Sunday, September 27, 2015

Hotel Transylvania 2 : Drac's Pack is Back for a Batty Good Time! #HotelT2

Disclosure: Both my writer and I were invited to attend two screenings and received passes in order to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are 100% our own & no other compensation was received.

Hotel Transylvania 2 from Sony Pictures Animation was just released nationwide on Friday, September 25th and is a must see for the entire family! The sequel takes place 7 years later and Drac's Pack is back for another adorably fun adventure. We find the hotel, that was once hidden and meant just for monsters has now been transformed into a hotel for both monsters and humans! Mavis {Selena Gomez}  is all grown up and married with a child of her own. While adjusting to having a child whom she and Johnny (her human husband) named Dennis, they are faced with the decision to remain at the hotel with Count Drac (Adam Sandler) or to go live amongst the humans. 

With half human Dennis showing no signs of being a vampire "Vampa" Drac  with the help of old pals Frank, Murray, Wayne and Griffin are determined to make him a vampire in order to keep the family together and put him through a "monster in training bootcamp",despite Mavis' insisting that they accept Dennis for who he is.

And things get downright BATTY when Drac's dad, Vlad arrives with his right hand goon to discover the hotel is overrun with humans.


"The first Hotel Transylvania has been a favorite with my children, they still watch it multiple times daily. So its no shocker they both thoroughly enjoyed this follow up, probably even more than the first. From the jokes about Drac not being able to use a cell phone and the shenanigans that lands him on YouTube, Hotel Transylvania 2 is a film that can be enjoyed by both children and adults."    - Valerie

" It's always great finding a movie that the entire family can sit down and enjoy and never gets old, sometimes sequels aren't as great as the first but this one is just as good if not better than the first. After seeing the movie both of my lil' monsters are looking forward to Halloween, and my youngest can't wait to dress up as Dracula" - Danielle

Aside from not only being a comedic adventure, viewers witness the growth of the characters that happens, especially Drac. In the first, we saw a vampire who wanted to protect his only daughter and was dead set against having anything to do with humans, and now the hotel accommodates them.Themes of the film will really resonate with parents as we watch our children grow up and have great lessons for our lil' monsters: realizing although it's hard to let go you can't stay stuck in the past, you must be able to accept change & that you can't force people to be something they aren't. We all become who we are meant to be in time.

                                                          MOVIE SYNOPSIS

The Drac pack is back for an all-new monster comedy adventure in Sony Pictures Animation's Hotel Transylvania 2! 

Everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania... Dracula’s rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening up its doors to human guests. But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire. 

So while Mavis is busy visiting her human in-laws with Johnny – and in for a major cultural shock of her own – “Vampa” Drac enlists his friends Frank, Murray, Wayne and Griffin to put Dennis through a “monster-in-training” boot camp. 

But little do they know that Drac’s grumpy and very old, old, old school dad Vlad is about to pay a family visit to the hotel. And when Vlad finds out that his great-grandson is not a pure blood – and humans are now welcome at Hotel Transylvania – things are going to get batty!

Cast: Adam Sandler (Dracula), Andy Samberg (Johnny), Selena Gomez (Mavis), Kevin James (Frank), Fran Drescher (Eunice), Steve Buscemi (Wayne), Molly Shannon (Wanda), David Spade (Griffin), Keegan-Michael Key (Murray), and Mel Brooks (Vlad)

Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, produced by Michelle Murdocca, executive-produced by Sandler, Allen Covert, and Ben Waisbren, and written by Robert Smigel.

Many thanks to Sony Pictures Animation, KidzVuz and Review Wire for allowing both of our families to enjoy such a fantastic If you haven't yet, make sure you head to theaters for this kid- friendly and hilarious movie and to keep up with all the spook-tacular Hotel Transylvania 2 fun follow along on Facebook/ Instagram/  Pinterest and official site.

                                                         CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Valerie Pierre is a Brooklyn based blogger at Mommy R+R, a lifestyle website dedicated to the relaxation and rejuvenation of moms. She is wife, to a hardcore gamer geek and mom of 2 children whose veins flow with Red Bull. You can find her roaming the isles of her local Target or bookstore

Friday, September 25, 2015

InStyle Magazine & Single Edition's Summer Social Connecting Bloggers + Brands

Single Edition Media

Summer may officially be over but we can still revel in the fantastic gatherings that kept us busy during fun-filled events for trend watchers. InStyle Magazine and Single Edition's Summer Social was a glitzy and stylish affair where Bloggers and Digital influencers connected with brands up-close and personal. Guests from all over excitedly headed to 404 NYC to get a taste (sometimes literally) of what's hot.

It was one big party! During the cocktail reception there were passed hors d'ouevres by Gardein, flowing wine courtesy of the Brancott Estate, and hot beats by DJ Olivia Dope. In fact, as soon as you walked in, many were being pampered with a manicure by Essie! It was truly a fabulous night. 

Single Edition Media

Single Edition Media

Single Edition

Ode a la rose, a florist based largely in New York City provided beautiful rose bouquets on every floor -- the piece de resistance being a larger than life arrangement in front of their station. I still can’t figure out how many dozen roses there were, can you?

Single Edition Media

Single Edition Media

Thierry Mugler rocked our worlds with their heavenly Angel scent and their out of this world Alien fragrance. The first thing that I noticed about Angel was the hint of pine needle!  A fun fact about this brand is that once you’ve purchased a fragrance by them, you can refill the bottle the next time your buy for a fraction of the cost. How cool is that? Completely outside of the box scent and packaging wise, Thierry Mugler’s booth was a major highlight for me.

Single Edition Media

 And speaking of highlights, I couldn’t believe how much I loved Gardein’s vegan snacks! From their Crispy Chicken to their Crab Cakes – everything they served was not only gluten free, but it wasn’t even actual meat. I am a staunch meat eater and they had me fooled. My favorite was the Beef Tacos. Toward the end of the night, I was tip-toeing to their booth to see how many times I could “sample” their treats.

Single Edition Media

New to me was Dickinson's witch hazel. As an avid user of all things natural, it was refreshing to get to meet the brand and sample a few of their cleansing cloths. An added bonus is that their wipes are soap and fragrance free for those of us with sensitive skin! My skin has never been more #SelfieReady!

Other brands of note were Tide Pods, Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, Zico, Neutrogena, and Sun Chips. Instyle Magazine and Single Edition were generous enough to send us home with some of these fantastic goodies too!

Single Edition Media

Single Edition Media

All in all, Instyle Magazine’s Summer Social was a fun and exciting event that has introduced me to brands I hadn’t tried before. Thanks for having me and for the fab bag of goodies we got to take home to try out.

Single Edition Media

                                                    Contributing writer

La Toya of La Toya Literally is a blogger and opera singer from Brooklyn. She is abnormally obsessed with all things Outer Space, loves to travel, and reads nearly 100 books a year. When she's not dining out or binge watching The Twilight Zone, you can catch her singing in various venues around NYC. Find her on Instagram  & Facebook

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

From the Classroom to the Playground: Back to School Ready with Fabkids #FabKidsBacktoSchool

Disclosure: We received an outfit to review and the opinions expressed are 100% my own. 
No other compensation was received. 

There' only one more day left until NYC public school students head back to the classroom and I know my 5th grader CJ is excited to go back to school. We had a blast this summer visiting our favorite amusement parks, museums and hanging on the beach and will miss those leisurely, fun filled days. 

As a parent the last thing I was looking forward to was braving the lines at popular retailers for back to school shopping and thankfully FabKids saved me the hassle of needing to head to the mall with the boys when we'd much rather be outdoors having fun. We all know that in order to score the great deals you have to shop early to come away with affordable finds.

Currently Fabkids has School Deals Under $20 for VIP Members so that moms can shop must-haves for the school year
  • Dresses starting at $16.95
  • Sneakers starting at $19.95
  • Tops & Tees starting at $9.95
  • Tutus starting at $7.95
  • Leggings - choose any 3 for $19.95

And new members have the benefit of buy one get one free, with free shipping!

CJ loves bright graphic tees with cool images underneath button down shirts and this Moto Cool Layered look with checkered button down, motorcycle print graphic tee and black skinny jeans was a perfect choice this month for my trendsetting tween. 

Have you tried out this monthly clothing club for kids yet? If not you should give it a try, it's easy to join and to cancel at anytime and the selection of quality clothes range from size 2 to 12 and won't break the bank!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bellies and Baseball: The Brooklyn Cyclones are Hosting a Fun-Filled Game Day for Pregnant Mamas

For generations, it has been said that Brooklynites have been “born into baseball.” This summer, that term may be more literal than ever before. On Sunday, September 6th at 1pm, the Brooklyn Cyclones are hosting Bellies & Baseball: A Salute to Pregnancy, and inviting expectant parents to participate in a variety of themed activities throughout that afternoon’s game. 

It's Throwback Thursday and I'm having a serious mommy moment as I get teary eyed over the photo above of my girlfriend Rachel and I who attended our first Bellies and Baseball event almost 5 years ago, she with her daughter and me with my littlest monster who has a birthday coming up in a little over a month. The hubby will never, ever, ever let me forget that day because it was the day I passed up on lifetime season passes for the entire family by deciding not to name Tristan after the team. We had already picked out the name in the first trimester and had been referring to the monster as such, so I was sort of attached.

Mike Insisted that we could name him Brooklyn or Cy and we even took votes on Facebook, which shockingly was split down the middle by keeping Tristan and naming him either of the other two. But of course Mama's vote trumps everything!Nonetheless we had a blast and so will all the families in attendance this weekend and during any upcoming game.

Things to Do in Brooklyn

Here’s a look at what those who are expecting, should expect:
  • Craving Station:  A table on the Concourse level will offer pickles, ice cream, anchovy pizza, etc. for pregnant women who are craving a little more than the usual ball park hot dogs and chicken tenders.
  • 7th Inning Stretch Marks: Pregnant women will be allowed onto the field in the 7th inning to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame
  • Pregnancy Pitch: Any woman in her third trimester gets to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the game
  • Trimester Tricycles: Bike race pitting expectant fathers against each other during this in between innings contest
  • Stroller Valet Parking:  Drop your stroller off at the information table near section nine and one of our valets will be sure to keep an eye on it for you. 
  • Daddy Diapers:  Dad’s will show that this whole parenting thing isn’t so tough as they compete to change diapers…blindfolded. 
  • Pre-Game Family Catch:  Bring the whole family to the ballpark early because starting at noon fans will be invited onto the field to have a pre-game catch.
  • Post-Game Kids Run the Bases:  After the game, all children in attendance, even those still hanging out in mom’s belly, will be able to run the bases. 

            And more!

Tickets start at just $10 and are on sale now by calling 718-507-TIXX, logging on to or in person at the MCU Park Box Office. Hope to see you there!

Get Your Game On! Discover the GameStop Trade in Program #Sponsored


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post courtesy of Kidzvuz and Gamestop in which compensation was received in exchange for our honest opinion which are 100% our own. Photos are courtesy of

We have a rule in our house, no new video games until you've completed the ones you have because our boys seem to run through them at lightening speed and quite honestly our wallets can't keep up with the ever expanding list of games they've seen on t.v or that a friend has told them is a must have. 

Over this summer vacation my oldest son Cj headed to the KidzVuz Back to School Party with his favorite blogger kid buddies, where they got to scope out the latest products from some pretty awesome brands. Of course any event that allows for the lil' monsters to get comfy on bean bag chairs and test out new games is going to be a hit, and by far I'd say that kids of all ages really enjoyed the very popular Gamestop area. I mean really, what's not to enjoy?




Before heading out Cj asked if he could enter the GameStop raffle for a new Xbox One and I handed him my business card to toss in the bowl, and to our surpise a few days later we learned he won! The timing couldn't have been any better because his Wii was no longer working, and after a few turns on his uncles Xbox he knew he wanted to try out the latest console at home for him and his little brother {yes, and most likely his dad too}

The only problem was ...... we had no new games for him to jump right in and start playing, aside from the downloadable one it came with. Honestly with back to school shopping for two quickly growing boys, purchasing new games just wasn't in the budget so we headed to GameStop to try out their trade in program which is a good alternative to try. 


 Here's what you should know and our tips on the program:
  • If the gamers in your family love to try new games frequently and once they are done completing the game are ready to move on to the next, you should look into the trade in program at Gamestop  which can help parents save a few bucks by allowing them to trade in games that their kids have outgrown or beaten in order to earn cash or points towards a new game or even a console.
  • Before heading to your nearest Gamestop location you should check out the value of your game, console, accessories or electronics at .
  • Our recommended tip is that you trade in your games sooner than later, because although they will take in your dusty games that are sitting on the shelf the game won't be worth as much as time goes by. One of the games we tried to trade in was quite a few years old and it wasn't worth much so we definitely say play your game a few times and trade it in as soon as possible.

Since the hubby and I grew up yelling "Finish him" at the screen while playing Mortal Kombat the boys can't wait to try out Mortal Kombat X, I know, a little gory but the features on the Xbox One are amazing and that game and the special effects have come a long way from the graphics we had back in the day!
Are there any new games or consoles out there your family can't wait to try out? or games you want to trade in?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Khan Academy Launches Pixar in a Box & Gives Students a Behind-the-scenes look at Pixar Animation Studios’ Based on S.T.E.A.M Concepts


Just as our Lil' Monsters are making their way back into the classroom, so begins the brainstorming on how to keep students engaged in learning not only in the classroom but at home as well. Pixar in a Box - a new online resource that explores the academic concepts behind Pixar Animation Studios’ creative process -went live on just last week. Kids of all ages are huge fans and love Pixar and the animation process is so fascinating, why not show children how they could be an animator just like the creators of their favorite movies like Big Hero 6, Brave and Up while they incorporate math and science skills?

Through a series of video lessons, interactive exercises, and hands-on activities, students will discover how the academic concepts they learn in school enable Pixar filmmakers to create new worlds, animate unique characters and tell stories through animation. Although designed especially for students in middle and high school, these resources are available to learners of all ages, completely free of charge.

“Our mission at Khan Academy is a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere,” said Sal Khan, Founder and CEO of the not-for-profit Khan Academy. “Sparking student interest in math and other academic fields is a key part of that, and we’re delighted to collaborate with Pixar to achieve this goal. Pixar in a Box gives students a new way to engage with key academic concepts and see how creative these concepts can be.”

"Learning makes us beginners again,” said Ed Catmull, President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios.  “In my experience, creativity involves missteps and imperfections, which is one more reason it is important for every one of us to keep learning - in order to remain flexible and keep our brains nimble.   By working with Khan Academy on Pixar in a Box, we hope to encourage the excitement of learning and creative thinking for middle and high school students and to provide the tools to do it.”

7th and 8th graders explore how the operations of translation, rotation and scaling are used to position objects.

“For years, we’ve heard from teachers at every grade level interested in creating animation-based curricula,” said Elyse Klaidman, Director, Pixar University and Archives.  “We’ve wanted to provide free online resources for them, and Pixar in a Box makes that dream a reality. We hope that it not only gives students a behind-the-scenes look at how our movies are made but also gets them excited about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) concepts.”

“Many students start to lose interest in academics in middle and high school, partly because they don’t see how academic concepts relate to things they care about,” said DeRose. Don't you remember being in school and as you got older, questioning why on earth you needed to learn Physics or in my case, industrial design at an Engineering based high school, you couldn't relate it to things you were really interested in, but knew you had to take the course to graduate?

“Pixar in a Box aims to address this disconnect by showing how Pixar filmmakers use these concepts for creative benefit in their everyday work.”

Starting today, students can access Pixar in a Box and learn:
·       How combinatorics are used to create crowds, like the swarm of robots in WALLŸE.
·       How parabolas are used to model environments, like the forest in Brave.
·       How weighted averages are used to create characters, like Buzz Lightyear and                 Woody.
·       How linear and cubic interpolation are used to animate characters.
·       How trigonometry is used to create the worlds in which Pixar stories take place.
·       How simultaneous equations are used to paint all of Pixar’s images.

“These lessons are the first phase of the project,” said Cruise. “While the first year focuses on math, future Pixar in a Box lessons will explore science, computer science, arts, and humanities.” 

All Pixar in a Box resources are available free of charge at The site will be updated as additional lessons become available.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Get Back to School Ready w/ Entenmann's Litlte Bites and Sara Lee #GIVEAWAY

Back to School Giveaway

Back to school season is in full swing around the country with just places around the country trickling back into the classroom soon after labor day.  Let's admit it, It's tough getting back into the swing of routine after 2 months of leisure and with only 2 weeks to go I'll be honest, I'm beyond dreading those early mornings! To be fair I always start of with the best intentions to have clothes set out, lunches/ snacks and backpacks ready to go the night before but sometimes that doesn't work out and by November those goals have either stuck or fell to the waste side. Thank the heavens for Entenmann's Lite Bites and Sara Lee's because they are a quick and simple go to snack option that my boys love to bring to school and we keep them in a snack cabinet that's easy for my 4 year old to access so he loves that he can help pack his lunch all by himself and for me the best part is I can always catch Entenmann's Little Bite and Sara Lee snacks on sale at Target! #WINNING
                                        Back to school giveaway

Kathleen Robbins, head baker at Sara Lee Snacks, Entenmann’s Little Bites and a full time mom, shares how her family gets through the mornings with some tips and DIY homework helpers, the fun Little Bites Party Cakes Caterpillars and exciting Sara Lee Brownie Chocolate Chip Snack Kabobs here!  

In addition, both Sara Lee Snacks and Entenmann’s Little Bites have created a five-day planner that will make those on-the-go mornings a breeze. “The Lunch Box #KidzStyle” five- day snack planner was designed so kids can choose which snacks they want in their lunch box for the week, encouraging well balanced meals and some fun treats! It also lets mom and dad plan ahead when grocery shopping and getting ready for the morning madness. Giving the kids the responsibility of choosing from a variety of options makes their lunchtime more fun and parents’ mornings a little easier!

Macintosh HD:Users:cturner:Desktop:Sara Lee Snack Kabobs.jpg

Sara Lee, the iconic American brand, delivers a new way to snack with fresh baked, individually wrapped snack cakes, perfect for the lunch box. Now you can take along the quality and heritage of the Sara Lee brand wherever you go with Brownie Chocolate Chip Cakes. The Sara Lee Brownie Chocolate Chip Cakes are filled with a double batter mix of brownies and the classic favorite chocolate chips.

Entenmann’s Little Bites has been making people smile for the last 15 years. These pre-portioned bite sized muffins and brownies are perfect for a lunchtime snack.  NEW Little Bites Party Cakes bring the party wherever they go. These golden mini cakes are chock full of rainbow sprinkles, and the perfect delicious fun treat.  Where there are Little Bites Party Cakes, there’s always a party! #GoodToGo. Little Bites is also hosting a “ Life of the Lunchbox” sweepstakes from August 1st through September 25th on the Little Bites Facebook Page.

      Back to School Giveaway

And as a treat for our readers and your Lil' Monsters we have teamed up with Entenmann's, Sara Lee and a host of fantastic NYC Parenting/ Lifestyle Bloggers to offer 1 Winner an Amazing Back to School prize package that includes all the sponsors in the image pictured at the top of the page along with the ABC'S of Back to School treats pictured below. Entrants must be 18 years+, giveaway ends on Wednesday 9/2/15. 
Enter the Rafflecopter below.

Disclosure: The opinions expressed are 100% my own, I received an ABC's of Back to School prize package and no other compensation was received.


2 boxes of Sara Lee Brownie Chocolate Chip Cakes
2 boxes of Entenmann’s  Little Bites Party Cakes
Sara Lee Coupons valued at $4
Entenmann’s Coupons valued at $3
1Sara Lee water bottle and 1 Little Bites pencil case
I shampoo kit from Vamouse
$25 gift card from Lakeshore
Portable desk from Staples
1 Months Supply Of Honey Bunches Of Oats Breakfast Biscuits
1 Uniform Outfit from French Toast
Workbooks and cards from School Zone
1 Shampoo, 1 conditioner, 1 Bubble bath and tangle free spray from Johnson’s Baby
PBS KIDS Color Block Backpack
2 Fab Kids Outfit Credits

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...