Father’s Day Gifts They’ll Actually Like

I don’t know about the rest of you but Father’s Day is the most challenging holiday EVER.  My husband always says, “just give me time”, but then I tell him to take an afternoon off and feel weird that we aren’t all together on Father’s Day.  Plus, that’s not a gift the kids can put one finger on and say “this is from me”…

So I rounded up some gifts that the kind of dads I know would ACTUALLY LIKE! No Bespoke dress shirts that they’ll never wear and zero collar stays; these gifts are actually good ones.


As a former vegetarian and someone who doesn’t eat red meat, my husband’s favorite food – steak – doesn’t get to make many appearances.  So, when it does, it should be special.  These Laguiole steak knives from Trudeau are the real deal.  And they don’t break the bank. A renowned brand name since 1829, Laguiole is a village in France renowned for its artisanal hand-finished cutlery and corkscrews. Trudeau’s set of six Laguiole Steak Knives are hand-finished in exotic and genuine horn/wood handles with hand-stamped detailing. The serrated stainless steel blades are thick gauge, full tang blades. Includes 5 year warranty. $99 for the set.
Trudeau also has this nifty set of grill gloves -works for any hot service in the house (but much more manly than oven mits). Nice price point at $39.99.




Steve Abt, The co-founder of famed whiskey brand, Caskers, recommends some top whiskey tips depending on what your father is into.   Top selections, below.

 Amrut Fusion Single Malt Whisky

Steve says, “Has your dad traveled around the world and then some?  I’m jealous, and he is going to love this single malt.  Amrut Fusion is a marriage of whiskies made from peated Scottish barley and unpeated Indian barley making it an incredibly complex whisky.  And you can’t go wrong a single malt that scored an incredible 97 points in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, which named it the third best whisky in the world.

Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey

Steve says, “If losing is not in your father’s vocabulary, then this is the bourbon for him.  Having won “Whiskey of the Year” five times over and scoring 97 points from Wine Enthusiast, this single barrel isn’t familiar with losing either.  Aged for nearly 10 years under the intense Kentucky sun, this bourbon has an aroma of spicy oak, cinnamon and clove that leads into notes of caramel, pecan, and roasted nuts.”

Stillfried Wien is an awesome store in Tribeca from entrepreneurs Anna and Michael Trubrig, a Viennese couple who share a lifelong passion for art and design.  These Wiener Stutzen Lobmeyr Optic beer tumblers, (for purchase on their website), are all-class.  Cuz when you’re drinking beer, you gotta keep it classy. Definitely on the higher-end at $105.


Nothing hoity-toity here…

These Freewaters Charger sandals are like flip flops on steroids.   They have special arches that feel like a running shoe and provide the highest level of grip ($56).  Also they are made of Hydro Leather so they’re totally waterproof.  If you want to dress things up a notch (or force him to), I’m a fan of the Randy- still casual but nice looking and according to the website, the “Super Pillow Insole is mind blowing soft and supportive” ($58).

Best of all, every purchase of Freewaters footwear helps provide clean drinking water to those in need (so if you accidentally order a pair of women’s sandals as well, you’re only doing good for the world).

Chase54 is a clothing brand mostly for golfers (their shirts are really nice), but they have some stuff for non-golfers as well.  With features like comfortable DRYFUZE™ poly spandex, Moisture wicking materials and most importantly, a Rating of UPF 50+, this brand is perfect for the Florida man. And they’re all named after Hollywood actors.  My pick? Naturally, The Clooney – seen here ($74). 



A Little Bit of Everything

One of the most fun man gifts I’ve seen of late is the “Man Crate” – basically a box full of fun guy stuff.  The crate alone is super fun – it comes with a crow bar and you open it just like a box of treasure…very Indiana Jones. Oh and the kids played with that part for days.   I got this Legends of Baseball crate because my hubby loves baseball and pint glasses.  So…home run! (haha).  You can pick the team you want printed on your glasses which is really cool too.  The “Exotic Meats Jerky” box is pretty cool too. A crate full of jerky? You had my husband at beef.  The “Gone Fishin'” crate is perfect for SoFla!


Great Superhero Products

Recently, I was sent a sample of a SuperMe superhero back pack & cape.  It happened to arrive a few weeks before my son’s 5th birthday and, seeing the perfection of the gift according to my son’s interests, my husband assumed it was from a relative (who plans way further in advance than we do) and put it in the “bday pile”.

There it laid “undiscovered” until his birthday when I could not figure out WHO had sent the absolutely adorable, well made, perfectly sized Superhero backpack and I put it aside.  When the rep kindly followed-up and my mommy-brain finally kicked back into gear, I realized what it was.  My son, needless to say, was ridiculously psyched to get a cool present well after his birthday!

And this one my friends, is good.  The colorful items are not specific to one superhero – the idea is that the CHILD is the superhero.  Which, for those of us whose kids go through superhero loyalties like Leo DiCaprio goes through Supermodels, is a good thing.

The bags are lightweight, insulated and best of all – all products are made of environmentally friendly materials and are 100% safe.  SuperME also donates a portion of its proceeds to support PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center which is pretty cool.

My son, meanwhile, has packed his bag full of “explorer” items like flash lights and bug nets and he for one couldn’t be happier…

Discount: Mommy Bag Featured on Katie Couric + Important Info from Harvard Doctor!

Recently I was introduced to Dr. Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, MD, MPH, a radiation oncologist and mother of four who launched a company called Best Friends for Life (or BFFL).  This website is chock full of important health information for moms and expecting moms (and yes, she was educated at Johns Hopkins and Harvard.  So, she be smart).

Dr. Thomson also decided to create a line of items dedicated to hospital patients, including the “Mommy Delivery Bag” – an adorable bag that houses everything you need for the hospital when you bring that baby into the world! She really did pick the absolute BEST products- like their axillapilla® pillow, perfect for nursing (SO smart), the bio-oil for scars, and cute little packages to organize everything (details below). The pillow is so good in fact, that it was featured on the Katie Couric show! The bag is super cute, it actually makes you excited to go to the hospital.

Now, here is the best part – Miami Dearest readers can receive a 15% discount on this bag by using the code “FRIENDOFMIAMIDEAREST” (all caps) at checkout.  It only lasts until the end of the month though, so hurry up!

I spoke to Elizabeth about the bag itself, why she chose each item, and general women’s health care issues.  Today is part one of two – all about the cute bag.  Later this week, I’m going to post part two of this interview where we get into mom health issues such as the rise of C-sections (and if this is good, bad, or otherwise), using hormones for birth control, and getting rid of that famous “mom pooch”.  Yes, discounts are fun, but so is health awareness – especially if it means a flatter stomach :) So be sure to tune in later this week for the second half of this piece!

The bag itself is made of lightweight, stain resistant pack cloth, has metal feet to keep the bag off the hospital floor, and is roomy enough room for clothing and other essential personal items. It’s also great as a general mom-bag, btw, did you see the STAIN RESISTANT part?

Q: Dr. Thompson, tell me what is in the new Mommy Delivery bag? Why did you choose to include each of these items?

A: I put the Mommy/Delivery BFFLBag together to take the guesswork out of packing for the hospital.  Moms are so busy and everyone is looking for practical ideas that simplify their lives.  So, I just packed a bag the way I would want it—both as a mother and as a physician—all the things I hoped a patient would already have.

The bag itself is a beautiful, multicolor striped duffel, which makes it perfect for post-recovery trips to the gym or the beach.  It comes loaded with essentials for labor and delivery, including:

  •          Toiletries to look and feel fresh before and after labor
  •          Earplugs for a quick cat nap
  •          Amusements to keep you occupied while waiting
  •          Note pad to jot down baby names and your to-do list
  •          Cards to get a head start on thank you notes
  •          Flip flops for that wonderful first shower
  •          Cozy socks and pashmina so you can stay warm and look great in those first new mom-shots
  •          A nursing/comfort pillow the “axillapilla” for the ideal position
  •          C-section incision supplies, maxi pads, and perfectly shaped ice packs for “down there”
  •          Mybody® skin care sampler to maintain that glow

NOTE: The bag also contains a collapsible water bottle, nursing pads, Bio-Oil for scars and stretch marks, and KIND bars (so brilliant, I forgot to bring snacks for myself, and the minute those meds wore off, I was starving beyond belief).

Skateboarding & Kids: Q&A With The Owners of the Longboard Company

Recently, my son (almost 5) has gotten really into skateboarding.  And by “really into it”, I mean it’s an actual activity he asks to do, rather than us making him do it. As I’ve seen him progress, I keep thinking what a great exercise, balance building, and just plain fun hobby it is.

When I heard about the new shop, The Longboard Company – Located in the Sheridian Shoppes in Davie, FL., I was not only excited to bring my son for a visit, but also curious what they had to say about teaching him properly.

The store itself is great, they offer rentals for customers to test drive – which is especially great for a kid. You can see if they dig it or hate it before you purchase, and it only costs $25 (which, if you like it, can be used towards the same-day purchase of a board).  The store also offers skate/surf clothing brands including Roxy, Volcom, Nixon and more – my husband loves surfer-style button downs, so this was a great element also.

The owners of the store, David Malamud and Michael Keane, were kind enough to answer all of my pertinent kids and skateboarding questions.  It really does sound like a great activity to have your kids start with (which made me feel super validated. Yay me.)

Q: What age can kids start Skateboarding?

 Skateboarding can be picked up at any age. Board technology has grown to the point that any rider can find equipment to fit their ride style or experience level. For example, Penny offers a micro board that is perfect for young riders, or skaters that don’t want to lug a large board around. On the other end of the spectrum, Longboard skateboards provide an opportunity for adults to pick up or return to their love of skateboarding. The rigid and sturdy design promotes stability and control allowing for any variation of skill level.

 Q: What kind of skateboard should a kid start with/which different boards are appropriate for what age?

There’s no easy answer to finding the right board. Every rider is different, and boards come in a variety of styles, shapes, appearances, setup, etc. When shopping for a board, it’s important to do your homework. At The Longboard Company, our staff are skaters themselves, and love to share their passion with customers. Riders can come to the shop and actually touch, feel and experience the different types of boards. This is truly the only way to find the perfect board.

 Q: How far is it safe to let your kid skateboard (like same as a bike? a scooter? on foot?)

Like any form of travel, skateboarding can quickly get you from point A to point B. Parents should view a skateboard as any other method of travel for their children, and should implement the same boundaries. All children should be supervised while learning to ride, and we always recommend a good set of pads!

 Q: Do they need to wear helmets for skateboarding?

Helmet laws vary state to state, but we highly recommend a good set of pads whenever you plan to ride. At the very least, it’ll save you a few bumps and bruises which can deter you from progressing, but it can also save your life.

 Q: Where can they go (best skate parks?) to start honing their skills?

The best place to learn how to skate is right in your own back (or front) yard. The beauty of skateboarding is that you can turn the world into a skate park. Start by getting your balance, and learning to push. After that, you can practice tricks in the grass for a soft landing on those mistakes. The Longboard Company also encourages its customers to stop by the store and pick up a few tips and tricks. Our staff truly love the sport and are happy to show anyone the ropes.

 Q: What are the best benefits (i.e. balance, muscle strength, et al) of skateboarding?

Skateboarding is fantastic for connecting the mind, body and soul. Physically, your building strength, endurance, balance and more. Your also training your mind in that skateboarding is all about physics. Each trick you learn teaches you a little bit of science. If you don’t believe us, check out any slow motion skateboard trick on YouTube. You’ll be amazed at what’s happening below your feet. Skateboarding also brings you closer to nature, allowing you to get outside, enjoy a beautiful day and find the perfect rail to grind into nirvana!

About owners David Malamud and Michael Keane:

Owners, David Malamud and Michael Keane are Entertainment Retailers that know how to add an edge to the retail experience. In 2011 they created Aqua Shop Indoor Surfing, introducing the world to the Flowrider, an Indoor Surf Experience that seemingly harnesses nature for an awesome experience for any rider. Aqua Shop has redefined the way people view shopping by creating a culture and identity within their stores. Pros from around the world visit the shop to strut their stuff, or spend some time showing amateurs the ropes.

The Longboard Company- 15651 Sheridan St. Unit 900, Davie, Florida 33331, 954-252-5410

Ivanka Trump the Mom

The other day I had the pleasure of interviewing Ivanka Trump during the ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil “The Gary Player Villa” at Trump National Doral Miami.

Those in the area are probably familiar with the Doral property – it’s been around quite some time and was in desperate need of a facelift.  Enter the Trumps.  They are rennovating the entire 800-acre compound, including the Blue Monster golf course.

On to Ivanka.  She was extremely professional (expected), but also endearing (I had heard), sweet, and even somewhat vulnerable (that I didn’t expect). Oh and gorgeous.  Like perfect skin, no body fat, gorgeous (she knows she’s lucky).  We talked a lot about motherhood, the work/life balance, being so nervous with your first (and not as much with your second) and cooking, of course.  It was really interesting to hear that she stressed – just like the rest of us – about spending time with her kids and spending time on her career.  Yes, she was born into a powerful family, but she now has an extremely demanding career and she thinks about, and plans around, how to make time for her kids.  See the interview here on People Mag.  The pic is a selfie she sent (per my request) as she left the property…

I’ll be posting more about the property and their huge golf tournament/fashion show this March.


Cheap/Eco-Friendly Kids Water Bottles

I’m always on the hunt for good water bottles. If I could have limitless funds and room for these suckers, I’d be a seriously happy gal.  Yah, my life is that exciting.

Maybe it’s because we live in Florida but I swear I spend at least 8% of my waking hours searching for, filling up, and washing water bottles.  And then my kids seem to lose or break them constantly (i.e. the Camel Back which everyone has and just does NOT work for us).   I hate spending a lot on these but I like to have tons of them around.  I’ve found two new brands recently that have been a great solution.

The first were these super cute ones from Amazon.  They aren’t great for little little kids, as they have a screw top, but they are excellent for school lunch boxes.  Great size and they’re cute. And they come in a stand up holder so they’re not all falling down. bonus.  Only $14 for all five…

The second was at Whole Foods surprisingly (something affordable at Whole Foods?? yes!). I can’t find a link online, but they were a small bottle with a foldable “sucking device” (not a straw, I hate straws).  No BPA. Came in purple, blue, and red and were only $4.  We’ve gotten a lot of use out of them.

Anything you choose is better than re-buying, using, and disposing of the endless branded water bottles!

Best Costume Site

As the mother of a 4 year old boy who is VERY into costumes (the other day when he was complaining about being dragged to various activities I asked him what he would want to do and he said “be at home wearing costumes every day”), I have become quite familiar with the various costume stores and websites.

My favorite is anytime costumes - they have a wide variety of choices and sizes (we mostly search superheroes). And with Halloween approaching, they have one-stop shopping.  Looking for Batman size 3? They don’t offer just one option, they have a few – at different prices and with different “accouterments”.  For me, this is very important as we sometimes get pieces of costumes for “chores charts” (i.e. utility belts, green lantern rings), while Halloween or Bday presents are the whole shebang.

Right now, they’re offering 30% off.  See code above!

Squeezy Mania

Is anyone other than me spending a TON of money on little fruit/veggie squeezies like thesethese or these?

They are such a great resource – you can throw them in your bag and they last forever.  Good little snack without a ton of sugar, carbs, artificial x/y/z, etc. Also well-portioned – instead of your kids “fishing” in a bag of goldfish for 20 minutes until they’re full and have no room for your gorgeous but less-than-goldfish-delicious baked Cod with vegetables dinner, they get just enough to warn off crankiness and leave room for meals.

When I first started buying these (about four years ago), they were around $1/squeezy.  Even then, it seemed expensive but I was a new mom and they filled a major need. We stopped using them for a while but my second is now 18 months and I’m in that world again. The prices have climbed quite a bit…Even in the last six months I’ve seen them go from  $1.29/pp to $1.59.

So, I’ve tried to find a way to circumvent this ludicrous pricing.

Enter “make squeezy at home project”.  First step, get a personal blender (using/cleaning the huge blender for a 3 oz smoothy is seriously time prohibitive).  I bought this one – less than $15, not perfect but works for what I need.

Second step, Obsess over “make your own squeezy” pouches on Amazon for a few days.  Add/remove items from your basket, then pull the trigger.  I Have done the work for you.  Here are the few I debated on and why I made my final selection.

First is the Squooshi pouch.  Clearly the cutest, but also the most expensive and the comments referenced the interior pouch curves getting dirty which makes sense.

Second is the EZ squeezes.  These almost won (good price), but they’re small and lately my little one likes larger “concoctions” (I also thought the little top would get lost).  Similar concerns went with the Yummi pouches and some reviews said they leak on top (and they WOULD in my bag).
So, final decision – I went with the Little Green Pouch.  Good price, seemed to fill all of my needs, and Daily Candy gave it an award so it must be good :)
On to the making.  I already had some organic frozen berries, so I used those.  Added some Almond Milk and Sunflower Seed butter for liquidity/protein.  I can’t give measurements, because I just kept adding as I went and saw the consistency…I suggest you do the same.  I skipped the ice since my berries were frozen already, and I wanted to be gentle on the cheap blender.

Filled up two little pouches with my concoction, put one in the freezer and one in the fridge (and gave my little one some of the smoothy which he loved)! BOTH were a success!   I took the freezer one with us to music class so he could have it afterwards and it was perfectly “slushy” a few hours later.

For my second batch, I am going to use some yogurt to thicken it up – it got a bit watery in the fridge and am considering putting in Quinoa (though I would use those fast…grains and bacteria are friends after a few days).

I know I’ll still buy the crazy expensive ones to throw in my purse, but I’m hoping I don’t need to buy anywhere near as many.  If they want a snack at home or we need snacks for the car, I’m going homemade all the way!


Ipad Mini

Today, Apple will be announcing a new Ipad concept – smaller size, less expensive.


While this article mentions all the reasons Apple is creating this – compete with Kindle price-wise and allow people to feel less protective about their big Ipad and venture out of the house with it, they either are missing or aren’t mentioning a major component to a product like this – KIDS!

In fact, the other day – after my son dropped my Ipad and the screen cracked (ugh FINE I dropped it with my clumsy hands, he handles it like a gentle egg) – I asked my husband why Apple hasn’t created a cheap “Ipad like” device for kids.  I say Apple, not someone else, because good or bad people simply feel better/happier/more excited about buying an Apple product.  And their sh** is freaking cool.

As much as parents may or may not want to admit it, if they have an Ipad, their kids use it.  My 3 1/2 year old uses the Ipad for some “good” stuff (Montessori counting/spelling apps, Dora coloring app, and reading a variety of books) and some “bad stuff” (watching shows, somehow logging on to YouTube and finding clips from real Batman movies – including R-rated lego parodies he thinks are Superhero videos…thanks dad).  But for the most part, the Ipad has been an excellent device for us to give him during “Rest time” or when he is sick.  We somehow feel its better than TV, especially when we find him doing reading exercises.  Then again, it opens up a large world of possibly inappropriate findings.

Kids using Ipads is a somewhat controversial topic.  What do you think is appropriate Ipad usage/age for a kid? Should they use it in public? We actually don’t allow that.  Especially not at restaurants – it makes me sad to see families sit down and the kids whip out some kind of game/device to ensure the discussion level is zero.  Then again, I don’t have a 12 yr old.  Maybe that’s the only way you get them to even go to dinner with you…