Sunday, August 31, 2014

Car Essentials for Moms on the Go #BTS #travel #cars

I drive hundreds of miles a week out doing stuff with the kids and working from my car.  This mom on the go needs organization, its key, my trunk and front seat double as an office for me.  I have many things inside my car but the following 4 things stand out as my mommy musts:

1:  Britax CarSeat Set-  my kids are messy, I have leather seats for easy cleaning but even with them, the kids and their car seats still make a mess.  The Britax Rubber Mat has saved my seats, I only wish I had bought them earlier then I did.  The mats catch liquids, crumbs, toys, and everything else you can think of. Char split a juice box in her seat and everything was pooled on mat to clean up, spray off and place back on seat.  The set also comes with a seat protector/organizer to hang on back of seat infront of where kids sit so if they kick with shoes on nothing gets on my seat and they can keep "must have" objects within their reach.  The window sun shades only work in my back windows for 3rd row because those windows don't move which is perfect for my 3rd row seater.

2. NewTrent Dual Car Charger: With all my electronics in the car and the kids' products I need extra USB chargers.  I love this dual charger simply because I can do two devices at once and not use up two outlets.  Also in the 2nd row of my SUV I have one outlet, with this both kids can charge their iTouches simultaneously.  Save the money cheap single chargers and spend the $10+/- on this charger.

3. ShowFolio:  Long rides, road trips, SANITY?  This iPad Mini holder is a must for the kids, clipping on to the back of any headrest, the kids can watch a movie, TV show or even just listen to their iTunes play list and I am not worried about it being dropped, spilled on or them fighting since no one can touch it. Score for mommy!

4. ThirtyOne Bags Large Utility Tote- This is my catch all in the bag for the car, its large, durable and the long handles make it especially handy to carry in when its packed with stuff.  I use this bag to bring toys/papers between the car and house.  With Jack and Char they are bringing toys in all the time and somehow those toys stay in the car.  Every few days I am able to throw everything in to come back in the house.  These bags are also easy to clean if anything spills or it gets dirty.   



Disclosure:  This post is 100% my own opinion, affiliate links are embedded in the post.  No companies have sponsored this post.  Just products I use and support.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Charlotte turns 3 #disasterbaby

Charlotte turns 3 on the 26th, and these past 3 years have been one crazy story with her.  She is a ball of energy, feisty, independent and smart.  If you ask her she says she is turning 26, not 3, until you ask her real age which is back at 3.  26 she is, her diva behavior, her smart mouth, and her problem solving skills are quite impressive.   She can keep up with anyone, most recently rocking out on a dirt bike with training/balance wheels added to it.

Birth, 1, 2, 3 photos from JCPenney Portraits 
Charlotte is starting full-time preschool this year too, honestly I have no worries, last year the first day of her Twos program she didn't even want me to walk in with her, just blew me a kiss and walked in.  I am sure she will do the same in just under 3 weeks and make new friends.  Her brother will be there too on a second floor, I am sure she will see him throughout the day, probably to just bother him..  Then again I did catch them sleeping together holding hands the other night.

In the 3 years she has been alive she has taught me a lot as a mother to a girl, mainly she is my mini-me and the fact my mom had 2 kids after I was born she deserves a medal, LOL.  Charlotte's love for Tim is unconditional, from the minute he walks in the door to she goes to bed they are attached at the hip.   Daddy's girl she is, she wants to be a "motorcycling riding forewoman with pink coat" when she grows up to be like him.  Oh how I can never imagine not having Charlotte in our my life.


She loves her Harley Boots and Shirt like Daddy




Saturday, August 23, 2014

Henry & Me Movie Review #themoms


On Monday August 18th, Henry & Me had a red carpet premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater in NYC with The Moms.  Jack, my dad and I were there to see the children's movie with a huge message of HOPE when given a challenge in life, health related or not.   Everyone will be able to download it on September 30th from various platforms, and I highly suggest you do, buy tissues too.
Jack and Grandpa walking to the theater 

Henry & Me was written by Ray Negron who came to be apart of the team at a young age when he was taken under the wing of George Steinbrenner becoming bat boy and sticking with the team for nearly 30 years now, currently as an author and personal consultant.

Without giving too much away, the story revolves around young boy Jack who is sick, and many Yankee Greats come to him with messages.  Voices were provided by Richard Gere, Chaz Palminteri, Danny Aiello, Luis Guzman, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Austin Williams with Hank Steinbrenner and many of The New York Yankees.  
Talk back after screening

Proceeds from EVERY sale of the movie will be donated to many charities all close to the NYY and those involved with the film, what a great way to give back  #HenryandMe!!  After the screening The Moms did a talk back and when asked about the boy in the movie, turns out he was there and came down to then participate in the talk back, now 19 years old and in college.  Just an amazing message and movie great for all ages, guaranteed to touch you in some way. 
Joe Girardi and I

Disclosure:  I was provided tickets to attend this movie for review, no other compensation was provided.  All opinions as always as 100% honest and my own. 






Friday, August 22, 2014

Paw Patrol Toys- SpinMaster Review #kprocblog #review

Are you kids obsessed with Paw Patrol? Do you know what it is or were you living under a rock like I was up until a few weeks ago?  Jack introduced me to Paw Patrol, he started watching with the babysitter on Nickelodeon.  Spin Master, the company who makes Paw Patrol toys also makes How to Train Your Dragon 2 Toys and IONIX building blocks.  Those toys were my first introduction to the company but then at Blogger Bash, I met with Spin Master and learned they also made Paw Patrol!! Hello new must have brand that makes my kids favorites right now.
SpinMaster table at Blogger Bash
I sat and watched an episode of Paw Patrol and think it is adorable, I loved the variety of 
the characters including a girl character for my daughter, even though she is in love with Chase and Marshall too.  The show covers multiple professions and they toys are great for budding imaginations and storytellers.  Jack & Charlotte incorporate Paw Patrol play with their blocks as Rubble plows over a wall they built or Marshall comes along to put out a fire at the doll house, and the best part- kids play together NICELY.  

Do your kids recreate scenes from their favorite shows/movies? The many choices of toys will help your kids with that.  Paw Patrol toys by Spin Master are found at many stores. I have found ours at Target, Walmart and Toys R Us, they are "hot" right now so I have had to search around and keep checking back in at stores. We have lucked out though by our growing collection lately.  If you think your child would enjoy these, I suggest stocking up whenever you see them in stores for upcoming holiday season.  They have only been in stores a little more than a month and have been consistently sold out in stores around me.

The soft Marshall stuffed dog talks. PP Real Talking Marshall is adorably soft and has phrases and sounds for the show.  Jack has been sleeping nightly with him, he loves that he is a firefighter like his dad, keeping him extra close.  All it takes to active him is a squeeze of the tummy.  

Paw Patrol Racers: These come in a variety of characters from PP, we have 3 so far, it's a car with the matching character the kids can push on floor and race.  Best of both worlds as it comes with figure in a car (although it cannot be removed) it does provide entertainment for the kids to play with. 
Jack says his dad is "half Rubble and half
Marshall because he builds and puts out fires"

PP Marshall's Fire Fightin' Truck: This set is a character which can sit in or next to the fire truck, two pieces.  My kids love racing over fire truck with. Marshall inside, pulling him out at the fire so he can help save the trains/minions/dolls/planes/etc. they love to use their imagination. 

PP Action Pack Pup & Badge Toys:  These come with badges for the kids to wear on their shirts and the action figure.  The badge on the dog's collar pops up their signature move, Rubble has a digger claw,  Marshall a ladder and Chase crowd controlling megaphones.  We have these three and still collecting the other 4 figures.


Of course with all these toys we HAVE to have the Paw Patrol Look-Out Playset so all the pups and Ryder have a place to hang out.  I have always gotten the play set for any toy collection my kids have owned.  It brings everything together for playing.  Even with it they still use the pups playing with other toys, like I said knocking over blocks, putting out dollhouse fires, etc.

Jack excited for his PP Look-out Playset



EDUCATIONAL POINTS:

  • Websites includes various games
  • ASPCA also has coloring pages on their website on Paw Patrol 
  • show teaches kids about rescuing animals
  • toys can be used as physical motivators- walking across room to reach, pushing racers back and forth promoting parallel play
  • Role play with toys promoting language skills

So as you can see my house is overloaded with PawPatrol, I can bet if your kids are into it, you will be a pound soon too;)

Disclosure: we were sent Real Talking Marshall for review, all others were purchased myself and as always all opinions are 100% my own and honest.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

BEADOS: Kids Craft with beads and water- #review #kprocblog

 If you are like me, you don't pay attention to most commericals or when the kids are watching TV, its usually when you are trying to get some cleaning or work done.  That or you have seen every show on Sprout, Nick Jr, Disney Jr and the Hub.  I am slightly out of touch with newer toys coming out unless I have seen them at an event, or they are pointed out to me at a store.  After Blogger Bash I was personally introduced to hundreds of toys and after I received a box of goodies from many of the brands at the Bash.  One such toy was BEADOS by Moose Toys, I had no idea what this little bag was, but Jack sure did and immediately began singing the song from the commerical is what he told me he was doing.. "ba ba ba ba BEADOS" on repeat and saying "I always wanted this, can I make it now?" Intrigued by his urgency to play with this and curiousity of what was inside and exactly what it was I let him open the little package (sample pack).  All I could think was ADORABLE!!!
BloggerBash Sample that started it all
Display at my nearby store


BEADOS are beads (well, duh!) that you place in a tray, which a design template is held under.  Our little package was a fish.  Once all the beads are placed and everything must be touching, you spray with a tiny spray bottle that comes with set.  Following directions and you let it sit out and set, the waiting time is the hardest for kids, Jack just wanted to play.  Once dry you peel off tray and have your design, some kits come with stands, others come with pieces to hang them, the options are endless.  Beados have been an international sensation making over $150 million in retail sales in its first year, in over 80 countries.  
Dry Station Set

WHY I LIKE THEM:
*I am a big promoter of anything that is creative.  Even with the templates, there is nothing stopping kids from making their own designs (get some tiny graph paper and let them design on paper and then bring it to life with BEADOS
*Fine Motor Skills (OT) work, either by just picking up the BEADOS with your fingers (pincher grasp) or using the tweezer tool, you are working your hand with these tiny beads and then placing them on template tray.  It makes kids work, it slows them down by only doing one at a time too.
*You can study colors, the bigger seats come with a tray to sort the beads.  While working with your child: you can ask what color they picked up, ask them to get a certain color, and count the different color choices.
*Virtually no mess. Clean up is a breeze.

Disclosure:  I was sent a BEADOS Quick Dry Design Station to review with the kids, no other compensation was provided.  As always all opinions are 100% my own and honest. 






Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Celebrate Your Birthday with Elf on theShelf #elfbirthday #nicheparent #kprocblog

I was recently invited to attend a pre conference event for NicheParent14 in NYC at Dylan's Candy Bar for Elf on the Shelf.  Super fun Saturday with Christa Pitts, (Daughter/sister of Elf on the Shelf authors Carol and Chandra) one of the original kids to have an Elf on the Shelf!   Christa gave us a quick background on how everything came to be, even sharing that in 2004 every agent they brought the idea to turned them down. They decided to publish the story themselves in 2005 with 5000 copies in the first batch.  As of today, they wrote and directed a movie special on CBS and had a balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Scout the Elf.  So much accomplishment for a family who pursued their dream even when people tried to stop them.   Carol and Chandra are former teachers and very supportive of schools.  They love that is has been educational for kids to learn and use their writing skills for the elf.  Kids call the "North Pole", send letters and online they also have a teacher portal with lessons that teachers can use and access during the holiday time. Most importantly Christa shared that much like bloggers, when they made this book they needed to know audience, and who they were writing too, also focus small in beginning and not loose focus.  Much more personal this way.

Happy Birthday from Elf on the Shelf!! If your kid(s) are like my kids, they cannot wait from Elfie and Elfette to come every Christmas season and then fly back to the North Pole Christmas Eve after Santa deliveries their presents on Christmas morning.  While our elves are here they do fun things while the kids sleep each night after they return from reporting to the North Pole.  Maybe your Elf doesn't do things, believe me there are times I wish I never started with being creative since now they expect it.  Rules of the Elf: hibernates at adoption centers until they are named, elf does not talk and can't be touched by kids or it will loose "magic" BUT Elf can talk to parents and goes back to report at North Pole each night.  Elf takes on the personality of the family, so creativity is up to you!

Well for the other 11 months our elves are hiding, speaking of that I need to look for them.  Now the woman behind Elf of the Shelf came up with a birthday story, make sure you read the story to the kids before you start so your can follow the directions.  Essentially your elf comes back just for 1 day, your child's birthday, the book comes with a Claus Couture  Collection birthday outfit- an adorable cupcake skirt and hat.  Charitable donation of $1 is made for every Elf on the Shelf Birthday Tradition  kit both to CHARITY WATER.

Will your elf decorate your child's chair for their birthday.  Want to have even more birthday fun, you should check out the Birthday Countdown & Game, each day you move the cupcake as your countdown to the birthday and the reserve side is a game much like pin the tail  but its candles on the cake.


OTHER FACTS:

  • Birthday kits can be bought at TRU and other local retailers. These retailers are called ADOPTION CENTERS which is easier to explain to your kids why they see elves in stores even though they come from the North Pole
  • 2 Facebook pages for Elf on the Shelf- one geared towards kids and other is adult oriented
  • 2 mobile apps-game oriented are out currently
  • 2 mobile apps about to launch HUGE! 1 adults & 1 kids
  • Bilingual and French Editions for Original Elf on the Shelf 
  • Chef Outfit comes with cookie cutter set
  • Jersey and Skirts for Elves (with outfits leave them out at night and elf flies into them when he gets back from NP)
EXCITING NEWS:
Elf Pets- Reindeer come out 11/2 !!  Reindeer work of the magic of Christmas your child shares with it, by playing and giving hugs.


Disclosure:  I have been an Elf on the Self user for 3 years now with my kids, I was invited as media to event and did receive a gift bag with the items pictures in my post.  All opinions are my own and as always 100% honest.





Monday, August 11, 2014

Mabel's Labels #bts #kprocblog

*I am a BuzzMama and Affiliate links are enclosed.*

Back to School is approaching and Mabel's Labels is what you need.  I have been a Mabel's Labels user for over 4 years now.  Jack, Charlotte and I use these labels on everything, and I love that they have many styles for clothing, bottles, shoes and general gear you use.

Their labels can be washed in dishwashers and washing machines without losing them, they stay on for years, I personally have sippy cups 3.5 years with labels still going strong!! I have my books, electronics and coffee cups labeled with my name. This year I added them on beach toys, towels and in their bookbags too.   For work they are a great because I use them on toys, going in and out of places all day, I am bound to lose things.  This way people can return my things and they are also a great conversation piece.

They are have Write Away Labels sold in stores if you can't wait for shipping and need them right now, otherwise I say order online, the amount of designs, colors and combinations on Mabel's Labels website is not to be missed. 
 By the way, one of the co-founders, Julie, is a mom of SIX!!! She shared great tips on running her house in the morning to get six elementary students out on time: teaching them independence!!!

I got the Ultimate Back to School Combo for the kids this year:
Teeny Tags
Shoe Labels
Tag Mates
Skinny-Minis



Disclosure:  I received a set of Mabel's Labels at an event and was sent a set for my kids.  Before that I have been a BuzzMama for years as I 100% love these labels.  I was not compensated in any other way for this post.  All opinions are 100% my honest opinions.









Friday, August 8, 2014

Marvel Universe Live! #SuperheroMOMS #MUL #REVIEW


On Wednesday, Jack and I went to see Marvel Universal Live! and it was awesome!! The Moms, Denise & Melissa,  put on pre-show event that consisted of SuperHero Training school, dress up and meeting the actors in the show, Jack received his super hero ID (Diesel Jack who is Super Strong) and great food.  The Moms sure do know how to entertain kids and their families!

This show has been in the works for two years according to Juliette Feld, executive producer of the production, and it just opened this past month and will be touring throughout the US.  FELD Entertainment is a family business that produces family entertainment everyone will enjoy, Nuclear Boyz, Disney on Ice and Ringling Brothers are just a few of their productions.  If you ever been to one of their productions you know the quality of their shows.

When the show started with the first sound of music, Jack and I were at the edge of our seats.  He has never been to a live show like this before and I know he wants to come again.  Who doesn't like stunts, heart pounding action and a live super heroes infront of you though?  Ridiculously intense action scenes and unlike the movies can only be performed once, take such skill and talent you can't look away in fear you will miss something.  The motorcycle stunts and flying Spiderman were among Jack's favorite scenes when I asked him after the show.

The Good vs Evil plot line with Captain America,The Hulk, Spiderman and many many more who are all trying to save Earth while battling evil, much like Marvel's comics which have captured fans for years.  A franchise that grows each year with the next generation,  the amount of mini Spidermans, Hulks, Ironmans, Captain Americas sitting in the audience with their masks was adorable, I had a Spiderman sitting next to me while eating his cotton candy.  Even the snacks/drinks came in souvenir cups, buckets or masks to take home after event, a great 2 for 1 at the show because we all know the kids will want to eat or drink while there and have something to bring home with their favorite superhero on it. 

Throughout the show you were watching different places on stage fight scenes, while other sets were being changed in front of your eyes with little notice.  The digital projection of the screen center stage provided backgrounds to the set, ramps for stunts and video introductions of the different Superheroes.  The lighting, sound effects, and fireworks were spot on and excited everyone around with every pop!  This show is one you must get out and see, with your kids or a great date night to reminisce your childhood heroes with your friends or loved one.  All ages sat around us and all ages left with something they will never forget!


Follow Marvel Universe Live on Twitter & Instagram @MarvelOnTour

The whole show was amazing, Marvel Universe Live is a must see in a city near you, check it out ASAP, it leaves the NY/NJ area after 8/24.
Playing in the IZOD, NJ center through 8/10
Barclay Center, Brooklyn, NY- 8/13 to 8/17
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY-  8/21 to 8/24


I know a stop at the toy store is coming to Jack can get some of these figures to recreate his favorite parts and I will be playing with him, I want to be Storm and Black Widow.

Disclosure:  I attended event as Media, my son also received a goodie bag to take home.  As always all opinions are 100% honest and my own.





Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: Alberto's V05 #review #kprocblog #giveaway

Alberto's V05 is not my grandma's shampoo anymore.  Growing up and staying over, V05 was always in her shower.  I just figured it was for "grandmas" and would use it when I slept over but never bought myself.  Alberto V05 now has Salon Series with 11 Revitalizing Oils.  I was first introduced to their new line, at an event in June #GettingGorgeous, they had their full line on display, I had no idea how many different types of V05 were out there.

Then, I was asked to try their new Smooth & Sleek- Shampoo and Conditioner, Anti-Frizz & Shine Styling Cream, Perfect Hold Non-Areosol Hairspray and Hot Oil Moisturizing Shower Works.  I tried them in different combinations depending on how I was styling my hair, if I went swimming and how long between washes I went.  The prices points for Albert V05 Salon Series is extremely affordable $5 or less on average and sold in most locations.



Smooth & Sleek- Shampoo and Conditioner:  I thought it was good, a slight fragrance in both helping my hair smell nice.  I did use Conditioner twice to get the silky feel I want when I wash my hair.  That would be my only gripe of using more then usual.  Once rinsed out, I had very little tangles to comb through so using it twice worked very well.

Anti-Frizz & Shine Styling Cream: This can be used on wet or dry hair, although I prefer wet/damp before I style.  Making my hair frizz less as the day goes on, I have straight hair naturally but throughout the day it starts to "stray" using this keeps it tame.  If I add the straightener to make it super flat, this lasts even longer.

Perfect Hold Non-Areosol Hairspray: This was a favorite, I used it in combination of using hot rollers  in my hair.  It was light on my hair and keep my curls in for hours.  I used it while setting them and again once they were all out to do the final spray in my hair.  My curls lasted 4-5 hours longer then usual, I was very happy how well this worked for a non-areosol spray.

Hot Oil Moisturizing Shower Works:  It was easy to use without having to add heat, just put it in and wait a minute.  This is great especially in the summer with chlorine, sun and general damage, weekly hot oil treats help work on saving hair and making it healthier each time out in the sun.  I have been using this and bought more already for my hair.


I will be adding these into my rotation of shampoos & conditioners from now on and the products are sitting on my shelf to be used already.


Do you want a chance to win a set from Alberto's V05? All 5 products review above can be yours!
Open to U.S. Residents only.  ENDS 8/13/14

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure:  I received these items free from Alberto V05 to review.  As always all opinions/experiences are 100% my own. 


Monday, August 4, 2014

Review: Lego Discovery Center Westchester #LDCWestchester #kprocblog

We finally got to Lego Discovery Center, and boy did we love it!  After seeing the LEGO Movie, being Duplo fans, and now collecting and building LEGO Juniors and Friends sets, this was the place for us.  Located at Ridge Hill in Yonkers, it is less than 1 hour from our house.  Our impromptu trip happened late in the day, walking in around 4pm on a Thursday.  PERFECT, perfect timing the place was emptying out after a day of camp groups, family outtings and getting ready to close at 7pm. 


From the moment you walk in there are games and things to do, Charlotte loved the LEGO Figures almost as tall as her.  Jack jumped on the games to play, all interactive for the kids to enjoy.  Tickets start at just $15 when purchased online for children (children 2 and under are free).   

 Leading to Kingdom Quest, a favorite of mine.  Who in your car can score the most points with your laser.  We went on this 4 times, everyone was having so much fun.  Then you are dropped off in NYC made of LEGO bricks, called Miniland.  It was incredible and there are several interactive buttons to touch and see figures move and lights, make sure to check it out. 



We bought sandwiches and drinks at Cafe, found prices reasonable, even had kid meals.  Check out how big this place is and all it has to offer.
Visual Map from http://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com



















The kids also loved the 4D movie, Merlin's Apprentice Ride and LEGO Racers Build and Test track.  There is definitely something for all, girls/boys and young/old.   Char loved playing with the Duplos in the under 5 section.  When we went into LEGO Friends section, I heard "hey, i have those" and "they match my LEGO flowers".





Singing with LEGO Friends!!


We spent nearly 3 hours at LEGOLAND Discovery Center building, playing and going on the rides.   Open year round, it is a great place to visit and nearby public transportation helps you get there even without a car.  We will be going back soon, we left through the store and of course bought 2 new LEGO sets to build at home.  For me? A LEGO Penguin keychain.  Something for everyone!


Want to win a family pass?



Disclosure:  I was invited to LEGOLand Discovery Center as media.  All opinions are my own and as always 100% honest.