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).

Superhero Crafts

Spring break has sprung and since we aren’t going to Disney until tomorrow (will do a nice wrap-up on that, don’t you worry), the kids and I were stuck at home in some icky weather.  So, it’s craft time!!

I’ve mentioned previously that I’m BAD at crafts.  I don’t mean this in a self-depricating manner.  I am seriously horrible at crafting.  And yet, my kids love to do it.  So, knowing I had to find something easy for a 4 and 2 year old that would also keep their interest, I googled Superhero crafts and found a few easy options that actually worked.

Thanks to other bloggers who are much more crafty than I, I found some really great options. Granted I ended up doing a lot of the work (um, sewing?), but the kids were happy painting and making a mess and playing with the final product.  So, it’s a win in the end.

Avenger bookmarks from Crafts by Amanda – GREAT, easy, inexpensive supply list.  The kids kind of painted their own thing and we didn’t use these as bookmarks, but they loved fighting with them when a few were done!

Our imperfect lollipop superheroes

Next, we worked on Suphero capes on Lollipops from Little Bit Funky.  I (as usual) did some short cuts and didn’t use the print-out/cut outs.  We just did capes, punched a hole, and stuck them on lolls.  My older guy wanted to create his own superhero, which was great.  And the kids of course needed a lolly treat in the mix.


Last were our superhero masks, courtesy of Cutesy Crafts.  I definitely did some serious shortcutting here – only one layer, and quickly sewed the elastic to the edges.  Doesn’t look perfect but the kids wanted them fast and wore them the rest of the day, so I don’t think they minded.

Our finished products….

Young at Art Festival: Kids Can Sell Their Works!

We are big fans of Young at Art Museum.  Yes, it’s a drive – about 35/40 minutes for us – but in high-seaon/boat show/frequent car accident traffic, sometimes it takes me that long to get to South Beach. Also, IKEA is right near by, should you want to make a day of it.
YAA is wonderful on a “regular” day – interactive play areas,  hands-on art/science experiences and traveling galleries of fun.  But, they have a special day coming up, that is truly spectacular – The YAA Festival of the Arts.   Taking place April 12th from 10a-5p, the Festival features art created by kids FOR SALE! Accompanied by food, music, and fun.
If you have a budding artist, you can purchase a booth to show off his or her works.  And if not (mine are still a bit young), it’s such a great way to see art by kids, let your kids be inspired, and even buy a piece- often a really good one- at a good price. And you’re supporting a budding artist! Click pic above or highlighted link for more info.

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

Beer Dinner Event This Weekend – Wynwood Brewing Company

In case you have a sitter lined up and are looking for something fun to do this weekend, check out this Beer & dinner event Wynwood Brewing Company is hosting (aka Husband Heaven).

If you haven’t been, WBC is Miami’s “first craft production brewery in the heart of Wynwood Art District, featuring a tap room. We are family owned and operated with the simple objective of bringing fresh, delicious, and creative beers to thirsty South Floridians and tourists alike. We operate a 15-barrel brewhouse and distribute our blond aleIPAPorter, barrel aged Strong Ales and seasonal offerings.”

This Saturday, they are hosting a beer&dinner event.  A variety of food plates will be matched with specific beers.  Looks pretty amazing, see menu and info below.  Maybe take a cab…


Yummy Soup for Sickies

My two kids, myself and my husband all got colds last week (typical).  Seems to happen to us often.  One kid gets it, sick for two days, next kid gets it, adults get it, etc. And, of course, as soon as we’re all better, the first one who caught it starts the cycle all over again.  Good times.

So, I wanted to cook something for everyone that would be easy on sore throats, delicious and contain some immunity building/cold fighting qualities.  For some reason, chicken soup in Florida doesn’t feel quite right to me.  I also like to make vegetarian items when possible.

I did some research to select ingredients (see Health Magazine article here and Best Health article about spices) and found that:

  • Garlic contains allicin, a sulfuric compound that produces potent antioxidants when it decomposes.  Leeks have similar benefits.
  • Carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene. When we eat these foods, our bodies convert this organic compound into vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining a strong immune system. Vitamin A is especially important for colds, as it keeps the mucous membranes that line our nose and throat—one of the body’s first lines of defense—healthy and functioning properly.
  • Ginger is great for aches, pains, and nausea, just in case the cold was thinking of turning into a flu.  It also is an overall immunity booster.
  • Celery is an important food source of conventional antioxidant nutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese.
  • Cinnamon is a warming expectorant, used to gently reduce congestion and phlegm in the lungs, and dry up runny noses.
  • Tumeric – recent years have seen an explosion of research into curcumin, an antioxidant found in turmeric. Studies have shown it has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anticancer activities.

So, taking that into account, I decided to make start with a Carrot-Ginger soup recipe I found on “Mountain Mama Cooks”. I used the freshest and most local ingredients I could find (the ginger and herbs were local).  It was easy, DELISH, and the kids & hubby wolfed it down! In fact, I had to do a second batch.  I modified a bit- I love using coconut milk, see my version below.

Bye Bye Cold Carrot Ginger Soup
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 lbs carrots, grated
  • 3 leeks, chopped & washed thoroughly
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled & diced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh peeled & grated ginger (If you didn’t know – I had to google – you peel fresh ginger simply by taking a spoon and “Scraping” off the skin. )
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 oz heavy cream
  • 2 oz canned Coconut Milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Tumeric

photo courtesy Mountain Mama Cooks


  1. Melt butter in a large stock pot. Add carrots, leeks, celery, sweet potato and ginger. Cook on medium-low for roughly 15 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  2. Add vegetable stock, Tumeric, and Cinnamon and turn heat to medium high. When soup starts to simmer, turn heat down to low and let soup simmer for 30 minutes (I like to cover because I want to keep all the vitamins in, but you don’t have to). Turn heat off and let it cool down a bit.
  3. When soup is cooled, use an emersion blender (LIFE CHANGING! And only $30) or a large blender  in batches to smooth soup.
  4. When ready to serve, add cream and coconut milk and season with salt and pepper.  Keep on low to keep it warm if you’d desire.


Chris Bosh’s Late Dinner at LURE with Daughter and LeBron’s Tweet

This weekend, Chris Bosh was spotted delving into Sushi at Lure Fishbar- the delicious new restaurant at the Loews Miami Beach.  Bosh dined with his wife and his 5-year old daughter.  The interesting note is that they walked in at 11 p.m.  Slightly late for a 5 year old…

On the one hand, the HEAT had just finished a game that night (which they won), and between Bosh’s busy practice and travel schedule, he probably has to sneak in whatever time he can to see his daughter.  There is something really sweet about the fact that he brought her along for the celebratory dinner.  I’m quite sure the Bosh family has nannies and baby sitters at the ready, had he wanted a night alone with his wife, but he chose family time instead.

On the other hand, fellow diners were certainly looking twice at a five year old walking into a sushi bar to sit down for dinner at 11 p.m.  And this brings up an issue much discussed between fellow parents – bedtimes.  According to Parents Magazine, it seems that what is most important is keeping things consistent.  Assuming the children don’t have to wake up for school in the morning, most experts feel it’s ok to have a later bedtime – as long as they count on it and make up for it the next morning.  Who knows if that’s the case with baby Bosh, but it certainly is food for thought…literally….sort of.

And speaking of Bosh’s daughter, check out this funny story that any parent could relate to involving the adorable 5-year old, LeBron James, and a misplaced crotch grab.

Oh Sh** My Kid is Swearing…

As anyone living or visiting Miami in the past month has noticed, traffic has been ridiculously, horribly, unbearably bad.  Between the boat show (which apparently takes 8 weeks to set up and break down), high season, Wine &Food Fest, and construction, you better plan on doubling your driving time wherever you go.

Thus, my mood in the car has been less than Snow-Whitey.  And my mouth in the car…let’s just say Carol Brady would not be proud.  I do try to reel it in, of course, when the kids are around but when you get two different bridges up between work and school pick-up, adding 25 minutes to your drive that you don’t have, and therefore have to pay $10 for after-care, it’s hard to be civil.

Which might explain why, the other day at home, we heard my two year-old say “Fu**ing Truck!”  Frozen, my husband and I stared at each other unsure of what to do.  Said toddler of course picked up on something going on, so my husband jumped in and yelled “Funny truck!” and we moved on to something else.

I felt guilty, to say the least.  In my defense, I come from a long line of swear words learned in the car.  My mother – a brilliant and refined English professor, couldn’t control herself during her notorious road rage.  Kids swearing has been in the news quite a bit lately, partly because of this video, which is basically worst case scenario (warning: If you haven’t seen this, you will probably laugh for a moment, then be offended and horrified.  The good news is that child services took this kid away, so he might have a fighting chance).

So, what to do about this (other than watch my OWN mouth, which is obviously the source of the problem)? Well, I did some research and it seems the first and best line of defense is to of course, ignore it.  Especially if they are young and using the words as a “plug in” (i.e. not because they are frustrated or mad).  Mostly, they are just copying something they heard (oops) and trying for a reaction.  So, when given that reaction they will naturally, keep it up.  This article addresses that approach and actually discusses ignoring as a parenting tool in general.  I found it really interesting and know this is something I could work on personally.

If you have an older child who is using swearing on purpose, i.e. figured out it’s naughty and is purposefully trying for attention or using it in anger, this article addresses that.  Some good tips and transitions.

So, lessons learned: Watch your mouth in the car even during traffic, and make sure you don’t have Howard Stern on the radio by accident when you start your day with kids in the car (what? who, me?).

Wine & Food Fest: Best Event for Kids & Your Wallet!

It’s that time of year again…the Sobe Wine & Food Festival is here! Of all the big events in Miami, this is one of my favorites.  I mean, how can you criticize an event that promotes eating and drinking? And has the best chefs in the world showing you exactly how to eat and drink best?!?

While drinking may not be the most child-friendly activity (unless it’s Friday and you’re at the beach with your mom friends, letting your kids wrestle each other while you pound Chardonnay), there is one SOBEWFF Event that is an awesome family day.

And it’s at Jungle Island…can’t beat that.   AND IT’S NOT EXPENSIVE!!!  What you say? A family-friendly, not expensive, celebrity-chef Wine and Food Event? Yes, yes, yes! Fun and Fit as a Family sponsored by Carnival featuring Goya Kidz Kitchen hosted by Robert Irvine is it! Tickets still available and only $20!  In fact, I posted a review of last year’s event here, and it sounds like this year has even more kiddy-fun stuff planned.  Very exciting.

TIP: If you bring the kids to Robert Irvine’s talk – get there early, it fills up fast!

Kite Fair…Sorry for the Late Notice

I keep seeing the signs and meaning to post about this once I called about timing…and then it took me a while to call about time.  So, a bit of a late notice, but better late than never, yes?

This Sunday (the 16th) Haulover Park – (the one just past Bal Harbour, on the left if you are going north) is having a kite festival.  They do this yearly (or maybe twice a year?) and it’s a lot of fun.  Kites, bounce houses, food…kid heaven.  And when the weather is right, it’s AMAZING.

This takes place on the marina side and goes from 11am to 6 pm.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a kite – you can buy them there! It’s really a fun day.