HALO SleepSack!..

Hi there!  Happy Wednesday to you!  I have a great item to tell you about for those of you with babies or if you are expecting a little one.  I was given the opportunity by HALO to review one of their products.

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I browsed their website and I decided on the SleepSack because it allows the babies arms to be free.

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In the first few days of Brielle’s life while she was at the hospital, she didn’t mind her arms being swaddled but once she got home, she hated it.  When swaddling her, we always have to make sure that her arms are free.  She does not like being constricted when she is sleeping.  We use blankets to swaddle her but somehow she manages to break her legs free and she ends up laying with the blanket open around her which is not how a baby should be sleeping.

So I was really interested in trying out the SleepSack and seeing how she would do in it through the night and if she would cry once I zipped her up.

Brielle in her SleepSack

Brielle in her SleepSack

Much to my surprise, she didn’t mind wearing the SleepSack and she managed to sleep through the night without crying or having issues with the wearable blanket.  I always get so nervous when she breaks free from the blanket and with the SleepSack, I don’t have to worry about it because she is zipped up but yet has plenty of room to kick her legs and move around.  I can rest assured that she cannot break out of the SleepSack.

I was really glad that there was plenty of room around her legs and feet because she likes to kick and move her legs.  There is enough room for her to move freely.  She seemed very happy when she woke up from sleeping in her SleepSack which makes mommy and daddy very happy too.

The SleepSack comes in many different colors and styles so you have plenty to choose from for your little one.  You can order directly from HALO’s website or you can purchase them at a retailer location such as Babies ‘R Us.

Below is a diagram of how the SleepSack works.

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Brielle happy in her SleepSack

Brielle happy in her SleepSack

If you notice on the front of the SleepSack, it says “Back is Best.”  It’s just a friendly reminder that a baby should always sleep on their back.  HALO promotes safe sleeping with their Safe Sleeping Initiative.  I think it is vital that new parents are aware about the safest way for their babies to sleep.  Also, grandparents or any other caregiver of your child should be aware that babies need to sleep on their back.  Years ago, it was different and babies could sleep on their stomachs but now back is best and I really appreciate HALO educating caregivers about their initiative.

HALO Innovations is dedicated to putting the health, safety and well-being of babies first. In fact, over 1,200 hospitals use our HALO® SleepSack® wearable blankets through the HALO Safer Way to Sleep Initiative.  This summer we launched our new bassinet, the HALO™ Bassinest™ Swivel Sleeper, furthering our commitment to helping babies sleep safely.
If you are interested in learning more about HALO, make sure to visit their Social Media channels to connect with them:

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Google+

YouTube

If you are looking for a great gift for new parents, I think a HALO SleepSack would be the perfect gift.  Ensuring that a baby is sleeping in the safest way is a gift in itself.  I highly recommend trying the SleepSack especially if your little one does not like being swaddled.  They will sleep soundly in their SleepSack.  Thank you, HALO for allowing me to review this product and discover a new item that my Brielle loves!

Have you ever tried a SleepSack?  What do you think of it?

A Birthday Celebration at the Melting Pot Philadelphia!!…

Hey there!  I hope you are having a lovely week!  I have a great post to share with you today!  As I mentioned last week was Mike’s 30th Birthday.  We were so graciously invited to dine at the Melting Pot in Philadelphia to celebrate his birthday.  We were both very excited because it’s been many years since we were able to dine there and I know that the menu has changed since the last time we were there.

When we arrived, we were seated at an intimate booth that was decorated with birthday balloons and a card for Mike!  I thought that was such a sweet touch and it made our evening of celebrating even more special.

30th Birthday boy!

30th Birthday boy!

We had such a great waitress to help us navigate through the menu and enhance our evening.  She explained the menu and the entire fondue process to us.  The best thing about the Melting Pot is that you are able to customize your entire experience.  You are able to have a 4-course experience which includes: cheese fondue for 2, individual salads, either a shared entree or individual entree or 3-indiviual dishes of your choosing, and chocolate fondue.  If you aren’t interested in the 4-courses then you can of course pick and choose what you would like to eat to complete your experience.  I really like that they have individual entrees now and they have an option to choose 3 individual entrees as a combination.

I also really like that they have Fondue Features which are seasonal inspired dishes to enhance your experience.  We decided to try the cheese fondue on their Fondue Features because we thought it sounded phenomenal!  We ordered the Lobster Cheese Fondue (A delicious blend of rich lobster and crab bisque, cold water lobster meat, award-winning Butterkäse and fontina cheeses, fresh lemon juice and scallions.)

Lobster Cheese Fondue

Lobster Cheese Fondue

Our waitress prepared the fondue right in front of us by adding all of the ingredients and letting them heat up and the cheese melt.  She also brought out dippers that we could use to dip into the cheese fondue.

Granny Smith Apples and Grapes

Granny Smith Apples and Grapes

A few different types of breads

A few different types of breads

Vegetables

Vegetables

I thought it was a good assortment of foods to dip into the cheese.  They all paired well with the selection of the cheese fondue.  There was a ton of lobster in the cheese and you could really taste the bisque that was added to it.  We finished the entire pot of cheese in a matter of minutes.  We loved it that much.  It would be great if they added it permanently to the menu.

Our waitress brought out a seasoning to the table which is created by the Melting Pot and is available for purchase.  She mentioned that it tastes great on salads and on entrees.  We both used it on our salads and entrees and really liked it.  It had a subtle yet, nice garlic flavoring to it.

Garlic and Wine seasoning

Garlic and Wine seasoning

Our next course was individual salads.  Mike decided to enjoy the salad on the special Fondue Features menu: Fall Salad with Angry Orchard Vinaigrette (This salad truly brings out the flavors of fall with mixed greens, dried cranberries, Gorgonzola cheese crumbles and candied pecans, topped with house-made Angry Orchard Apple Cider Vinaigrette.)

Fall Salad

Fall Salad

Mike really enjoyed his salad and said the dressing truly did taste like Angry Orchard.  The cheese, pecan and cranberries enhanced the flavoring of the vinaigrette which he really liked.  I like that they used Angry Orchard to make the dressing.  I think that is a unique touch.

I decided to order the Melting Pot House Salad (Crisp romaine and iceberg lettuce, cheddar cheese, fresh tomatoes, crispy croutons and sliced egg with your choice of Peppercorn Ranch Dressing or sweet and tangy House Dressing).

Melting Pot House Salad

Melting Pot House Salad

I love when salads have hard-boiled eggs in them and the croutons were freshly made.  I went with the house dressing which I really enjoyed.  I thought it was a delicious salad filled with very fresh ingredients.

You have the opportunity to select a cooking style for your food.  The cooking style that is included for free is the Seasoned Court Bouillon which is a fresh seasoned vegetable broth.  Our waitress suggested that we try the Coq Au Vin cooking style which is Burgundy wine infused with fresh herbs, spices and mushrooms.  She said that it really enhances the food and when you let the vegetables marinate in the cooking style, it has so much flavor.  So we decided on the Coq Au Vin.

She brought out the ingredients for the cooking style and let them heat up and cook before bringing out our entrees.

Mike and I both decided on the same entree.  We ordered: Surf and Turf (A succulent cold water lobster tail paired with premium filet mignon and wild mushroom sacchetti.).

When our waitress brought out our entrees, she also brought out vegetables (mushrooms, broccoli, and potatoes).  Our waitress explained how long to cook everything for and it’s really up to you on if you want to put everything in at once or take your time with everything.  We cooked the wild mushroom sacchetti first because that cooked the quickest.  It was a pocket of pasta filled with mushrooms and ricotta cheese.  I was in love with it because I am a huge fan of ricotta cheese.  The mushrooms enhanced the ricotta flavor.  I really liked it.

After that cooked, we added the vegetables and the lobster and filet.

Our entree and vegetables cooking

Our entree and vegetables cooking

My meal

My meal

The Coq Au Vin cooking style paired very well with the filet and the lobster.  The filet was so tender, you didn’t even need a knife to cut it.  The lobster came with a flavored butter sauce which I probably could have drank because it was so good.  We were both really impressed with how well the food turned out.  I don’t eat steak a lot so I was nervous about how it was going to taste but it was just so tender and the wine infused the flavor of the steak.  We both really enjoyed our entrees.

Even though we were getting extremely stuffed, you just cannot leave the Melting Pot without enjoying their famous chocolate fondue.  We browsed the menu and agreed on a chocolate fondue that we wanted to try.  We went with the Flaming Turtle (We consider it fondue candy. It’s an irresistible combination of milk chocolate, caramel and candied pecans flambéed tableside.).

Flaming Turtle

Flaming Turtle

This was one the best chocolate fondue I think I have ever tasted.  I really liked the caramel mixed with the chocolate.  Our waitress brought out an assortment of goodies to enjoy dipping in our fondue.

Surprise for the birthday boy!

Surprise for the birthday boy!

Dessert Dippers

Dessert Dippers

My favorite things off of that plate were the Oreo cookie and graham cracker coated marshmallows!  I probably could have eaten an entire plate of just those marshmallows they were so good!  I want to try making them myself.  I also loved the strawberries with the chocolate.  Strawberries and chocolate are the perfect combination.

While we were enjoying our fondue, our waitress brought over two glasses of champagne to toast to Mike’s 30th birthday!

Champagne Toast!

Champagne Toast!

Us :)

Us :)

We had the most incredible experience I think I’ve ever had at a restaurant at the Melting Pot in Philadelphia.  They truly went above and beyond to make Mike’s birthday a memorable one.  From start to finish, our experience there was one we will never forget.  This particular Melting Pot is owned by a husband and wife team which truly go out of their way to make sure their customers have the best experience they possibly can when dining at their restaurant.  I would highly recommend choosing the Philadelphia location if you are going to dine at the Melting Pot.  They really care about the little details and their staff are incredible.  I would return without hesitation to this location!  Thank you SO much for your hospitality!  We truly appreciate everything!!

Before I go, I want to share a little bit about their Club Fondue program.  Club Fondue offers fantastic fondue features, including beer and wine dinners, food tastings, special events and advanced holiday reservation privileges. When you sign up to become a member of Club Fondue, you’ll receive a complimentary box of six of our Signature Chocolate-Covered Strawberries with the purchase of $60 or more.  Definitely sign up if you want to be in the know of all things Melting Pot!

Have you ever been to the Melting Pot?  What is your favorite thing about the restaurant?

Brielle’s 3 Month Favorites!!..

Hey there!  My posts have been so scattered lately and I’m trying to get back on track.  Hopefully this week will be that week.  I’m really excited to share Brielle’s 3 Month Favorites today especially since next week she will be 4 months already.  I know,  I am so behind but it’s better late than never.  So let’s get started on my sweet little girl’s 3rd month of life.

brielle 3 months

Me and Brielle

Me and Brielle

In the above picture, you can slightly see what Brielle’s room looks like.  I never did post a tour of her room.  I am getting to that as well.  We aren’t able to paint the walls since we rent.  So we pictures, quotes and decals hanging up in her room.  You can see that there is a quote behind her crib.  I absolutely love it.  It’s one my favorite Winnie the Pooh quotes.  I will share when I talk about her room.

So Brielle’s 3rd Month, I think has been my favorite to watch her grow.  Her personality is starting to shine through.  She is a very happy baby.  She smiles all the time and talks non-stop.   The best part of my day is first thing in the morning when I stand over her crib and say, “Good Morning, Brielle” and she greets me with the biggest smile and giggle in the world!  It warms my heart.  She has the cutest giggle I’ve ever heard as well.  She is growing and thriving how she should and I just love her so much!  Here are some of her favorite things this month:

WubbaNub Pacifier

Brielle and "Clifford"

Brielle and “Clifford”

The kind folks at WubbaNub sent Brielle a red dog WubbaNub, that we now call, Clifford to try!  She absolutely loves this dog.  Not only does she like to use it as a pacifier (binky) but she likes that she can hold onto the dog and play with him.

brielle hands

WubbaNub pacifiers are made of medical grade silicone and BPA free.  The animal is a very soft plush toy that are small enough for baby’s hands to grip and hold onto.  They come in a ton of different animals.  The animal makes it easy to find the binky in your diaper bag or wherever you might store them.  I definitely recommend them if your child likes a binky.  Brielle just loves hers!

Sophie the Giraffe

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Sophie the Giraffe is one of the first baby items that I purchased.  I had heard about Sophie and knew that I wanted Brielle to have one to play with.  I’m so glad that I bought her.  Brielle absolutely loves playing with her.  She squeaks when you squeeze her and she is rubbery so it’s great for baby’s to teethe on.  She is made of 100% natural rubber and food-based paint so it’s completely safe to chew.  Brielle likes holding her and gets very excited when you squeak the toy for her.  According to the website, it states that Sophie stimulates all 5 senses.  So it’s a great first toy for a baby.  It’s a little on the pricy side but I think it’s worth every penny because Brielle likes her so much.

Bright Starts- Pretty in Pink Rattle & Shake Barbell

Bright Starts - Pretty In Pink Rattle & Shake Barbell

If you see in the picture above of Brielle, she is holding this rattle in her hand.  She loves this!  This was the first toy that I placed in Brielle’s hands and the second I did, she started shaking it.  She loves this thing and I like that it has bright colors on it.  It’s lightweight and it’s easy to throw in a diaper bag to take with you.  Plus, it’s very cheap! We received it as part of a gift before Brielle was born but I found it on Walmart’s website for $2.88!  That is a great deal for a fun toy for a baby.

Mommy’s First Bear

brielle and mommys bear

This picture warms my heart so much!  The bear that Brielle is holding onto was the very first bear that my parents bought me.  My mom said that when her and my dad were leaving the hospital after I was born, they passed the gift shop and she saw that bear and decided to buy it for me.  That bear has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl.  I always dreamed that one day I would share my love for that bear with my child.  I decided on a whim to hand the bear to Brielle and she loved it.  She fell asleep holding the bear and I felt a tear stream down my face.  I never thought I would get the chance to become a mom and there I was with my daughter on my lap holding my very first teddy bear which is almost 31 years old.  Moments like that continue to feel surreal for me.  It warms my heart that she loves it as much as I do.

Sassy Activity Chick Attachable Toy

Sassy Activity Chick Attachable Toy

This is another toy that we received as a gift before Brielle was born.  I wasn’t so sure about this one but she loves it!  I keep it by her changing table and it’s fun to play with after her diaper changes.  Brielle’s favorite part about this toy is the legs.  They make a crinkle noise that she gets excited to hear.  It also chirps when you shake it.  You can easily attach this toy to a car seat or stroller.  We love it.

So those are just a few of Brielle’s favorite items from her third month.  I enjoy so much watching her grow and learn.  I absolutely love being her Mommy.  I’m looking forward to everything to come with her as she gets older.

What are some of your favorite baby items?

Happy 30th Birthday to Mike!!

Today is a very special day!  It’s the day that my hubby and Brielle’s daddy turns 30!

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We are so excited to celebrate this very special day with him.

Brielle Sign

The thing that makes this birthday so special is that it is the first one that we get to celebrate as a true family of three.  I know that Brielle doesn’t understand or know what is going on but just seeing her smile and giggle and take in these moments with us makes it so special.

So today, we celebrate my hubby and Brielle’s daddy and wish him a VERY happy 30th birthday!  Happy Birthday, Mike!  We both love you VERY much!!

PS. I have lots of catching up to do on here.  I’m planning on doing that within the next few days!  I have to post about Brielle’s 3rd month since she is going to be 4 months in about a week already!  Time flies!

9 Years Ago Today!…

Nine years ago today, Mike asked me to be his girlfriend.  We were seniors in college and little did I know that he would be the man who I now call my husband and the father to our precious, Brielle.  I am so thankful that he came into my life when he did.  He has changed it for the better and I can truly call him my soul mate.

HopeandMike

Words cannot express how deep our bond is with each other.  We started off as friends and our relationship has built into something so deep that I cherish.  He has been there for the good and the bad.  He has been my rock and the one who is there when I fall to pick me up.  He has seen me at my worst and at my best.  I truly love him so much.

hopeandmikewed

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The moment that Mike became a father to our Brielle, I fell in love with him all over again.  There is nothing like watching a father bond with his daughter for the first time.  My heart was filled with so much love and emotion watching him take care of Brielle in the first few hours of her life.  The connection that I see between them is something so special.  I know for a fact that she is going to have him wrapped around her little fingers when she is older. I love watching her face light up when he comes home from work.

I am so thankful for my little family.  We definitely have had a rough couple of months and things are hard but I know with Mike and I working together as a team that we can accomplish anything.  So today, I reflect on the 9 years of my relationship with my now husband and thank god everyday that he was brought into my life.  Here’s to the next 9 years!

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Seasons 52 Preview Opening in Princeton, NJ!…

Hey there!  I hope your week is going well.  I’ve been meaning to post this blog post for a while now but time just escaped me.  I was given the opportunity to attend a preview opening of Seasons 52 opening in Princeton, NJ about two weeks ago.  I was really excited when I found out that Seasons 52 was opening in Princeton.  That location is closer to where we live than the other two locations that they have in the area.  I enjoy the concept of Seasons 52.  The menu changes for each season and is inspired by seasonally influenced foods.  Fall is my favorite season and I love all of the fall foods so I couldn’t wait to see what they were going to have on their menu!

At this preview opening, we were given the opportunity to order an appetizer for the table, a salad for each of us, an entrée for each of us and a dessert for each of us.  We couldn’t wait to try some great food while enjoying each others company.  Our little Brielle was with us but she slept the entire time.  The atmosphere is very dark in the restaurant which made perfect conditions for Brielle to take a nap and relax.

My handsome date

My handsome date

Yours truly!

Yours truly!

We started off with an appetizer that our waitress suggested we try: Lobster & Fresh Mozzarella Flatbread (roasted sweet peppers, slivered scallion, lobster sour cream).

Lobster & Fresh Mozzarella Flatbread

Lobster & Fresh Mozzarella Flatbread

Delicious flatbread!

Delicious flatbread!

I love flatbread because of the crispy texture and how light it is.  This flatbread was fantastic with the lobster and the mozzarella.  I love fresh scallion and that just added to the flavor of the lobster.  I would highly recommend this flatbread.  It was the perfect appetizer.

I chose the Crisp Romaine and Kale Caesar Salad (shaved Parmesan cheese, toasted garlic ciabatta croutons).

Crisp Romaine and Kale Caesar Salad

Crisp Romaine and Kale Caesar Salad

I haven’t had a caesar salad in a very long time because of the dressing when I was pregnant.  So I was really excited to order one before my meal.  I loved the ciabatta croutons.  I liked the mixture of the romaine and kale.  It made for texture in the salad.

Mike ordered the Warm Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad (fresh mozzarella, basil pesto, bruschetta).

Warm Roasted Tomato Caprese

Warm Roasted Tomato Caprese

I love the plating of this appetizer and Mike enjoyed that it was roasted tomatoes.  It brought out the flavor of the entire salad.  Normally caprese is cold and he liked that it was different and was warm.

For our meals, I ordered the Caramelized Grilled Sea Scallops (butternut squash and leek risotto, broccolini, lemon butter).

Sea Scallops

Sea Scallops

I haven’t had scallops in such a long time.  I am always hesitant to order them in a restaurant because I am very picky with how they are prepared.  I decided to order them because of the fact of not having them in a while and I liked that they came with risotto.  I made a great choice because they were perfectly grilled and had the texture that scallops should have.  The risotto was a wonderful accompaniment.  I love butternut squash and the leeks made for added flavor.  I really enjoyed my meal.

Mike decided to order the Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon (harvest mushrooms, roasted tomato, broccolini, Yukon gold mash, red wine sauce).

Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon

Mike enjoyed his steak.  It had a lot of flavor and was so tender you didn’t even need a knife to cut it.  I tried the steak as well and I thought it was seasoned right and was cooked properly.  I am not a huge steak fan which is why I didn’t order it myself but I thought it was definitely the right choice for Mike.

We couldn’t leave without trying two of Seasons 52’s mini desserts.  The best part is that they bring out an entire tray of mini desserts for you to choose from.  I went with the Pumpkin Pie because I am a pumpkin fanatic.

Pumpkin Pie mini dessert

Pumpkin Pie mini dessert

The pumpkin pie tasted just like pumpkin pie filling complete with a gingersnap cookie!  It was so good.  I probably could have had another dessert because it was that tasty!

Mike decided on the smores mini dessert.

Smores mini dessert

Smores mini dessert

Overall, I have to say that I was really impressed by Seasons 52.  I loved not only the food but the atmosphere.  They have a bar that has jazz music on the weekends.  It would be the perfect place to go for a small bite, glass of wine and to listen to some jazz music.  I think the location of this restaurant will do really well for itself.  I would highly recommend trying Seasons 52 if you have never been there before!

Have you ever been to Seasons 52?  If so, what is your favorite thing on the menu?

Pampers Giveaway Winner!!..

Hey there!  I hope your week is going well!  I wanted to check-in quickly and announce my Pampers Giveaway winner!  Thank you to all who entered!  Without further adieu, the winner is:

Nicki Joseph

I would like to win because I have a 9 week old and we use Pampers! This would help!

Congratulations Nicki!  Please email me your address and phone number so that Pampers may send out your prize!!

Thanks again to all who entered!!