Friday, December 23, 2016

Avoid the Hazards of the Holidays with Tips from Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care #GoHealthUC #Sponsored

I'm sure I'm not alone in this sentiment, but somehow the holiday's managed to sneak up on us! And as I type this I stare at the twinkling white lights of our tree with no star on top and my hubby's crutches laying nearby. This year we're breaking tradition and I'm helping lift up our youngest son to crown our tree with it's golden star, because somehow the hubby ended up losing his balance on the subway staircase as he lunged to try and catch his train no thanks to a woman with lots of shopping bags. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays it's so important to remember to stay safe, calm and collected as we all do our last minute holiday shopping, house cleaning and everything else in between to welcome guests and the New Year! Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care has great tips to help keep families safe this season so that everyone can enjoy the festivities worry free!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Gift the Love of Reading with Books for the Holidays from 3 NYC Bookstores #Sponsored

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. A Love of books is the best of all!" ~ Jacqueline Kennedy 

One of our most favorite holiday traditions as we countdown to Christmas morning is to gift our lil' monsters with holiday themed story books and age appropriate reads that they can dive into well into the New Year. The coolest thing about a book is that it allows the reader to relate through emotions, travel to different lands and through numerous time periods, without ever having to leave their chair. Both of our boys were gifted shelves of books that welcomed the home as soon as they were born and we've added to their collection year after year. There's nothing more magical or as powerful as ones imagination and as a parent and educator I've always felt pride in watching little one's love of reading unfold and expand as they get older and discover various genres. 

Disclosure: Young adult fantasy author T. A. Barron has sponsored this post and opinions expressed are honest and one hundred percent our own.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Get to the Bottom of Digestive Wellness with Renew Life Probiotics #RenewLifeProbiotics #Sponsored

Having lived and persevered with Crohn's, a chronic auto immune disease {affects the gastrointestinal system} for almost 17 years, I'm the furthest from shy when it comes to chatting about my "yucky" gut, you have to have a sense of humor when you've had week long hospital stays, NG tubes that run through your nose to your stomach and 4ft. of intestines resected to help you alleviate painful symptoms - but apparently having the conversation is not the norm. Shockingly, nearly 2 in 3 {64%} of women are not willing to talk about gut issues with their friends because it seems so taboo. Ellie Krieger, RDN, the rock star culinary nutritionist, who is the host of “Ellie's Real Good Food” show, author of several cookbooks, and a columnist for The Washington Post hosted a private lunch to talk about ways that the gut impacts overall health and wellness.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer's Network. Opinions expressed are 100% our own.  

Monday, December 12, 2016

Holiday DIY's are a Blast with Crayola's Air Marker Sprayer #ad

Deep down, as parents we all want our kids to explore their creative side while they engage in fun arts and crafts but the idea of the huge colorfully textured mess that surfaces afterwards probably deters the majority of us from letting our Lil monsters create their next masterpiece. This holiday season you can stop stressing the clean up and get a little crafty for the holidays with the easy to use and mess free Crayola Air Marker Sprayer. There's nothing more thoughtful than a handmade gift infused with love and your kids will have a blast with numerous creative options to choose from as they emulate real graffiti artists.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Crayola and contains affiliate links. We were provided the product to facilitate this review & opinions expressed are 100% our own. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

2016 Must Haves for Lil' Monsters Holiday Gift Guide and #Giveaway

What's on your Lil' Monsters must have list to receive for the holidays? Whether you're looking for the perfect gift to encourage their love for science and the arts, or If they've been crossing all their little fingers and toes hoping to see some of their favorite television and movie characters recreated as brightly colored, fun toys under the tree, there seems to be some pretty amazing products out this year that we've had the chance to preview and play with. Last Year we had so much fun hosting a giveaway for all of our readers, we've decided to do one again!

Disclosure: There are affiliate links within this post

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Big Sparkling Shoes to Fill: Kinky Boots on Broadway PLUS 40% OFF Tickets #KinkyBoots

The saying goes: "If you're going to chase your dreams, you need a good pair of shoes!" I was beyond excited to treat my cousin Tommie to an evening where we had the chance to view 6x Tony Award winning Kinky Boots the Musical, for my second time and his first.  We both work in creative industries here in the city and are dream chasers who are passionate about what we do, so I thought this would be the perfect show for us to kick back and enjoy! 

Disclosure: We were provided tickets to facilitate a review no other compensation was received.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Prep Your Family for a New Pooch with Peppy Pups on National Mutt Day #PeppyPups #MustHavesforLilMonsters

National Mutt Day, founded by Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Welfare Advocate, Colleen Paige, is observed Dec. 2nd and July 31st to celebrate the many wonderful attributes of Mutts to promote adoption WORLDWIDE. Hubby and I had always known we'd get a dog or two because we had never had one as kids and there are so many different breeds we'd been dreaming of bringing home from Labradors and Bulldogs to the Pitbull and Terrier we have today. A new puppy may be topping your kids wish list, but is your family not quite ready for the real thing? Young children and parents alike will love the irresistible personality of Peppy Pups from TPF Toys, the official plush dog of National Mutt Day.
Peppy Pups™ brings to life the authenticity of puppy friendship, complete with a pup that follows its owner everywhere.The cuddly plush puppy has a spring in its step and when walked by its owner, can run, jump and wag its tail like a real dog.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Encourage Children to Think Outside of the Box and Learn to Code with Cubetto #ad #MustHavesForLilMonsters

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign for Primo Toys. I received compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own.

Limits on screen time for our two boys are necessary during the week otherwise they turn into zombies. They typically aren't allowed to play any video games or use their tablets until Friday unless it's something we deem educational and even then we have to set boundaries because they'll end up playing Minecraft for hours and when I've said enough is enough they'll quickly answer back with a response like "but mommy we're learning how diamonds are made" and dive right back into playing because they assume there's no way I could refute that they are truly engaged and learning. Our lil' monsters are extremely tech savvy they love making stop motion videos together, edit their own YouTube videos and create their own background music with various apps. With all that said we're certainly concerned about all the actual time spent staring into screens, I know it affects me as I bounce from laptop to cellphone to tablet to desktop in heavy rotation. Created by Primo Toys, Cubetto is the only screen-less programming system, powered by a revolutionary coding language made of colorful blocks that lets children ages 3 and up write their first computer programs. 

Kids of All Ages will Revel in the Modern Day Magic of HGTV's Santa HQ #loveHGTV

Can you believe it? CJ's 12th birthday is slowly creeping up on us and it's usually right around Christmas that I realize that soon my mini me will no longer be my baby. Which leaves me beyond anxious as I wait year to year for the moment when he realizes for the 1st time or finally comes clean to playing along about Santa's existence. CJ has questioned the realness of Santa in the past and we've always just asked him If he wanted to believe in him and if so then to revel in the seasonally fleeting moments. We've waited in 3 hour long lines in the city to see Saint Nick so it was a very welcomed opportunity to check out a new, fun & interactive twist on the North pole so close to home {two blocks away from my parent's apartment building} with HGTV's Santa HQ in Queens Center Mall.

Disclosure: We were invited as Media to HGTV's Santa HQ to facilitate this review. We received a gift bag and no other compensation was received. Opinions are 100% honest.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Muppets, Monsters and Brooklyn Birthday Bash Redemption! #LilMonstersinNYC

We suck when it comes to attending birthday parties! Well I guess in actuality I suck or the universe just doesn't work in our favor every now and again. and we end up late or needing to cancel. The hubby will take no ownership in this because it's usually me who has to schlepp the boys somewhere that feels like it's across the country to get to. And of course I feel horrible, because yeah it's some cute kids celebration of life but if you know me and our crazy world we have the most random shit happen to us, so much so you'd think we were lying. And honestly I'd almost prefer I'd been lying then to have to actually physically or mentally go through whatever the heck it was that prevented us from having cake and Ice cream and singing the Stevie wonder rendition of Happy Birthday as your awesome kids opened our dope gifts! To our credit we always give a gift whether we make it to the shindig or not and I usually hope that counts for something but I know it's important to just be there.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Rock Band Rivals: The Most Addictive Family Game of the Year! #Ad #RockBandRivals

Your family parties are going to be lit from now on thanks to the new Rock Band Rivals! With a list of over 2,000+ songs there's something for everyone across varied genres: Sheryl Crow, Stevie Wonder, The Wknd, David Bowie, Pink and Queen, The Doors, Marc Anthony, No Doubt, Snoop Dog, Magic, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Otis Redding, The Chainsmokers, Sia, Bob Marley (I was swaying to Redemption Song). We all know music brings people together and Rock Band 4 is the perfect music game and family game for PS4 & Xbox one. Playing Rock Band has been some of funnest quality time we've had in a while. Cj is such an old soul he knows that the hubby and I had way better music when we were kids so he was just as excited as we were when we scrolled through the choices to rock out with on this guitar game that also includes a drum set and microphone. 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Harmonix and Kidvuz and opinions expressed are 100% honest! 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Winter is Coming! Prepare Your Family with Tips from the FDNY and #AccuWeatherReady Program #Ad #BeReady

Disclosure: This Post is sponsored by Accuweather and opinions expressed are honest & 100% my own. 

Did you know November is the month with the most dramatic drop in temperatures? We've witnessed this right here in New York with a significant 30 degree fall from last week to now. It's safe to say the frigid chill was an indication that Winter is coming and I'm freaking out because I haven't even brought my winter coats up from storage yet due to the confusing and unseasonable 70 degree afternoons we had been enjoying for it to be mid November. recent survey conducted by AccuWeather found that the number one weather-related concern Americans have this winter is being caught by surprise by inclement weather. Despite all the fun in the sun it would be foolish of us to not be aware of the hazards and precautions needed to be taken as the colder weather approaches. 

Just looking at those pictures above that the hubby took last year around our Queens neighborhood has given me the goosies remembering how bad it can really get. Just a few days ago we were invited to the FDNY Fire Zone to learn all about the  AccuWeather Ready initiative which is a new, year-round weather preparedness program that focuses on keeping people safe and informed. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Imaginations Run Wild with Schleich's Big Adventure at the Water Hole #Sponsored

Disclosure: This is sponsored post in which I received compensation for, but my review and opinions are 100% my own.

As much as we love visiting our local Zoo's and watching the animals in their natural habitats it's nearly impossible to get to visit any of them with school back in session and with the temperatures cooling down, making trips like that are far and in between these days.  Watching the boys pull themselves way from the gadgets every now and then to enjoy some imaginative, pretend play makes me so happy so I knew with their fascination for wild animals and their love for viewing National Geographic that the Schleich Big Adventure at the Water Hole set would keep them busy.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Grab the Popcorn and Pass the Wine! Girls Night In with Groupon Coupons #Sponsored

Can you believe it will be Thanksgiving next week? It may be seasonably warm for this time of year but I'm beyond ready to let the holiday festivities commence. I've already started humming those classic soulful holiday tunes and we might actually get our Christmas tree up over Thanksgiving weekend. This time of year can definitely cause a frenzy of spending and although I do love my quality time with friends and family I'm not trying to go broke! Think about it, decorations, fancy schmancy outfits, the mani-pedis and blowouts, the gift giving...... the list goes on and on. One thing I do know is that I have no intention of having to commute across the five boroughs from one soiree to the next and will gladly partake in a house party or two to avoid the high costs of getting into some of these insanely high priced - so called "trendy" NYC venues. Thanks to Groupons Coupons you can crank up your Penatonix, Jackson Five,  holiday mix and Karaoke the night away with your favorite people while indulge in some popped corn and bubbly in the comfort of your own home.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and opinions expressed are 100% my own 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Family Volunteer Day: Health & Happiness Kits for the Homeless #Sponsored

As you grow up and mature you learn to appreciate the loved ones and support systems you have in your life and realize the significance of giving back and doing good for those less fortunate than you. Despite our circumstance over these last few months: we've had lots of family loss, with the passing of two uncles and a grandmother suddenly, my husband losing his job {he has since been employed the last 6 months}, our 5 year old needing emergency surgery, my random Crohn's disease related flare ups and nearly losing our home - my husband and I try to convey to our boys that we should be grateful for who we have and not what we have because there are so many without. We find it essential to instill a sense of service in our boys and plan to participate in Family Volunteer Day this year.

Pump Up Your Pets WWE PetMate Giveaway and Flashback to Summerslam #WWEPet #Giveaway

You can just call us die hard WWE wrestling fans, I grew up watching it as a kid when it was the WWF up until High School and now that I have two boys who found an interest in it all on their own, the brand truly a part of our every day life. During the week we countdown til' RAW and Smackdown and catch up on episodes on Hulu the night after it airs.We are subscribed to the WWE Network to cheer on our favorite over the top Superstars and try to catch a  live show any chance we get whenever they are in town. WWE fans can now share their passion with their pets as Petmate announces the launch of its new collection of WWE pet products available at retailers nationwide. 

Disclosure: We were provided product to facilitate this review, opinions expressed are 100% our own.

Monday, October 31, 2016

9 Affordable Pet Goods from Groupon to Welcome a New Puppy #Groupon #ad

Some how I've been convinced that we need to add to our little family and since everyone keeps asking when are we going to have a little girl, my hubby and the boys have found the perfect solution: Nutella! My brother in-law Chris's pitbull Bonnie recently gave birth to puppies and we're bringing one home this November. I'll admit Pitbulls have always made me nervous because of the horrible stereo-types out there about the breed, but my BIL's dog and my sister's dog Magic are as sweet as can be, so it's all in how you raise them. Despite having a dog already, preparing for a new dog is quite like preparing to bring home a baby, and there's so much we need to do before her arrival. Thankfully we don't have to break the bank and can find fun and affordable necessities in the Goods category on Groupon that we can have shipped to our apartment.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Comments expressed are 100% my own.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Four Pomegranate Recipes for Your Next Holiday Dinner #CookwithPOM #Sponsored

Ready or not the holidays are coming, which means for many of us we'll be assuming the role of hostess with the mostest as loved ones near and far come to visit. I absolutely love a house filled with family and friends, good music, laughter and of course yummy food! I'm always looking for easy seasonal dishes that can be whipped up quickly. No fuss no muss or I'm leaving it to the hubby to prepare {he's the professional}. So when my blogger babes and I were invited to a POM- wonderful night out to learn about this trendy fall ingredient and how to mix it up into a combination of savory & sweet dishes, we were all in and of course brought our appetites.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

Make it a Family Movie Night with KidFresh and Ice Age Collision Course #KidfreshIceAge #Giveaway

Thank the heavens for quick and easy healthy meal options that can just be popped into the microwave or slid into the oven because these days I just don't have the time. Over the years I rarely cooked to begin with because even when we were dating the hubby has always loved to throw down in the kitchen. I'm the type who worries that the chicken is under cooked and that I'd poison our kids with salmonella contamination so my go to's would be a pasta and veggie dish or a meatloaf {and that's on special occasions, lol}. But ever since he started working the late shift at a fine dining restaurant on the Upper West Side earlier this year, home cooked meals have come far and in between before he leaves in the afternoon. And if it was a day I have to actually head into the office {especially a Monday}, the last thing I want to do when I get home is cook! I'd much rather spend the extra time with my boys on the couch watching a movie. 

Disclosure: We were provided KidFresh meals and Ice Age Collision Course on DVD to facilitate this post, no other compensation was received. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Disney's Moana and A Conversation with Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jorge Ruiz on Following Your Calling in the Arts #Moana


Not knowing much really about the professional world of acting or theater, I'm always searching for ways to inspire and encourage our eleven year old CJ who has expressed an interest in making it on to the big screen someday with his charming yet silly personality, love for dancing and surprising fascination with creating music digitally. While attending this months People En Espanol Festival at the Jacob Javits Center I had the opportunity to get a sneak peek of not yet seen footage from Disney's Moana and sat in on a panel discussion with a member of the films dynamic music team - Tony award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda of the beyond popular Broadway show Hamilton.The morning not only gave us an exclusive look at the behind the scenes travels, artwork and music for the film but provided an enlightening discussion on following our callings and celebrating culture.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Put Down the Gadgets and Get Outdoors for Nickelodeon's WorldWide Day of Play

Our apartment walls are paper thin, so I know my neighbors must think I'm some crazed maniac as I scream at the boys for running from room to room as if we lived in a space the size of a football field opposed to the over-stuffed, over-rated NYC rental we live in. Over the summer we were very laid back about our day to day plans, with so many family passing's and life altering changes we tried not to over extend ourselves too much and wanted the kids to just enjoy relaxing - which if left to them to decide meant the involvement of some sort of gadget or gizmo or them imitating their favorite wrestling moves on our furniture. Every year right before we bid summer farewell we look forward to shutting off the television and the tablets to head outdoors for one awesome day of fun & fitness.  
On Saturday, Sept. 17, Nickelodeon celebrated its 13th annual Worldwide Day of Play in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. The slime-filled event featured Nickelodeon-themed games and fitness-themed activities hosted by Nick’s long-standing local partners, including the Art of Stepping, Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, Canine Companions for Independence, Major League Baseball’s PLAY BALL and World Baseball Classic, NBA Fit, New York Road Runners (NYRR), NFL PLAY 60, Playworks, Special Olympics, Street Soccer USA and USA BMX.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Freshen up Your Tween's Routine with Scented Glad Products #ad #MTNightOut

There come's a point when the kids get a little bit older and they have to start helping out around the house. Not only because it's helps alleviate one more thing that needs to be crossed off the checklist but because it will also instill a sense of responsibility in them that will prove valuable as they go out to face the world on their own. With our oldest CJ starting middle school this fall we thought aside from the chore of cleaning his room we'd freshen up his everyday routine with a few more household duties like taking out the trash.  During a recent mom's night out event with Momtrends' very own Nicole Feliciano we talked about balancing mom life and I realized one way for me to simplify life would be to delegate more tasks for the kids. That evening we also discovered the wonderfully scented line of odor shielding trash bags from Glad as we made our own Glad with Febreeze inspired hand lotions.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Our So-Called Balanced Life: Discovering Must Have Products to Simplify the Everyday #MTNightOut #ad

When you're a mama who's juggling life inside and outside of the home, a night out with other women who can undoubtedly relate is always a welcomed pass time, right? I'll be the first to admit - the mama hustle is real! C'mon, it's ok you can admit it too - finding balance can be hard and usually the last thing on our checklist is scheduling in a little well earned "me-time" in between the conference calls, school plays we'd feel guilty about missing, trips to the pediatrician that leave you in waiting rooms well passed your scheduled appointment and scrubbing the gross off the bottoms of toilets {i'm a boy mom}.  Hubby works late nights till 1am as a chef so if I can manage to get a babysitter and I'm not dealing with a Crohn's disease related flare up, there's no way I'm passing on a chance to hang out with my blogger babes. 

Picture a perfect autumn NYC evening with gorgeous rooftop views of the twinkling Soho lights, add some DIY, bubbly and stories of how we manage get it all done with must have products that help us master the chaos and it's surely going to be a good night! Thanks to Nicole Feliciano of Momtrends & Meredith Publications {Parents, Fit Pregnancy, Family Fun and Parents Latina} who gathered tried and true brands like Glad, Quaker Oats,Clorox, Philips Avent & Earth's Bestwe were able to channel our creative sides while discovering & using the best products to make life easier for busy parents. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Life of the Lunchbox: Entenmann's Little Bites and Nature Harvest Giveaway #Sponsored

How are you all adjusting to the back to school routine, was it a seamless transition or were there a few bumps in the road? For us, one thing that makes it easier to get into the swing of things is going with what we know and keeping things simple, especially when it comes to packing school lunches. Our kids aren't really fans of the choices they have in the cafeteria so we pack tried and true favorites that we know they love and that won't end up in the trash can or still sitting in their lunchbox at the end of the day. 

After a while though we may easily fall victim to the routine of packing the same items for their lunches and it's sometimes nice to have a little fun with how it's presented to our lil' monsters and they can even help make them!

Monday, September 26, 2016

What You Should Know About The Zika Virus and Getting Pregnant #GoHealthUC #ad

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post created in collaboration with Stiletto Media  and Northwell Health-Go Health Urgent Care to provide awareness and information on the Zika virus.  All opinions are my own.

The plan was: we’d pack our bags for a week long vacation with the kids - sometime in June or August and we’d enjoy a little peaceful quiet time and maybe even try to conceive a baby. Yeah, baby fever is pretty rampant in our house, it’s all anyone can talk about these days. And so the hubby and I figured in celebration of our 8th wedding anniversary we’d try to work on baby #3 in Mexico where we went on our honeymoon. We were all excited for what we thought was a romantic gesture to celebrate our family…...That was until, the Zika Virus ended up on the cover of our newspapers and all over our social media channels and we realized we’d have to keep our baby making party here in the states.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Let's Get Curious! 4 Ticket #Giveaway to the Liberty Science Center

It's said "The future belongs to the curious" and as a parent and our children's first educator isn't it just amazing when we get to witness their little minds explore and question the world around them? This year marks the 75th anniversary of the appearance of the adorable and adventurous Curious George in American children's literature and we had the chance to check out the Let's Get Curious exhibit that opened on National curiosity day at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey.

Disclosure: As a Liberty Science Center Blog Ambassador for the day, I have been provided with vouchers for my visit. All opinions expressed are 100% our own.

Friday, September 2, 2016

NY Liberty Back to School Game & Performance from Disney's Laura Marano #Showup #NYLiberty

The countdown is on! Summer vacation here in the city is winding down and in less than a week the kids will be heading back to school and what better way to celebrate conquering a new school year than with a Back to School NY Liberty Game at Madison Square Garden? The Liberty is one of New York’s most successful teams and are even making a run to qualify for the WNBA playoffs and they are part of one of the most entertaining sporting events we've ever attended! On Friday September 9th, they'll be playing against the Connecticut Sun and making a run for the playoffs! And they need you to #Showup and cheer them on! 

As part of the fun-filled night they have an amazing half time show planned with a performance from Laura Marano of the Disney Show Austin & Ally who'll be singing her hit "Boom Box" and new song "Lala". Here's the details:

Kazoops: Kids Discover the Power of Imagination with Debut of New Netflix Show

Most of our kids have returned to the classroom or will be after the long labor day weekend and as a mom, former preschool and elementary school educator it's always been an enlightening experience watching both my boys and students question the world around them and to use their imaginations to make up their own stories and engage in creative play. At home we try to encourage deeper thinking and want our kids to feel as comfortable as possible seeking answers to whatever they are curious about. In the animated series Kazoop {debuts on Netflix on September 2nd, 2016} kids will follow the adventures of six year old Monty and his adorable best friend names Jimmy Jones, the family pet pig.  Monty uses his big imagination to challenge notions of everyday life such as "Why do all games need rules?", "Why can't we have more than one best friend?" and demonstrates the value of critical thinking.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Working It Out with WWE Women's Revolution at Tapout Fitness #TapoutFitness #WomensRevolution

Honestly, I have no idea what possessed me into believing that it was a smart idea to join the phenomenal WWE Women's Revolution along with television personality & NY Times best selling author, Maria Menuonos in a workout event at Tapout Fitness, other than the fact that I've been an admiring fan of these hard-working, driven and athletic women for years! As part of the the WWE Summer Slam NYC Take Over my blogger babes and I, alongside other media outlets and WWE universe super fans joined in on a 60 minute class that had us all sweating, or as WWE superstar Naomi would say "Glowing". After a stressful morning of dealing with extended family drama, working it out in my head & in the gym was a more than welcomed way for me to clear my head! I was almost deterred from going because I was mentally drained but knew i'd regret missing out on an opportunity to get my adrenaline pumping in a positive way. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Fun In The Sun: Making a Splash with Wet Head on the Beach #WetHeadChallenge

August is almost behind us and we knew we had to find the time to squeeze in at least one beach day before the lil' monsters head back to the classroom, not to mention the hubby just won't let me live it down that he didn't get his chance to bask in the sun seaside last year. Where I do love watching the waves, laying out under the umbrella while flipping through magazines and watching the kids collect seashells in their cartoon character plastered buckets, I am far from a fan of anything sand related: building castles, being buried beneath it or discovering it in unfavorable places like our lunch. Zing Toy's Wet Head was the perfect water roulette game to introduce to our friends and pass away the time while giggling in anticipation over who'd be the first to get soaked.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

12 Tips From Girl Scouts of the USA and Disney Channel's "Elena of Avalor to Inspire Girls to Lead

Girl Scouts

If you watched this year's Olympics in Rio, then you've witnessed a diverse and amazing group of athletic women fulfill their dreams by showing great teamwork, leadership and determination to succeed. I hope that little girls all around the world are inspired by Monica Puig  for winning the first gold medal for Puerto Rico & 19 year old African American, 5x gold medal winning gymnast - Simone Biles.  And let's not forget the first woman to wear a hijab while competing in the Olympic games like Muslim fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. These young women have proven that despite their differences if you're a go-getter that's willing to be a leader and dreams big, anything  can be accomplished. 

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and Disney Channel are teaming up to inspire girls and their families to practice leadership. The collaboration brings GSUSA’s focus on leading like a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)TM, the Girl Scout way, and Disney Channel’s recently launched animated television series Elena of Avalor into action with the debut of The Elena of Avalor Leadership Guide by Girl Scouts and Disney ChannelAvailable in English and Spanish beginning today, the Guide showcases leadership activities and conversations parents and caregivers can engage their preschool through fifth-grade girls in to boost their everyday leadership skills and prepare them to create the future they imagine.

Planning Your Holiday Getaway?Skyscanner Reveals the Best Time to Book Holiday Travel...and it's Later Than you Think

Summer travel may be coming to an end and many of you have already sent your kids off to school and I even spotted Halloween items being stocked in the dollar bins of Target. Before you know it the phones will begin to ring and text messages buzz there way to our phones with talks of who's home to feast over Thanksgiving turkey at, where to create lasting new family memories while baking for Hanukkah and Christmas and where to blow those annoying horns after counting down and have your first kiss of the New Year. I've already had conversations with girlfriends about brainstorming their holiday travel plans because every year they wait until the last minute to think about it and we automatically assume the procrastination can be costly. Skyscanner reveals the best time to book holiday travel, and thank goodness it's much later than you probably thought.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Disney Queen of Katwe and 3 Great Places and a Festival for Kids to Learn to Play Chess in NYC

Growing up I remember watching my dad and cousin as they intensely eyed each other's pieces while playing an intense, weekend-afternoon round of chess. It seemed like neither ever blinked as I tried to follow along. Upon his return from a trip to Mexico, daddy brought home the most beautiful hand carved and painted board, naturally I thought it was way cooler than the traditional set with simple black and white pieces With no clue on the rules of how to really play I used to move the pawns, knights and bishops {i'm surprised I even know their names} every which way across the board in hopes to protect the magical Queen. It must be in their genes, because our two boys have acquired a fondness for chess and even stop in their tracks during leisurely strolls to watch the older men near union square in the city,  as they call out to passerby's to challenge them to a play a round or two. After seeing the preview for Disney's Queen of Katwe, my 11 year old instantly said " oh mom, this has to be one of those feel good movies, where the player goes through tough times and something great happens". From a Disney movie, could we honestly expect anything less?

Friday, August 12, 2016

New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles App Helps Teach STEM Concepts, Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

Naturally, seeing as the hubby and I grew up watching the Ninja Turtles as 80's babies, it only makes sense that we are all for our boys loving them just as much, if not more than we did at their age. Nickelodeon has launched its first app based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Half-Shell Heroes, a preschool and kid-friendly property inspired by the hit animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In the TMNT Half-Shell Heroes app, kids can join Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo on an action-filled quest through the sewers and streets of New York City. Boys and girls alike will surely love this new action packed app that will have them engaged in the educational games that helps teach STEM concepts, problem solving and critical thinking.The TMNT Half-Shell Heroes app is available now to download on all iOS devices, Google Play and Amazon

Sunday, August 7, 2016

WWE Summer Slam is Kicking off with a Concert To Benefit Connor's Cure

The countdown to one of the most popular WWE pay per views is well under way and in our house, aside from all the revamping of the Monday Night RAW and Tuesday Night Smackdown, Summer Slam is all my wrestling loving family can talk about & with the show headed back to NYC for the 2nd year in a row it's sure to be a night to remember. Can you picture how crazy the energy would be at a fully packed Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, New York in anticipation of a concert with music stars Flo Rida and Jason Derulo as a lead up to to the big night? For the first time ever, in support of Connor's Cure and the initiative to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer, the WWE is partnering with Iheart radio for a sure to be epic Summer Slam concert on Thursday, August 18th and tickets are on sale now.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Rockin' True Religion and Counting Down to the First Day of First Grade

Back to school fashion

"When do we go back to school mommy, is it almost time?" You'd think Tristan was having the most awful summer the way he's been counting down until he heads back to the classroom and gets to see all of his lil' monster friends. Watching his face change as he tries to process how many days are actually in a month is hysterical. "So, how many more days exactly? Today is Tuesday, so after Sunday?" and his big brother laughs at him as I tell him not to worry about it, it will be here before he knows it.

Ice Age: Collision Course Screening & Interview with Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson #IceAge #CollisionCourse

I'm all for a family fun movie that's not only going to cause a case of the giggles but that inspires kids to make connections to science without them even realizing they are learning. Thanks to 20th Century Fox and the American Museum of Natural History the boys and I got to attend an early morning screening of Ice Age Collision Course at the NYIT Broadway theater in 3D, asked questions during an interview with pop-culture's favorite Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and enjoyed a private behind the scenes tour at the AMNH. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Must Haves to Send the Kiddies Back to the Classroom from the #MomtrendsBTS Bash

Must Haves for Lil' Monsters

Time sure does fly when you're having fun and I just can't believe we are almost through the month of July and already thinking about buying uniforms, lunch planning and after school activities for our lil' monsters. As my boys countdown until heading to the 1st grade and middle school, I'm realizing I've got quite a bit of shopping to do over the next 4-5 weeks and luckily I can always count on getting the scoop on the latest trends and product launches during the annual Momtrends Back to school party hosted by Nicole Feliciano and her awesome team. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Getaway to Block Island to Escape the Hustle & Bustle of City Life #RIBlockIsland #BlockIsland

Visit Rhode Island

With the first official weekend of Summer behind us, I'm sure we've all been wander-lusting and counting down the days until the first travel adventure of the season as a way to get away from it all. It's bound to happen when you live in the city- all the scheduling, commuting and meetings combined with juggling family life can be quite taxing on a person mentally and physically. Unfortunately it can sometimes be really hard and often dang near impossible to get away from it all for a long block of time, so it's important to take moments to just catch your breathe & unwind even if just for a day. My recent trip to Block Island earlier this month was just the escape I so badly needed and I knew I had to tell you guys all about it. Block Island is a destination that has just a bit of everything from restaurants serving delicious foods {chowder and lobster rolls take priority} to hiking, fishing and insightful tours that are fun and educational. Thanks to Adam of Dada Rocks I was able to accept an invite from Rhode Island Tourism to cover the trip for both of ours sites, along with a very intimate group of fantastic bloggers. We were able to enjoy this serene, little island that has no traffic lights or chain restaurants with the exception of Starbucks {there go those priorities again!} and it was fantastic!

Monday, July 11, 2016

7 Weeks of Summer Camp At Home: Around the World

Home schooling

With summer vacation well underway whether you've been traveling or staying close to home with the kids it's so important to avoid summer brain drain by showing our children that learning can be fun beyond the classroom. This year I've teamed up with some fantastic parenting bloggers to bring you 7 weeks of themed activities and more to engage in with your little monsters while school is out. We are wrapping up our themed posts with a focus on "Around the World" and in light of what's going on in the news I think learning about the differences among races and cultures is perfect timing! As a former educator in elementary and preschool classrooms this made me miss teaching and was really fun to put together.
 I hope you all enjoy!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Reflecting on Why We Can No Longer Sit Idly: Please Tell the World my Son's Black Lives Matter Too #BlackLivesMatter #BlackSonsMatter

Dellah's Jubilation

This weekend has been anything but normal and I've found myself caught up in my feelings & like many of you I'm sure, I've been trying to find all the words to express what I've been thinking after the news of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile's tragic deaths. Typically I write about reasons to celebrate life but realize with this platform I have a social responsibility to speak out honestly on things that are a far cry from jubilation, despite how tough the reality may seem. Writing & sharing posts on our most recent lived in moments - trips to Rhode Island, movie screenings of the latest summer blockbusters and the perfect holiday gift seem so irrelevant to write about when our social media feeds and email boxes should be filled with the voices in mourning & those advocating for positive change. I'll make room here for me to share this story because I knew as a mother of two brown little boys I couldn't come back to this space without discussing the current state of our country. There is a need to recognize the disproportionate number of black lives lost at the hands of law enforcement who are meant to serve and protect us all and to encourage you all to speak out against it.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Macy's 4th of July Fireworks at Gantry Plaza State Park: Flashback to 2015

With just 3 days until the biggest day of Summer have you made your plans for the 4th of July? 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks display and I'm sure it's going to be one of the best shows we've ever seen. Although the Lil' monsters and I have voted to stay home to watch the spectacular show of lights from our rooftop here in Queens we definitely think if you're up to it, going out to see it up close will be an amazing and fun filled evening. Sometimes it feels like by living in Queens we miss a lot of the cool events and parades, so I was so excited when we discovered last year we could take in amazing views of the city skyline, have the kids play in the park and relax with our favorite people right in the midst of the beautiful Gantry Plaza State Park as we counted down to the show above us. 


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