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I know some of you will soon be heading to Florida to escape the freezing temperatures and while you’re here, you might be inclined to take an exercise class.

Now you may think you can just grab a water bottle, throw on a pair of sneakers and show up. Oh no. Getting ready for the gym Florida style is sort of like getting ready to attend the Oscar’s but instead of walking the red carpet, some woman will yell at you to do 100 squats and then scream, “Do you feel it?!!”  At which point, you are required to shout back, “Woohoo!!!”

I’d hate for you to stick out like a tourist so here are a few tips if you want to blend in with the South Florida natives.

1. Show up to the gym in high heels. Begrudgingly put on sneakers just before class begins. Know in your heart that you could spin in Christian Louboutin shoes.

2. Be born with fabulous boobs or get a boob job prior to class.

3. Arrive at your cardio class with a blowout and full makeup. How much makeup? Think one of the Kardashians. Not Rob. The other ones. Don’t even bother putting your hair in a ponytail. Just wear it down and pretend like it’s not driving you completely bat crazy.

4. As for apparel, a lot of women go for these one piece jumpsuits as a way to show off their sick (that’s a good thing) bodies.



(I wear one and then layer a muumuu over it.)

5. If a spandex bodysuit is too much material for you, here is another popular alternative….


6. During class, it’s important to check your phone constantly. Just because you’re in the middle of a workout, doesn’t mean you can’t take a break and play Candy Crush during the hard parts. Plus this cuts down on that sweating thing which can threaten the bounce of your blowout.

7. Never finish a class. At some point, during the abs or stretching, collect your things and leave because you’ve got stuff to do. Like maybe drop by the cafe. Or the salon.

8. After exercising, shower and put on jeans and a light sweater because with a low of 83 degrees, you don’t want to risk feeling chilled.

9. If possible, try to work out at a gated community that caters to the 65 plus. That way you get to hear the sweetest question there is… “Are you still in college?” Hug the 85 year-old woman who just said this to you.

Good luck out there and happy Florida fitness!


Hey, it’s 3 1/2 year old Chase! Sorry I haven’t been blogging but if you ask me, blogs are so OVER. Don’t tell my mom though because she’s obsessed with it.

I had a great weekend. I mean, not as good as my dad because he was in Miami at The Fontainebleau. Whatever. I’d be partying at hotspot Liv too if my bedtime wasn’t 7:30 pm.

Anyway, I had been complaining to my mom about an earache for days. Honestly, it didn’t hurt at all but my little brother Cash had gotten this pink medicine for his and well, I obviously wanted a piece of that action.

By Saturday, my mom looked truly worried and dragged all 5 of us to the pediatrician so I could see a doctor. I pulled on my ear a few times just to keep the whole story legit.

Then we had to wait an hour and a half. I thought my mom’s head was going to explode. I wasn’t bored at all. They had a whole box of those doctors’ gloves and that can pretty much keep me entertained for about 3 days.

Finally, the doctor came in and instead of confirming my story, the lady tells my mom, “He’s perfectly healthy!”

WTF lady doctor?! She totally denied me my pink medicine and my mom turned to me and said, “Chase – does your ear REALLY hurt?”

“No,” I admitted because the whole charade was pointless if I wasn’t getting the goods.

There was a big sigh from my mom who started ranting about how I was going to pay her back the $25 co-pay.  You know mom, it’s illegal for preschoolers to work.

Then we headed to Boca to hang out with my grandparents for the day. By the time we got home, my mom seemed a little exhausted and edgy.

She tucked all of us kids into bed and that’s when she realized she didn’t have any wine in the house.

Gasp! (My mom told me to write that. In fact, I’m letting her take over this blog post because at this point in the evening I went to sleep and I don’t care about wine anyway. Now if this was about pumpkin muffins, I’d be all over it. Okay, mom tell the sad, sad story….)


So I tucked all the kids into bed and that’s when I realized there was no wine in the house.


How can a house have 3 jars of capers and not one bottle of wine?!

I texted a neighbor… “Are you home?”

“On a bus coming back from Tampa. What’s wrong?” she responded.

“Nothing except I just took care of 5 kids all day and there is no wine in the house.”

She immediately understood the gravity of the situation. She gave me her garage code and told me there was wine in her fridge.

Except I couldn’t go in there.

Because a day or so before, she had found two baby snakes hiding out in her garage.

And when it comes to things I dislike, snakes are way way way at the top of the list. I texted my sister about the dilemma.

She wrote back…

“Man up. Put on your rain boots and make a lot of noise and turn on the lights. The snakes will stay clear if they are even in there. It’s worth it.”

I did not man up. Not at all. My fear of snakes overpowered any desire for a glass of wine. But the next day, my neighbor delivered this…

wine 1

Just so you understand the size of this thing, let me show it to you next to a normal size bottle of wine.

wine 2

It seems more like a weapon than a beverage.

But now I’m prepared in case of any future emergencies.


One of my neighbors mentioned to Rick recently that she really needed to clean out her house. He responded, “Invite my wife over. She’ll have the place practically empty by noon. And she’ll enjoy it.”

He’s right. It’s sort of half sickness half hobby. I’m practically euphoric on bulk pick-up day. I scour the house for items to toss, recycle or give away.

Still, I’m not the ultimate queen of anti-clutter. That title belongs to my friend Rmonica (name has been changed) in New York who gets rid of toys BEFORE her kids grow into them. And she has a coy, genius way of convincing you that you need her used stuff.  One time I drove off with some ridiculous big wooden train of hers and was half way home when I realized I had been outwitted by the queen.

So when the company ToyTainer contacted me, I was intrigued. Because ToyTainer creates toys that are also storage solutions. For example, this firetruck has storage space inside to store all those Matchbox cars or Legos you keep stepping on….

ToyTainer Firetruck

And there is an ice cream truck too…

ToyTainer Ice Cream Truck

They have other fun play/clean-up solutions like this one below…

Screen shot 2014-01-23 at 11.37.14 AM

It’s a playmat and when your child is finished he/she can pull a toggle and all the toys get immediately scooped up into the bag. Then it can easily be hung up.


I also really liked this fold up basketball net.

This is open…

ToyTrainer Basketball boy

This is closed…

ToyTainer Basketball Net

Isn’t that so neat and organized?!

Or look at this shoebox pop up castle that not only folds up but has storage for toys too.



You can check out their toys at Target. They are geared towards boys and girls, ages 2 to 8.

And a giveaway!! (THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.)

One lucky reader will receive $100 worth of ToyTainer toys! And the toys will be geared toward the gender and ages of your children.

To enter, simply leave a comment with your best tip for keeping toys organized and also make sure you have liked The Mama Bird Diaries on Facebook. Good luck.

This is a sponsored post. All ideas are my own.


You all know that Justin Bieber got arrested for drag racing under the influence. (My condolences to the Beliebers out there, especially my mom who heads the Southern Connecticut chapter of the Seniors Bieber Fan Club.)

And this was his mugshot…


Apparently Bieber thought he was in the photobooth at a some South Beach Bar Mitzvah.

Obviously this is a call for help and I am here for him. If he takes my advice, he’ll be more than ready for the next mugshot (and you know there is another one coming).

1. Look less Miley Cyrus-ish. She’s a girl. You aren’t supposed to be.

2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival - Day 1 - Press Room

2. I know you’re trying to be a bad boy so you’re stoked about getting arrested for drag racing but you’re coming off too eager.

3. Do not smile in your next mugshot.

4. Try to be brooding and sexy. I know this is hard.

5. Emulate other mugshots. Like actor Chace Crawford.

chase crawford mugshot


Or how about a young Mick Jagger…

mick jagger mugshot

Yup, that’s how you take a super hot mugshot!

Remember Justin, fame is fleeting. But a mugshot is forever.


Okay, listen up. This is genius.

When it comes to parenting – if it works, keep doing it. I’m sorry. When I said, “genius,” I meant “obvious.”

But even though it’s obvious, many of us get sucked into this idea of how we should be parenting (based on books, well meaning advice, our own history, “The Brady Bunch,” laundry detergent commercials, that sort of thing), instead of just going with whatever is actually working.

I’m going to give you an example. My sister recently visited us with her two kids. I gave her 8-month-old Cash’s room for her children and put a pack ‘n play into my closet for Cash. All of a sudden, my baby who only took 20 minute naps during the day was sleeping like a dream for more than an hour or more at nap time.

He was groovin’ with this pack ‘n play! In the closet! I guess it’s super dark in there and maybe the pack ‘n play feels a bit more cozy that his big crib. (And please don’t panic – I leave the door partially open for ventilation.)

My sister has long gone back to Memphis and Cash is back in his crib at night but naps are all in the closet. And it’s working. And I’m not changing it.

Sure, the pack ‘n play is blocking my shoes and I can’t always reach my clothes but who needs clothes when you have a well rested baby. Not me. I can just pull something out of the laundry bin.

At the same time, if something is not working, change it.  I always used to make my daughter do her homework as soon as she got home for school. But it took her forever. She couldn’t focus. She took a million breaks and got distracted by anything that had pink sequins or was clearly in need of pink sequins.

So we tried a new approach. Now she gets a half hour to play, then homework and when she’s done, she gets a chocolate milk if she wants. And she has literally cut her homework time in half.

She is happier. I’m happier. We just had to figure out what works for her. And it may only work for a short time but dammit, it’s working right now and it’s glorious.

A member of my family has been in AA for a long time so my life has been sprinkled with AA sayings and prayers. One is…. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

For my entire childhood, that phrase stared at me from my window ledge and I never even knew it was priming me for parenthood. I’m pretty sure I’ve never come close to anything resembling “serenity” but I’m on board with the courage to change things.

Now sometimes you don’t know how to change something or nothing seems to work and that’s where the books, advice, “Brady Bunch” episodes and TV commercials come in. You keep working on it. You keep talking to people. You dig until you discover the answer.

Or maybe time just goes by and things alter and what seemed like a major problem has suddenly become less grand. Or even disappeared all together.

So that’s my advice. Change what you need to and leave the rest alone. Things have a funny way of working themselves out.

kelcey kintner


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