Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Vtech Innotab 2 Baby - #BabyPalooza

I recently attended the Big Toy Book first annual BabyPalooza event. What an amazing day learning about all that is new for the little ones. I was given Vtech's Innotab 2 Baby which I was so excited to have my 2 year old nephew test it out for me. Little did I know that my older nephews would enjoy it just as much!
Vtech designed the Innotab 2 with infants on their mind. You may be asking why infants? But why not? The generation now is all about technology and I'm a true believer in starting them out early, especially if they are going to get educational skills from it.

The Innotab 2 has some amazing features. When I logged in, I was able to create a profile for my nephew and take a photo to create his very own avatar. It also come with a gel bumper that will protect the tablet from any scratches or bruises. We all know how kids love to toss their toys once done! The older boyz enjoyed playing with the coloring and drawing activities. They also found how to put a pic of themselves on a mermaid's body!


My niece enjoyed the learning games with her son testing his spelling & pronunciation skills.What's great is that there are hundreds of additional apps that can be downloaded through Vtech's app store.

Vtech has another hit with this product. It's a great starter tablet for the little ones if you don't want to run the risk of them cracking your Ipad. There are tons of programs that will keep them busy as they continue to grow. You can follow your child's progression and know what he/she is learning.

Vtech Innotab 2 retails for $89.00 Age 12 months - 9 years. For more information on Vtech's products visit www.vtechkids.com, Facebook or follow @VTechToys on Twitter

Disclosure: I received the above product in my swag bag. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy 100th Birthday American Cancer Society! (Sponsored Video)

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the American Cancer Society.

It makes me sad to know that cancer has been in my life for as long as I can remember. I have had many dear family members either pass away or beat this horrendous disease. When I was given the opportunity to spread the word on the American Cancer Society's 100th birthday I jumped at the opportunity.
 My first introduction, if I can call it that, to cancer was when I was about 12 years old. My grandmother had stomach cancer. I was very close to her and my grandfather. They helped raise me while my mom was a single mother with 3 other children to raise. My grandmother was Chinese and spoke little to no English, so I became fluent in Mandarin in order to communicate with her. I have memories of when my grandfather would dab medicine in her belly button because she would have this lump there. I never understood why he did that because back then we never discussed what was going on. I just knew she wasn't herself. Then one day my mom got the call that she passed. I don't ever remember getting the chance to say good-bye or if I got to tell her that I loved her one last time. I think about my grandmother often. Since she departed, I stopped speaking Mandarin. I know a few words but I can't speak fluently. It's a block that I've placed on myself mentally & emotionally.

So there's no reason why I wouldn't support such a great organization like American Cancer Society. They will be celebrating their 100th birthday on May 22nd, 2013 and will continue to promote it till next year. They have grown to become leaders in the world fight to end the disease. Now that's a reason to party!

American Cancer Society has a research study called Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) that will give us the knowledge on how to prevent cancer and save lives. They are aiming to enroll everyone by the end of this year. They want to make sure that if you're facing cancer that they will have help, shelter and a even a ride. We need to keep fighting for all to have access to quality health care.

 Have a Happy 100th Birthday American Cancer Society!! Here's to kicking Cancer's Ass!

All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I am honored to have this opportunity to tell my story as part of the American Cancer Society’s 100th Birthday Celebration

All My Children & One Life To Live Are Back!!

Did you hear the good news? All My Children & One Life To Live are coming back tonight! How exciting is that for all die hard soap opera fans? I grew up on these shows so I was majorly disappointed when they were taken off the air.
The shows will premiere on Hulu starting at midnight on Monday April 29th and will also be available on Hulu+ (AMC + OLTL) and iTunes for on the go viewing. Since these shows are "off network" their content is more adult oriented and includes profanity and other material not appropriate for younger children. Basically, put the kids to bed before you indulge!
Show synopsis

All My Children revolves around the lives of the residents of fictional Pine Valley. For nearly forty years, this town has seen the trials and tribulations of its dynamic families. Now your favorite stories are back, and more dramatic than ever!

Plot outline
Since 1970, the residents of All My Children's Pine Valley, PA -- including its most famous citizen, Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) have seen their fair share of scandalous hookups, feuds, and devastating murders. Pine Valley luminaries include resident hero Ryan Lavery (Cameron Mathison), Fusion Cosmetics maven Greenlee du Pres (Rebecca Budig), perpetual troublemaker David Hayward (Vincent Irizarry), funnyman Tad Martin (E. Knight), and the unforgettable romantic duo of Angie and Jesse Hubbard (Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams).
All My Children actors include returning actors include Debbie Morgan as Dr Angie Hubbard, Julie Barr as Brooke English,Sal Stowers as Cassandra Foster, Eric Nelson as AJ Chandler, Denyse Tontz as Miranda Montgomery, Jordan Lane Price as Celia Fitzgerald, Ryan Bittle as JR Chandler, Eden Riegel as Bianca Montgomery, Cady McClain as Dixie Cooney, Ray MacDonnell as Dr. Joe Martin, David Canary as Adam Chandler, Heather Roop as Jane McIntyre, and Francesca James as Evelyn Johnson will Michael be returning once the soap moves online
Cast of AMC    

Show synopsis
One Life to Live follows the complicated lives of three main families: the wealthy Lords, the powerful Buchanans and the strong-willed Cramers. The quiet simplicity of small town living is often interrupted by the drama between them yet despite the struggles, strong family bonds keep them united.

Plot outline
The good people of Llanview, Pennsylvania, lead complicated lives. In a town of questionable marriage ethics, teenagers grow up fast and fall in love quickly. The quiet simplicity of small-town living on the Llantano River is frequently upset by an over-abundance of multiple personalities who disturb the peace. Despite the jealousy, betrayal, and occasional baby-swapping, Llanview is where the Buchanan, Lord, and Cramer families struggle to retain the strong family ties that have always united them.
One Life to Live actors include Corbin Bleu as Jeffery King as well as returning actors Erika Slezak as Victoria Lord Buchanan, Robin Strasser as Dorian Lord, Tuc Watkins as David Vickers, Robert S. Woods as Bo Buchanan, Kassie DePaiva as Blair Cramer, Jerry verDorn as Clint Buchanan, Florencia Lozano as Tea Delgado, Melissa Archer as Natalie Buchanan Banks, Hillary B. Smith as Nora Buchanan, Kelley Missal as Danielle Manning, Josh Kelly as Cutter Wentworth, and Andrew Trischitta as Jack Manning. Recurring actors include: Sean Ringgold as Shaun Evans, Shenaz Treasury as Rama Patel, and Nick Choksi as Vimal Patel.

OLTL cast
So are you as excited as I am? Put the kiddies to bed early tonight and get ready for some juicy dirt! What's great is there are 30 minute episodes available each weekday, with a recap on Friday. So you don't have to worry about catching up if you miss an episode!

You can follow along & chat with others through all media outlets. 


Disclosure: I am participating in a campaign from One2One Network and The Online Network. I have not received payment for this post. My participation makes me eligible for a prize drawing. All opinions stated are my own.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fast Metabolism Diet "Make & Take" Sponsored MommyParties

Disclosure: This party was sponsored by MommyParties & Random House. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.
I recently had a party introducting Haylie Pomroy's soon to be released book Fast Metabolism Diet Eat More Food and Lose More Weight The party was sponsored by Random House. Since everyone is always trying to find ways to lose weight, this was a party that was hot on everyone's agenda. I was also sent special goodies from Celestial Seasonings and AppleGate Organic and Natural Meat. The I heart Meat buttons were a big hit!
After reading some of the book everyone is eager to start this new challenge. The idea of eating a lot but still losing weight is mind boggling. There's no calorie counting. It's just a carefully designed plan to induce physiological changes that will set your metabolism on fire. I'm not looking forward to cutting out my caffeine intake! But what must be done will be done. The book has some great recipes to help you with this challenge. The concept of speeding up your metabolism just by eating target foods at certain times of the day is intriguing. My family has decided to take the challenge and compete against each other. So this will be an interesting few weeks!
Crock Pot The Original Slow Cooker sent me their My Time Smart Select slow cooker to test out some delicious recipes. I've never used one and I always assumed it was only good for stews. So to my surprise I found so many recipes that can be prepared in it.
I'm looking forward to reading this book and have it take over my life for the next 28 days. Let's see how it goes!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Crayola's Big Colorful Birthday Adventure

Have you ever been to the Crayola factory? Its such a fun place for the whole family. I took Andre a few years ago & we had the best time. Who doesn't love a day of coloring & creativity? Now the factory has been renovated & will reopen Memorial Weekend with amazing new features and a huge celebration!
To celebrate their 110th birthday, the 8 original crayons are throwing a birthday bash at the new fun-omenal Crayola Experience, the world's only interactive Crayola family attraction. Right now, they're out on a colorful adventure to spread the news, and you're invited to join the fun!
How can you join in on the fun? You can FOLLOW the crayons on their adventure, LEARN more about each color and enter to WIN a trip for 4 to celebrate their birthday and the Grand Opening of the all new Crayola Experience this coming May, 2013! 
Visit the Crayola Facebook page and click "enter now" for your chance to be first in line when the Crayola Experience reopens.
The new Crayola Experience features four floors of new interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind attractions that will bring the magic of color and your child's creativity to life! The winner will be among the first to experience the fun, along with a three- night, all-expenses paid stay. It's an experience your kids will never forget - and neither will you!
 Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Strong Moms Empower Pledge

I am participating in a blog campaign with One2One Network. I have not received any payment. All opinions are my own.
When I became a mom, I was literally the last one between my group of girlfriends to have a baby. My friends had theirs years younger in their 20's. So when my son arrived,  I didn't have any kids his age to share play dates with or talk about stages of their growth. I felt out of place amongst my own friends whose children were almost in their teens. So I searched for an online support group to meet moms.
I was fortunate to find an amazing circle of women. They too were looking for friends for their kids and for themselves. It was a relief to find them. When we met all of our kids instantly became friends till this day. I cherish my online group of gals. We support each other in our journey as women, as moms and as girlfriends. We empower each other as women should. It's funny that in today's society where women are judged for our size, our careers, our parenting skills we are the most critical to each other. Instead of being positive role models to each other, we belittle. 
That's why I took the pledge as a Strong Mom to empower and to support my fellow moms. Let's toast to us being the best in all that we do. Stop the judgements and criticisms. Take the
Strong Mom Empower pledge with me today and make a difference.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

L'Oreal Mothers & Daughters Instagram Memory Contest

With Mother's Day coming up what better way to show our love for the #1 woman in our lives by posting our favorite pic in L'Oreal's Instagram contest!
L'Oréal Professionnel is excited to announce our Instagram Memory contest! Post a photo of your mother/daughter moments on Instagram (like the example attached!) using the hashtag #ToMyMother or #ToMyDaughter and tag @LOrealProUS to enter! The contest ends on May 5th, and one Grand Prize winner will receive a free L’Oréal Professionnel US color service and a framed 24” x 24” print of their Instagram photo! 10 runner ups will also receive prints of their Instagram submissions. 

Follow L'Oréal Professionnel on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lorealprous) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/lorealprous) to learn more. Official rules can be found here: http://on.fb.me/10hNRKv.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post.

Family Circle & IKEA Free Weekend Event

Does your kitchen need a makeover? Do you want to spruce it up but have no idea where to start? Head over to IKEA this weekend! Family Circle & IKEA have teamed up with Designer Dad Stephen Saint-Onge for FREE Life Improvement Seminars to share creative tips and techniques on how to refresh & update your kitchen. It's definitely a great time to get some ideas from a professional.
It all happens this weekend.
Saturday April 20 Stephen Saint-Onge will be at the IKEA in Paramus, N.J 
Sunday April 21st the seminars will take place at the IKEA in Elizabeth, N.J.

Check out this video where he offers some quick & easy ideas on how to refresh your space. I definitely need to head out & shop this weekend with all these great ideas.

This will be a great event. What better time than spring to lighten & refresh one of the most used rooms in your home!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by IKEA, Family Circle & BSM Media. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - The Croods

Can you spot the sloth?

Les Miserables Is Now On Movies On Demand - #GIVEAWAY

One of the biggest winners at the awards shows this season was the classic Broadway show turned film, Les Miserables. It was beautifully re-created with Hugh Jackman & Anne Hathaway as its lead characters. The singing was amazingly done. I was blown away by Anne Hathaway's performance & definitely think she deserved all her accolades.
Les Miserables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption - a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit.
If you were not able to catch it in theaters don't worry. Not only is it available on Blu-Ray and DVD but it's also available in Movies On Demand. I personally love renting movies on demand because it's in the comfort of my own home and I don't have to worry about returning anything back to the movie kiosks.

To learn more about Les Miserables on Movies on Demand check out http://www.rentmoviesondemand.com/movie/375690

To check your local cable listings on how to order check out http://www.rentmoviesondemand.com/how-to-order

I have a Les Miserables Movies on Demand prize pack for one lucky reader!
The Les Miserables Prize Pack includes:
(1) Les Miserables scarf
(1) Les Miserables soundtrack
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I will receive a prize pack for my post.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Steve Novak Unveils McDonald's Premium McWrap

Last week I was invited to attend McDonald's launch event for their newest menu item, the Premium McWrap. The event was swarmed with paparazzi and fans. The host of the event was NY Knick's power forward Steve Novak and music was provided by local station Hot 97.
The Premium McWrap is a larger version of the snack wrap. It comes in 3 delicious flavors; Chicken & Bacon, Sweet Chili & Chicken & Ranch. I love the convenient packaging which leaves less of a mess and ease for on the go travel. I tried the grilled Chicken & Bacon one. It was quite tasty and definitely filling. I couldn't even finish it.
Chicken & Bacon

Sweet Chili Chciken
Steve Novak, at 6'10 had the crowd at its feet trying to capture his movements. He was a great host. He even created his own premium McWrap.
Afterwards he spoke to the press and went downstairs to judge a local rap contest with Hot 97.
McDonald's once again will have success with the Premium McWraps. Make sure you stop by and try one! Let me know which is your favorite.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I attended the event. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Piggy Nation the Musical #GIVEAWAY

Last week I wrote a review about this wonderful new off Broadway play, Piggy Nation the Musical. It is currently being shown at the Jerry Orbach Theater at the Snapple Theater in Manhattan. It's a must see for the kids.
Piggy Nation is a delightful new musical featuring an original score with blues, rock, rap and gospel influences. Full of lessons in thoughtfulness and consideration, it’s an hour-long musical perfect for kids ages 3 and up (and their parents and grandparents too)!
Sammy Hamhock, a little pig, is excited to be on summer vacation and follow his Dad to work on Piggy Patrol, giving tickets for piggy behavior. But is his Dad being a piggy too? Will Sammy lose the girl of his dreams, the lovely Lacey Leppard, because of his Dad’s piggy behavior? Can Sammy teach his Dad not to be a piggy?

Tickets can be purchased online, at the box office or by phone at 212-921-7862.
Performance schedule:
11am & 5pm
Premium tickets: $60
Standard tickets: $30-$44
 Luckily I have a family 4 pack of tickets to give away!
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was given tickets to facilitate a review.

The BIG Wedding Movie

It seems like everyone is getting married this year that I know. I have already received 4 save the dates. Needless to say my husband is not too excited about the expenses but weddings are fun. You get to reunite with people you usually only see every few years and you have to admit its one of the best times to people watch. I love watching the way people dance! Some are great but others, eh, you know the Elaine dance. Recently I've seen commercials for a new movie The Big Wedding. It looks hilarious and has some some great actors in it.
With an all-star cast led by Robert DeNiro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, with Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams, THE BIG WEDDING is an uproarious romantic comedy about a charmingly modern family trying to survive a weekend wedding celebration that has the potential to become a full blown family fiasco.  To the amusement of their adult children and friends, long divorced couple Don and Ellie Griffin (De Niro and Keaton) are once again forced to play the happy couple for the sake of their adopted son's wedding after his ultra conservative biological mother unexpectedly decides to fly halfway across the world to attend. With all of the wedding guests looking on, the Griffins are hilariously forced to confront their past, present and future - and hopefully avoid killing each other in the process. Screenplay by Justin Zackham. Directed by Justin Zackham.
 I can't wait to see this movie out in theaters on April 26,2013. Currently you can buy 1 ticket and get another free for your +1. Buy your tickets here.

Check out The Big Wedding online and on Facebook.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post


Friday, April 5, 2013

NY International Auto Show at Jacob Javits Center

Growing up a traditional outing that I did for Easter with my friends was go the the Javits Center to check out all the new cars at the New York International Auto Show. Even though I'm a girls girl, I loved imagining what would be my first car when I was "grown up".
I recently was invited by Toyota and the Vroom Girls to attend a preview of the show. I was excited to see what new tricks Toyota had under their sleeves since they have had a rough couple of years. They didn't disappoint!

I'm a SUV kinda gal so I basically fell in love with the 2014 Toyota Rav4. It's alot more spacious than its previous models, with less of its square shape. It offers a height adjustable power lift gate which is great since hubby is 6'4 and I'm only 5'4. Because of our height difference I also loved their power driver's seat memory. So everytime I get in the seat it would automatically adjust the seat & mirrors to my specification. Amazing! They also have dual zone climate control in the front seats.
You know us women love to carry our large handbags for no reason but to carry more junk. But you know when you need to run into the store and just want to grab your wallet & leave your bag, but living in NYC, you're scared someone may break in to grab your bag. Well the creators at Toyota thought about us! The front console is large enough to fit our handbags! No one would even know its in there.
Our back seat passengers will be able to recline their seat backs as well which works great for us because our son is a tall one as well. He dislikes sitting behind dad because he never has enough leg spcace.
There were so many other cars that I saw but ultimately the Rav4 impressed me the most. I'm hoping it will impress hubby too. I stopped by the luxury cars as well and had my dreams of owning my favorite Land Rover one day. I look good in it don't I?

You still have a chance to check out all the amazing cars at the NYIAS this weekend. Take the family, go with your boys or just grab your spouse. Its definitely a fun time to be had!

If you can't make it, then I have a NY International Auto Show prize pack giveaway! Prize pack includes:
(1) NY International Auto Show messenger bag
(1) NYIAS mints
(2) NYIAS pins
(1) NYIAS official program
Mandatory entry must be done first otherwise all entries will not be considered. Please use Rafflecopter form below.
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was invited to attend a preview tour.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Piggy Nation The Musical Review

Last weekend Andre & I had a "mommy & Andre" day. What a great way to start our day but by heading down to the Snapple Theater and catching the off broadway performance of Piggy Nation The Musical.
Piggy Nation is a 75 minute show that entails laughs, song and dance. It is based on the children's book Piggy Nation: A Day at Work with Dad by Richard Rosser. The theater is small but very intimate. Throughout the show, you felt like you were a part of the ensemble. The idea of the show is that we all display piggy behavior such as littering, and bad manners. It's when we learn from them that we become responsible human beings. I enjoyed the show because it was told age appropriately for kids 3 & up. My son was able to understand the piggy behavior in the show. On our way home, he was even able to point out the many piggy behaviors people on the street were doing. You can only imagine how many! This is a great show for kids and adults. I'm all for teaching lessons on good behavior and this show does exactly that with humor & music.
Before the show we met the author Richard Rosser. He even signed Andre's books. Andre was excited to meet a real author and can't wait to tell his teachers that he did.

Piggy Nation The Musical is now playing at the Snapple Theater at 210 West 50th Street. You can purchase tickets online at Ticketmaster or directly at the box office. Performances are on Saturdays at 11am & 5pm or Sunday at 12pm.

Stay tune for a giveaway at the end of the week!

Disclosure: I was given complimentary tickets to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own.