The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc., Unveils 17th Annual Tour of Kitchens

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Come support one of the Junior League of Atlanta’s biggest fundraisers!

Save the date, mark your calendars, and répondez s’il vous plait, ladies and gentlemen. It’s almost time to experience the most deliciously exciting event fundraiser of the year – the Junior League of Atlanta, Inc. (JLA) Tour of Kitchens. JLA is pleased to announce the 17th Annual Tour of Kitchens, a two-day self-guided tour featuring a view into 14 of Atlanta’s finest residential kitchens created by the city’s most celebrated designers. Tour of Kitchens 2014 will be held Saturday, March 29, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 30, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Kitchens on the Tour will include special appearances and demonstrations by Atlanta’s most legendary restaurant chefs and dignitaries. Tickets are available now at www.tourofkitchens.org.

Designed as a self-guided tour, Tour of Kitchens provides attendees exclusive access to renowned kitchens in some of Atlanta’s most exclusive neighborhoods, including Buckhead, Brookhaven, Ansley Park, Midtown, Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. Tour of Kitchens will showcase many “firsts” this year, including its first official child-friendly chef – Chef Ed Harris, Season 4 Winner of The Food Network’s “Chopped,” as a commitment to reducing childhood obesity. Another first is the kosher kitchen designed by Lefko Design + Build.

Days before the event on Thursday, March 20, 2014, hundreds of patrons will attend the 17th Annual Toast of the Tour event celebrating design inspiration, culinary fun and community service. Toast of the Tour will take place at the PDI Kitchen, Bath & Lighting Showroom in Midtown West and will incorporate culinary demonstrations, cocktails and feature a spectacular silent auction. Bidders can expect phenomenal items, such as VIP Suites at the Mandarin Oriental, Loews and Four Seasons, Spa gift certificates, designer accessories, sports memorabilia from Atlanta’s home teams and culinary experiences in your home with Atlanta’s premier and world renowned chefs.

“This year’s Tour of Kitchens is poised to be the most impressive to date, with an extraordinary list of local kitchens, designers and entertaining events,” states Michelle Wells, president of JLA. “As our largest event fundraiser, all proceeds support our community initiatives and partners, which serve the needs and women and children in the Atlanta area. This is a very special and deliciously fun event for our community partners, members and Tour of Kitchens supporters.”

The Junior League of Atlanta is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. As JLA’s largest annual event fundraiser, Tour of Kitchens and its surrounding event, The Toast of the Tour, support this commitment by raising more than $1 million dollars since its inception.

Advance purchase tickets to the event are $35 per person and include both days of the Tour. A limited number of tickets will be available the day of the Tour for $40. Tickets to the Toast of the Tour party are $60 until March 12 and $75 until the event. 

A full list of kitchen designers and architects featured on Tour of Kitchens 2014 include: CSI Kitchen & Bath Studio; Design Galleria; Harmonious Living by Tish Mills; Rose Hall Kitchen Galleria; HammerSmith, Inc.; Insidesign; Kitchen Design Korner; Morgan Creek Cabinet Company; Kingdom Woodworks, Inc.; Home Forge Remodeling LLC; Bell Kitchen & Bath Studios; Home ReBuilders; Renewal Design-Build; Lefko Design + Build.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.tourofkitchens.org.

About The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc. (www.jlatlanta.org)
The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

Best Portable Train Sets

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I have two sets of wish lists – one for myself, and one for my son, of course. For the longest time I have had this train table on my son’s wish list but never bought it because there is absolutely no space in our house for yet another table and sometimes I think $150 might be better spent elsewhere. However, I knew he loved trains and train tables because he would always gravitate towards them at daycare. Luckily we came across this train set at IKEA a few weeks back which our son absolutely LOVES.

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2014 Junior League of Atlanta Tour of Kitchens Fundraiser

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As a member of the Junior League of Atlanta I’d like to let everyone know that March 29-30th, 2014 is the 17th Annual Tour of Kitchens and Toast of the Tour – one of the Junior League’s largest fundraisers. The highly-anticipated, two day Tour features access into 14 of Atlanta’s most stunning kitchens, created by the city’s most talented and sought after designers. Approximately 1,200 attendees will watch as elite Atlanta Chefs, including Chef Ed Harris – Season 4 Winner of The Food Network’s Chopped, perform culinary demonstrations in various homes on the Tour. Harris, the Tour’s “Child Friendly” Chef, will promote healthy recipes– directly related to a portion of the JLA’s mission and commitment to reduce childhood obesity.

A week before the Tour on March 20, 2014, 600 patrons will raise their glasses at The JLA Toast of the Tour event. It is an evening of celebrating design inspiration, culinary fun and community service complete with a spectacular silent auction. For more information about this event, please see the Tour of Kitchens website. For more information about the Junior League of Atlanta and the community organizations that Junior League members volunteer with, please see the Junior League of Atlanta website.

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

Cute-Valentines-Day-Cards-HD-WallpapersHappy Belated Valentine’s everyone! My husband and I actually celebrated a week late since our day care had a date night event yesterday and we didn’t want to go through all the hassle of getting dinner reservations months in advance only to have to wait to get seated once we got to the restaurant. In prior years we have tried to celebrate the weekend of Valentine’s Day instead of the day of, but it is just as crowded and I loved that we waited a week to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. The restaurant wasn’t crowded at all and it was easy to get reservations.

My son, however, got to celebrate Valentine’s Day at his school on Valentine’s Day :). I was lazy this year so just bought one of those packs of Valentine Day cards and put them together for his classmates. However, my son got some cool Valentine’s from his classmates! My favorite? A plastic bag with a cuties orange in it and a picture of their daughter with the words printed “<Girl’s Name> thinks you’re a cutie”. My son LOVED the cuties orange and ate it immediately. I found this free printable online and I’m thinking I may use it next year and copy her idea :) Other cool Valentine’s included Valentine’s Day themed snacks instead of candy. :)

Snow safety tips from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Hope all my Atlanta readers are staying warm at home! For all of my readers outside of Atlanta, Atlanta has been hit with another snowstorm just 2 weeks from our first snowstorm of the year and most everybody is working from home and staying home from school so that the roads are clear and accidents are minimized. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta graciously sent over some snow safety tips that I thought would be appropriate given the weather. There’s also a great list of indoor activities and family friendly workouts that can cure indoor boredom. I especially like the indoor basketball and indoor bootcamp ideas! Stay warm, stay safe, and have fun!

As temperatures continue to drop and many Georgia schools are closing due to weather, parents are looking for ways to keep their kids active, moving and healthy even when indoors. But often that is easier said than done. This is why Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life put together these great ideas, suggestions and expert advice to help your readers! See below for some of the top line topics with links to more detailed information:

INDOOR ACTIVITY IDEAS

o   Dr. Stephanie Walsh keeps a list of indoor activities on hand to help combat the winter blues. Check out her Healthy Dose blog entry, complete with simple ways to move indoors, including fun (and inexpensive) activities such as Indoor Bowling, Detergent Jug Catch and Ribbon Limbo.

o   Do animal races, walking over “hot lava” and dance parties sound fun? Check out our printable Indoor Activities for Kids PDF. Let your (and your child’s) imagination run wild, let your hair down and enjoy an afternoon of fun with your kids.

o   Lace up your favorite gym shoes and get moving with our great ideas to bring the best of circuit training to your house. Use our printable At Home Boot Camp PDF to get a great family workout without even having to go outside.

  • THREE REASONS TO GET OUTSIDE THIS WINTER

o   Did you know that cold weather doesn’t make you sick…that’s just an old wives’ tale. Studies show people who are chilled are no more likely to get sick than those who aren’t. Check out Strong4Life’s Three Reasons to Get Outside this Winter.

Once your children head outdoors though, it’s important to make sure they take precautions to stay safe. Click here for tips on snow safety.

The 7 Stages of Motherhood: A Book Review

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I found this gem of a book at the Buckhead Library and have been reading it all week. It has me tearing up while waiting for the MARTA and is exactly the type of book that I’ve been looking for but never knew existed. Ann states that she wrote the book because there are so many books about child development and child raising techniques but not many on the journey of being a Mother – of what it means, of what you experience, of how it truly changes your life. I like that the author brings in many of her own experiences of being a mother as well as experiences from other mothers as well. The way she describes how torn she is between loving her job and wanting to be there more for her children is so spot on and I think is a feeling that all working mothers feel, if even just a little. I loved reading about the struggles mothers have as their kids grow up – whether you are a stay at home mom or working mom. To me, this book is like hearing advice from Moms who have gone through the whole journey and who want to share some advice or words of wisdom with you. It makes me look forward to the upcoming years of parenting and makes me more aware of what is to come. I highly recommend reading it!

The fear of missing out (otherwise known as FOMO)

Let me start off this blog post by saying that I love my life – I love every minute of it and feel incredibly fortunate to have a wonderful husband and son and just about everything I could ever ask for. However, just as there is the phrase that the grass always seems greener on the other side, ever since I became a parent, I constantly felt like I was missing out on something. What did I think I was missing out on? Drinking without feeling like I would regret it the next morning when my son wakes up at 6AM when he typically wakes up at 7, missing out on get-togethers, parties, events, etc because we can’t find a babysitter for the night, missing out on random hanging out because you need to plan everything when you have a kid, and in general, missing general alone time and doing what I want to do (i.e. read, watch an entire TV season on netflix, etc).

As much as we can, my husband and I try to carve out time to do things that we did before we had kids. Obviously we have date nights, and we do the things we used to love too – I still volunteer with the Junior League and my husband still plays wiffleball / baseball, etc. However, we have adjusted our life in some ways: when our son is sick on a night we were supposed to have date night, we cuddle with him while we watch a redbox movie together. We don’t and can’t say yes to every social invitation we are invited to, but the ones we go to are always so much fun and worth the hassle of interrupted toddler sleep.

Do I still feel like I am missing out? Yes. I miss my friends and I miss my alone time. But I know that just as I have FOMO, so does the girl who isn’t married or has kids yet. It’s the whole grass is greener concept all over again. However, if there was one thing I could change, it would be having more time. I was talking to another working Mom who described her day exactly as I do: “We work so hard all day at work, then we come home, cook dinner, and then we are Mom all night until our kids go to bed and then we save what little time we have left until we pass out to hang out with our husband and it starts all over again”. Exactly. Wouldn’t trade it for the world but I really could use some more free time :)

Kaboost Portable Chair Booster Review

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We were deciding for a while whether to get the Kaboost ($35-$40 depending on color) or a typical booster seat for our kid (You can read more about it and see some photos of the Kaboost here) and in the end we went with the Kaboost. We love it! It raises our son to the right height so that he can eat comfortably at any restaurant we go to. Now that he will no longer sit in his Fisher Price booster seat, this is the best option for us when we go out to eat. The only thing to note is that putting it on a chair in a restaurant isn’t the easier thing to do. It helps to have a kid who doesn’t want to run around and someone to help you put the Kaboost on the chair.

Something else I liked about the Kaboost is that it’s very sturdy. I was worried it would be wobbly but we have not had it wobble at all when we have used it. Some reviewers on Amazon complained that it’s hard to push the chair forward but when we need to move the chair closer to the table, we just pick it up and move the chair. The Kaboost doesn’t add much weight and for now, our kid isn’t too heavy. So far we’ve had great success with the Kaboost. Ours didn’t come with a carrying bag (not sure if any do) so we just put it in a tote bag and it fits just fine. Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below! Two more photos after the jump :)

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Raising a kid who isn’t whiny

Wanted to share my favorite quotes from an article I read today called How to Raise a Kid who isn’t Whiny

“Mommy wars? You know who has mommy wars? Women with enough time and disposable income to bemoan the fact that others are “judging” them for how they feed their kids? Pinterest stress? That’s what you get when you need a problem.”

“And while I don’t ever want my daughter to feel the pain of real trouble, I wonder just how I can raise a human in this blessed environment, where she is completely inoculated against such petulant, whiny diseases. Pain, of course, is relative. And having financial security doesn’t protect against real problems. But how do I teach my children that petty problems aren’t worth their time? That failure makes you stronger and that social media-induced ennui means you should probably shut the computer and read a book — a real book.”

“I don’t know the answer to how to raise a kid who isn’t whiny and annoying and who doesn’t think that Pinterest stress is really a thing worth lamenting. But I do know that as a parent, it begins with me. I set the limits. We won’t do Elf on the Shelf because mom has enough trouble getting cookies baked over Christmas. The tooth fairy only brings a quarter. There is no adjustment for inflation. Your birthday cake will probably always come from the store, as will your Valentine’s cards for school. I didn’t buy baby moccasins because the ROI on that investment was one good Instagram picture. Your food won’t be all organic. Yes, I used formula. Walk to school. There is no second breakfast or special dinner for you. I don’t do grocery cart covers or antiseptic wipes. I don’t care if that kid took your toy, get it back yourself, that’s street justice. I don’t care if the neighbor sneezed on you, the flu happens. Time out occurs at anytime or anywhere, so be on alert.”

Now I’m feeling better that I never make anything I pin on Pinterest and that I have tried to stop caring about the little things.

Limiting electronic distractions

I knew the day would come, but I didn’t think it would come this quickly: my son loves the iPad. In the past, we would maybe let him watch one app (Micky Mouse Clubhouse) when we were both getting ready and needed him to sit still for a second. Now he knows how to use the main button, as well as go through the different apps to pick the ones that he wants to play with. The result? Something I’m not too happy with.

Now, I’m not one of those Moms who refuse to let their kid watch TV or use their phones. My son watches TV and he uses our phones when I’m shopping and need him to sit straight. However, I honestly think it’s damaging to his mind to use the iPad because of the multitasking nature of the iPad. My husband read online that playing with the iPad may cause ADD and I can certainly see why – especially in the way that my kid has been using the iPad. So now what? My husband and I have decided to hide our iPads at night and only use them after the kid is asleep. It will be a little harder on the weekends, but I think we can all use sometime away from our electronic devices. Next step for me will be putting down my phone and stop checking it so much. I’m constantly trying to be more present for my son and I know my phone doesn’t help in that endeavor. Yesterday, my son served me an imaginary dinner and it was the cutest thing I have ever seen. I want to make sure I don’t miss those cute moments just because I’m staring at an iPad :)

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