Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Sweetest Day At Candytopia NYC!

 I have always had a really terrible sweet tooth like I'm not being dramatic when I say I can't live without chocolate. I would be so depressed without it, and I know that sounds insane but that has been me since forever. Even when I was younger I would hide in my room and eat chocolates under the covers when I knew my parents didn't want me to have any more sweets. Now as a mom of two sweet boys I do the exact same thing so I don't have to share it with anyone.

So I will take full responsibility for the fact that my boys are the exact same way. Their day just isn't right without some kind of sweet treat. I have created little sugar monsters like myself. Yes, I know too much sugar is really bad for you - okay parenting police don't handcuff my just yet. I don't allow them to have it all, whenever wherever. But sometimes all you need is a sweet treat to get your day feeling amazing. NYC is a place very well known for the most amazing desserts you can find. From gigantic milkshakes to rainbow sprinkle filled cakes. So it was only right that Candytopia came to NYC to share some more sweetness with this big city which seems like it's on its own sugar rush.

When we first got to Candytopia NYC we waited by this amazing and huge dragon made completely out of candy. As we read the sign to find out what it was made out of exactly the boys were amazed.. already. We were greeted by a man who reminded the boys of Willy Wonka ( one of their all-time favorite movies btw! ) and he took us in with him to share with us all the amazing fun of Candytopia. Now I don't want to spoil the review with too many spoilers because to be there is amazing, and I would make the trip if I were you. 

I will say that you will get to see so many amazing sculptures and rooms decked out in all types of candy. My favorite room has got to have been the ocean life room which had candy made seahorses, sharks, and it truly felt like you were underwater. It was beautiful!

The boys definitely caught on to the fact that each room had a box which had candy for them to take with them. They looked forward to seeing what was in the next room, and so on. They both said that their favorite room of all of them was, of course, the infamous Marshmallow ball pit that I am sure you have all been seeing around on Instagram. It was so much fun, they would sink so low and try and swim their way back up in the swarm of marshmallow foams. They loved also throwing them up in the air and seeing how many they could hold in their arms. It was a full on work out for me though, and something I am glad we can always share as an epic memory. Not many people can say that they swam in a pool of marshmallow foams right?

All in all, it was a perfect day with lots of sweets with my very own little sweethearts. I would highly recommend a family day to Candytopia NYC. Doors close on November 15th so you still have time to check it out before you miss out.  Let your tastebuds soar! 

- We were invited to visit Candytopia for Media Day. All opinions are honest, and my own. Thank you for having us Candytopia! :)

Friday, August 10, 2018

Back To School Bash with MomTrends!

Just weeks away from school starting, and I am so happy to be semi-ready. I believe this year will be a great year, and what makes a great year is organization, and Mom Trends helped me focus on that importance by sharing with me some amazing back to school must-have companies to make my school prepping easy breezy. From help with lunch box ideas to awesome looking clothes for them to rock out in. I had such a great time at this event, but what I loved most was being able to meet with brands that I have been working with for quite some time, and putting a face to the name is always a great feeling. 

As a mom, we stress out so much about our kids going back to school. Partially awaiting the freedom, but at the same time not quite ready to fully let go. At least that's how I feel most of the time this time of year comes around. But when you have great products to look forward to using it always feels a lot better.

Here are some of my favorite moments from the Mom Trends Back to School Bash!

Mabels Labels is just always going to be an obsession for me. Honestly, I can't get enough of these labels. Absolutely everything around my home is labeled. EVERYTHING. It is something I just do now out of habit. We get a new water bottle, and I instantly go and grab the labels. We pack for a trip to the beach, I make sure every single thing is labeled. If you have more than one child then you understand why labeling is a huge deal for me. These kids will fight over everything and anything, so with labels, it's very obvious for them to notice what is who's, we even have them on their toothbrushes.

We got to try out some yummy grilled cheese sandwiches with a twist made by Chef  George Duran with Jarlsberg. I'm telling you it was the best grilled cheese, ever. And I got some pretty fun and interesting ideas for lunch box planning. I spinned the wheel the first time and I got the spicy tomato spread, it was like the wheel knew me, so well. I absolutely LOVE adding spice to my meals, hot sauce all the way. It was just a perfect combination. I won't even lie, I went for a 2nd try because one just wasn't enough. The second time around I got the apricot jam and I am so happy I did because I will be making it over and over. I truly believe it is something both of my boys would love too, so it will be added to my list of things to make for school lunch now!

Epson came out with a printer called Eason Eco Tank which should be on every mom's wishlist. It is a cartridge-free so you save time and money. It includes up to two years of ink in the box. So you no longer have to worry about running out of ink on the night before a big project is due. I am a full-on DIY mom, birthdays, holidays, you name it. I am always making something because I just love being extra like that, which is perfect for all my extra mommas who go above and beyond without any reasons. From lunch box notes to a chore chart.

And then, there were cocktails. And they were DELISH. Thanks to Natalie's Orchid Island Juice.  Natalie’s keeps it simple, which is why there are never more than five ingredients in each juice. No preservatives. No artificial ingredients. No GMOs. It was such a fruity and refreshing taste. I got to try the Orange Pineapple and the Blood Orange. I cant even pick a favorite because I genuinly loved them both so much. I brought home a couple of their small jugs of Orange juice, and my boys drank them up in minutes. Let me remind you how picky my little rugrats are about food and drinks too. I knew they would love it because it doesnt have that tardy acid taste like most orange juices, it's perfectly sweet, but without all the sugar artificial flavoring that is not good for them. It is a perfect morning go to to refresh them for a new day.

It wouldn't be a Mom Trends event without a little pampering for the mommas. They had ManiorPedi there to spoil us with a manicure which I needed badly. I loved how fast yet efficient they were. It was definitely the pick me up that I needed to feel a little more like myself again. As a mother of two boys, I feel like me time is so hard to get, so a manicure rarely ever happens because that means I have to actually get out of the house, without my children. I'm that mom who does just about everything with their kids attached to their hip, but having them hanging out at a nail salon I know would be a terrible idea. So I love that ManiorPedi comes to you, and help you get what you want done in the comfort of your own home, or even at work during your lunch break. Its a great service for on the go or working mommas who just want to feel like they have it all together still. I know that a manicure for me makes me feel like a brand new woman and not like the mom who wears sweats and a dad hat every day. So I was glad to learn more about them. 

We were also given a really cute fashion show by these little ones as they showed us all the fun and stylish Tea Collection back to school pieces that are out now. I loved it all, and I knew I wanted to get the boys a couple of things from the collection. I actually got home and instantly ordered them some bright and fun tee shirts that they chose themselves with me.  The clothing is also very comfortably made!

All in all, it was a perfect event, and they somehow hit the nail on all things back to school. I loved that it wasn't all just supplies, but things we didn't think we would need and now I can't picture going back to school without all these things. Big shout out and thanks to Mom Trends for this event, and to all the amazing sponsors. Below are all the sponsors that were there and helped make this event a great one.

Lastly, click on the link below to donate to the Kids in Need Foundation. 
Have you ever thought of what it’s like to go to school without the supplies you need? Children need these core school supplies to be successful in school. Now, think of the burden upon parents to make sure their child has the supplies they need in addition to providing food, clothes, and shoes.  It can be overwhelming especially when money is tight. More than 16 million kids live in poverty in the U.S. and arrive at school without the supplies they need to learn. We want to alleviate some of the burdens and help children be successful in the classroom. Help us level the playing field as students return to school.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Ready for School with PediPed + GIVEAWAY!

Schools right around the corner, and if you are like me than you understand all the worries that go through your mind two weeks before school. Im worrying about it all. Will they be happy? Will the kids all be nice to them? Will they like the school lunch? Will they feel comfortable through out the day? Comfort is huge to me, because it can literally make or break their school day. Just as an adult when I go to work I want to make sure I am wearing clothing and shoes that will keep me comfortable all day so that I can feel motivated and confident, kids are no different than us. They need shoes that will help them feel good about trying out something new in gym class, or moving from one class to another. Our little ones are extraordinary in plenty of ways, but mostly in the way that they can adapt to new surroundings. I can only imagine how it feels like as a five year old to enter a huge building filled with children and adults you have never met, and classrooms you have never even imagined. So what they are wearing can easily boost their confidence to help them get past the scary first time moments of the school world.

I have partnered with PediPed to share with you guys how much of a necessity a comfortable yet stylish shoe is when it comes to heading back to school, no matter what school you attend. 

My oldest will be starting 2nd grade at his elementary charter school, and I absolutely love the fact that school shopping isn't too stressful when it comes to charter school. We are given a uniform in which he has easily grown comfortable with, and all we must figure out is finding the perfect all black, no lace shoes. Now, like every seven year old on this universe you must know he is super particular, and does not like shoes that are too heavy, or hard soles, it has to feel perfect. Perfect enough to which he can get to school every morning, and then run around with them at the park after school. I have not had much luck, and lets just say this momma has been breaking the rules just a tad bit since it has been a hard find for us. 

But when we tried on the the Pediped Flex Alex Black shoes I was so happy to hear him not say one word about how uncomfortable they were. He said he really felt the difference between these and all the other ones we have tried before. You have no idea how ecstatic I was that I was not going to have to deal with the hunt for a perfect school shoe two days before the first day of school. They were very true to size, but also work with the flex fit system  which provides additional inserts that can be inserted for a snug fit then removed for room as your child's foot grows. These inserts can reduce shoe size by almost half a size, extending the life of the shoe. They also are very easy to clean. I loved the simpleness of them with the velcro straps. These shoes are made of premium, high quality, distressed leather and a flexible rubber sole.

As for my four year old he is starting Pre K in September and they just ask for them to be in comfortable running shoes, that are breathable for any season, as they do go outside in cold weather as long as its weather permitting. I know he loves bright colors, and I love them too so he can stand out and it really does show his colorful personality. He has such an outgoing spirit that bold shoes always catch his attention. So when we were looking on the website I had a feeling he was going to point to the Flex Squad Navy sneakers. They look sporty and simple for small hands to put on all on their own, with the velcro straps to give them full support. There is nothing more that my little one loves than running around all over the playground, and with a long day of school ahead of him and so much activities from dance, to dramatic play I know these shoes will keep him on his feet all day with no problem. With the Ultra Light Technology it is specially designed to support kids’ feet in all activities while remaining light as air. It has flex grooves for natural foot movement and maximum flexibility, heel cushioning that distributes pressure evenly, and a breathable mesh upper that allows airflow through the body shoe. Plus they are machine washable, whats better than that? Because we all know a four year old spills just about everything, everywhere so knowing they will last through everything is reassuring. 

The most amazing thing that I love about Pediped is that they are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association for promoting healthy foot development. So, whether your child is in public, private, charter, preschool, or daycare you can rely on Pediped to have an amazing selection of comfortable and stylish shoes for your little ones. After all, first impressions are important so lets make sure our little humans are able to fully enjoy their first days of school feeling trendy and comfortable. And this momma won't have to worry about a thing. Well, one less thing!

One of my lucky followers will be able to pick out their own pair of Pediped footwear for their little one! Just click below, and good luck!
The winner will be announced on Tuesday,August 21st at 3PM!

- This is a paid partnership with Pediped, but as always all opinions are of my own. I only work with companies I truly support, and believe in. 

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Things we have been LOVING! (Kids Edition)

This summer we have been really enjoying ourselves, from vacation to adventures.  I wanted to share some of our favorite things as of lately ... from products, to games, to places!

We have been using our Babo Botanicals Sport Stick Sunblock in Summer Scent SPF 30. It is so convenient in so many ways. I love that I can apply it so easily all over the face, and then put it right in my purse for when I need to re apply it after a long day out in the sun. It goes on sheer, and is far from greasy. Most importantly though it’s chemical free and a hypoallergenic formula made with organic oils, and Jojoba so I don’t have to worry about it leaving any rashes or breakouts on their super sensitive skin! It is also so small in size that I believe it is perfect for kids who like to do things on their own, as they can roll it right on and there isn't much rubbing work needed after.

Q: Do you like putting on sunblock every day?
Jace: Yes, I think its safety so that you don't get burned.
Caleb: No because it gets in my nose when you spray it on.

Q: What do you like about the face sunblock?
Jace: Its very creamy, and soft.
Caleb: It doesn't keep you white, it goes on super fast.

Q: What has been your favorite Goliath Game to play this summer, and why?
Jace: Gnip Gnop because its fun to try and get all the balls in first to win!
Caleb: Domino Rally because if it goes all the way that means you set it up good!

Gaming has been huge this summer for us because for some odd reason we have had many rainy days that don't allow us to do too much outdoor activities. On those gloomy and rainy days making a fun domino pattern all around the house has been very exciting to do. They love that Goliath Games has a huge selection of toys that vary in teamwork and competition.

We have been asked so many times on social media and in person outside where we got our super cool graffiti scooters. Would you believe me if I told you they were only around 50 bucks on Amazon, by the company Ancheer. Plus the wheels light up while they scoot! We love them and take them on the go everywhere, and I am so happy to see them getting so good at them too, they are true New Yorker kids now scooting all over the big apple!

Q: What has been your favorite thing to do outside?
Jace: Ride my scooter because its fun going fast!
Caleb: Go to the whale park and get really wet in the sprinklers, and use water guns!

Summer has got to be the messiest season of all. From melted ice cream hands, to yummy cupcake
picnics( oh you didn’t know this was a thing?) the boys hands during the summer are always sticky and dirty. I am like every other mom in the world and I carry around wipes wherever I go! The boys have super sensitive skin so I know a more natural kind of wipe is necessary so they don't break out, and thats why we have been loving the Jackson Reece Kinder By Nature Natural Baby Wipes.

Q: What has been your favorite food/ or snack to eat this summer?
Jace: The mini rainbow cupcakes ( Baked By Melisa)
Caleb: I love Icepops!

Q: What has been your favorite thing to watch this summer?
Jace: Jurassic World because it had more action than the first one!
Caleb: The Teen Titans GO to the movies because it was so funny.

These two movies were such a huge hit for the boys. They love anything that is dinosaurs, and ever since we saw the first Jurassic movie they knew they couldn't wait to watch this one. Teen Titans is a show they always watch after school or during the summer now, and they laugh so much when they do. They love the comedy in it, and it is a show that as a parent I can actually sit and watch myself so thats a win win situation right there. We were so excited when we got invited to a Teen Titans GO to the movies early screening event, where we got to meet the super awesome villain in the movie Slade AKA Will Arnett. It was really fun getting to hear him do all his character voices, and of course watching the movie in advanced. You can now check out Teen Titans GO to the movies in theaters.

Q: What was your favorite part about summer vacation?
Jace: Going to Celebration Station
Caleb: Going to to the pool in Tampa, FL.

I believe Tampa was our biggest summer highlight. We truly didn't want to leave, ever. It was so much fun enjoying a different scenery and I am forever grateful that we have been allowed to take our kids on all these awesome adventures. Summer is about exploration, and though I can easily do a lot of exploring with them right here in NYC, I love taking them out of what they know so they can see the rest of the world... but we are taking baby steps at the moment and not going too far. Though I am excited for them to be ready for some 7+ hour rides to London.

Tampa was a big hit, and I was scared it wasn't going to add up to Orlando where most people take their children around this time. I just knew it wouldn't be the best time to take them to Disney, not just yet. So we settled for Tampa and it was amazing. We found this awesome little action packed amusement park where we got to do so much. I will be doing our top five favorite Tampa places on the blog soon, and it will go in depth on the locations, so this one will be on there for sure.

Summer is not over yet, so we are making the most of it right now from swimming lessons, to beach days, and just exploring different places of NYC that we have never been before. Hope you and your kiddos are doing the same. In the comments share with me your favorite childhood summer memory?

- Some products listed above were sent to us for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are our own and 100% honest.