Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hop Along the #Bunnytrail & Discover New Products from Hershey's in Time for Easter

Disclosure: The opinions expressed are 100% my own. I was invited as Media to preview licensed products. I received a gift bag & no other compensation was given.

When you think of Easter, what are the first things that come to mind? Cute photos with the Easter bunny, Easter egg hunts and of course baskets filled with chocolate and fun surprises. As a mom of two kids and one 3 year old monster in particular who enjoy's negotiating for sweets "Mommy if I count them, will you give me this many?"[the number of fingers he raises increases with each syllable as he poses the question] I have to be cautious of how many treats fill their baskets.

I was really excited about my invitation to join in on the early Easter fun, and couldn't wait to checkout the latest products from Hershey's. It's nice to know that in addition to their yummy treats there are so many other cool options to fill your baskets up with. Everything from accessories and apparel to bath and body, electronics and collectible products from various Hershey brands such as Jolly Rancher, Hershey's Kisses, Twizzlers, Reese's, Almond Joy, Whoppers and Bubble Yum.  Take a peak at a few of their products and head to some of your favorite stores; Target, Walgreens, Walmart, Best Buy, Sears, Dollar Tree and Claire's to score some of these fantastic finds.

Hershey's Health & Beauty : Products are sold separately or in sets and come scented and flavored. Lip gloss, lip balm, body lotion, bath wash, hair products and nail polish come in various Hershey Brands. The small size of the products make them great for hiding in an Easter egg or around the house.
Retail Price: $3.50-$12.50

Hershey's Woven Accessories: You can gift unique Hershey's woven wrapper accessories that are made with real Hershey's wrappers. Choose from handbags, wallets, totes, bracelets, headbands & other stylish items. Retail Price $9.99-$20.00

Hershey's Shirts:  This Spring you can wear or gift a colorful and fun designed Hershey's Brand T-shirt,     sweatshirt or sleepwear. Products come in long and short sleeves, for both men and women in sizes XS-XL. Retail price: $9.99-$20.00

Hershey's Electronics: Listen to your favorite tunes in style with Hershey's branded earbuds, mini speakers and DJ-style headphones. The brightly colored products make for really awesome gifts. Retail Price $7.99

Hershey's Model Trains and Toy Train Sets: Train lovers of all ages will love the Hershey's branded model train sets to add to the favorites they already have, or to help them get started on a new one.
Retail price: $54.99 per train set item, $74.95 for Little Lines Playset.

If you are in need of an easy, Easter activity to do with the kids during the Spring break or over the weekend, try out this really adorable Easter Critter Cup craft that you can fill with lots of Hershey's goodies. Continue the fun and head over to their site to Celebrate with Hershey's and have a fantastic Easter!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Must Have's for Lil' Monsters {Kids} No. 2

After attending a few baby / family expo's this week and indulging in my Instagram feed over the weekend, my two monsters and I have found some pretty fun products we felt the need to share. We hope you enjoy!

Disney lovers everywhere must run out and get the latest Nintendo game Disney Magical World that allows you to explore fun and unique places while playing with 60 of your favorite Disney characters. Go on adventure filled quests, play with friends, run your own cafe and more!

You'll love the eco-friendly City Sklyine Glow Blocks  for your little master builder because it's view changes in the dark and it's great for hand-eye coordination.

What came first the Chicken or the Egg? This adorable Chicken Nesting Toy will teach little ones about sequencing and life cycles. For ages 18 months and up.

I've been eyeing this Maclaren Mark II Umbrella Stroller  for a few days now because it's lighter than most newborn babies, weighing a mere 7.3 lbs which makes it essential for commuting {especially in NYC subways} and makes it perfect for travel. Ages 6 months and up.

Lil' monsters will want to grab a Cuppie and find the fun, cute animal {piglet, penguin, turtle or rabbit} surprise at the bottom and won't even realize they are helping themselves transition from a sippy cup to a normal cup.

Let your child show off how cool they are in this vibrant "I'm Cool" Popsicle t-shirt [*note orders must be made by tomorrow 4.15.14]. Sizes 3-6 mos -10Y

Tiny readers will enjoy counting while traveling uptown and downtown with a little boy who's in search of his dragon friend among towering buildings and taxi's in a hurry in the wonderfully illustrated book Have you Seen My Dragon. 2-5 years of age.

Curious little minds will enjoy learning about the insides of the human body with this Body Magnetic Puzzle that will teach them all about the skeleton, muscles, organs and skin. Ages 7 and up.

Weleda's New Line of Products that are Perfect for Sensitive Skin & Our Bath-time Favorites Giveaway

Disclosure: All thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own, I received no other compensation for this post. I received products after winning a raffle at an event.

Sometimes as a parent, after the first time around you think you are pretty prepared to handle whatever the second or third kid has in store only to get thrown a curve-ball that you hope can be easily resolved. When our second lil' monster Tristan Riley was born, we weren't really familiar with eczema or products to use to help the condition. As a kid I remember my younger sister having to take weekly oatmeal baths to help relieve her itchiness and the patches that formed well into her pre-teen years and how annoyed she was with it all. My son Tristan Riley's eczema developed rather quickly after he was born, with redness and a rashy patches on the creases behind his knees and arms, on his chest, face and even on his scalp. The itchiness was so intense for the little guy it resulted in him basically pulling out most of his hair and the pediatrician prescribed tubes of stuff we could hardly pronounce to apply, when & where needed. We even had to buy multiple pairs of those little baby mittens, and sometimes just improvised with any clean pair of baby socks we had, to put over his hands {because honestly who can keep up with laundry and a newborn} just to keep him from scratching and in fear he'd actually break the skin.

Bathtime meant naptime for Tristan and was a great moment to moisturize, irritated Eczema patches on his chest & arms.

The exact cause of eczema is unknown but it's believed to be an overactive response by the autoimmune system to some form of irritant effecting about 10 -20 % of infants in the U.S and roughly 3% of children and adults. For most parents it's really frustrating when you don't know how to help your child and I'm sure if you are anything like me you always have an eye out for products that not only bring relief but that are safe and natural. We first started using Weleda products about 4 years ago around this time of year, when we discovered the line at an Earth Day event at Grand Central Terminal here in NYC. I've been hooked ever since on their Sea Buckthorn body oil {the citrus fragrance helps to wake me up}, have used their Calendula baby products for both of my boys, and I even love to use the Calendula face cream for myself.

Weleda recently launched two new products to help those with highly sensitive skin.With ingredients like organic white mallow, pansy extract and coconut oil, the Derma White Mallow Body Lotion and Face cream helps manage the symptoms of eczema by promoting healthy skin formation, moisturizing and relieving itchiness caused from dryness. What's so great about Weleda products is that they don't contain any chemical preservatives or synthetic fragrances and both new products have been accepted by The National Eczema Association because they were tested and found to be safe and beneficial for people with Eczema.

While attending a Well Rounded NY prenatal event, the hubby and I entered and won a raffle of Weleda Calendula and White Mallow products.When our package of goodies arrived, Tristan instantly requested to jump in the tub and grabbed all his bath toys. Without even opening the seal on the bottles you could smell the lovely Calendula products which Tristan said smelled like juicy fruits. The White Mallow line has a lighter scent that comes from the natural ingredients within the product.

Tristan's skin felt noticeably softer {although a little wrinkly from being in the tub way too long} right after taking him out of the tub, and when he asked for the cream for his "scratchies", I squeezed a bit in his hand and he rubbed it on his arms and legs, which is where he tends to get irritated mostly these days. I currently have to hide all the bath products and lotions because he's already been caught hiding in the tub while squeezing out way too much "fruit" cream.

To celebrate the new line and in honor of Earth Day, the lovely folks over at Weleda and I have teamed up to offer 1 lucky reader both the White Mallow Body Lotion and White Mallow Face Cream along with (1) Calendula Shampoo and Body wash & (1) Calendula Cream Bath. Just enter the Rafflecopter down below, lots of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 31, 2014

Must Have's for Lil' Monsters {Kids} #1

There are just so many awesome products out there for kids of all ages these days &  keeping up with what's trending or recommended can be a bit overwhelming! Whether you are shopping for your own children or looking for something fun to gift,  I thought I'd share what my monsters and I think are pretty cool in the stores with readers once a week.

The kids will love chilling out on the beach, laying on their Disney Frozen Olaf Beach Swim Towel, and don't blame them if they break out into a rendition of "In Summer".

If your child isn't a huge fan of water have them infuse it using the Kid Zinger which will add more natural flavor to their drink simply by adding fruits like oranges and strawberries.  Ages 6+ 

A fast paced game of Monopoly Junior is perfect for kids ages 5+, with fun places to land on like the toy store, pet shop and ice cream parlor they are sure to have a good time.

As your little guy dreams up battles with intergalactic enemies, he can wear these Darth Vader Pajamas that have a detachable cape for bedtime

Catering to your baby's visual strengths, Wee Gallery Art Cards make beautiful gifts for newborns that will foster a love of animals and can be used as flashcards for older children.

Pump up the volume and have your music lover turn heads after designing a pair of Bling Headphones that are easy to create with simple patterns and sparkly gems. 8+

With warmer days ahead of us, a Creative Picnic is a perfect way for young ones to dish up some tasty, colorful treats. Ages 1.5 - 5

Which of these Must Have's are you loving for your Lil' Monster?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

An Amazing Month for the WWE: The Launch of the WWE Network, Introduction to the Animated Slam City Series & The Release of Scooby Doo WrestleMania Mystery

Disclosure: The opinions expressed are solely my own, I received a gift bag for attending the event and no other compensation was received.

The last few weeks have been really exciting for true fans of the WWE! Having grown up watching wrestling legends like Triple H, Stephanie McMahon & Hulk Hogan with our grandparents and to now be able to watch the antics of Daniel Bryan, Sin Cara and the Miz with our two monsters, is really special for my Hubby and I. So it's no surprise that because our 9 year old and 3 year old are such WWE fanatics {They produce their own energy packed show using their action figures and wrestling buddies while recording with their 3DS and Vtech Kids Camera and doing their own mommy anxiety - inducing stunts}, I have to try to keep up with all the latest and greatest from the WWE and their superstars.

At the end of February the WWE made history with the launching of their WWE Network which is a video streaming service. At first I was skeptical about wanting to pay for a premium channel of 24/7 wrestling. I know my kids would want to watch all the time but I totally think its worth its $9.99/ month fee {with a 6 month subscription and like with other shows I'll monitor how often they watch. The WWE was giving out a 1 week free trial last week that I decided to take advantage of so that we could check out the channel for ourselves, before committing. With the upcoming Pay-Per-View Wrestlemania 30 costing viewers $50-$60 to see from cable and satellite distributors, the subscription is a great deal! Included with the service, subscribers get to view hours of classic wrestling content, live broadcast's of the WWE's 12 Paper-view showings and encore showings of RAW and Smackdown. Subscribers can view the WWE Network on all Internet equipped media devices, tablets, smartphones and computers, making the $60 for 6 month subscription well worth the money.

There was some major kid and family friendly buzz being created over the last week in the WWE community with the introduction of the new animated series with Mattel called Slam City and this weeks release of  the awesome movie Scooby Doo Wrestlemania Mystery on DVD. Earlier last week on March 19th Chief Brand Officer {& one Bad ass Mama} Stephanie McMahon held a twitter party to celebrate the new kids property Slam City which includes an original short animated series and product line of apparel, toys, back to school gear, books and home videos by the end of 2014. In 2015 A mobile app will be introduced along with home goods, party supplies and stationary.

In Slam City some of our favorite WWE Superstars find themselves fired from the WWE by a new character "The Finisher" and having to find new day  jobs. With John Cena as an auto-mechanic, Randy Orton as a zoo keeper, Alberto Del Rio as a coffeehouse barista and Sheamus as a theater usher, the superstars must face new challenges and settle scores outside of the WWE ring. The goal of the slam city site is to provide our kids with engaging, fun content that promotes problem solving, creativity, healthy habits and fitness. On the Slam City site kids of all ages can not only watch the stop motion animated series, they can al play games and print out posters of their fave WWE superstars. As a mom I truly appreciate the WWE trying to implement more family friendly, age appropriate and fun content for our children to view and play.
Press Play on the video below to check out the 1st episode featuring John Cena in Auto-tude Adjustment.

This past Saturday my family and I were invited as guests along with several other mommy bloggers to the Premier of the Warner Bros and WWE movie Scooby Doo and the WrestleMania Mystery at Tribeca Cinemas in downtown Manhattan.

WWE Superstars: Brodus Clay, Sin Cara, AJ Lee and the Miz.

Cane and Scooby Doo pose for Pictures.

By Far the highlight of the event for us was listening in on interviews and meeting the Super Stars:

While the Superstars were asked questions, Tristan kept pushing his dad closer to the larger than life characters he has grown to love watching on the television.

The boys were able to shake hands and take a picture with Triple H, but I don't think they were anywhere near as excited as I was.


Sin Cara

In this new film that was released to DVD on March 25th, Shaggy and Scooby Doo who are huge WWE fans get tickets to Wrestlemania but in true Scooby Doo fashion, there's a mystery to be solved in WWE City when someone sets out to ruin the event. Having watched the cartoon as a kid,  it was pretty cool to see the collaboration of characters and having Scooby, Shaggy,Velma, Daphne and Fred share a screen with John Cena, The Miz, Triple H, Sgt. Slaughter and more. Overall the movie was really cute, the kids and parents enjoyed the story-line as it was entertaining, full of action and funny and stayed true to classic Scooby Doo cartoons.

We are excited about all the new things happening within the WWE community that's geared towards kids and looking forward to seeing what develops over the next few years!

Who is your favorite WWE Slam City Character? Scooby Doo Character?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

See What's New from Munchkin at their Launch Party with MomTrends

Disclosure: The views expressed in this post are 100% my own. I was invited as a blogger & received a gift bag. No other compensation was given.

A lil' over a week ago, I was invited  to the Munchkin launch party event hosted by Nicole Feliciano of MomTrends to join a bunch of awesome mama's, their sweet kiddies and bloggers to preview & celebrate the release of Munchkin's Mbaby clothing line and new LATCH bottle.

Munchkin felt that it was really important to have moms attend the event and be apart of the conversation and celebration without them having to worry about finding a sitter. Little ones played with toys & napped while mamas had a chance to look at the new designs and mingled with other guests.

It's always lovely to catch up with fellow bloggers like these amazing ladies {L-R, Nilsa of 3cityGirls, Monica of  Sofamilyonline and Nichol of} while attending events here in the city.

I adore the beautiful simplicity and softness of the Mbaby line, from solids, stripes  and gingham to floral prints and anchors, you will truly love dressing up your little ones or gifting these new pieces. What sets the new Mbaby line apart from other designs already out is their unique Onester and Sleepster Collection. Seeing how babies spend a great deal of their time on their backs for sleeping and playtime, their fronts are mainly exposed and the Onester is made with a patent-pending double layer front for babies comfort.

Another great feature is that the trio of snaps on the bottom of the Onester are color coded. If you are anything like I was as a mom, I'd occasionally have my baby snapped in all crooked and get annoyed when I noticed on that very last snap that I had to re-do it. I could see this great attention to detail saving us grown-ups from a few of our own meltdowns.

Girls Line 

Boys Line

I am a huge fan of the Sleepster which also has a patent-pending double layer front. What makes the Sleepster absolutely perfect is that, since Pediatricians recommend that there be nothing in the crib with your lil' one, as a measure of safety the designer included a built in blanket feature. I must say though, another very thoughtful solution solving feature to the Sleepster is the convertible footies. They are perfect for keeping those little baby toes warm, can be rolled up for letting their feet cool, or so that babies can have a better footing on the ground. I also thought this idea was perfect because honestly, babies outgrow those footie pajamas rather quickly, or like my two monsters, they couldn't stand having their feet cramped in them and I had to cut the feet off their fun robot and dinosaur pj's so they could still where them.

Look at the convertible footies, I love that when you roll it up they continue the detail by lining with print.

A panel of lovely ladies featuring Robyn Moreno of Pockets of Pretty, Jordan Reid of Ramshackle Glam and Joy of Simple Wishes  joined Nicole to hold a non-judgmental conversation on their experiences with breastfeeding which segued into us all learning about Munchkins new LATCH bottle. One of the biggest reasons you may hear a lot of moms say they had trouble with breastfeeding was because their baby just wouldn't latch on and then they move on to a bottle-feeding system like LATCH. The accordion style nipple on this new design allows for babies to latch on correctly and easily because it simulates moms nipple and it also helps to prevent air bubbles that may result in gassiness, fussy babies and colic.

The Munchkins event was a great way to get moms together to check out the brands latest products and to discuss all the ups and downs and in between of breastfeeding and motherhood!

After seeing the new clothing line Mbaby,  have you spotted a favorite piece?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Calling all Lego Lover's: Find out What's New at LegoLand Parks and Centers.

Disclosure: The views expressed in this post are 100% my own. I was invited as a blogger and received a gift bag. No other compensation was given.

Imagine my mini-me, CJ's surprise when we entered the Grand Hyatt hotel last week and he spotted Lego character Bertie walking the halls, a complete giveaway to the themed evening ahead. We were invited as guests of Lego to join other bloggers and families to learn all about the amazing & fun new attractions to come to the 2 Legoland parks and Westchester Discovery Center here in the United States.

                                                                Here's What's New    

  • Little ones will love playing in  Duplo Valley , a new attraction that resembles the play-sets and figurines they enjoy playing with at home. Included will be a train and tractor ride, a water play area with interactive water elements and larger than life animal figures. Opening May 2014
  • Visitors will be able to stay on site at the brightly colored, Lego hotel that includes interactive space for play, a pool and restaurant. Opening in 2015
Legoland California
  • The new water-park Lego Legends of Chima will open up in Summer 2014, featuring an interactive wave pool, water slides, a space for kids to design and build their own obstacles and boats for racing as well as a Cantina for guests to grab food.
  • Visitors can enjoy the new Lego Legends of Chima 4D movie experience and watch Cragger and Laval battle it out, while their speedorz take flight.

The rest of the evening was spent tasting & enjoying treats, building and racing speedorz and discussing all things Lego!

Monica J. from the fun blog  So family Online, joined in on the fun with the little ones who showed her how to use the speedorz & you can watch this video, to see how a Legends of Chima Speedorz works.

It's always great to attend blogger events where the entire family is invited to enjoy the fun! I was able to catch up with the wonderful vlogger Nicole of Mommytipsbycole while our kids got to hang out and be silly.

 The kids were totally focused on constructing their sets and whenever they got stuck LegoLand California's Master Builder Gary was near by to help them out.

If you've never been to either of the parks, we'd definitely suggest going because it's fun for all ages. We went to the California park in 2009, before the opening of the hotel and would love to go back and stay on site. Below are a few pics from our trip 5 years ago. My favorite by far was the mini Lego replica of President Obama's Inauguration.

 With the Westchester Discovery Center so close to home, we are excited  plan a trip during the upcoming spring break. Stay tuned for a post!

Have you been to, or planning to go to any of the LegoLand parks? What was your favorite part of the trip or what are you looking forward to checking out?

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