Saturday, September 27, 2014

School Shoes #BTS #fashion #Striderite

Disclosure:  I received these shoes and labels to review.  As always all opinions are 100% mine and honest.  This post also includes some affiliate links.

At a recent Back to School event put on by Momtrends, I was able to view the new styles of Stride Rite Shoes for the kids.  I fell in love with 3 pairs, we have never owned any Stride Rite shoes but for years have heard great things.  I was eager to hear about .... And find out they were certified …, did you know that? 

The 3 styles I reviewed for Jack and Charlotte were: BarkerMedallion Collection Alice, and Travis

Finding shoes that my kids will wear and will last is not always the easiest.  I look for things they can handle themselves (put on/take off) to make my mornings easy and give the kids their independence and ability to get dressed in the morning themselves.  These shoes are adorable, easy to put on and versitile, casual and dressy.    Mabels Labels also makes shoe labels for preschoolers that not only label the shoes but also help kids to put their shoes on correct feet and tell left from right. They are perfect for Char's boots, ballet and tap shoes.

They were excited to wear them also as you can see them showing them off:

Do you need labels for school clothing, shoes and things they bring daily?  I have a giveaway for an Ultimate Back to School Combo to one lucky reader! US Residents only  Ends 10/4/14 12:00AM EST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 22, 2014

First week down! #BTS #kprocblog

Two weeks ago the kids started preschool and Pre-K at a new school.  It was also their first time full day, they have always been home with me, family or a babysitter, we were all in for an adjustment.  Especially me with getting up early, 2 lunches, 2 snacks, 2 kids plus me dressed every morning and getting there for 8:30am.  We succeeded!

First day of course we took the obligated First Day of School Pictures with their signs.  Tim made sure to be home and off we went, new school! Neither wanted to hold hands, both were excited to get in the classroom and I had to beg for a kiss, phew that was TOO EASY for a drop off.  We went to the main office to turn in paperwork, on the way out we stuck our head back in room to see them.  Jack was playing with some boys at the train table (no surprise there) saw us and waved.  Little Miss Charlotte was in the back with some baby dolls, sees us and yells "daddy" all cute. Then she runs to us at the door and says (as if she was 15) "I thought I told you to leave, you can leave us now, go home".  Wow, while most kids are crying at age 3 and not waiting to leave their parents, my child is bossing us around and yelling at us to leave.  So we did. 

I am extremely happy they had a great first day of school and did not want to come home.  Although with school comes germs, Charlotte had a fever after school, resulting in a doctor visit for my kid who never has a fever. She missed her second day of school.  Although bossing the nail ladies around at her pedicure on Wednesday made her feel better I am sure.  (Don't all 3year olds need a foot bath, exfoliated legs and lotion massage?) 

Jack did great too, each day he woke up asking about when he leaves for school, not wanting to go home and a mid week early pickup to go see Dolphin Tale 2 in NYC.  I was thanked for his "awesome snacks" each day and took his lunch order each night, a PBJ with fruit sides.  

I am so proud of them both, no tears, enjoyed the full day and were so tired by the end of the day bed time each night was wonderfully quick!  I can only hope each week I do have the same results.  The structure, routine and educational experience is helping then both out in so many way.

How was your family's first week back? 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dolphin Tale 2 #review #mamarazzi

Did you see the first Dolphin Tale? No? What are you waiting for, rent it now and then hop into your closest theater and see Dolphin Tale 2 by Warner Brothers.  My kids enjoyed the movie on Wednesday thanks to an advanced screening with TheMoms.  The sequel follows Winter, the star of the first movie a dolphin who has no fin and was given a prosthetic one to enable her to swim again.

The entire cast reunited for this film, to share how Winter needed find a female companion to pair with as a social animal in an aquarium or she would need to be moved.  Mandy and Hope were new the dolphins that joined in the movie.  I think my kids loved Mavis the Sea Turtle and Rufus the Pelican the most, great comic relief from a bird the best.  

With Harry Connick Jr, Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman all back for a second time.  Make sure to get your tickets and bring the family! All in all the message of healing for animals and humans can he felt throughout.


Disclosure: I was invited as media, all opinions as always are 100% my own and honest. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

*Speck Shift Modular SystemforiPadMinis #respecked #review #giveaway #BTS

I LOVE Apple products but with them you NEED protective cases.  Enter (*)SPECK, at Blogger Bash I met them at their table during KidVuz and was given a ShowFolio to sample.  A ShowFolio is one of the cases in Speck's new Shift Modular System, along with the VentureFolio and ShiftFolio.   These come in sets with frames, or you can get covers separately to interchange with your fame.  I also was able to try the Durafolio, not in the Shift System.

Shift Modular System

ShowFolio, was my first introduction to the Shift Cases.  A great idea for the iPad in the car for those who use them to view videos in the car, perfect for my family since we do that all the time.  The Case has two hooks that come out and hook on the back of the head rest.  The cover tucks under and when you get out of the car the hooks tuck right back in and case covers screen, so you can carry on with your iPad mini like normal.   This is hands down my favorite in the system, because I mainly use one of my minis for work and movies in the car.  The ShowFolio is available on the website for $59.95.  This is a great product for any iPad Mini owner with kids!  


The Shift and Venture systems will be out soon:  ShiftFolio(Cover) attaches to the frame for a sleek look in a modeled frame.  When the cover is closed it puts the mini in/out of sleep mode too.  ShiftFolio provides all around support and protection and is the most basic of the 3 cases in the system.  It only comes in red/black combination, nice and bold but professional look.  VentureFolio, the third in the system, I LOVE this one because it had sleeves to hold important cards/papers.   I like this one because of the card holders, instantly put my library card inside, when borrowing e-books.  I can see a coffee gift card going in the other side for when I go and sit for hours at the coffee shop reading.  This is also perfect for those who carry around their mini nonstop and want it to hold anything they need, college ID card when going to the cafeteria, classes even?  Ideas are endless.   This case also includes built in magnets for auto sleep/wake.


DURAFOLIO style: I love this case for the iPad as an everyday, in/out of book bag, kid playing use.  Does that make sense?  It's thicker, "drop tested and exceeds military  standards" according to Speck and I can see this.  The Durafolio has 6 color choices, I loved the Fuchsia/White combo for myself, blacks, blues and red combos are available too.  The case prides himself on being slim, durable and textured, has multiple viewing angles.  The cover of the folio is also magnetic for auto on/off sleeping modes and keeps the iPad screen sealed for protection when closed.

SPECK also makes lots of cases for iPhones, iPods, tablets and tech products for other companies, not just Apple.   Also my experience only comes from my iPhone and iPad mini cases.  Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Disclosure:  I was provided with the cases from Speck for review purposes, no other compensation was provided.  All opinions as always are 100% my own and honest. 

Do you want a chance to win the SHOWFOLIO & DURAFOLIO?  Enter at Apple Tots in the Hudson Valley , giveaway ends:  9/18/14 Open to US Residents ONLY.

**cross posted on Apple Tots in the Hudson Valley**

Monday, September 8, 2014

Blogger Bash 2014 #bbnyc

This two day event in NYC was broken into many events under one great BASH with Bloggers from all over the US.  Networking with fellow bloggers and brands in one  place was awesome.  Starting with Sweet Suite on Thursday afternoon, several hours were spent learning about new products/toys coming out later this summer and fall just in time for holidays.  I was able to check out products I have over looked in stores in the past because I had no idea they were ven out there.  Not to mention some nostalgia toys like Pound Puppies, do you remember them? The mystery of how any puppies would be inside never got old.

Another favorite, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, they are back with the new movie coming out, and my kids are just the age I was when my obsession had started.  Now they have Half Shell Hereos for the younger kids, their features are softer, friendlier looking, and down right adorable.  
Half Shell Hereos

KURIO tablets and phones (coming out in October) have kid products which have everything installed to limit, track, and restrict kids from doing things yet they still can do so much, like restrict when phone calls and texts can be made, phone numbers have to be approved and put in by a parent so you know who your child is talking to, GPS to track where they are.   The phones come unlocked and can join different networks or just work off pprepaid phone cards.  I won a Kurio phone and can't wait to try it this fall.  Even with my younger kids, minutes canbe used to call their grandparents which they love to do and use it for learning apps.  

Action shot using the tablet skiing game
MegaBloks was there to show off their line of toys, did you know MegaBloks have different stages and sizes as your kids grow?  We have always had MegaBloks in our house, most recently the Thomas and Friends sets a preschool set and Charlotte has started collecting their Hello Kitty sets which are the smallest block sets they have. I have always been a fan of these toys, they promote creativity, fine motor skills when putting and taking apart the blocks.  My kids have amazing imaginations when they build with these toys and have characters talking to one another and elaborate scenes they create. 

Rooibee Teas makes drinks for everyone, their teas especially the vanilla chai was amazing.  This was the first time I found a bottledf vanilla chai that i enjoyed.  They also made drinks for kids in small bottles perfect for the lunch boxes.  

SPIN MASTER is a new company to my house, we were first introduced to this brand when How to Train Your Dragon 2 was coming out, they are the makers of IONIX building sets, and had individual dragon building sets.  We own all them now, what is unique about these is the characters can move and come with small blocks you open like a puzzle and then piece together.  They are also the makers of PAW PATROL toys, which my kids recently introduced me too.  I should have know animals and fire trucks that they would be interested.  I had no idea they watched the show with the baby-sitter and became hooked.  Spin Master makes toys for all ages and their line is quite impressive. 

Blogger Bash Speed Dating

Land's End Back to School

The night was spent mingling and chatting with blogger friends, sharing our opinions and insights we have expereinced while blogging.  The Team behind Blogger Bash and the Sweet Suite did an amazing job pulling off the event for hundreds of bloggers.

Disclosure:  I received toys from different companies, but as always all opinions are my own and honest. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014

National Milkshake Month- #JohnnyRockets # giveaway #kprocblog

Did you know September is National Milkshake Month?  I didn't either until during Blogger Bash where lunch and a milkshake station was provided by Johnny Rockets.   I also never knew about ketchup art, at Johnny Rockets your food comes with a ketchup bowl with a smiley face.  At Blogger Bash when they had an artist doing amazing art work with only a ketchup and a knife. I can't honestly remember when I last ate at Johnny Rockets, it had to be on a vacation somewhere, but lunch was delicious, and everything I had was loaded with bacon, so I was intrigued for another meal. 

Johnny Rockets provided me with dinner at one of their locations, I chose to visit the Palisades Mall in Nyack, NY with a friend for a much needed girls dinner.  In the center of the mall Johnny Rockets is sitting there, immediately walking in you feel like a blast from the past.  JUKE boxes at the tables, straw holders, red and white stripes everywhere and RED SHINY leather booths and stools, just scream 50s to me.  They offer many tradiontal plates, do you want haambrugers, sandwiches, salads?  What about a side of bacon and cheese fries (yes I ate the whole thing myself).  I ordeered a BLT on toasted white bread, no mayo an between the sandwich and fries i was stuffed!  Yet, I couldn't pass up on a milk shake and all day I have been thinking of chocolate and peanut butter. My second favorite is Vanilla with M&Ms mixed in, I love trying new flavors.  At first I thought we would walk around with it so I asked for it in a to-go cup... they have them too, you can also order your food to go/pickup but I wound up sitting and talking and in that time drank the whole thing, YUM!

Love the old school feel of Johnny Rockets
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by my experience there, the staff was friendly, food came out quickly and everything was tasted so good.  Also, having that fast food feel (AMBIANCE WHILE), but sitting down and being waited on in the mall is pleasant, you can relax and talk without all the noise of the food court too. (At least in the location i visited).  I will be back soon I know too.  There are a bunch of other milkshake flavors I still want to try and treat the kids!  
Ketchup Bowl

Peanut Butter Milkshake to go

Johnny Rockets want to know what Milkshake you like best... they challenged people to make their own milkshake and share it.  I took out my blender and made one too.. Vanilla with Tagalongs- YUMMY!  

Ingredients: 1/2 cup of milk, 5 scoops of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, 2 Tagalogs and BLEND!

A decorative straw is a must also! 

Since September is National Milkshake Month, I want to know what your favorite milkshake is (leave a comment with your flavor), enter giveaway through Rafflecopter below.  Prize: Dinner for 2: 2 Sandwiches, 2 fries and 2 drinks.  Good for use in the U.S. 

Disclosure:  I visited Johnny Rockets and was provided my meal complimentary,  all opinions are my own and as always 100% honest.

Char's Animal Kingdom Birthday Party #charturnsthree

We had Charlotte's 3rd Birthday Party on Sunday at Animal Kingdom USA located in Brewster.  I walked in not really knowing what to expect, just that Charlotte would get to see her friends and animals we normally visit at the store but don't get to touch.  The basic party includes 10 kids + birthday girl who is free, decorations, and I was told a fish for kids to take home.  I added an extra 30 minutes and 2 pizzas for the kids to eat also.  So when we showed up I was all excited to see the room set up and we had two party hosts Yann and Theresa.  I think we hit the Jackpot with two of the best party hosts I have ever met!!
Holding a SNAKE!

The girls were brave holding a snake
I brought goodie bags for the kids and had Hello Kitty cookies made too.  Animal Kingdom had a glass fishbowl, beta fish, some food and rocks for each kid and stuffed small froggie in the bowl too for each kid. WOW! Also each kid was given a Safari hat to wear so we knew who was apart of the party and got to keep them.  Super neat!  The cake was DELICIOUS and simple pink and white with Hello Kitty on top, a perfect example is less is more with this cake.  Compliments immediately were received, Animal Kingdom works with CakeSquared for their party cakes. All kids also got balloons to take home and we left with a bunch also. I didn't even need paper goods, literally just had to show up with the birthday girl.

Bearded Dragon climbing on Charlotte
TUBRO with Charlotte, the reason she wanted her party at AKUSA!
The party itself was just as wonderful.  Yann and Theresa explained the rules to the kids, everyone would get a chance to see/touch the animals but certain special things would be for the birthday girl only.  Then they lined them up and headed to the bird area first. Then reptiles, fish and the furry friends.  Turbo came out at the end and the kids were able to feed him bananas, pet him and take photos.  Charlotte's favorites were the Parakeet BoJangles, Snake which she didn't want to take off her neck and of course Turbo the reason we had her party there.  Oh and being able to stand on the ISLAND and feed the fish instead of on the outside.  Fish food was also provided by Animal Kingdom.  Seriously Theresa and Yann rocked!!

I recommend having a party at Animal Kingdom to anyone, it was worth every penny!

Disclosure:  This review is 100% honest and my own and posted purely as a review, nothing was provided by Animal Kingdom USA to me.