back to school purchase you can feel good about. Moms, what was a must have on your back to school shopping list this year?

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What do you get when you mix a super swank hotel like the London West Hollywood, and a long awaited toy launch from a popular kids show? One heck of a party with tons of celeb moms and dads turning up for the big day. JuliusJrToyLaunch

Fischer Price rolled out their new preschool toys, plus a few really cool books from Random House, for the hit Nick Jr. Show, Julius Jr. If that little monkey looks familiar to you, it’s because he’s related to Julius, the mascot of super cool Paul Frank Industries. Aside from getting a first glimpse at the new products, guests got to decorate cupcakes, pose for silly pics at the Julius photo booth, and create some colorful keepsakes.

Who Did We See?

Hit Preschool Series Julius Jr. Launches All-New Fisher-Price Toy LineSavvy Sassy Moms spied Kyle Richards, James Van Der Beek, Samantha Harris, Melissa Rycroft, Bree Turner and rapper Shwayze checking out all the new toys with their kids in tow. We loved Samantha Harris’ pretty blue frock with a honeycomb print. And can we say that James Van Der Beek has come a long way since Dawson’s Creek. Talk about hot dad.

230764742,D622A0E162187B540D4The Scoop on the Toys

Hit Preschool Series Julius Jr. Launches All-New Fisher-Price Toy LineThe toys are as bright and colorful as the show itself and feature all the character including my favorites Clancy the Giraffe and Julius Jr. They are all totally hands for the ultimate in play experience. I can see my toddler playing with these things for a while. And his older brother just might want to get on the act as well. The pop up book Welcome to the Hall of Doors is now making its rotation in our nightly bedtime routine. And because it’s a board book, it’s extra sturdy. My favorite? The super cool Julius Jr. Box Top Guitar which retails for just $22. It’s a small price to pay for all that awesomeness. I can see the living room concerts now. Rock on.

Moms, which celeb mom or dad would you want to have a play date with?
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Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 11.17.29 AMSo summer is on its way. In Los Angeles (where I live), we’ve already had a week of 90+ temps. Hard to believe for some parts of the country that were in a deep freeze not too long ago, but believe you me we’ve totally skipped spring and headed right on in to summer. So, when I heard about these new Ban Total Refresh Cooling Cloths, I had to try them.

Ban_GroupBan Total Refresh Cooling Cloths come in convenient purse ready packs and three different scents. My favorite is Refresh, which has a nice baby powder scent. There’s also Enliven (springtime fresh) and Invigorate (clean and crisp).

The cloths cool on contact leaving skin refreshed, moisturized, and silky thanks to Ban’s powder silk technology. Think that fresh out of the shower feeling or the way your skin feels after using one of those oil blotting papers.

Skeptical? I was at first. It seemed like something a woman would use mid hot flash (and I’m no where near that stage in life). But I took these in my gym bag and gave my face and neck a good wipe down post Pilates. Pretty sure I found my new gym bag staple.

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 11.17.43 AMSide note: Where were these last summer when I was gigantically pregnant and constantly hot? I could have used a pack or two in my purse to freshen up on the go.

Should you try them? Yes. As busy moms, we could all use a mid day pick me up.

Moms, when would you use these cooling cloths?
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Thinking about throwing a circus-themed party for your big top loving tot? Check out these applause-worthy treats that will leave your crowd wanting more.
tightropewalkercake

Walking the tight rope

This easy DIY cake topper is perfect for any circus themed party — whether it’s for kids or adults. Let the colors pop against the backdrop of vanilla bean frosting. It’s all in the details with this one. Yum!
Photo courtesy of OhHappyDay.com.

clowncupcakes

Clown cupcakes

Gummy worm smiles, fruit cereal hair and licorice eyes. You can’t get any more sweet (or cute) than that. These clown cupcakes are the perfect treat for any circus-loving kid.
Photo courtesy of ImpromptuParties.com.
circuspeanuts

Circus peanuts

Peanuts! Get your peanuts here! With all the food allergies out there, it’s probably best to stay away from actual peanuts, so these candy substitutes are just the right choice.
Photo courtesy of Etsy.com.
dumbellpops

Dumb bell pops

Chocolate-dipped marshmallows and candy straws make up these strongman dumbbells. Use piped frosting to mark each one with its weight.
Photo courtesy of CatchMyParty.com.
AnimalCrackers

Personalized animal crackers

Animal crackers. These perfectly portable packs of cookies are too cute not to include in a circus-themed spread. What could make them better? Personalizing them with the name of the birthday boy or girl.
Photo courtesy of CatchMyParty.com.
cottoncandy

Colorful cotton candy

What circus would be complete without cotton candy? Cute striped boxes are filled with colorful spun sugar. Finish each one off with an “admit one” ticket for the full affect.
Photo courtesy of OntoBaby.com.
elephants

Pretty pachyderms

The big top wouldn’t be the same without elephants. Bring these majestic animals — only smaller — to life at your party. Chocolate molds, melting chocolate and lollipop sticks are all you need.
Photo courtesy of Rosebud Chocolates on Etsy.com.
elephantpolkadotcookies

Polka dot cookies

While we’re on the elephant tip, let’s get a little crazy with the polka dot kind. These bite-sized cookies are so pretty, they serve as great decorations as well.
Photo courtesy of  Sugar Me Desserterie on Etsy.com.

SocialCircus LeaderboardThis is a sponsored post in conjunction with the online #SocialCircus Event

Moms, what treats would you serve up at a circus party?
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Bagels, eggs, champagne, bacon. We’ve all seen these staples at Easter morning brunch. But where’s the punch? Where’s the fun? These recipes are sure to amp up appetites and kick Easter brunch up a notch — from fun to fantastic.
bananacrossiantpudding

Banana Almond Croissant Bread Pudding

I love all these words. Love them. How could you go wrong? The only way it could be better, maybe, is with chocolate. But why mess with perfection. This recipe is easy to follow, but it will look like you spent hours in the kitchen.

Photo courtesy of ItstoDieFor.com
eggsinabasket

Updated Eggs in a Basket

Eggs in a hole are so old school, but this recipe takes them to a new place. Whether you wrap your eggs in philo dough or in a popover, these savory treats will go fast.

Photo courtesy of TipJunkie.com.

BeesKnees

It’s the Bees Knees

Tired of mimosas? Looking for something a little…stronger? Yep, us too. This cocktail is full of springtime flavor with fresh juices, honey and gold rum. Who’s ready for another round?

Photo and recipe courtesy of BevMo.com.
Bunny Bottom Pancakes Recipe

And Something for the Kids

These bunny bottom pancakes will make kids squeal with delight. The added dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries may have them asking for seconds.

Photo courtesy of 17apart.com

frenchtoastbites

French Toast Shots

French toast can be messy, especially when you are serving things up family style. These cute French toast sticks are nestled in their own shot glass of syrup. They’re dunkable and totally delicious.

Photo courtesy of RareDIY.com

baconpancakes

Bacon Pancakes

Everything is better with bacon. That includes these pancakes. You can make these ahead of schedule and warm in the oven right before serving time. Once you have one, you’ll want another so make plenty.

Photo courtesy of TheBerry.com

 

Moms, what are you serving for Sunday brunch?
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Another holiday, another craft. Amiright, moms? But these easy Easter crafts are going to make you rethink your love hate relationship with the glue gun. These six ideas are fast, and fun. Plus your kids are going to have blast. Check them out!

potatostamps

Potato Stamps

Chances are you already have everything you need for this easy craft. Parents, you wash and cut the potatoes. Kids, you dip the potatoes into the paint and go crazy on some construction paper. The design ideas are endless. Grandma’s gonna love this one hanging on her refrigerator.

Photo and craft courtesy of SassyDealz.com

partycarrots

Carrot Place Settings

Look, you’re gonna need help dressing up the table for Easter. Might as well put the kids to work. Grab some orange napkins, green pipe cleaners, and green plastic silverware. Wrap it all together to look like a carrot. Easy, peasy.

Photo and craft courtesy of Spoonful.com.

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 8.59.52 PM

Minion Easter Eggs

Can we just say that 2013 was officially the year of the minion? These Despicable Me 2 Easter Eggs are a cinch to make and are a great way to keep small hands busy.

Photo and craft courtesy of AThriftyMom.com.

peeps

A Little Something for Your Peeps

Wondering what to do with all those peeps laying around your house? Give them away! This craft makes for colorful giveaways either for your child’s classmates or your guests.

Photo and craft courtesy of DetailOrientedDiva.com.

easterhandprintcrafts

Bunny Prints

Small hands make for cute art. Try your luck at these smile-worthy bunny prints. White and pink paint is really all you need. You can do it on construction paper, or if you really want to get fancy you can make it into an ornament with felt.

Photo and craft courtesy of FunHandprintArt.com.

bunnytoiletpapercraft

Rabbit Rolls

Upcycle those toilet paper rolls and use them to make this cute bunny craft. Construction paper, google eyes, and a sense of humor required.
Photo and craft courtesy of Easy-Crafts-for-Kids.com

Moms, what are your favorite springtime crafts?
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butterscotchbars
chocolatebiscotti
tripleberrygranolacrisps
lemontart
blackforestbananasplit
caramelpopcorn
peanutbuttercaramelapples
trailmixcookies
triplechocolatecheesecake
chocolatecherryminicakes

Yes, it’s already March — a mere three months since we’ve made those New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get fit. But, are we really sticking to those promises? Keeping things strict and sweet free is a surefire way to stray from diets. And there’s no better time than during National Nutrition Month (yeah, it’s all month long). Here are 10 low-calorie desserts that pack on the sweetness but not the pounds… all of them fall at 200 calories or under!

Butterscotch bars
These buttery bars come in well under the 200-calorie mark and are 100 percent delectable. Try one with a cup of tea for a great late night snack.

Deep dark chocolate biscotti
Whether you’re dipping these in your morning coffee or snacking on one with a glass of cold nonfat milk, this crispy crunchy treat will leave you feeling satisfied.

Triple berry granola crisp
Granola isn’t just for breakfast. Try it in this recipe for a crispy treat featuring a berry trifecta of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries as a sweet treat.

Blueberry lemon tart
Tart lemon and sweet blueberries come together in this creamy dessert. They’re so beautiful, you might even want to make some for your friends — that is, if you can make them last that long.

Black forest banana split sundaes
Feel like a kid all over again, by making yourself this nostalgic treat. The deep dark chocolate is the perfect pairing for the natural sweetness of ripe bananas.

Caramel popcorn
Crunch away on a handful of this caramel popcorn because it’s only 200 calories per serving. You can keep your Cracker Jacks, we’ll take this stuff any day.

Peanut butter caramel apples
Rich peanut butter, sweet caramel and tangy granny smith apples. Need we say more? This is a treat the whole family will love, and one that you can feel good about serving.

Trail mix cookies
Chances are you might have all the ingredients for these stick-to-your-ribs cookies right in your cabinet. These cookies are big on flavor but small on calories.

Triple chocolate cheesecake bars
Cheesecake for less than 200 calories? It can be done! With a dose of three different kinds of chocolate, these cheesecake bars will satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth.

Chocolate cherry mini lava cakes
These mini cakes are the perfect portion size. And the molten chocolate center is just the right amount of gooey goodness.

We’re confident that you’ll love these low calorie desserts as much as we do! Which one is your favorite?
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swaddletechMost of us know SwaddleDesigns‘ iconic label that shows three baby images in various stages of swaddling, so parents always have a quick reference of how to wrap their babies in cuddly closeness. But now they’ve come up with something even better.
swaddleclub-logo

A smart swaddle?

Meet the world’s first tech-savvy smart swaddling blanket. In a world where we are literally glued to our smartphones — this only makes sense. Right next to their patented 1-2-3 swaddle instruction tag, you’ll find a separate tag with a QR code that can be scanned with your smartphone to get exclusive access to the SwaddleClub which contains sleep advice from The Happiest Baby on the Block author Dr. Harvey Carp, calming MP3s like white noise and rain on the rooftop, plus lots more.

swaddledesignsscreenshot

How It Works

That square image on the tag? It’s a QR code — a scannable barcode that downloads information direction to your phone. It’s the same technology that we use in apps to download music, nutritional information or games from other labels. If you don’t have an app for scanning QR codes, you can download one for free on iTunes or GooglePlay.

Scan the label with your phone and you’re now a part of the SwaddleClub. You can stream calming white noise, instructional videos, quick tips and parenting references, all in the palm of your hand.

Moms, what do you think of this new tech-savvy baby product?
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