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Apr
16
2017

Is there seriously anyone on the planet who doesn’t love Judy Blume?! Because if there is – I’d like to meet them. Just to find out what is wrong with them. Because Judy Blume is the definition of a national treasure.

She’s also one of those people that you have to say her whole name every single time you refer to her. I don’t know why. It’s just the way it is.

I adored Judy Blume’s books as a kid and I’ve loved reading them to my own children. We were just in Key West and we found out that Judy Blume has a bookstore there. In fact, she’s lived in Key West for more than 20 years. My 10 year old daughter Summer asked if we could go to the store and we said, “No, we’d rather go on a booze cruise.” Ok, kidding. We said, “Of course!”

All I really wanted from the visit was to get in and out of Judy Blume’s bookstore without my nearly 4 year old son doing some major redecorating. And by redecorating, I mean destroying.

Judy Blume’s husband was there and before we knew it, he called his wife Judy Blume and she was coming over to the store. JUDY BLUME WAS COMING OVER TO THE STORE. Do you think her husband thinks to himself – holy crap, I’m married to Judy Blume! Probably. How could he not?

So how do you prepare to meet the amazing, iconic Judy Blume?! While we waited, I read to my kids because they asked me to and because wouldn’t Judy Blume be impressed that I was giving my children the gift of literature and learning.

Within 15 minutes, she had arrived. JUDY BLUME HAD ARRIVED.

We loved chatting with her. She was so chill. And mild mannered. She doesn’t write books anymore, instead runs her bookstore. As she put it, “Fifty years is long enough to write books.” The woman is 79. She looks damn good.

Cash got to hang with her a bit and I can only assume he was bragging about how he had not destroyed her store.

We talked about one of my all time favorite characters Fudge who is utterly obsessed with money (just like my son Chase). The character is based on her grandson who like many children thought the way you get money is just from going to the ATM. Who needs a job? Money just comes out of that machine!

It seems like everyone had a Judy Blume story. A certain book. A specific character. A moment in life.

This is now my Judy Blume story.


Mar
31
2017

This is a sponsored post for The Diplomat Beach Resort. 

Diplomat lobby

I just love a fabulous hotel. And The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida is like a one stop destination for fun. The hotel just underwent a major renovation (like 100 million dollars!) and it’s quite spectacular. It has an enormous lobby with a great bar.

diplomat bar

There’s nothing like the feel of a cool hotel bar. Right?

You can enjoy the beach or two amazing pools…

QQ_poolaerial3_2_1020x500_FitToBoxSmallDimension_Center

Diplomat pool

This pool has a waterfall that would keep my kids happy for hours. And when your children get bored of that, there is a splash park with two water slides. At. The. Hotel.

Anyone hungry? Because you have soooo many choices. And unbelievably more coming soon. These are the ones currently open where you can find everything from fine dining to yummy food to go. Good luck if you’re indecisive.

There is the Diplomat Prime (a boutique steakhouse led by Executive Chef Nicolay Adinaguev), Bristol’s Burgers (at The Diplomat Landing Marina overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and $5 happy hour menu from 5 to 7 pm), Portico Beer & Wine Garden, Point Royal (created especially for the Diplomat by celebrity chef, restaurateur and television star Geoffrey Zakarian), Counterpoint (specialty espresso drinks, smoothies, sandwiches and salads) and The Canteen (convenience food and drinks).

I had the chance to eat at Point Royal which has indoor/outdoor seating and the resort’s only raw bar. I adore seafood so this was the perfect choice for me. See how happy I look…

Diplomat Restaurant Kelcey

We tried all kinds of creative seafood dishes like…

Diplomat AppetizerJPG

Crispy Crab Croquettes 

diplomat hamachi

Hamachi Crudo (Cranberry Relish, Cucumbers, Fuji Apples, Crispy Shallots)

diplomat lobster roll

GZ Butter Poached Lobster Roll

diplomat muscles

Braised Mussels (Kaffir Lime, Ginger, Coconut-Curry Broth)

The hamachi was my fave. And I still wish I had tried the Shrimp & Anson Mills Grits…house made shrimp andouille, cheddar, scallions and pickled mushrooms. Sounds so good.

Whether you are planning a destination or just looking for somewhere new to eat (or drink!) in South Florida, you will want to visit The Diplomat. Parking is complimentary if you visit any of the restaurants! What more do you want?! Go.

Are you a foodie? Follow the Diplomat Restaurant Group on Twitter and Instagram. And you can also follow the Diplomat Beach Resort on Twitter  and Instagram.

This is a sponsored post for The Diplomat. All ideas are my own. 


Mar
16
2017

I went to Miami this weekend with some friends from New York. Have you gone anywhere without kids? It’s very relaxing. I’m thinking of doing it every weekend. And week.

Kelcey One Hotel

Throughout the weekend, I would get pangs of guilt that I had left my husband home alone with 5 kids but then I would have a glass of Rosé and rub on some more sunscreen and those pangs would just disappear!

I ran around South Beach with these funny, gorgeous gals (and when I say running, I mean a slow saunter to croissant and coffee shops).

Miami gals

We took a lot of important photographs while we were there that I can only imagine will be used by the Miami tourism board to lure more people to South Beach.

This is is me telling a young girl, “Could you please move – I’m trying to take a picture with Hello Kitty.” Kids can be so self centered.

Miami Hotel Kitty

Only my friend Smeredith (name has been changed) could look this photogenic while sticking her head in an alligator.

Meredith alligator

And here’s my friend Smonica (name has also been changed), the beautiful horticulturist.

Monica and the plant

I got the opportunity to watch Smonica FaceTime her dog from the hotel room which was obviously very special. She told me I could only share this fact with you if I posted her dog’s official commissioned portrait.

monicas dog

The great thing about South Beach is that you can go right from the beach to the streets with no change of clothes required.

Miami street wear

But it’s very hard to wear your cute, strapless jumpsuit if you forgot to put on sunscreen. I wonder who this is…

sunburn

We also carried around a “Reserve” sign so that no matter where we went, we looked fancy and important. You’re welcome for the travel tip.

Reserve

If someone is looking for a stolen “reserved” sign, we were never at the Delano.

Eventually the weekend ended and my friends had to return to cold weather. Something about snow armageddon. Just know that here in South Florida, it’s totally not 75 and sunny. I mean, probably not.

____________________________

Just wanted to share a few other articles I’ve written lately. On SheKnows, I’ve recently written about the most ridiculous mom jeans on the planet (and they are actually sold by TopShop at Nordstrom). Plus, some second graders wrote some very funny condolence cards, a pregnant woman gives out a trophy when a guy finally offers her a seat on the subway and a woman breastfeeds on live TV and almost gets away with it.

Over at Alpha Mom, I wrote about the best family friendly restaurants in Fort Lauderdale. Like these are restaurants adults will love too.  And if you’re in the potty market, don’t miss my review of the best potty seats and chairs to get your kids out of diapers.  I was exhausted sitting on all of those potties. Oh, fine. I had my 3 year old do it. But I did write the review! Enjoy.


Mar
01
2017

There are moments in life that you have to shelve to the back of your mind (as best you can). These are moments too painful or too scary or too difficult to relive again and again. To do so would be paralyzing. We’ve had several moments like that with our 3 year old son Cash.

There was the time he just left the house. We have had high locks and chimes on our doors ever since. Or the time a sibling unlocked a door and he found his way to a 5th floor balcony in Manhattan. Or just this past Saturday evening.

I can tell this story once and then it must be buried away. Not that I won’t take lessons way from the experience but I can’t relive the feelings of that day over and over again. I wouldn’t be able to breathe.

We couldn’t find a sitter Saturday night. So we decided to take our kids to the beach to just run around in the sand and enjoy the sunset. A week earlier, my older children had climbed the rocks on a nearby jetty and were anxious to revisit it again. “Let’s go!” we said.

jetty

I grew up by the water so walking along a jetty is a familiar part of my childhood.  There is something magical about getting to do it with my children. My 6 year old son Chase and my 3 year old son Cash stayed at the bottom with my husband Rick.

I climbed the jetty with my three girls. It was fun and adventurous and we could feel the warm air on our faces as the sun began to fade.  With it getting darker, I said, “Girls, we need to climb down now.” They didn’t want to but I insisted.

As we started making our way down the rocks, I saw 3 year old Cash at the bottom. He wanted to climb up. Cash (the youngest of five kids) has endless courage and was anxious to start scampering up the rocks to get to us. I remember calling down to him, “Cash, we’re on our way down.”

And in one second, he was gone. I saw him drop right into this crevice between the rocks and as I looked down from my rock high above, I only saw darkness. No child. Just blackness.

I started screaming. Loud, desperate screaming. I felt frozen and helpless and in disbelief at what was unraveling before me.

Rick and a few guys who had been hanging out on the beach started running towards us. I watched from above as Rick reached down into the crevice and pulled out our youngest son. Rick had seen Cash’s hands reaching up above the water and was able to grab him.

My beautiful, soaking wet, sobbing, bleeding, breathing, beautiful son.

A paramedic (who had also been on the beach walking his dog) checked Cash out and said he likely didn’t need stitches.

But Cash kept saying, “I’m tired. I’m tired” – something my son never says. At the hospital, they were concerned about secondary drowning since he had been submerged under water. But a chest X-ray and a blood test showed he was okay. They cleaned up his head wound and we went home.

Cash should never have been near those rocks. But we didn’t realize the danger that day. We know now.

Rick said that was the scariest moment of his life. “More frightening than when you were running from the crumbling Twin Towers on 9-11?”

He nodded. “Yes. I was more scared than I was on 9-11.”

On Monday, I told my preschool director about the incident – just in case they noticed Cash’s head injury or he talked about what happened. And she made a suggestion.

She said, sometimes when God or the universe or whatever you believe in takes care of you, it can feel good to put something positive back into the world. And it gives your children a way to express themselves.

I thought about my 6 year old son Chase who had said to me, while tears streamed down his face, “I never thought I was going to see my brother again.”

I know honey. I didn’t either.

I took my preschool director’s advice and told my kids that because we were so grateful that Cash was protected – we would give a donation to our local Covenant House that helps homeless teens. I told my children they could give as little or as much as they wanted from their saved up birthday and tooth fairy money. There was no judgement. Any amount was perfect. Because when life feels out of your control, you want to do something.

One tween gave $20. Another gave $11. One twin gave $1. And another gave $7. I put some additional money in the jar. So did Rick. No one griped. No one complained. The kids seemed thankful for the chance to take action after such a stressful, potentially horrific event.

We will deliver the money this week. It’s our way of giving love and kindness into a world that protected my son that day.

I’m so grateful Rick saw those hands reaching up out of that dark crevice.

I’m grateful for the strangers on the beach who immediately came running and lifted my other children off the rocks as I cried.

I’m grateful for this 3 year old boy who is back to his everyday activities like dumping out full bottles of hand soap when he’s supposed to be washing his hands. I will go to the store and buy more bottles of hand soap to replace all the soap he keeps wasting.

And I will take joy in doing so.

Cash-Fort Lauderdale-beach


Feb
06
2017

This post is sponsored by Luvs.

31 year old Jacquelean Tew did not have an easy start in life. She grew up in foster care, bouncing from house to house, never finding the place she belonged. All she wanted was a genuine, loving home.

Luvs-mother

“People told me I was nothing. That happened to me a lot in my life. I would have to just act normal. Who was I going to tell my problems to?”

Jacquelean became a single mom at 19. And nobody ever seemed to have her back. But this inspiring woman was not going to be defeated by the circumstances of her life. She may not have grown up in a loving home but she was going to create one for her child.

Jacquelean earned a GED, took odd jobs and worked as a cashier until she was eventually able to buy a Miami home in foreclosure for herself and her daughter Jade.  An organization called Neighbors4Neighbors (which connects people in the South Florida community who want to help with local people who need assistance) is helping her rebuild the house which is in serious disrepair.

I knew Jacquelean was the kind of person who does everything for her 12 year old daughter.

Luvs-Mother-daughter

Which is why when Luvs (the diaper company) gave me $150 to spend on any parent as part of the company’s #ShareTheLuv campaign, I told Jacquelean this had to be something special just for her.

So we purchased a spa/ beauty day. She plans to get her hair, nails and toes done. This is something she would never do on her own. She says every dollar goes into her home and for her daughter. “I don’t really get to treat myself. It’s really nice to be taken care of.”  This is a woman that deserves to be spoiled.

Jacquelean continues to build a better future for herself and her daughter. She now goes to school at Miami Dade College and plans to become a paralegal. She has a lawyer as a mentor.

“You know who should also be a mentor?” I say.

“Who?” she asks.

“You. You are an inspiration to anyone who has dealt with unbelievable disadvantages in life and just kept going. You embody the power of hope and persistence and determination. You inspire me.”

Jacquelean gives me a smile. She probably thinks of herself as more of a survivor than a mentor. But she’s both. I feel lucky to have met such an amazing woman.

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Luvs also generously gave me diapers do donate to Covenant House, a safe place for at risk, homeless teens (and their babies) here in Fort Lauderdale.  The organization was extremely grateful since diapers can be a big cost for their young, struggling moms.

LuvsDiapers

Luvs is a company that believes in great products (like their Luvs Ultra Leakguard Diapers with NightLock Plus™) that don’t break the bank. Parenting can be difficult, so diapering shouldn’t be.

Luvs is encouraging parents to “Share the Luv” this February with fellow deserving parents. Also – to make sure everyone gets to share in the Luv – Luvs is offering a great money-saving opportunity with a $1 print-at-home coupon. Click here to access $1 off any one diaper pack.

Print the coupon at home and use it at any mass, discount or grocery stores where Luvs Diapers are sold. All Luvs Diapers are included in this particular offer, except trial/travel sized diaper packs. Print-at-Home coupons expire 30 days from the date the coupon is printed.

Because the world always needs more Luvs. And love.

This post is sponsored by Luvs. All ideas are my own. 



kelcey kintner


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