Sep 30, 2015

My new favorite beauty emporium!

A LIFE filled with wonder is a WONDERFUL life
Sometimes you luck up and meet your social media friends in person and they turn out to be really cool individuals (and then of course there are times you are thankful for the 'block' button). This is the lead in to my introduction to my now friend Carmen Blakely of LipstickFashionMascara who I met at an event a few months ago. That chance meeting led to a joint day off from our jobs and a full day of hanging out doing what we called #AlloftheThings. I had so much fun that day and owe it mostly to her.

The day culminated with a visit to the Rituals Cosmetic and Beauty store or Europe's #1 beauty emporium as it says in their window. I'm not going to go on and on here but if there is one luxe beauty shop you want to add to your repertoire, this is it. From the packaging and scents, to the customer service and the gift with purchase bonuses I promise you, you won't be disappointmented.

Since this visit, I have already been back again to refill (what can I say, I'm a loyalist). It seems my 8 year old also loves the products and luxuriates in the shower with my body scrub more than I would prefer. I should make her buy the next round.

In case your are wondering the price points vary with the full size scrubs and creams around $29 and the smaller sizes from about $6-$15. Below are my favorites from the TAO line (clean fresh scent with White Lotus & Yi Yi Ren extract), and if you go now you can get the free candle that is being offered (I got one yesterday).  with a purchase of $60 or more. Trust me you will want this all over your body.



Sep 28, 2015

Washing Dishes by hand really sucks.

I.Hate.Washing dishes.Period.

Oh were you waiting for something else? No that's it. 

For a long time, my mother in law and I were the only ones doing dishes. To top it off, the folks I live with try my patience by leaving dishes in the sink especially after I've washed everything (daddy). We don't have a dishwasher (yet) so recently, I implemented a chore policy so at least the kids would wash dishes 1-2 times a week. This way everyone could avoid my complaining.

I just couldn't fathom working all day then coming home and then washing a whole bunch of dishes. Like who the hell has that time for that? Just think of how many dishes you use in a day or after a cooked meal then multiply it by six people. Of course the major offenders are the children. It looks a little something like this...

That's why I got super excited when I found out about the new Kenmore line of Elite Dishwashers.
If you have a house full like me the new dishwashers are packed with a host of new features like microfiltration, top rack wash, and automated smart dry selection. Your dish washing headaches just got a lot easier.

Even having the kids do them, while less stress for me, I often have to go back over the bowls and glasses because they don't really deep clean them. With the Kenmore Elite® Hidden Control Dishwasher with TurboZone Reach TM for example you get corner-to-corner cleaning with the 24 nail jets in the upper rack to reach deep inside the bottoms of bowls, bottles and glasses, and get every last dish cleaned right the first time. The kids would be so amped to not do dishes and I would be happy not to go in behind them to re-do them.

For you eco-friendly families you can also save water with the New! MicroClean TM innovative filtration system that helps deliver peak cleaning performance with less water and shortened cycle time.  

Some other DISHTASTIC features to die for include: 
  • The Quietest Elite, is rated at 39 dBA, and is so quiet you may not even know its on
  • SmartDryTM selects the best drying cycle automatically that matches the selected wash cycle, to deliver the right drying for every load, while New! SmartDryTM Plus dries 25% better than Smart
  • Exclusive 360 PowerWash TM Plus Spray Arm reaches deep into every corner. Industry’s only motorized driven arm that senses blockages and still moves, making sure cleaning isn’t compromised.
  • New! LED Lighting illuminates the dishwasher’s interior so consumers can easily find items
    they need. You know when you are unloading the dishwasher late at night or looking for that last clean glass.
I wish I had one of these fab new dishwashers in my house. My favorite features would be the Quietest Elite, Smart Dry, and the TurboZone Reach. They totally fit the needs of my so called life of messy ones. 

For more information about and how you can snag one of the new Kenmore Elite Dishwashers click here.
#ArtofHome #AD

Aug 14, 2015

Mud Obliteration: the Ultimate Detergent Test

This post is a continuation from The Dirty Girl Mud Run post. When we left off, my two friends Brianna and Cassandre had just finished the Mud Run.

As a favor to them and a thank you for doing the DGMR for me I offered to wash their clothes. A full bag of muddy, soiled clothing met me at my doorstep this past Tuesday and as soon as I opened it I quickly thought to myself what the hell did I agree too????

I opened up my fresh box of Kenmore High Efficiency Laundry Detergent and got to work. I learned about this new detergent, formulated to work with top and front loading machines at the Kenmore press launch a few weeks ago. It smells just like you would expect detergent to smell and comes with a scooper. You used one scoop full and that should do it.

I'm a sucker for a tricked out laundry room so I spent a bunch of time talking to the guy in this area. As you see in the picture they have a new line of washer and dryers as well with all kinds of cool settings like Steam Refresh which you can just drop your clothes in to quickly take the wrinkles out while you do something else. Its similar to a home dry cleaning system. It also removes odors all in a 20 min cycle.  Think about how much money you could save on dry cleaning! The 5.3 cu ft washing machine has amazing capacity as well, holding up to 26 towels in one load. I don't have 26 towels at one time but I do have tons of football, soccer and just stuff with six people in the house.

Nevertheless, I'm going to be honest I'm a liquid detergent girl but I tried the powder and I did have to wash it twice but that's because the clothes were literally drenched in mud as was my machine. The clothes came out sparking clean.

Tip: After super muddy washes like this I like to let my washing machine go a cycle to just cleanse itself with no clothes in it. It will prevent any remaining residue from getting into your next load.


I wanted to cry!
Box as big as your face-lasts 4evah!!

Tutu before
Tutu after

This towel was so dirty that I told Cassandre I couldn't save it. I actually wiped the floor with it after because it thought it was done. I happen to just throw it in the washing machine anyway and I can not even believe how it came out. Look at it for your yourself. Incredible and done with the Kenmore High Efficiency Detergent.

How I did the Dirty Girl Mud Run and Stayed Clean

I know that sounds crazy but it did happen--sort of. It went a little something like this.
  1. Girl who places it safe-you know the one who doesn't ride roller coasters or eat overly exotic foods gets an email from her friends at Kenmore.
  2. Email asks her if she'd like to do the Dirty Girl Mud Run and bring a friend
  3. Safe girl is pumped, asks her husband what he thinks, finds a friend and replies 'YES'.
  4. Something happens when you hit 40- you kind of want to say F-it, I can do this!
That's the short version of this got started. Fast forward and I was prepped and ready to go for the NYC Dirty Girl Mud Run on August 8th. I had read all the FAQs, decided to pick my packet up early from Sports Authority, gone on the DGMR Facebook page, charged my battery on my Activeon  DX Action camcorder and I was all set. I even picked out my outfit of throw-away clothes.

 Sidebar, this wearable camcorder is the truth. As you can see I road-tested it while I was in Turks & Caicos so I wouldn't blow it for the run. Its great for getting right to the action of whatever adventure you are on. You can buy it at Sears for $299. Click here to see features and purchase. I'm also wearing the headstrap (yes, not the most flattering) that allows you to be hands-free and just experience all the fun. I was ready!

Then the worst happened, I got a text message from my best friend, my sister telling me her father passed away. My heart was broken for her and I knew I had to be there for my family. What was I going to do?! I had made a commitment and needed a solution that would allow me to cover the Dirty Mudrun and be in North Carolina for my friend.

My friend who was going to run with me (Cassandre of and my staff writer, Brianna Arps of Mouthing Off Blog agreed to help me out and be my eyes and ears in the 'mud' for the Dirty Girl MudRun. I can't thank them enough for all their help. They had lots of fun and got really dirty.

My dirty ballerina


Two very dirty girls

 So of course we had to make a video about it, wanna see it? Here it go:


Stay tuned to my next post where I offered to wash their clothes (WTH was I thinking??). You'll see how I got all these stains out and and returned them to them fresh smelling clothes while using the new High Efficiency Powder Detergent from Kenmore. Trust me, this was no easy task!

Aug 11, 2015

Turks & Caicos: Having Fun as a Family & You can too

Turks & Caicos is a great place for a family vacation.  We went recently and had the time of our lives. It starts with where you decide to stay. Depending on the age of your kids you may want to look for a hotel that has a kid's club or childcare services so you can break away for some me time. A friend of mine had told me she and her family always stay at Beaches--that they have a great kids camp and child drop program. I just remember it being super crowded and my husband and I had decided we already just wanted to CHILL.

The other thing that is key is budget. I found our hotel on and flights on We stayed at The Somerset on Grace Bay which is yes a resort but the location is made up of a series of villas and suite-like residences.

 When I booked the 3 bedroom unit for our family of five I had no idea what I was in for. We walked in our unit and our mouths literally just dropped as we ran from room to room. I definitely recommend this hotel for your stay if you are with a group with an extended stay. If you stay for at least 5 days I recommend you going to the IGA grocery store and save a few dollars by cooking your own breakfast and or lunch. Our villa had a full kitchen, stove and dishwasher included.

The beach in T&C is spectacular and by far my most favorite beach in the entire Caribbean. Before I launch you into our trip in pictures here a few places to add to your must-see and do list:

  • The Conch Shack or Bugaloos both are on the beach and at The Conch Shack (we went here) you can watch them take the conch right out the shell or buy the shells on the spot. Our friends we met on the catamaran went to Bugaloos and said it was the best food during their entire trip. 
  • Carve out 1/2 day to book the Island Vibes Tour - this catamaran will take you out to the middle of the ocean where you can snorkel, you also make a stop at Iguana Island, have your fair share of rum punches and can enjoy the great stories from your ship captain and then slide from the top of the boat right into the ocean. My kids had a ball!
  • Island Fish Fry - happens every Thursday from 5:30-9pm at Bight Children's Park
  • Mango Reef Restaurant - you can dine on the beach here (reservation required). I recommend the Watermelon Carpaccio (sooooo good)
  • Provo Ponies - we didn't go here but I have heard its great. You can go for a horseback ride on the water
I so wish I was back there...

If you ever have any questions about your upcoming trip to the island, feel free to email me at Happy summering...

Aug 10, 2015

Kids hair and the tools to help YOU!

My kids have all different types of hair. I don't have to do the oldest ones hair anymore but I do have the purchase the tools. Recently, my son got a fade (low on the sides with hair on top) and his barber introduced him to this tool that helps him make small twists sections with the twist of the wrist.  I also saw it on my friend's Instagram. You apply whatever product you want to the hair first (we use Design Essentials Gel) and then just use the sponge brush in a circular motion to make the twists. It comes out so nice and the twists are even all around. More importantly it literally takes 5 minutes. This is what it looks like - you can get one from a beauty supply stores for under $5

The other tool you need in your life is this detangling brush. I picked this brush up from our beauty closet at work and then promised myself I wouldn't add it to the pile of products that I collect but don't use.

One night when I was washing my daughter's hair I decided to whip it out in hopes that it would make what is normally a very stressful process somewhat easier. This brush is truly a life saver. She didn't whine or cry and it detangled  her hair so quickly. I was in shock.
Run don't walk and get yourself one. I also used it on my son's mohawk as well and yep, no whining or tears.  Either way, it works like a charm and its called The Original detangling hairbrush by Tangle Teezer and I took a picture of this one at Ricky'.


Jul 21, 2015

Check out Berenstain Bears LIVE and win a FREE family fun pack

That fury family we all came to know and love, The Berenstain Bears, are back in New York City performing their musical “Family Matters” live! Adapted from the children’s book series by Stan and Jan Berenstain, The Berenstain Bears LIVE! is NYC’s #1 musical for Mamas, Papas, and Young Cubs that will give boys and girls of all ages the chance to fall in love with these characters, just as their parents did when they were growing up.  

The Berenstain Bears LIVE! features an original score by Michael Borton and a book by Borton and Michael Slade. The Berenstain Bears LIVE! is produced by Matt Murphy Productions. Did we mention that each performance features a FREE Berenstain Bears post-show dance party, face painting and photos with the Berenstain Bears?! Chic Busy Mom approved, no doubt.

  • The Berenstain Bears Live! show runs until September 23, 2015 with the Bears performing every Saturday and Sunday at 11am
  • Located at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center (MMAC) Theater
  • Running time: 55 min.
  • 248 W 60th Street, New York, NY 10023
 For more information on the show, click here.

It get's so much better – Enter to win a family four-pack to see the show with your entire brood. Here's how:

1. Follow @ChicBusyMom on Instagram, re-posting the image below with #BerenstainBearsCBM and tagging three friends!

Winner will be drawn on August 4, 2015 12 P.M. (EST) and notified via direct message. Good luck!

By Brianna Arps

Contributing Writer