New home; new adventures

What a busy time it's been for our Riser babies! We bought a new house and moved in the middle of winter, which we hope to never ever do again. Our town is simply lovely--20 miles from Boston and still with a rural charm that's hard to find so close to a big city. The boys here are enjoying a beautiful Spring day (finally!) at a Mass Audubon park. Will share more joys in the days to come.


*Oliver is TWO*

I'm sure all parents say this at each of their children's birthdays, but I'll say it anyway: How in the world did our baby get to be TWO already?! It's amazing how fast time is flying. Granted, I think it feels that way not only because of how quickly Oliver has changed, but of how many of our days are a little crazy. :)

Oliver had a wonderful birthday last Saturday. We drove up north to spend the day in Concord after a yummy brunch in Belmont with a good friend. The weather couldn't have been more gorgeous and he even got to open his gifts in the yard when we got home.

Oliver at 2...
-our cat George
-his brother Samuel (actually goes looking for him saying his full name)
-brushes of any kind--toothbrushes, dish brushes, etc.
-Foods: fruit snacks, Panera's broccoli cheddar soup, mac & cheese, dips (ranch, yogurt), grapes, salami/ham
-digging in the dirt

-dogs (I'm sure he'll grow out of this one, but right now he's terrified.)
-Foods: chicken, bread (pulls the meat/cheese right out of his sandwiches)

Happy birthday, sweet Oliver!


Zulily-A Little Memorial Day Shopping

Happy Memorial Day! Now, it's time to get your shop on at zulily for their blow-out sale, which includes boys' and girls' apparel, kids' shoes, toys and books, women's apparel, and more. If you're not familiar with this site, you need to be pronto. An online boutique, zulily features daily specials from your favorite mom, baby/child, and home brands, and I have gotten some GREAT deals from them. In fact, last year before Christmas, I snagged enough Green Toys, Battat, and Plan Toys (ALL FAB!) to stockpile gifts for both boys through Oliver's birthday in June. Impressive, no? (I might have also purchased a few things for myself, because who can resist adorable jewelry pieces at 70% off?)

Bonus: you pay shipping only once in 24 hours. So, if you find yet one more thing you must have, you don't have to pay shipping again as long as you complete your purchase by 11:59 p.m. PST. You'll need to be a member to shop events, but sign-up is quick and easy and membership is FREE. I should also mention that quantities are limited, especially on the best deals. What are you waiting for?! Get to shoppin', mama!


Third Annual Drool Baby Expo + Giveaway

Hooray, it's my favorite time of year--time for the Drool Baby Expo, created by Magic Beans! (You might remember us raving about this amazing expo on The Tale of Baby Riser last year.) If you're pregnant, a parent to little ones, or just plain crazy about baby products, this expo is for you. Almost all of my favorite baby brands have been represented at the last two expos (i.e., UPPAbaby, Britax, Skip Hop, Haba, aden + anais, MD Moms, and so many more) and all of them are there for us--to help with demonstrations, freebies, and discounts. I've been known to leave googly-eyed with all the new information I've learned, but I always leave happy. (Cupcakes, happy people, and giveaways totally help.)

Here's last year's expo at the Cyclorama. Fun! (If you look closely, you might spy us, in front of the round table with the purple tablecloth.)

Here are the 2013 deets:
  • When: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 
  • Time: 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Where: Westin Waterfront Hotel, 425 Summer Street, Boston
  • Cost: $35 (Standard ticket, with gift bag); $20 (Companion ticket, no gift bag). You can find additional information and buy tickets here. 
The fantabulous news it that once again I have TWO tickets to give away to a lucky The Tale of Baby Riser reader/Facebook fan! (Includes one standard and one companion ticket: value $55.)

To enter (required): You must be a follower of this blog and like The Tale of Baby Riser on Facebook. Leave a comment here OR on our facebook page letting me know that you are, and also share a baby/toddler product that you're drooling over right now. (Winner must be a verified follower/Facebook fan.)

This giveaway closes on May 13, 2013 @ 11:59 p.m., EST, and you must be able to attend the Expo in Boston. The winner will be chosen at random and announced here on the blog. Good luck!

Disclaimer: Magic Beans provided an entry ticket for my review at no cost.

Congrats to Amy, the lucky winner of the Drool tickets this year. Check your inbox and have a ball!


Boston Marathon Monday: Reflections

It's hard to believe that it's been almost three weeks since the Boston Marathon bombings. A day that is usually filled with tears of joy and happiness suddenly became filled with tears of fear and sorrow. We feel for those families who lost dear souls, and also for those still recovering in local hospitals. What brought these terrible bombings closer to home, of course, is that Boston is our home and has been for nearly nine years. Boylston Street is the street I know best in Boston. Not only did I work there for five+ years, but one of my favorite hangouts sits on the Finish Line, the site of the first bombing. I still frequent it often. Never have I felt anything but safe and happy on our Boston streets...until now. As we watched the news unfold in the days that followed and our city shut down, we were filled with anxiety and fear until finally, late on Friday night, a sense of accomplishment. By that time, I felt like my heart had been pounding for five days straight. It felt like a bad movie...in our own backyard.

But then it was over, and we went back to our city's streets. The next week was Evan's birthday, and I surprised him and the boys with tickets to the Red Sox game. It was a glorious day, if not a little cool, and we celebrated Evan's day and Boston's strength as a city. Here are a few pictures from that day. After the game, we stopped by the still-closed Boylston Street to pay our respects at the makeshift memorial. The streets were full of people. We will not be stopped. We will not be scared. Boston Strong.



The Joy of Snow

It has been one heck of a winter snow-wise for us in the Boston area, and we are (mostly) loving it! (The "mostly" is due to fear of and actual power outages. The last storm on Friday got us for about five-six hours.) I want the boys to remember snow being as delightful as I did growing up, so I make a point to take them outside to enjoy it. Yesterday was perfect since there was no wind and the temps were up in the 40s. It's going to take a lot to melt nearly two feet of snow, so there was still plenty for us. We stumbled around, giggled, and made snow angels and a snowman. Oliver is adorable in his puffy snowsuit and has taken well to walking around in his clunky boots. Sam now asks for his snowpants, hat, mittens, and boots when not all that long ago, it was a battle to get him to wear a coat! Good times, and I'm so thankful for them!


Happy Valentine's Day

Ah, Valentine's Day. Definitely one of the best days of the year. Some people say it's a "Hallmark holiday," but any day that's about showering those you adore with love is just sweet. And any day I can use as an excuse to squeeze my boys tight and tell them how much I love them is perfect. Happy Valentine's Day!


Do You Have Your Valentines?

Valentines Day Greeting Cards from Treat
Valentine's Day is almost here, and I have to admit I'm very excited about that. I've always enjoyed this day of love and treats, and it's even more fun now that we have little ones. I honestly can't wait until they're old enough to give out valentines in their schools. In case you haven't checked out Tiny Prints or Treat, you should! You can make personalized valentines and they both have a lot of really sweet, artsy choices. Who doesn't love personalized anything?

Great news: If you order from Tiny Prints by January 30 and use the code 20JANSW, you can save 20% on your order! What are you waiting for? :) xoxox 


A Flower in the Snow {Book Review}

A Flower in the Snow, written by Tracey Corderoy and illustrated by Sophie Allsopp, is a sweet winter's tale about the joys of friendship. Luna and Bear live in an "icy kingdom" and enjoy frolicking in the snow and spending time together. One day, Luna discovers a bright yellow flower, a rarity in their land, which eventually wilts. Bear goes on a journey to find another sunshine flower to bring back to Luna, but Luna misses him terribly and just wants him to come home. When he does return (albeit empty-handed), she is delighted and appreciates their friendship even more.

Enjoy a few of Luna and Bear’s fun winter activities, courtesy of Sourcebooks Jabberwocky:
*Snow paint: It’s not very easy to make chalk drawings on damp (or snow covered) sidewalks. Instead gather some squeeze bottles, fill them with water, add some food coloring, and shake. Take the new snow paint bottles outside and create some colorful designs.
*Paper snowflakes: You’ll need paper and scissors to cut out pretty designs. If the snow doesn’t reach you, try taping snowflakes to the window to pretend it’s a winter wonderland outside your home.
*Make a collage: Grab some old magazines and newspapers and cut out winter images. These images might be snowflakes, warm cocoa, or even a great book. Create your own image of winter or your ideal winter wonderland. Have a happy winter!
Your friends, Luna and Bear

Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, December 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1402277405; Juvenile Fiction/Picture Book

Disclaimer: Sourcebooks provided an advance copy of this book for my review at no cost.


Sam is 3!

I know that every parent says the same thing, but man alive, it feels like we just brought Sam home from the hospital, and now he's THREE? Sure, his little brother came along in between that time, but really, it's flown. We are loving these exciting times as Sam's language explodes (he knows words and is crafting sentences that I had no idea he was capable of!) and his sense of humor  comes to light. He likes to pose for the camera making funny faces and does a dance that cracks us up. Not to mention, his long lashes, contagious giggles, hugs, and kisses are to die for. Happy birthday, Sam!