Tuesday, June 24, 2014

REVIEW Blue Man Group

BlueMan Group Giveaway & Review
outside theatre
The kids, my parents and I headed to see Blue Man Group on Sunday.  I have heard about them over the years, seen clips of them performing but never live.  What a show, better yet, why did I wait so long?! The kids were beyond excited to watch- dancing, clapping and "playing along", a great interactive show for all ages.
Blue Man and I

The Astor Palace Theatre is the perfect venue, all seats are great, the first 5 rows are even given ponchos for the show.  Paint, marshmallows, jello are just some of the things that come spraying out to the audience.  People are pulled onto stage to interact, also don't be late unless you want the spot light on you, seriously.   The Blue Men kept the music pumping, people laughing, clapping and did you know they don't speak?  To my right throughout the show, I had 4 engaged, smiling faces from different generations.  Pure happiness for me to watch. 

Around the theatre there are towns of shops,  places to eat, parking garages or if you are lucky like me street parking also.  Make a whole day of family fun around St. Marks place.

Location and how to get there:
434 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003

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Disclosure: I was invited as Media to the Blue Man Group and received tickets in exchange for writing my review.  As always, all opinions are my own. 

Want YOUR chance to see BlueMan Group?? Enter today Ends 7/1/2014 at 11:59pmEST

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cross posted on Apple Tots in the Hudson Valley

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Mid-June Reflection...

While reflecting on the past week and how I was able to do everything I needed, have some "me time" and kids be cared for- I need to thank my support!

Seriously, it's not to say I haven't had "crazy lady" moments, and raised my voice at the kids (and husband).  We made it through a crazy week, and have two more to go before some R&R, June is seriously a busy time between work, kids' stuff and events (graduations mainly).  Oh and throw in Tim's work schedule, here it is: he is never home or never home when I am home.  We're like strangers in the wind lately.  

My mornings would not be so smoothe and I would not be able to get out of the house on time without the help of my babysitter, she arrives early 3 mornings a week and feeds/dressed the kids while I finish fixing myself and run out to work.  She takes Jack to school, hangs with Char and then brings them home for lunch, play and sometimes a nap, and they love her.  She potty trained my kid too (score!). Two days a week the kids are with one of the grandmas.  Who also take the kids to school, pick up and take Jack to his appointments.  Not to forget they each take the kids overnight once a week too, which the kids love as much as me!! Once in a while this means date night or errands without the kids for Tim and I.  

So I have A LOT of help, I am no superwoman.  Actually I find these ages now way more difficult to deal with then when I had a newborn and 15 month old, then 1&2 year old even 2&3.  Right now, I seriously loose my mind with them, I have not been to the mall with two kids alone in months.  The mall was my place, my go to 2-3 times a week when they were younger, we went and did everything just the three of us.  I don't know if it's because I work more now and am just tired, or what (what being they are maniacs lately even though they look like cute darling kids). 

I'd like to think my house is semi organized, but let's be real- with Jack and Char there are toys everywhere, a full kitchen sink daily, and I wear clothes most days out of the clean laundry basket, because while I do keep up on doing laundry, that second step of putting it away rarely happens.  If it weren't for the cleaning service weekly, my house would be in really bad shape.  Thankfully my sheets are guarenteed to be changed once a week, and toilet scrubbed.  

So here I am admitting I am not superwoman, not supermom, I can admit that I am a mom that knows her limits and knows she can ask for help, get the help and by doing this I do have a happy house and family.  My kids are loved and have a great system of adults who love and care for them.  Which is amazing.  So thanks again to my parents, in-laws, the teachers at school, therapists who work with Jack and our babysitter. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Father Day Gifts for New Dads

When I was pregnant with Jack,  he was celebrated with a shower by our nearest and dearest family and friends.  I wanted Tim to get a gift too, something for a new dad, a gag of sorts but things we also needed and things he could use.  I went with a nice tool belt, which made sense as a contractor.  Then, I filled it with things we'd need for the baby and funny "first time parent gags" (goggles, face mask, tongs for dirty diapers, etc).  After our baby shower, I gave Tim his gift.  He still uses his tool belt 4 years later.

AVENT: Monitor, bottles, pacifier, and breast pump

When the kids were still on formula and using bottles, we used Philips AVENT, I loved how easy they were to clean, plus not a ton of pieces and nipples that went up with stages.  I was able to reuse them with my second child, just replaced nipples.  These were also the ones my husband preferred when he fed the children.  Philips AVENT is the #1 brand recommended by moms worldwide.  Their new Natural Bottle Designs are adorable with designs of flowers, monkeys or elephants (available at Babies R Us and Walmart exclusively).
Photo: Babies R Us

Unique Design Bottle
  •  wide 'breast-like' shape for easy latch-on
  • comfort petals inside nipple increase softness and flexibility without nipple collapse 
  • extra stoft, mimics mom's real breast shape 
  •  advanced anti-colic system with innovative twin valve allows air into bottle 
Philips AVENT Nighttime Pacifier is great to help soothe the baby back to sleep.  Made for 0-6 months and 6-18 months, they have caps, glow in dark to find in the dark, and orthodontic for natural development of baby's palate.  You can find them at stores and online.
Photo: Babies R Us

Philips AVENT also has Comfort Breast Pumps, both manual and electric.  Although I have no experience with great feeding, many friends have shared experiences with pumping, and a manual one is great for places you can plug in anywhere, on the go/locations within the house/workplace.    The Manual Pump "delivers the same suction as an electric breast pump and is ideal on-the-go solution that is quiet, compact and portable."  You can find it at Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby, Amazon, Target and Walmart for an average of $44.99.

Photo: Babies R Us

I spy on my kids, do you?  AVENT DECT Monitor SCD570 is not a video monitor, but has many features on the parental unit: sensors that track and display room temperature, LED light to signal noise levels and talk back mode to communicate up to 1,000 ft range.   I think the talk back is my favorite feature with older toddler/preschoolers now, using while they sleep.  My husband also enjoys using this talk back feature, the temperature display is great also, as we have AC units vs central air, I am always checking if its too hot or too cold.  You can find this on Amazon, BabiesRUs.com, Walmart, Buy Buy Baby and Drugstore.com

Now it is Father's Day, how can YOU incorporate these items into a gift for dad or expectant dad?  I will show you.  What else do they need... A tool box, tackle box, tool belt, or car organizer?  That will hold them, then you fill it with these items and poems/stories for dad to understand what they are/what they do/why he is receiving them.  Dad's need instructions right?

Philips AVENT is committed to dads, and with Father's Day around the corner.  They have designed products to encourage dads to bond with their babies, during the most special times.  With these proper tools, moms can rest and dads can take over.

Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there!!

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**Disclosure:  I received these items in exchange for an honest review and Father's Day gift ideas, no compensation was give.  As always all views are my own**

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Heroes of the City BABY App Review

Download the App today for FREE!

We were asked to review a new app with for babies (0-2) but the same makers of HEROES OF THE CITY, which we reviewed back in March (check it out here).  After reviewing and nonstop play that app has received on the kids' iTouches I said yes.  The App is available for FREE on both GooglePlay and Apple devices.  It has 3 short videos and 4 easy games for younger ones.  The paint and music panel, are touch and response games.   Great for the youngest of children, all they do is touch the screen and music starts or a line of color forms across the screen in paint. Simple and kids love it.  The Color and Sort game has 3 shapes/colors appear and they need to be dragged into the outline of the corresponding shape below.  This has been the favorite of my kids and students I have used.  After 2-3 examples on how to do it, they are able to do it alone. 

Check out this short movie for toddlers about Fiona the Fire Truck.  These character names with become household names in no time, just like Percy Post, Calamity Crow and Pauli Police Car at our house.

Pop the Ballon Game
Here’s some facts about the Baby app:
The app is completely free, with no advertising and has no in-app purchases. Everything in the app is designed for the youngest children.  The app is easy to use, entertaining, educational and will inspire our children to be creative. This app takes the smallest children seriously and we have specially designed everything in the app to suit children between 0-2 + years.

The app includes:
• 3 animated short movies (Language: English and Swedish )
• Music Panel with two different themes
• Color and shape game
• Magic coloring game
• Balloon Game


Download the App today for FREE!

Disclosure: Diapers, Dishes, Lessons & Homework/AppleTotsintheHudsonValley receives products in order to conduct reviews. No monetary compensation was provided unless noted otherwise. All opinions are 100% my own. Some posts may contain affiliate links that I receive commission for payment from in exchange for referrals. In the event of a giveaway, the sponsor is responsible for delivery of the prize, unless otherwise noted in the posting. Giveaways are not sponsored by Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any other social media site. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be a good fit for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Scared Scriptless, Valspar, Ace Hardware & The Moms at Adella, NYC

On Tuesday night, The Moms hosted a night out at Adella, a hot new wine bar on West 43rd Street, along with Valspar, Ace Hardware and AriZona Beverages to help Alison Sweeney with her new novel's release: Scared Scriptless.

Denise Albert,  Melissa Musen Gerstein introduced Alison Sweeney and the jokes just started rolling.   Starting with just a simple question about how Alison gets everything done (mom, author, TV host, actress) Alison said "when you want something done you ask someone who is busy", basically she just does it.  Working moms, moms in general, get it done.  We may be on auto pilot but we get it done.   It is a journey for her, but she makes time for her, when asked if its easier as the kids get older, she said yes.  As kids get older they are easier to negotiate with, less needy that you don't have to do everything for them, but harder because they realize more- why you are away, miss you when you are gone, and understand more.  Very true, my kids are realizing more time home, away at grandparents' homes and miss daddy when he works nights.

Alison has been married 14 years, sharing a bit of what works for her.  You have to be happy with the little things, life is not the bachelor.  (How true!)  Be happy with the day to day stuff, make a date night each week, let him know when something means something to you.   Those date nights don't have to be out, they can be after kids go to bed, make a nice meal and watch your favorite shows together.   Enjoy each other.  Then Melissa and Alison broke out into movie quotes together, Princess Bride anyone?

Scared Scriptless is the second novel for Alison,  she shared she has already started her third.  Busy Mama!  Looking for a great read this summer while at the beach, park, even your back yard? This is one to pick up!  Follow Maddy on her life as a writer in Hollywood and find out if she follows her own life rules and lessons.

Valspar Paint which is sold at Ace Hardware had paint chips decorating Adella, of course I started looking.  Currently,  I have 3 painting projects half finished/started depending on who you ask (husband or me).  I was happy to find out about the Valspar Guarantee: if you are unhappy with the color you can get another gallon for free.  I found a tan/brown for the top half of my living room walls called MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY.  Looking for paint?  Check out The Paint Studio for all their color choices and the store nearest you.

Disclosure:  I was invited as Media but all opinions as always are my own and honest.