Friday, July 24, 2015

Blogger Bash 2015 (Day 2)

    I woke up excited and ready for what was to come of Day 2 at Blogger Bash. I was anxious and ready, very different from yesterday, because I just wanted to get there and be a part of the wonderful things that were planned! I ended up arriving so late due to the insane traffic that started in Paterson, NJ all the way into NYC! Have you ever had that 'so close, yet so far' feeling?-that was me! I took a taxi to Pier 60 and headed straight to the entrance. I had completely missed the Disney Infinity breakfast! I was really looking forward to it because the kiddos love their video games and Disney(the perfect combo). I also missed out on the swag bag that was given and desperately tried to get one in hopes I hadn't missed important info, and understandably so, they weren't giving anymore out! I didn't let that bring me down and met up with my Blogger Bash buddy , Lillie of Jersey Fashionista. 

  The day was going to be jam packed with speaking panels, all day exhibitors, a Peanuts movie Lunch and to close the festivities, a Canadian Lentils Carnival! I started checking out some of the wonderful exhibitors. I didn't take many pictures, and I don't feel too bad about it because I just wanted to focus and really pay attention to the information I was receiving from everyone especially some of the wonderful organizations that where there.

Boiron ( homeopathic medicine), Teleflora (of course, the wonderful company which provided flowers for the event) AlSol hotel &resorts, Amrita Singh (fine jewelry, handbags, accessories), Hashtracking (specializing in helping you make the most out of your hashtag game), Gwynnie Bee (plus-size monthly subscription boxes) and last but not least I took advantage of the Rite Aid Recharge Station which had delicious chocolate, a massage station and gifted us all personalized bags full of goodies (full size products)!

  After that I sat down for the Noodle - How to Double Your Traffic Potential Through Simple Seo Steps
There was SO much useful information given by Sheryl Simonitis and Jeff Herbst that I honestly spent the whole time writing on my  little notebook like Speedy Gonzales. I just didn't want to miss anything they were saying because it was all so new to me. I loved the fact that I was learning all these new things I had to pay attention to when it came to my site and what and how I posted. I dread the thought of them going to my little blog and actually seeing what I got going on here!ha! On a serious note, time to learn, time to step it up!

After that, I made my way to the Peanuts Keynote Lunch where, dare I say, I got to enjoy some of my favorite delicious food of the day. I made sure to be very proper and polite and not go "full beast mode" on this food!

I got to learn about the new Peanuts Movie hitting theaters Nov 6! What a treat as well, that we got to meet some of the adorable cast. There was a little q&a with the cast Francesca Capaldi (little red-haired girl) A.J. Tecce (Pigpen), Noah Johnston (Schroeder), Alexander Garfin (Linus) my personal fave.

Check out Snoopy striking a pose being all cute!

Next was Rene Skyler - Good Enough Mother Brand New You event. Rene talked a little bit about herself, her ups and downs in life, overcoming cancer and personal struggles that helped her reflect on who she wants to be. She was such an inspiration and wonderful to listen to. One of her many inspiring quotes that really stuck with me was "You have a right to be as good to yourself as you are to others. " I can't go without mentioning one of her guest speakers, Nicole Sanders of Ladimax Sports. Tough and real, Nicole cut to the chase and explained how we are doing this dieting thing all wrong and she was right! We focus too much on the scale and numbers, it's weight loss vs. fat loss. I was enlightened by all she had to say and I know I have to work hard and give 110% into getting healthy! I left motivated to better myself as a whole, mind, body and spirit!

One of the most impacting and favorite parts was getting to learn more about some of the wonderful charities and organizations that were there. Alex's Lemonade Stand (helping the fight against childhood cancer), Unicef (fighting against poverty and hunger- some of the many things-for children all over the world) Food Bank NYC (fighting hunger right here close to home in NYC) There are so many ways we can all do our part! I have to tell you that when I walked to the UNDERSTOOD (online resource to support parents of kids with learning and attention issues to help them thrive in school and in life) table I was immediately taken back. I had never heard of them before, but I was so relieved to have found them I don't really share much on here about our struggles in school, and in general with my daughter because we're still not too sure about what we're dealing with. I literally asked Amanda Morin, where have you guys been?! I was trying so hard not to cry not because I was sad but because I finally didn't feel alone! Thank you so much Amanda and Debbie Bookstaber for being so kind to me!

that's me (all teary-eyed)....with Amanda!

Still with me??! I don't want to miss out on sharing any of my experiences. You know what I missed so many other things that were going on and  I'm sure other attendees covered them. I had a little bit of time before my Speed Dating with brands time slot so I sat a bit at the Lights, Camera, Fashion where I got to see some awesomely fierce ladies model some of the beautiful, confidence-boosting and very flattering fashion from Project Gravitas created by founder and CEO Lisa Sun. I also had a very nice chat about family with Tracy of Just Be Friends.  I didn't stay long because it was time for  Speed Dating!

I sat with two other fun and kind veteran bloggers for my session with the brands. Gemarla from The Mommy Elf and Christy from The Bloggernista! I was nervous because I didn't have much to offer when it came to numbers but I am very loyal and I do love sharing what I believe in. If it's a brand I believe in I will always work hard! I had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful companies and learning about them. I told them a little bit about this little blog of mine. I do hope we can work together in the future.

The night was coming to a close but not before the very extravagant Canadian Lentils Carnival.
There were fun carnival games, juggling, acrobatics, fortune-telling, a strong-man! The traditional carnival food but with a twist- everything was made with a touch of lentils!

I seriously have to get this posing thing right, especially when you got a pro right next to you ;)

I know everyone from the Blogger Bash will hear so much positive feedback from all that attended because it is all true. The event itself was extremely successful but the connections, opportunities and memories far exceeded anything I  had expected. I am a little changed because of it and that was the best part of all!!

iPlay America (and a Giveaway)

We've had a chance to visit iPlay America twice already and we love it! We'd never heard of it before so the first time we visited we didn't know what to expect.  The kids were immediately in love! They had no idea where to even begin because there are so many things to do!

 The first time was perfect because I was attending for a special meetup from New Jersey Blogger Network and we all got a special tour of the place! The hubs and kiddos went ofF on their own to check it out.

iPlay America  has everything you need for a great time with your family and the entrance is Free!! There is something for everyone. You can purchase IRide packages to enjoy the exclusive rides and laser tag. Grab some frozen yogurt at Mixx, or candy at Broadway Sweets. Enjoy delicious boardwalk food at Sonny’s Boardwalk Grill, Rob’s Pizza, or Boardwalk Bites, and that Game Time Bar & Grill is more than just a bar, it’s a great place to grab a delicious meal. Each weekend from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Game Time Bar & Grill serves an incredible brunch — the menu is fabulous and was created by Chef Joe Raiola, a season 5 Chopped champion!

They also offer great birthday or any kind of parties, packages! I think the party rooms were one of my favorite things, so unique and different, unlike your usual kids party venues where your child's party might not quite feel intimate.

 This is the indoor boardwalk area!

 Go Karts!!


 boardwalk games

 This is one of the entrances to the Arcade.

 I don't know if you can see it well but it says "DELIA'S TAILORING"

Now, the opposite side has all the party rooms and 4D theater. The little "townhouses" are actually where the party rooms are.

4D theater

this is one of their largest party rooms, how beautiful!

The second time we visited the hubs and Jonathan took off to the arcade and Sarah, my sis in law, nephew and I headed to the large concert venue to enjoy Laurie Berkner Show!! It was such a great time! I could go on all day about how much we love it. For us getting to iPLAY is about an hour ride and so worth it!

   The place is great but it's also important for me to mention how welcoming and friendly the staff was both times we were there.

 I'm not going to ramble anymore and now I'm going to get to the best part! I, on behalf of the wonderful folks at iPlay America will be giving away 4 tickets to Marvel HYDE and SEEK event to the 12p.m or 3p.m. show on August 2nd for you and your family or friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

iPlay America is located in Freehold, NJ!

Good Luck!

**I was given 4 tickets to the Marvel Hyde and Seek event for this post. All opinions are always my own**

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Blogger Bash 2015 (Day 1)

Last week I had the tremendous pleasure of attending my first ever official  blogging conference. Blogger Bash was held at Pier 60 in New York City. It is unlike any other conference because it allows all kinds of digital influencers (such as bloggers and vloggers), and major brands or companies to connect in a more laid back setting. This year, Blogger Bash also included so many fun events, panel discussions, parties and a ton delicious food. We even attended a special performance from The Blue Man Group , that alone was amazing! 

 It was such a big deal for me. It was exciting, but at the same time I was so nervous. I was going to be surrounded by all these hard working, inspiring women with experience and I was a newbie. Feelings of nervousness were not going to conquer me! I made my way from Jersey into the city  for the first day of events which started with a  Care Bears Share Your Care brunch. We ate some good food and learned about #ShareYourCare, which is a movement to inspire care, love, acceptance, and friendship, compassion are wonderful things we should all be doing and also teaching our kids to do. My favorite part was when they honored 10 year old Zachary Kaplan with  the first ever ShareYourCare Ambassador Award for all the good he does and his commitment to helping others. Zachary's goal this year is to make sure every homeless child has a care bear!
 Here I am with my conference buddies (whom I can proudly call friends now) 

After that we all headed straight away to the shuttle bus to make our way to Blue Man Group. I loved every minute of it and soon I will be sharing about how you can get to experience this wonderful show for yourself!:)

When the show was over we headed back to Pier 60 for the beginning of Sweet Suite, known as The Biggest Night of Play! We all got a chance to check out some of the hottest toys and new children's products which will all be able for the upcoming holiday season. We had so much fun enjoying each others' company but also testing out some of the awesome toys from brands like, Razor, Skylanders, Madame Alexander, Hexbug, Crayola, Lego, Plasmart, Hasbro, Fisher Price and Shopkins just to name a few!

 flowers for the entire event were provided by Teleflora!

Some of the delicious dessert at the venue!
I took all these pictures with my phone and I know I have more pics and video on my Instagram if you'd like to check them out.

There  were so many great brands and companies and I wish I had more time for all of them, because I missed a few. The food was delicious and there was plenty of it for everyone. The Blogger Bash Team  took real good care of us on the first day. I seriously wondered how they were going to top Day 2. I I got to meet so many wonderful bloggers and vloggers. Thank you so much to  Laurie Schacht, Joey Fortman, Charlene DeLoach and the rest of the team for giving me the chance to be part of something grand and to be surrounded by so many great opportunities and people.

I got home late and I just couldn't wait to tell Julio about all I had experienced but I was so positively overwhelmed I didn't know where to start! I will share more of my Blogger Bash adventures tomorrow because I will continue with Day 2!!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Berenstain Bears Live: Family Matters

We walked into the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center and we were greeted so warmly by the staff. They gave the four of us bear ears to wear instantly giving us the feeling we were going to be a part of something exciting! I remember loving The Berenstain Bears books when I was younger. I read the books to Jonathan when he was little and he loved watching the TV show as well. We were thrilled to get the chance to see, the off Broadway musical, Berenstain Bears Live: Family Matters!

Right away I loved how intimate the setting was because it made us feel like we were part of the show and part of the magic. It was non-stop excitement and a show the entire family will love-adults and kids alike. Everyone in the audience felt like they were part of the Bear family! One of my favorite things about the show were the three core lessons they focused on. The lovable bear family touched on important subjects like lying, why you should not to talk to strangers and for the entire family to eat healthy and exercise! The show was only about an hour long but packed with lots of good music and dancing. For me, it was just the right amount of time for little ones. After the show the kiddos got a chance to take pictures with Mama, Brother and Sister Bear!

 My #1 favorite thing about this show is how it shows us that family and being there for each other is what is most important! This was the first musical my family and I got to see together so it was such a special experience!

  Berenstain Bears Live is on it's 5th season and adapted from the children’s book series by Stan and Jan Berenstain. It features an original score by Michael Borton and a book by Borton and Michael Slade. The Berenstain Bears LIVE! is produced by Matt Murphy Productions.
Performances are every weekend and each performance features a FREE Berenstain Bears post-show dance party, face painting and photos with the Berenstain Bears
 For more info and how you can purchase tickets head on over to 

**I was given tickets to see the show with my family but as always all opinions are my own.**