Makeup Overhaul with About FACE by Meredith Hayman, Makeup Artist

I first met Meredith Hayman in 2009. My best friend convinced me to schedule a makeup trial for my wedding and, after checking out reviews, she scheduled us an appointment with Meredith. On the way to her home studio, I was excited for the adventure but completely unconvinced that I would book a makeup artist.

But then I met Meredith and the way I look at makeup completely changed. I booked her that day and have remained friends with her ever since.

I’m a natural girl. I throw my hair in a ponytail or top knot, swipe on some mascara and go. The thought of 1) lengthening the time it takes me to get out of the house or 2) looking like I’m wearing a mask is completely unappealing to me. Through the years, Meredith has taught me that I can look my best without spending a ton of time getting ready, without sinking all of my money into makeup products, and without looking like I’m wearing a mask.

Recently, Meredith gave me a complete makeup overhaul. What the heck does that mean? Well, I documented mine so that I could take you along for the ride…

makeup overhaul with About FACE by Meredith Hayman, Makeup Artist | step one: see what you have

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Deal Alert! Save Money on Westchester Kids Activities

This post contains affiliate links.

I am a momma who likes to save money. Sometimes I call myself thrifty to soften the edges, but if I’m being honest: I’m cheap. Raising kids is expensive business and I am number one in line when it comes to trying to make things less expensive. With summer vacation breathing down our necks, I can almost see the dollar bills being sucked from my hands with a vacuum. I want to be able to do a lot of fun things with my kids, but I also want to be able to pay the bills.

Assuming there are plenty of you out there who are just like me, I put together a list of current Groupon deals in Westchester County.

Everything on the list below is kid friendly. If you prefer to save yourself a buck or two on kid-free activities (like maybe a Statue of Liberty dinner cruise for your next girls night out), there are plenty of reduced-price grown up options over there too.

save money on local kids fun in Westchester with Groupon

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Fun Kids Birthday Party Ideas in Westchester + a FREE Party Planning Printable

Kids birthday parties somehow manage to be both the best and most annoying things imaginable. Planning them can be a huge pain (especially if you’re like me and put everything off until the last second), but the look on your little booger’s face while she’s having the time of her life with her friends is totally worth it.

If the thought of getting to that happy place makes you break out in hives, I found help!

A one-stop shop for planning kids birthday parties, Booked Parties makes life a trillion times easier by offering local parents online access to unique birthday party vendors and venues throughout New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Want someone to come to your house and keep the kids entertained? They’ve got it. Want to find a venue as far away from your house as possible so that you don’t have to clean for guests? They’ve got you covered there too!

They even have a marketplace where you can get gifts, favors, decor, and more just with the click of a button (ok, maybe a few buttons). Sounds like the least annoying kids birthday party planning experience ever, right?

And if you’re sick of the same old parties for your kids, but feel like you already know about all of the birthday party ideas Westchester has to offer, I bet Booked Parties will prove you wrong! I collected a few of my favorite outside-the-box ideas to show you the diverse options they have to offer. (Also, make sure you read all the way to the end for a free birthday party planning printable!)

Fun Kids Birthday Party Ideas in Westchester

Westchester Kids Birthday Parties | Bang & Boom

Bang & Boom birthday party in a box

Do you kind of wish you could throw a party at your house but that someone would do all of the work for you? You’re in luck! Bang & Boom will send you a party in a box—these guys are outside of the box while simultaneously being inside a box! 😉 They cover everything—from invitations and activities to decorations and even matches! I love that their themes are totally unique and original. I mean, look at the cups that go along with their I Love New York box! Activities for this box include design-your-own subway car, a big city scavenger hunt and a large-scale poster of New York’s skyline to color and decorate. Each of the party guests also gets a Lady Liberty crown. I’m obsessed!

Westchester Kids Birthday Parties | Penny Lick Ice Cream

Make ice cream at Penny Lick Ice Cream Company

Um, enough said, no? Seriously though, they host kids birthday parties at their Hastings-on-Hudson location and your little party people get to learn how to make (and eat—although they probably won’t need any help with that part) ice cream from the ingredients right down to the final product. That sounds awesome! If there’s another party idea you had your heart set on, but are drooling at the thought of homemade ice cream, Penny Lick also brings their ice cream push carts to parties.

Westchester Kids Birthday Parties | TumbleBusNY

TumbleBusNY, a kids party bus

This is a pretty cool idea. TumbleBusNY is basically a kids gym inside of a converted school bus! They’ve got monkey bars, a mini trampoline, ropes, mini parallel bars and so much more. And, since they’re completely mobile, you can have a party with them anywhere. They can come park outside of your house, at a park, at your kids’ favorite pizza place—there are so many possibilities!

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The Pump and Dump Show is Coming to the Hudson Valley!

The Pump and Dump Show

Have you heard of The Pump and Dump Show?

Described as a one-of-a-kind, interactive, live comedy production that is the Ultimate Mom’s Night Out, The Pump and Dump Show is coming to the Hudson Valley on Thursday March 16th for a show at Levity Live Comedy Club in West Nyack, NY (just a short trip over the Hudson River in the Palisades Mall).

Combining hysterical original songs like Lies We Tell Ourselves and Eat Your F-ing Food with irreverent humor, games, prizes, and more, the “Band of Mothers Tour” is a cathartic night away from the kids hosted by lifelong friends and comedians Shayna Ferm and Tracey Tee.

I got a chance to pick Shayna’s brain a bit on the show and how it all got started…

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5 Tips to Avoid Getting Lice

Guest post by Jennifer Kilduff, founder of The Lice Chicks, Inc.

tips to avoid getting lice - lice treatment in Westchester

Did you know that the holidays are a prime opportunity for Ol’ St. NIT to spread some holiday cheer?! Visiting family and friends, hugs, pictures, sleepovers, cuddling, and all of the wonderful things that make holiday time so special, also put us at risk for head lice.

After the holidays, we see a big surge in head lice infestations due to the nature of the season. Therefore, parents must be proactive and check their children’s hair regularly in the following weeks to catch an infestation at the onset. Here are a few tips…
  1. Schedule a head check at your local lice salon. If you have any symptoms or concerns, an infestation can be spotted by a professional at the onset and treated immediately.
  2. “Take a peek once a week” as always, but especially during the next few weeks.
  3. Wear long hair up in a ponytail, braid or bun.
  4. Be sure to use an all-natural lice shampoo and conditioner, and/or a mint-scented lice spray. The more minty you smell, the less desirable your head will be.
  5. Remind your family that most lice spread through head to head contact and/or by sharing personal items like brushes and hats.

the lice chicks - lice treatment in Westchester
The Lice Chicks are certified, professional lice removal specialists that employ the Shepherd Method of “Strand by Strand” lice and nit removal. Located in Jefferson Valley, they’re available to help parents throughout the Hudson Valley who are battling a head lice infestation. They will be hosting a free head check week the week of January 22nd to educate families on head lice detection in response to this busy time. If you would like more information on lice prevention, detection, and treatment, please contact The Lice Chicks at 914-302-2927 or visit them on the web at

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An Adoption Journey

Guest post by Amie Getis

adoption awareness month

“Have you told your mother yet?” my father asked after I told him that Adam, my husband, and I were trying to adopt.

“No. I told you first.”

“Don’t tell her that you told me. Let her think you told her first,” he advised.

Twelve years earlier at my wedding, my father had drunkenly toasted us with the hope that we would suffer the same as he and my mother had obviously suffered as my parents. My father still held that hope.

“Did she tell you?” my mother excitedly inquired of my father after I told her.

“Tell me what?”

“They are adopting!” was my mother’s gleeful response. That was in September 2011.

Every adoption story is unique and special for the family that goes through the experience. Adoption is the culmination of an emotional rollercoaster joined with a paperwork tsunami that becomes the centerpiece of your life. Adam and I did it twice.

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What I Learned—And Taught My Kids—Through Obstacle Course Racing

what I learned and taught my kids through obstacle course racing

Guest post by Renee Levine of ParentNation

I get it. Not everyone loves the idea of running through thick, smelly mud, crawling under barbed wire, carrying unwieldy boulders and logs up treacherous inclines, and jumping over eight foot walls. For seven hours. All for a t-shirt, a medal, a banana and a beer. In fact, most of my friends and family think I’m a little nuts.

Ever since I was little, I hated getting dirty. Why, then, was I even considering a race that revolved around mud? Obstacle course racing pushes your boundaries in every respect, and I wanted to see if I could overcome the obstacles, both mentally and physically.

By the time I took my first step into the thick, cold mud at my first race, I had my answer. To my surprise, not only did I enjoy the mud, I wanted—no, I needed—more.

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Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Fall 2016

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Fall 2016

Get your favorite stretchy pants ready! It’s just about time for the fall edition of Hudson Valley Restaurant week!

From November 1st through November 13th, more than 200 restaurants in the mid- and lower-Hudson Valley (with 113 restaurants in Westchester alone) will offer up three-course dinner menus for $29.95. Many of the restaurants are also offering three-course lunch menus for $20.95 (prices do not include drinks, tax, or tip).

For the last couple of years, HVRW has been my absolute favorite excuse for a ladies night. The last couple of times we’ve hit Thyme Steak and Seafood in Yorktown Heights (their wide variety of delicious gluten free options has completely won me over). Other great options that I always love include Chophouse Grille in Mahopac and Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill in Cold Spring. And there are a ton of places on the list that I’d like to try including Rosemary & Vine in Rye, Exit 4 Food Hall in Mt. Kisco and Madison Kitchen in Larchmont.

Some of the restaurants participating already have their menus posted to the HVWR website. Once you decide which one (or bunch!) you want to try out, be sure to make a reservation. These restaurants fill up really quickly during restaurant week and you don’t want to show up and find there is no space for you. You can make reservations for some of the restaurants through Open Table right on the Hudson Valley Restaurant Week site by clicking “book now.” For those that don’t participate, you can call the restaurants directly to make a reservation.

What restaurant are you most excited about checking out for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week?


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Fit for Life: Key Shifts to Feel Fit, Focused and Energetic

Guest post by Jane Savage, Health Coach

As moms, our hearts are basically living outside of our bodies every single day. It’s emotionally and physically hard to balance yourself, your family and maybe even your work. There are many days where we don’t feel very fit for life. We crash into bed depleted at the end of the day because we sacrificed our exercise, stayed up too late the night before and skipped lunch to grab another cup of coffee.

So what gets us to make changes for the better?

In seven years of coaching, I’ve seen a trend. A work or life transition gets us up and moving forward. It could be the kids starting school, going back to work, changing careers or even preparing for an empty nest. You know this change is coming and you have paused for a moment to reevaluate your own health and well-being. You perhaps notice a few things like this…

Your clothes don’t fit that well.

You’re feeling a bit depleted and not very sharp.

You grab the wine glass a little too often to cope with stress.

You don’t have a fitness goal so you are just going through the motions.

When these transitions happen, we have an opening. An opening where we feel ready and motivated for change. This is when you need to act. These work/life transitions are the fuel you need to get back to feeling really fit, focused and engaged.

And it is possible to take care of yourself and your kids. Now is the time to start placing the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others. You don’t have to try every latest and greatest diet or exercise plan. It truly is a lifestyle change. A shift in mindset and routines will get the job done.

Here are 3 key shifts that can help you feel really fit and focused, for good.

moms and self care: 3 shifts to feel fit, focused, and energetic

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Friday Favorites | Westchester Instagram Favorites

I’m a tiny bit obsessed with Instagram. Like, when my husband and I are binging on Netflix (right now we’re watching Supergirl because we’re nerdy like that) and he catches me trying to steal glances at my phone, he immediately asks me what’s happening on Instagram. I laughingly refer to myself as an InstaAddict. I mean, there are worse problems to have, right?

Since I know there have to be at least a few of you out there who are with me (I’m especially talking to the zombies with infants who scroll away at all hours of the night while feeding and rocking), I thought I’d share some of my Westchester Instagram favorites from this past week.

Westchester Instagram favorites | @siouxmadden

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