Thursday, May 21, 2015

The New York Baby Show

 This past weekend the family and I made our way into NYC for the New York Baby Show presented by New York Family held at Pier 92. I was very excited to attend because not only was I going to get a chance to visit the MomTrends Bloggers Lounge, but I was going to get a chance to experience what I never got to during both my pregnancies long ago. The chance to get to explore and see all the wonderful products and brands that are available for expectant parents and parents of babies and toddlers. I babysit during the day and I'm all ears for products that can make my sitterlife easier!

The New York Baby Show is the largest show in the country full of not only great brands but also of educational seminars for new and expectant parents. NYC Dads Group had a great Dad's lounge and daddy boot camp with advice to new Dads (and Moms). Canon, the show's sponsor, shared great tips and tricks on how to capture a baby's magic moments. Many other seminars from greening your baby's nursery and breastfeeding tips to what you really need to know about shopping for baby!

 My (not exactly) babies posing at the Momtrends Lounge

 Sarah getting a little lipgloss action by GLAMSQUAD

I found so many products that I thought were amazing and must-haves. It was hard trying to narrow it down.  I picked out some of my faves and ones that stood out to me. I picked ones that I thought were essential to a new parent but also great for families with kids at any age!

1. SHOOSHA (TRULY ORGANIC) - my kids have had very sensitive skin since they were babies. I'm always on the lookout for natural, safe and organic products. Patricia Di Gasbarro is the creator of Shoosha. She believes in living a clean  and simple life and that always includes what we put in and on our bodies. I love how every ingredient is listed and are USDA Certified with the highest organic food grade standard in North America.  If you can't pronounce most of the listed ingredients then it probably won't be good for you! Shoosha uses only pure, organic, beautiful ingredients that will nurture your delicate babies – and pamper you too. A bonus...they smell aaaamazing!

2. I will not even get into (horror) stories I've had with my kids, especially Sarah, getting nauseous or dizzy. In the car we have our emergency kit complete with a change of clothes, clorox wipes, extra plastic bags, paper towel and hand sanitizer. We are very prepared for it because we are used to it. Sarah is very prone to motion sickness whether it's being in the car or just simply going on a swing in the park. It's all very uncomfortable.

NoMoNauseaBand is  a patent pending combination medical device. Peppermint is an FDA approved aromatherapy scent that is mixed with latex free elastic band. The goal of any anti-nausea band is to wear it before the nausea starts, and since the No Mo Nausea Band is drug-free it can be safely worn on both wrists for as long as you'd like! When you’re done with the band just throw it away, but make sure you have a few more for another nauseous day. The anti-nausea effect lasts 12-24 hours after the band has been removed.  The band's peppermint scent will last up to two weeks once opened and up to two years within the packaging.  This product also works on, headaches, migraines, vertigo and many more conditions. The bands come in adult and kid sizes and in a variety of colors! We purchased our own bands there an I can't wait to let you know how they worked for us!

3. I fell in love...yes IN LOVE ...with a stroller. The GB Qbit stroller retails (pre-order now) at $179.99. I love a good bargain because not everyone can purchase a stroller or travel system, even though we might like to,that is $800.  This stroller is lightweight, durable, and great for travel. Some of my fave features are the expandable canopy, the comforable reclining seat and the spacious basket. 
I'd invest in any of the travel systems offered by GB because it pays for itself. They are light weight and you don't feel like you're lugging around a small spaceship everywhere you go. I hated big bulky strollers (still do) but I also never felt like small, cheap umbrella stroller were good. These strollers are convenient but don't skimp on space and comfort!

4. PRIMARY is a children's clothing brand for babies and kids up to size 10. Kids basics with style, bright colors and comfort. Everything is priced from $25 and under!! Winning all around!!

5. I must've been living under a rock or something because I never knew about Mabel's Labels! A great way to give your everyday things a touch of personalization. They have everything- clothing labels, safety products, bag tags, and household labels. Products that are great for everyone in the family!

6. SureShop by HatchThings -where was this bag for me when my kiddos were little! Even now with babysitting I was so happy to find the SureShop. I don't have to be worrying about my strollers tipping over and ruining my groceries. You don't have to worry about dragging your things or kicking them with your feet as you move around. You can use it on the stroller, walkers, shopping carts and bike handles!

 I look forward to the opportunity to attend next year. I know what it's like to be pregnant and be a new parent and have no clue of what to do or where to start. Not everyone can say they have a full support system and it can be scary. I loved this show because you can walk in and have people gladly answer any questions you might have and you can learn and determine what products best work for you and your budget. Parenthood is not easy but it can be made just a bit more simple!

 Do you have any advice or tips for a first time parent??


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

#ShakeYourKale contest by The Kitchen Twins

   When I attended the NJ Blogger Conference I met Cricket Allen of The Perfect Snaque whose beautiful 11 year old ( young) twin girls, Emily and Lyla, are the geniuses behind The Make Your Own Kale Chips Kit! These girls are amazing! They are doing more at such a young age than most adults. They are a great example to all kids (and adults) of how easy and fun healthy eating can be!
  My kiddos were so excited when I told them about the girls, being aspiring little chefs themselves, they were very motivated to make their own kale chips.

They got to work all by themselves with no help from mama, except when it was time to put them in the oven!

The  Kitchen Twins Make Your Own Kale Chips Kit is only $3.99!! 

It really is a great deal because kale can be pricey at some stores. 
 You can buy Kitchen Twins Make Your Own Kale Chips in the produce section of Shop Rite, Acme and Pennington Quality Market!

There is a great Instagram contest going on right now until May 30th 11:59 pm est  where you can win $250 Visa gift card!!

All you have to do is post a picture or video containing Kitchen Twins Make Your Own Kale Chips an use hashtags #ShakeYourKale and #NJBlogger -You will be entered and a winner will be chosen at random from all the fellow participating contestants!

****Get Creative***


Am I Biting Off More Than I Can Chew?


 Over the last couple of months I've had many opportunities open up for me than ever before. I've been blogging on and off for a few years now. This is the first year that I can see that I am really putting more effort in. I've had a chance to attend a few events that have led me to be more involved in the blogging world. I've joined local blogging groups where we help promote each other's work. We're a support group where we can all grow and learn from each other. I've surrounded myself with so many inspiring women it's overwhelming. I've had crumbs of people throughout my life that I've looked up to. This is the first time I've ever been over -inspired, if there is such a thing.
These women work so hard and give 110% in everything they do. I've found myself thinking, quite a few times, why am I here, amongst them??

  It's not the first time I caught feelings like that. I attended a separate event and people kept introducing us all as bloggers. I remember feeling uncomfortable with that. What made me a blogger like them??  I just wanted to hide. lol

 I attended a blogging conference about 2 weeks ago. It was less than a day but it has got to be the best conference I've ever been to. It covered so much! A room full of accomplished, college educated women. I sat there and listened and I have to admit a felt a bit insecure. I had so much to learn still. I've been doing this blogging thing maybe 10% right! When it was over I was motivated and at the same time confused about who I was. I spoke to maybe 3 other people (which is quite an accomplishment for an introvert like me) and on one occasion I remember thinking out loud and telling someone that I don't consider myself a blogger. ugh. I don't know why I did that.  I'm not a super confident person. It's something I'm working on. I have a blog. I am not a writer. I love to blog and share and vent my feelings on here, to share our life, our ups and our downs.

I've been "out of the real world" for 12 years and put many things on hold to be a stay at home and I don't regret it. Reading blogs and being able to relate to others who can be miles and miles away has been really helpful to me. It is one of the reasons why I started to blog.

I walked away with what was probably the most important advice at that conference. It was to be confident! My reasons for blogging and why I started didn't waiver but I need to be more confident. I have to lie! Lie to myself everyday, at first, and believe that I could continue to do it. I don't care if I'm as talented as anyone else or if someone else might not consider me a blogger. I care about the fact that above all I am an example to my kids. Giving up is not an option. I am very honest about who I am on here. I don't pretend to be something I'm not. That is my strength. I am not like anyone else.

I am nervous and excited about what the future holds. It can go any way. I could even fail miserably at it, but I could never say I didn't try. It's great advice to apply to life in general. It's an amazing feeling to feel completely lost but at the same time know exactly what you want!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ladies Night with Poker Pro Jessica Dawley

    I had the great opportunity to attend a Ladies Poker Night with Pro Poker player and Brand Ambassador of 888 Poker Jessica Dawley. We were hosted at the beautiful and intimate Rinaldi's Italian Bistro.  I wasn't sure what I was walking into because I have never played Poker. I was nervous because I didn't want to make a fool of myself. Luckily all the beautiful ladies that were there were playing for the first time as well. Jessica is smart, kind and most importantly patient. I felt like I was talking to one of my girlfriends...very down to earth. She talked to us about her professional and her personal life. Jessica talked about coming from a big family, her time in the air force, traveling and the journey that led her to be one of the few female pro poker players. It was truly an honor to get to play with such an inspiring, talented and strong woman.

 I didn't take many pictures because I really got into learning and playing. We enjoyed delicious brick oven pizza as we played a few games.  After we played Jessica showed us how easy it is to set up an account online at . It has poker rooms that cater to the skill level and budget of every single player, allowing everyone and anyone the chance to enjoy the very best in online poker. You can create private games with friends or participate in tournaments along with many pros that also play online. What I liked most is that you can play with as little as pennies! I don't see myself ever daring to play with more than that until I get better at it.

It's great to learn about something new. You can add poker player to your list of skills or accomplishments! It can be a new favorite hobby that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home. I hope you'll try it because it's not that hard and eventually with practice you will get better. Poker isn't only a game for men!:)

Now I know of someone to cheer for and happily support in the world of Poker! Thank you so much to Lillie Morales of JerseyFashionista for inviting me. I had a great time amongst fellow bloggers!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

7 links to love 4-25-15

 Here's my little man wearing his Hatch for Kids shirt.

Happy Weekend guys!! We had a very eventful week! I don't know if you got a chance to read my latest post HERE I shared about something very important and I'm happy to inform that we just got our tickets thanks to the wonderful, kind, amazing people at Firefly Music Festival !! I am still pinching myself because I can't believe it, nothing like this has ever happened to me.I cried, it was just such an emotional experience, especially because of why the hubs and I got those tickets. I just wanted to let you all know. Amazing things will happen when you least expect them and that itself is a beautiful thing. I can't wait to share our experience with you. Countdown to Firefly has begun!

Here are this week's links to love:

 -This post really touched my heart. It's always comforting to know that other people who have suffered  loss understand exactly how I feel, especially when others might not. RATM: what I want you to know about the loss of my sister

- TV LOVE: Food Curated is a show the hubs and I love to watch on NYCTV channel. You all know how much we love the city....and good food. Three years ago, we celebrated our anniversary with a weekend getaway in NYC and we had a fabulous time.We relaxed and spent the whole time eating at some wonderful places. New York City has so many amazing restaurants all over, that if we could, we'd spend every weekend checking out all the wonderful places on the show. I dare you to watch a show and not drool in front of the TV!

- Awesome Deal: We purchased our family pack for Kids Bowl Free  and we are ready for summertime family fun. I am always looking for fun activities to do with the kids especially when we can do it on a budget. There are a lot of participating bowling centers. All you have to do is find the one nearest you. You can use these passes from May all through October!

-YouTube Love: I feel like I've been living under a rock because I had no idea there were so many inspiring people on YouTube! I knew it was there for informational purposes, music, funny videos, DIY but I had no idea there were actually people who vlogged their everyday life! It's addictive. I mean we all have curiosity (or are just plain nosy) to see how others live, but it's not only about that. There are actually some really inspiring, funny, genuine people. (At least from what I can see)
        Today I want to specifically talk about SunKissAlba. She is probably one of the first people I was subscribed to. I started following her because she was super easy to listen to and she is the Mr. Miyagi to my Daniel Russo ( Karate Kid reference there) when it comes to curly hair. She has taught me that I've been basically mistreating my hair for years! The bonus, is that she also does family vlogs and both she and her husband are inspiring in every way. They  are very down to earth, kind to their followers and they take care of themselves by eating as healthy as possible! If you haven't already please check them out!

- If I ever got a house,in my dreams, and my husband wouldn't think I was crazy, in my dreams, I'd  probably decorate my house ... THIS  way.

- I am such a romantic and I love what these two love birds and loving life! This married couple takes the best photos all over the world.

- 12 tips on how to enjoy art museums with your kids from Jen loves Kev.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!


Monday, April 20, 2015

That time a music festival and my brother changed my life

 It's about to get real. I feel it in my gut and in my heart even as I type on my computer. I get chills just thinking about it. I mean, I do get super honest on here. I've shared very personal things, like the loss of my brother, and what I'm about to talk about is very much related to him and a touch of music.

I have always loved music. For many of the reasons many of us love it. The right songs can express exactly what you're feeling. When I was younger, it was very much about the thrill of not being allowed to listen to certain kinds of music. I'd put the radio, MTV or Vh1 whenever I got the chance. I got older and didn't have to worry about it as much and the freedom just opened up the world of music. It wasn't only until 3 years ago that I realized that I really had an impact on the kind of music my little brother listened to. He'd never admit it, though. I wasn't ashamed to admit that his taste in music had an influence on me as well. Music was always something that we connected with. Then it became something he and my own family connected with. Whether we were playing guitar hero or running errands all over town with the stereo high. The kids also love music as much as we do.

 I'd never had the chance to attend any concert or music event that wasn't church related. I have always wanted to but I just wasn't able too. (I know..I know...what a fake music fanatic) I remember when I first heard of Firefly Music Festival , fall of 2013(don't quote me on that) the first person I mentioned it to was my brother. I said "Jro we gotta go ....even for a day.. look at all these amazing bands!" "You're too chicken ...that's not your wouldn't last there"..he said.
 He was right I'm so tightly wound that I was not going to have the guts to even go, I had to prove him wrong. "We're going next year, I'm not gonna chicken out, just don't ditch your corny sis or anything like that once we're there," I said.

New Years passed, then the new ear came and by February 2014 my heart was broken and hurt in the worst way when he was gone. He was my heart, and what kept my old soul alive. My baby brother and the best uncle and brother in law the kids and Julio could ever have.

  The weeks went by slowly and painfully and I thought about all the things we wouldn't be able to do together anymore. I realized at some point that I couldn't feel sad about that anymore, or at least tr not to. I was even more determined to live through him and who he was. He loved life! What the heck was I waiting for?! Life is passing me right by, with my head in the clouds, without actually doing anything about it. All these what ifs I've had! I told my husband that we had to do everything we could to get to Firefly. We bought our single day passes for Saturday!

   June 2014 came by quickly. We dropped the kids off at my parents (which we rarely do..we are always together)  the Friday night before the drive to Delaware. It was supposed to rain that Saturday and now that I think back I just remember light rain as soon as we got to Delaware and it stopped. The rest of  the day was beautiful! There was no traffic either. I felt my anxiety kicking in already as soon as we stood in line for security to let us through.There were so many people. I was overwhelmed. We were early and the first band we wanted to see was TwentyOne Pilots. Now, we're not hardcore fans of the guys but we were obsessed with a few of their songs. We waited in the area where they were scheduled to play. Before, I knew it the crowd of people was huge and the performance was about to begin.

I was anxious and nervous again. The music was loud (as expected) and I could feel my heart practically jumping out of my chest! Julio stood behind me so I wouldn't get pushed around too much by the people jumping all around us. What was I even doing here I thought?! I felt like crying...I tried so hard not to, didn't want anyone noticing me. I just thought about my brother blasting TwentyOne Pilots in the car and dancing around like crazy just to weird other people out in other cars. "It ain't the speakers that bump hearts, it's our hearts that make the beat." --I understood right then and there why I was there. I was living in the moment. Jro would've been jumping around right next to me me! He was there, in my mind and in my heart! I felt amazing! That's how it was for the rest of the day. I barely took pictures, which I very much regret. The adrenaline at every performance was like nothing else. I fell in love with Firefly that day! I'm coming back, I said!

In the middle of all of this and I don't know when exactly I stumbled upon the Firefly Music Festival Fan Page a group, constantly growing, full of amazing, kind people. Everyone is different on there the only thing we all have in common is a love for music and Firefly. The kindest and most passionate strangers I have ever met. We are the #FMFFP -family.

All of this was possible because I went for it. I did it without thinking too much about it. I had one of the best experiences in my life. My faith in humanity was restored because of a wonderful group of people. I don't know if I'll be able to make it to Firefly 2015 ....believe me..I'm trying! They won't be selling single day passes this year so it'd be very hard for us to spend $600 something dollars on a fest. It's killing me, but I'm not giving up. If you see me on facebook or twitter ranting or with weird posts that's me trying to get tickets for the hubs and I so bare with me.

Point is, sometimes you just gotta go for it...don't let anything hold you back! That's how I want to live my life, I don't care how many times I stumble and fall. My brother, music, and a festival in Dover, Delaware changed my life for the better!




Thursday, April 16, 2015

Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 #MallCopMOMS event

 On Monday, we attended a special screening for Paul Blart Mall Cop 2: Blart Rides Again. We were invited by Denise and Melissa from TheMoms and to say we were super excited is definitely and understatement. Kevin James and the director of the movie Andy Fickman where also in attendance and answered  few questions after the movie. They were super friendly and funny! Sometimes with famous people, you just never know how they're going to be in person. Kevin was funny and outgoing and patient when answering everyone's questions. Kevin also received the Fatherhood Award on behalf of the National Fatherhood Initiative . It was a wonderful afternoon well spent talking about Fatherhood and the importance of quality time with our children. Practicing patience and listening to our kids is also very important.

 My family and I loved the first Paul Blart movie so much. It is one of our favorites. It's been 6 years since the first and it was definitely worth the wait. We laughed so hard! Julio and I loved it and so did the kids. I don't want to give ANYTHING away. I'm holding back the urge to talk about all my favorite parts of the movie because I really want you to go see it!

The kiddos were very happy to run into Tristin and Tyler as we were leaving. Although my kiddos were a bit shy they got to take a pic with them!

 I took the pics with my phone and the lighting was terrible time I'm taking my camera!

Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 will be in theaters everywhere this Friday April 17th!!!  #BlartRidesAgain

**This is not a sponsored post in an way. I'm just happy to share about our experience and our positive thoughts on the movie**