Family FunTastic Weekend and My Summer Essentials

Happy almost summer! I am so happy warm weather is here. Pool fun, barbecues, even more reasons to celebrate everyday.

This weekend I celebrated family time with 5 full days of sailing, swimming, reading and relaxing with my husband, daughter and in- laws. My father-in-law is a volunteer firefighter and on Memorial Day my two-year-old enjoyed watching him drive a fire truck in their Memorial Day Parade. It was a nice way to honor the memory of true heroes.

My favorite weekend moments are being with my family. We have a small, blow up bounce house in the back yard and it provides hours of jumping fun and laughter. Its one of the items on my summer essential list below!

Here are a few things that I love during the summer that I want to share with you!

Kid friendly sunscreen that's great for adults too
Bug repellent
essential fold up bag from patagonia
Snacks- carrot chips, blueberries, watermelon, yogurt smoothies
Thank you notes
Portable, inflatable bounce house
Kid's clothing with UVA/UVB protection
Sunflowers all summer- these are great gifts and brighten up your own home.

Thank you David Monn for introducing me to the JOYFUL REVOLUTION

Last night I attended the most amazing event in NYC, The Joyful Heart Revolution Gala. Thank you to David Monn, Lifestyle Authority, for including me in the joy. I was inspired by the stories of abused women who have been helped by the Joyful Heart Foundation, founded by Mariska Hargitay. The evening honored Dick Wolf, creator of Law & Order; a show that investigates crimes of abuse, shedding light on a serious problem that affects one out of every four women. As the economy spirals down, the domestic violence cases increase. The event was hosted by Debra Messing and Chris Meloni. There was a special performance by Lupe Fiasco, Paula Fuga, and Sheryl Crow. I am grateful for my new awareness of a huge problem in our society and the people who are trying to solve it. It is exciting to discover a charity dedicated to helping all victims of abuse, especially women and children, to heal their spirit. I hope you now will join me in the Joyful Revolution-to learn more click here.

A lot of amazing folks donated their time and products for the event including event designer David Monn and his team, led by Lisa Archambault. Below are a few photos from the evening.

Three Everyday Family Activities Turned Into Celebrations!

Celebrate Living!

Activity to transform: rainy day lunch
Transformation: Indoor picnic- take an old sheet and place it in your living room, or move your dining room table out of the way, and transform your indoor space into a fun, outdoor picnic. Serve finger foods like funny monster shaped sandwiches, veggie booty, ants on a log, and carrot sticks with guacamole dip. For dessert, pile blueberries and strawberries in mini filo dough baskets.

Activity to transform: exercise with kids
Transformation: Dance Party- choose a time to stop everything and put on music that will make you and your little ones move. I have a two year old and my family playlist includes favorites such as Jack Johnson, Beyonce, Reggae Randi, and Lori Berkner.

Activity to transform: laundry
Transformation: the Great Laundry Adventure- inspire your children to help out with chores like folding clothes, by turning them into stories. This weekend Riley and I went on a Great Sock Adventure. She helped me find all the matching socks from the laundry and mate them. We had a blast. She tried on all of mom and dad's socks and laughed her head off. It took a little longer yes, but seriously I felt so great from our laughing I wanted to find other fun ways to do laundry!

Dish and Dine -new video cooking website

My friends at Stone House Productions have created the most amazing cooking website called Dish and Dine.

It is like having your grandmother's best recipes in one spot. Folks from all over the world load their favorite dishes and how to make them. Its a community too, so you can let people know why you love to Dish and Dine!

In this video I am cooking with my 20 month old. She's now two and she LOVES to help out in the kitchen. I give her lots of responsibility, like rinsing all the vegetables and setting the table. She is a huge help and it boosts her self esteem. I hope you find Dish and Dine a great spot for your family!