Rides, Food, Boardwalk Fun Day at Coney Island with Family 

22 May

When it comes to Amusement Parks I am a big kid who loves the rides, especially roller coasters. When my family and I were invited to Coney Island (Luna Park) for Family Blogger Day May 2nd I immediately said YES!!! My kids love rides as well and since most amusement parks are further away or not open this was so close in Brooklyn, NY. My BFF Denise was happy to drive me and my kids with her and her son. 

It was chilly that day but we were wrapped up and got there early. We walked the Boardwalk until everyone arrived. After meeting up with more of our blogger buddies we checked in at B&B Carousell and had breakfast provided by Luna Park and learned about all the fun Coney Island has to offer. The Carousel was the first ride the kids rode on then staff took everyone to Luna Park and the People’s Playground. 

Of course the kids were the first to get on the new rides while the parents stood by and took pics. One of the new rides is called Rocking Tug. The kids loved it! They rode a few before the park opened at noon. We were VIP so our wristbands didn’t activate till 12 so they jumped on a few rides before that. The wristbands are unlimited for 4 hours and that’s what I purchase when at Coney Island and only $35. Kiddie Area wristband for $20 or a Ride and Play 4-hr unlimited wristband with 20 credit game card for $45. All these deals are great. From roller coasters (Cyclone), to Deno Wonder Wheel, Bumper Cars, all the kids and parents had a great time!! There’s something for everyone.

Who goes to Coney Island without eating at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs? Well we all ate there for lunch. Hot dogs, burgers, fries, lobster sandwiches, soft shell crab sandwiches were all being devoured. It’s a must have. There are two different ones. One is located on the Boardwalk and the original on Surf Ave. The original one sells kid meals and comes with a toy. 1310 Surf Avenue. There’s other great places to eat in the neighborhood like Applebee’s, Rita’s Italian Ice, Famiglia Pizzeria and Grimaldi’s to name a few. Later this summer Wahlburgers franchise will be the newest addition to Coney Island. Definitley don’t forget Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog eating contest for the 4th of July. 

Lots of events are coming up too. Coney Island Circus Sideshow, Deno’s Wonder Wheel 95th Birthday Seaon, 5th Annual Pet Day at Deno’s Wonder Wheel, Sunday Karaoke on the Boardwalk, School’s Out Celebration, etc. For a full schedule of events check out http://www.coneyislandfunguide.com because these events are happening this week until September 2015. You can also view directions to the park, attractions and where to eat and shop. Don’t forget to check out the Brooklyn Cyclones at MCU Park a few steps away. The games are affordable and they have a special on Wednesday. Any seat for $10. How great is that? Opening Day is June 20. They also have t-shirt giveaways, Star Wars night, kids run the bases, fireworks and more. Check out their website: http://www.brooklyncyclones.com for tickets and schedule.

The beach is another way to cool down and have fun. Bring your blanket, swimsuit, and umbrella and just enjoy the water and sand. The beach officially opens May 23rd just in time for Memorial Day weekend from 10am-6pm daily through September 7. 

We had a great time and can’t wait to go back this summer. Thank you to Alliance for Coney Island. 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was invited to this event for bloggers and given gift bag. Opinions like always are mine 100%. 

Enjoy my pics!!

   
                                                            

Photo credit to @boyzruleourwrld for picture below

   
                       

This last picture of the bloggers and families was taken by staff from Coney Island

  

NEW YORK BABY SHOW FAVORITES & BLOGGER LOUNGE RECAP

21 May

The New York Baby Show presented by New York Family Magazine was in full effect over the weekend, May 16,17 at Pier 92 in NYC. I always appreciate these shows even though my kids aren’t babies anymore. However, I do have baby/toddler cousins. My readers also have babies/ toddlers and I’m sure they appreciate reading about the latest, greatest baby strollers, toys, clothes, furniture, etc. 

We went the first day and was there for the ribbon cutting ceremony with NBC News Anchors Erica Hill and Sheinelle Adams. Rosie Pope was in the house as well. Canon was the presenting sponsor of the New York Baby Show. Momtrends hosted the Blogger Lounge (#MomtrendsLounge) this year and child care was also provided. It was much needed and a big Thank You goes out to them for that. There was pampering for bloggers from GlamSquad giving the ladies manicures, hair and makeup touch-ups. My daughter immediately had her nails done. After we walked around and visited stations we came back to the lounge for a delicious lunch and raffles. My son decided to stay in the lounge because he’s not into baby things but he’s a great helper with kids and parents have told me he’s a very caring person and the kids love playing with him. He’s 12 and loving with his sister too. He had fun up in the lounge. My daughter saw a few of her friends in child care and wanted to play so I sent her off to have more fun. She was in good hands with The Nanny League. They are great with kids of all ages. 

NYC Dads Group hosted the Dad’s Lounge sponsored by Dove Men Care. They took care of the dad’s and moms by welcoming them in their lounge to change and feed their babies, get tips, advice and tricks from other dad’s. 

Quinny & Maxi-Cosi, Stokke, Evenflo Feeding, Delta Kids, Pottery Barn Kids, Mamas & Papas, Please and Carrots, Happy Family, Plum Organics, Shoosha True, Babies R Us, Britax, Vitamix, 92Y, Lincoln Center, The Bump provided reading material with the inside scoop of getting pregnant and pregnancy. New York Family Magazine another favorite magazine also provided reading material for helping parents enjoy raising kids in the city and beyond. 

Mabel’s Labels handed bloggers a pack full of labels with our names on it and a few dog tags. I use them for the kids school books, lunches and clothing. They come in handy. The goody bags were filled with fabulous items from lots of brands. A few of my favorite things from the goodie bags and on the floor were: Hatch Things have a lightweight caryall bag called “Sureshop” that won’t let your stroller fall over. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this with our strollers. I wish I had these when my kids were little but as a bag fanatic i can never say no to a good bag. While walking the floor my daughter found these cute reuseable garden snack bags from Green Sprouts. Comes in a 2-pack snack size and sandwich size. Fun styles. Safety 1st showed and awesome step and go stroller. Fold down is easy and to open just step down on the foot pedal and it fully opens up. No hands! Love it! Primary has amazing kids clothes for boys and girls for under $25. The softest material up to size 10. Mixed Pears make the cutest portable food scissors for parents to cut food to the right bite size. They are called “BiteSizers” and come in a variety of colors. 

Canon had fun interactive activities for the entire family. There was a play area where parents could take photos of their children, and have one-on-one guidance on capturing that once-in-a-lifetime moment.  There was also a Pregnancy Portrait Studio where expecting moms could had a professional photographer snap and print a baby bump photo. Canon experts also hosted two photography seminars to lead new and expecting parents through Baby Steps lessons for each stage of their child’s life.

These are just some of the brands that were in attendance. For more info check out @newyorkbabyshow and @momtrends on Twitter. 

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. Opinions are mine 100%. 

   
         

Dove Advanced Care Deodorant Multitasks for 48-Hour Protection

19 May

Dove Advanced Care Deodorant hosted an event with fashion stylists Wantable and Dove dermatologist Dr. Ellen Marmur on May 13th in The SoHi Room at the Trump Soho. They highlighted the latest multi-taskers making waves in fashion and beauty and wanted to help attendees upgrade our wardrobe and skin care this season. 

After a magnificent lunch and few words from the stylist and dermatologist we were led to test out the new Dove deodorant on the back of our hands. Dove Advanced Care Deodorant also multitasks by preventing wetness and odor, moisturizes, smooths, softens and protects for 48 hours. Moisturizing isn’t just for your face. Underarms need it too. There are 13 different scents. I’ve always been a big fan of Dove because of the protection, prices and fabulous scents. #LoveAtFirstSwipe was the hashtag of the event and now I see why. You will love it and your underarms will thank you. Next, stylists took us around to different stations where we had the chance to choose the right athleisure wear look to help us get the most out of our on-the-go wardrobe. 

I loved all the stations but I couldn’t take them all home with me. I think I made some great choices from leggings, accessories, top, to a light jacket. Wantable has ready to wear fitness and apparel. They took time with each attendee to make sure we liked what we picked out down to the accessories. 

Here are your 13 Dove deodorants: Which scent would you choose?

NEW Original Clean – A light, Clean Classic fragrance

NEW Powder Soft – Warm, Floral Powder fragrance

Nourished Beauty – Nutrium Moisture

Cool Essentials – A refreshing burst with Cucumber and Green Tea  

Beauty Finish – Radiant scent inspired by a beautiful touch       

Revive – A energizing scent of Pomengranate and Lemon Verbena 

Clear Tone Sheer Touch- Calendula and Sunflower seed oils 

Rebalance – A scent of Plum and Sakura Blossom

Shea Butter – Refreshing Floral scent

Sensitive –.Unscented 

Caring Coconut – A light Coconut scent with Jasmine Floral notes

Clear Tone Pink Rosa Skin Renew- Calendula and Sunflower seed oils

Clear Tone Skin Renew Anti-Perspirant -Calendula and Sunflower seed oils


Of course you know I have to try every single one. It just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t. It was a great day with great people. I enjoyed tips from Wantable and Dr. Ellen Marmur. Can’t wait for my athleisure wear clothesline deodorant to come. Thank you Dove and Wantable for a great event!!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. Opinions are mine 100%. I was given product and clothes as gifts for attending. 

   

  

       

Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce Launch BBQ Party w/ Alex Guarnaschelli at Butter

17 May

I recently attended the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce launch party. Chef, cookbook author and Food Network personality Alex Guarnaschelli hosted a backyard BBQ party on the patio at her restaurant Butter, where she served her original BBQ recipes and Woodbridge Wine cocktails. There were also summer games including corn hole and jumbo-jenga and a live bluegrass band.


I am addicted to Food Network and have been a fan for years as well as a fan of Alex Guarnaschelli. I consider myself a foodie and chef and love trying new foods and recipes. I also love creating my own. I think I have more than 20 cookbooks. Love collecting them. Hopefully one day I’ll be on tv or become a cookbook author. BBQ’s are my favorite kind of parties. The smell of the food cooking in the grill and the taste is what I crave. Everything from steaks, burgers, corn on the cob and shrimps are a few of my favorites. I just recently found out you can even make a cake on the grill. I know what I’m doing this summer. 


I just have to say the food on the menu was so good you had to be there to taste it. I couldn’t stop eating. They were all great. This is what guests had the pleasure of eating: Slow Cooked Woodbridge Wine Pork Shoulder ‘Que, Oven-Baked Woodbridge Wine Chicken Wings, Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce Portabello Sliders, The Ultimate Woodbridge BBQ Shrimp, Summer Roasted Potato Salad, French Fries, Mix Green Salad with Woodbridge Wine Vinaigrette, Caramelized Woodbridge Wine Onion Party Dip and Grilled Pineapple with ‘Cue Sauce Glaze and Woodbridge Wine Granita. Did I say this food was banging? Just in time for Memorial Day, I will be making all of these recipes this summer. 


The drinks were perfect for a beautiful Spring evening. Frozen Woodbridge Moscato Mint Julep, Woodbridge Pinot Grigio Sangria, Woodbridge Orange Fizz, Woodbridge Moscato-Watermelon Smash all by Robert Mondavi. My favorite drinks were the mint julep and the watermelon smash. 


Inspired by a shared commitment to create quality products for everyday enjoyment, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and Daddy Sam’s partnered to create a one-of-a-kind Texas style sauce, infusing the robust taste of the winery’s beloved Cabernet Sauvignon into a grilling sauce that’s ideal for summer entertaining. The perfect accompaniment to backyard BBQ’s and gatherings of family and friends, the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce combines the dark fruit and caramelized flavors of the Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon with a sweet and tangy molasses-based sauce. The limited edition Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce is available for purchase for $6.99 on http://www.amazon.com from May 15-September 30. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Woodbridge-by-Robert-Mondavi-Sauce/dp/B00VRYFVCK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431711698&sr=8-1&keywords=Woodbridge+BBQ+sauce 

Alex Guarnaschelli recommends enjoying the sauce with a glass of Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon to truly amplify the flavors ($6.99 per 750mL bottle / $10.99 per 1.5L bottle) 

I couldn’t wait to try so I made baked chicken and shrimp and use the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and everyone loved it. I definitely have to stock up before it’s all gone. The best part is it contains no residual alcohol and is appropriate for all ages and contains no artificial ingredients, including high fructose corn syrup or MSG. A big plus in my book. I put a few of the recipes below. Let me know which one you try or if you try more than one and how you like the sauce after you purchase. I know you will love it. I love mine and can’t wait to get more. 


Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was given a bottle of sauce for review purposes. Opinions are mine as always 100%. The last 3 photos are credited to Brian Zach.

                        




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Mixed Green Salad with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wine Vinaigrette

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon is used to create the foundation for a fresh salad dressing.

 

Sauce is not used, but does use Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon as an ingredient

 

Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Makes about 2 cups of dressing

 

2 teaspoons sugar

2 cups Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard

1 medium clove garlic, minced

¼ cup Balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon clover honey

½ cup Canola oil

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ pound arugula leaves

½ pound escarole

1 sprig fresh dill, stemmed

  

1.       Make the vinaigrette: In a small pot, reduce the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon and sugar over medium heat until there is about 1/4 cup liquid. Slowly whisk together the mustard, garlic, Balsamic vinegar, honey, Canola oil and olive oil. Stir in the reduced red wine. Add a splash of water if needed. Taste for seasoning.

2.       Toss the salad: In a large bowl, toss the arugula, escarole and dill with the dressing, tossing a few spoonfuls at a time.

 

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Oven-Baked Woodbridge Wine Chicken Wings

The chicken is brushed with butter and paprika then baked. The Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce is boiled, reduced, tweaked and then used as a glaze over the chicken after it is finished baking.

 

Incorporates Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon as ingredients

 

Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Serves 4-6

 

2 cups Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

¼ cup clover honey

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce

½ cup sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

2 scallions, white and green parts both, cut into thin rounds

1 pound (about 16 pieces) chicken wings

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons hot paprika

The juice from 1 large lemon

 

1.       Preheat the oven to 350F.

2.       Make the honey glaze: In a large skillet, reduce the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon over medium heat until there is only about ¼ cup liquid. Pour the wine into a medium bowl to cool. In the same skillet, bring the honey, garlic, dark brown sugar and Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce to a simmer. When it starts to foam and turn light brown, remove the skillet from the heat and pour in the sherry vinegar. Return the skillet to the heat and allow it to simmer until it becomes like a light glaze, 12-15 minutes. Stir in the black pepper and scallions and pour it over the red wine in the bowl. Whisk to blend. Taste for seasoning.

3.       Prepare and cook the chicken wings: Cut each chicken wing at each joint so each wing is cut into 3 parts. You will have 36 pieces including the wing tips. Season them with salt. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the paprika. Put the wings on a sheet pan and brush them with the melted butter mixture. Bake them for 5-8 minutes. Turn them on their second side and brush with the remaining butter mixture. Then, put the tray under the broiler and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until fully cooked.

4.       Finish the dish: Toss the chicken wings in the honey red wine glaze and squeeze the lemon juice over them.

 

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Slow-Cooked Woodbridge Wine Pork Shoulder ‘Cue

Traditional pork BBQ adapted for a slow cooker with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon and Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce, served “naked”. The pork shoulder is rubbed with some simple spices. The pork is cooked whole with the sauce, wine and herbs.

 

Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

 

1 bottle Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

6 medium cloves garlic, grated

1 teaspoon Spanish paprika

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 cup Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce

3 tablespoons Canola oil

3 pound piece pork picnic shoulder – If you can’t find a 3 lb. piece of pork shoulder, ask your local butcher to cut one for you

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

 

1.       Marinate the pork: In a medium pot, reduce the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon over medium heat until it reduces by half. In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, paprika, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and oil. Stir in the reduced red wine. Drop the pork shoulder in the marinade and roll the meat around, coating all sides. Refrigerate the meat for (preferably overnight but for a minimum of) 6 hours. Take care that the meat is coated and turn the meat around in the marinade once or twice as it sits.

2.       Preheat the oven to 325F.

3.       Cook the pork: Place the pork on a tray with a fitted rack and low sides. Season the meat on all sides with salt. Place the pork in the center of the oven and roast until tender but still juicy, 2 ½ – 3 hours. Remove the pork from the oven and allow it to rest 15 minutes before slicing against “the grain” of the meat. In a small pot, bring the marinade to a full boil over medium heat. Simmer and reduce for a couple of minutes then whisk in the butter. Taste for seasoning. Pour the marinade over the pork slices.

 

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Summer Roasted Potato Salad

Red Bliss potatoes roasted and tossed with an emulsified dressing made with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, mustard, scallions.

 

Sauce is not used, but does use Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon as an ingredient

 

Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Serves 4 to 6

 

2 pounds medium Red Bliss potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size

 

The dressing:

1 cup Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons smooth (Dijon) mustard

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon chopped capers

6 gherkins, quartered lengthwise and sliced into ¼ inch pieces plus 1 tablespoon of gherkin liquid

1 small bunch chives, minced

 

1.       Preheat the oven to 400F.

2.       Arrange the potatoes on a single layer on a baking sheet and place it in the center of the oven.

3.       Make the vinaigrette: In a small pot, reduce the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon over medium heat until there is only about 2 tablespoons of liquid. In a bowl large enough to hold the potatoes, whisk together the red wine vinegar, shallots, mustard, mayonnaise, capers and gherkins. Whisk in the reduced red wine. Taste for seasoning. When the potatoes are tender and yielding when pierced with the tip of a knife, 30-35 minutes, remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool for a few minutes. Peel half of them. Some potato skin is a nice flavor in the salad.

4.       Finish the salad: Place the potatoes (halved or quartered, pending size) in the bowl with the dressing and lightly crush them with the tines of a fork. Season lightly with salt and pepper and toss them in the dressing. Sprinkle with the chives.

 

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Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce Portobello Sliders

Grilled Portobello mushroom “burgers” made by sandwiching two portobellos together with the cheese and with Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce onions inside. They are pressed and cooked on the grill (or could be baked in the oven) until completely hot in the center.

 

Incorporates Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce 

 

Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

 

6 large garlic cloves

2 medium red onions, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus ½ cup olive oil for the dressing

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce

1 tablespoons clover honey

8 medium Portobello mushrooms

10 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 slices

½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese

 

1.       Preheat the grill. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2.       Roast the garlic: In a small bowl, toss the garlic cloves and onions with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt. Spread the onions on one end of a baking sheet and the garlic on the other. Place in the tray in the center of the oven. Cook until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 20-25 minutes.

3.       Make the dressing: “Mash” the garlic cloves and whisk them vigorously together with the balsamic vinegar, Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce, honey and ½ a cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

4.       Grill the mushrooms: In a medium bowl, toss the mushrooms in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt. Place them, stem side up, on the hottest part of the grill. Cook for 3-4 minutes, you may see liquid starting to emerge from the stem area. Turn on their second side and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Transfer them to a tray and place in the center of the oven. Cook for an additional 12-15 minutes until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.

5.       Make the sliders: Arrange four mushrooms, stem side up, on a baking sheet. Top each with 3 slices of the mozzarella cheese and some of the cooked onions. Season with salt. “Sandwich” the cheese by topping each with another mushroom. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake until the cheese melts, 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice in half and drizzle with the dressing.

 

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Caramelized Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wine Onion Party Dip

Caramelized onion dip with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon and Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce cooked into the base of the dip and blended with cheese, fresh scallions, and served with pita chips.

 

Incorporates Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon as ingredients

 

Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Makes about 2 cups dip; Serves 6-8

 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

3 medium cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon cayenne

Kosher salt

½ cup Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

½ cup Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce 

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 ounces cream cheese

1 cup sour cream

2 scallions, thinly sliced, green parts only

12-16 baby carrots, peeled

Pita chips

 

1.       Cook the onions: In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter and add the onions, garlic and cayenne. Season with salt and cook over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until translucent, 8-10 minutes. Add the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon and cook until almost all of the liquid evaporates, 8-10 minutes. Add the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and red wine vinegar and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes over medium to low heat until the onions are golden brown and tender. Set aside to cool.

2.       Make the dip: In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Stir in the onion mixture and scallions. Taste for seasoning. Allow the dip about 15 minutes to “rest” before serving with carrots and pita chips on the side.

 

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The Ultimate Woodbridge BBQ Shrimp

Incorporates Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi wine and Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce in the recipe which is cooked, (grilled or) broiled and glazed.

 

Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Serves 4-6

 

For the BBQ Sauce:

1 cup Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

1 cup Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce

¼ cup cider vinegar

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon dry mustard (preferably Coleman’s brand)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons chili powder

4 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 lemon, cut into ½ inch thick slices

 

For the Shrimp:

16 – 18 “U-10” Shrimp, peeled, deveined

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 lemon

1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger

 

1.       Preheat the grill.

2.       Make the BBQ sauce: In a large pot, simmer the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon until it reduces by about half. Stir in the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, dry mustard, Dijon mustard and chili powder. Whisk to blend. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon slices. Simmer on the stove for 20-25 minutes until the aroma of the vinegar mellows slightly. Taste for seasoning.

3.       Cook the shrimp: Season the shrimp on both sides with salt. When the grill is hot, place a large sauté pan on the side of the grill to get it hot. Place the shrimp in a single layer on a “hot spot” of the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Use a pair of tongs to turn them on the other side and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the butter to the sauté pan. Allow the butter to melt and the toss the shrimp in the pan, basting them with the butter. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and stir in the ginger. Drizzle them generously with the BBQ sauce. Transfer to a platter and serve with additional BBQ sauce on the side, if desired.

 

 

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Grilled Pineapple with ‘Cue Sauce Glaze and Woodbridge Wine Granita

Grilled fruit that could be served as a dessert or as part of a party menu served with a red wine granita, made from freezing Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon with some spices and honey. There is a sweet and sour aspect; as well as a hot/cold temperature concept. This recipe could also be broken into two smaller dessert or “refresher” concept recipes. Makes about 2 ½ cups worth of granita.

 

Incorporates Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon as ingredients

 

The Granita:

1 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

1 bottle Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon dry ginger

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar

 

Pineapple:

1 large ripe golden pineapple, top removed, peeled and cut into 10-12 wedges

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup clover honey

2 tablespoons Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce 

Juice from 1 medium lemon

  

1.       Make the syrup and cook the wine: In a medium saucepan, combine the water with the sugar. Stir to blend. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring from time to time, until the sugar dissolves. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Refrigerate. Pour the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon into the same saucepan, add the cinnamon stick and ginger and cook over medium heat until it reduces by half. Refrigerate.

2.       Freeze and make the granita: When the wine and syrup are cooled, stir them together. Discard the cinnamon stick. Stir in the Balsamic vinegar. Pour out onto a baking sheet and put in the freezer until it hardens, 3-4 hours. When ready to serve, scrape the surface with the tines of a fork to remove the granita in large flakes.

3.       Preheat the grill.

4.       Grill the pineapple: When the grill is hot, arrange the wedges of pineapple in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush them with the olive oil. Place them on the grill in a single layer, cooking 3-5 minutes on one side before turning on the other. Meanwhile, put a medium pot on the grill and add the honey. Bring it to a simmer and let it froth and bubble 2-3 minutes until it turns a darker shade of brown. Add the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce and lemon and simmer 3-5 minutes. When the pineapple is charred on both sides, arrange on a serving platter and spoon the honey wine reduction over them.

 

Dyson AM09 Hot+Cool Fan/Heater Review 

17 May

I recently received Dyson’s hot+cool to review. This is a bladeless fan/heater that cools you down or heat you up. This couldn’t have came at a better time. NYC weather has been crazy. One day it’s cold in the 40’s and the next it’s hot in the 80’s. Some days I don’t need to turn the air conditioner on so the fan cools us down without everyone freezing. Those nights when the temperature drops the heater keeps us toasty. There’s a personal mode you can choose from the remote control. This mode is for long-range powerful heating. The diffused mode heats the room quickly and evenly. The jet focus control focuses on the long-range powerful airflow or diffuses for a wide projection to mix the surrounding air. Wih the oscillation button on the remote air can be directed around a room. 

I also love how quiet it is. I can still listen to the television or music at a normal sound without turning it up loud. The Air Multiplier technology amplifies surrounding air, giving an uninterrupted stream of smooth air. My kids are impressed that there aren’t any blades and they can stick their hands through. I love that Dyson thought of Safety first. As a kid all fans had blades and for some reason I always wanted to put my hand inside. I did a few times and thought my fingers were going to fly off. Kids will be kids and try things even if it hurts, so I am glad Dyson thought of this and it also makes it easy to clean. I hated cleaning blade by blade and so much dust my asthma and allergies would do a number on me. 

It also comes with a 2-year warranty which is great. You can register your hot+cool on their website: http://www.dyson.com Another cool feature is the sleep-timer. I need this because I don’t like to wake up in the middle of the night to find things running. This can be programmed to turn off after pre-set intervals ranging from 15 minutes to 9 hours. How great is that?

There are 10 airflow settings and the remote has a magnet that allows you to store the remote right on top of the machine. We lose remotes in our house quite a bit so I appreciate this. I wish my tv remote was magnetic. If you happen to lose the remote there is a button on the bottom of the fan that you push to turn on. The iron/blue color is beautiful. This tower fan/heater can fit anywhere with its sleek/tall shape. It can also tilt up or down. It’s perfect. 

There are different models to choose from. I have the AM09 model. The only thing you have to do out of box is put base on the fan. Plug in and feel the cool or choose the warm. That’s it! My family and I absolutely love it!!!! Thank you Dyson. 

Follow @Dyson on Twitter.

What features do you like about this model? 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was given the hot+cool for review purposes. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

   
 

  

MOTHER’S DAY AT BELMONT PARK VIP STYLE #ABRMomsDayAtBelmont

12 May

This year I celebrated Mother’s Day at Belmont Park. America’s Best Racing invited mommy bloggers and their families to a VIP fun filled day with food, drinks, racing and activities. 

My kids and I were very excited to go to Belmont. This was our first time. We took the LIRR train and once there was escorted to the private area where there are picnic tables with umbrellas, grills and a front row to see the horses up close when they’re racing. 

Food was great! Everything from sandwiches, bagels, burgers, hotdogs, salads, desserts, and drinks.

I didn’t wear a fancy hat but my kids and did dress up. Everyone looked nice. 

My son and I learned how to pick horses by their name, number or how many wins they have, the jockey, his weight, his age, etc, etc. My first bet of the day I won some money. However, I’m still not a millionaire. I will be one day. All the kids had their favorites and were calling out the numbers that they wanted to win. 

We took a tour of the Paddock. That’s where the horses, jockeys, trainers and owners meet. The horses were calm walking around by their trainer getting a little exercise . The owners stood around waiting to meet with the jockeys. The jockeys were very friendly and even stopped and spoke with our kids and took pictures. After a hope you win wish from the kids the jockeys got on their horses and headed to the track. 

In the back of Belmont near the Paddock is a park for the kids. We didn’t get a chance to go but my kids saw it and we will go back and visit next time. 

Dan Tordjman and Victoria Garofalo Brand Ambassadors for Team ABR Live were just the sweetest. They made everyone feel welcomed, conversated with all and told us everything about Belmont Park. It’s as if we knew each other for years. I want to thank both of them for inviting us so we could experience this. It was a great add-on to my Mother’s Day. 

Check out Americas Best Racing on Twitter: @TeamABRLive  Instagram: @AmericasBestRacing 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

   
                  

MOMTRENDS TRAVEL TRENDS 2015 EVENT RECAP 

12 May

Momtrends held their Travel Trends 2015 event at We Work Lounge down on 25 Broadway, NYC. I appreciate when an event includes great travel trends and brands come out and represent. Now that I’m finally taking my family on long overdue vacations and getaways I need to know what I should pack in my suitcase, where to travel, what to wear and great deals. 

I love New York Family Magazine and was very happy to see Editor, Eric Messenger. He spoke to us about travel and even though I’ve never been to the Poconos I think I really need to get there. He said there is an indoor water park coming called Aqautopia. 

Nicole Feliciano mentioned how she waisted no time getting a passport for her first born daughter. My two oldest kids had the pleasure of having passports but I have to get the two younger ones theirs. We recently went to the Bahamas on a cruise and my kids were able to use birth certificates. My son and I had enhanced driver’s and non-driver’s licenses. My passport expired last year. I need to get to it and get everyone passports. That will push me even more to explore the world with my family. I really appreciated Nicole and Eric’s tips. 

I was ready to go camping when I saw this adorable bear-print tent from Sprout. I don’t know if I want bears on my tent especially when I wake up in the morning and it’s staring at me. Lol. But it was different. I absolutely loved the faux s’mores station. It looked so yummy. The comfy sleeping bag was from Land of Nod. My kids need this in their lives. I wanted to jump right in. You can’t go camping without the protective bug repellant. Guardian bug repellent showed us why they’re the leading brand for campers. A repellent that can protect my family and I against mosquitoes and ticks is a keeper. My kids would love all of these to take to camp or just have a backyard camp under the stars night. We’ve also camped in Central Park with the Rangers. That was fun. 

My suitcase definitely would have been lighter if I knew about Yamis and Dawni about a month before my vacation. I salute these women. Only 8 pieces of chic, versatile separates creating over 50 different possibilities. They also have an accessory collection to style all of your looks. When they showed us how a skirt can turn into a dress or a shawl can turn into a skirt I was beyond amazed. My mouth literally dropped open. The material and colors are wonderful. I need Yamis and Dawni as part of my wardrobe. I want all the colors. This would save me so much time and expense buying separate pieces. 

When I’m headed to the beach or pool I make sure to have my Miraclesuit or Magicsuit swimwear on. It promises to make you look 10 lbs. lighter in 10 seconds and that’s not a lie. There’s so many styles to choose from. A few bloggers modeled a few suits from the collection. There is something for everyone. I saw quite a few new pieces I must have. 

Did someone say CHOCOLATE? Bark Thins were calling my name all night. These dark chocolate treats come in a variety of deliciousness. I immediately was drawn to the dark chocolate toasted coconut with almonds. I also tried the dark chocolate almond with sea salt. These snacks are great for on the go, and road trips. I snacked on my way home then when I got home the kids took the rest.

We couldn’t have a Momtrends event without raffles. I won a set of Acure Organics body products. Peppermint, Tropical Citrus and Fragrance Free body soap that also could be used for other things. I’ve been using the peppermint soap which I always make sure to have peppermint soap in the house. These are great. Can’t wait to try the tropical citrus next. 

There were so many other Brands/Sponsors to thank either in attendance or in the gift bags:

Baby Bjorn, Vicks ZzzQuil, Glamsquad, Apothoderm, XO by G, Cideroad Switchel, OiOi, Murals Wallpaper, Melitta, The Container Store, Sigg and Fairy Tales. 

Also a big thanks for the delicious food. Everything was great! Can’t wait for the next event. 

For more info about Momtrends check her out on Twitter: @momtrends

http://.muralswallpaper.co.uk/world-map-mural-wallpaper.htm
http://www.containerstore.com/shop/travel 


Disclosure: I did not receive compensation for this post. Opinions are mine 100%. I did receive a gift bag. 

   

     





#SHAREYOURCARE AND WIN! CARE BEARS ONLINE VIDEO CHALLENGE 

7 May

  


For more than 30 years, the Care Bears have been on a mission to help make the world a better place by spreading messages of sharing and caring wherever they go. Now, in an online campaign, the Care Bears are asking people to #ShareYourCare and post videos telling the Care Bears how you make the world a better place by showing how you LOVE, CARE, SHARE and HELP others every day! The #ShareYourCare contest will award some lucky Care Bears fans with pre-paid Care Bears branded Mastercards and themed merchandise.

 

From May 4TH through May 31ST, participants can enter the challenge by uploading 15-30 second videos to www.CareBearsShare.com, and using hashtag #ShareYourCare. Videos should identify how Care Bears fans share their care, based on four themes: Love, Care, Share and Help. Here is an example of New York – Sharing Their Carehttps://youtu.be/JDIKmzEG4uM

 

Each week, one video will be chosen and the winner awarded a $500 pre-paid Care Bears branded Mastercard and prize pack. Videos will be judged on the following criteria:

·         Originality

·         Best use of Care Bears brand

·         Best use of Love, Care, Share or Help theme

·         Most charitable

·         “Awwhhh factor”

Then, from June 1 through June 7, fans will be able to vote on the four weekly winning videos to determine the video that will be selected as the grand prize winner. This winner will be announced on June 8 via social media and receive a $1000 pre-paid Care Bears branded MasterCard.

  

 

In addition to viewing submissions on CareBearsShare.com, fans can find highlights of the #ShareYourCare video challenge on all of the Care Bears social media. All winners and announcements will be communicated via social media. (see below)

 

Care Bears Social Media Handles:

Website:  www.CareBears.com
Twitter and Instagram: @CareBearsFriend
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CareBears
YouTube: http://www.YouTube.com/CareBears
Pinterest:  www.pinterest.com/CareBearsAGP 
Hashtag: #ShareYourCare

  

 

TTPM SPRING SHOWCASE HOTTEST TOYS 2015 RECAP 

4 May

TTPM had their Spring Showcase and as always I had a great time seeing the hottest toys of Summer 2015. We started with a press conference unveiling the top products and trends for the season from the TTPM editorial team. My favorite part was testing out the toys and meeting with more than 30+ companies from Nickelodeon, Lego, Toys R Us, Mattel, Universal, Hasbro, etc. 

Are you looking for a great scooter for your kids or even yourself? I am. Well Micro Kickboard has amazing scooters for ages 1 and up. Their smooth gliding and polyurethane wheels and a flexible fiberglass reinforced deck absorbs bumps in the sidewalk. As a New Yorker I found this the number one reason these are the perfect scooters. Also lightweight and portable. There is also a two-way kickstand on the Micro Black/White for ages teen/adult. Love that too!! The Micro Sprite for ages 8+ is only 5.5 lbs. with an adjustable height handle bar that extends 34 inches above the deck. Colors available: Red, Black, Blue, Pink, Purple and Silver. The Micro Mini 3 in 1 is a ride on toy and scooter that grows with children from 1-5 yrs old in 3 stages. Now that’s getting your money worth. Our family will love these. For more info on all the scooters check out http://www.microkickboard.com ;

K’nex showed us their Mighty Makers collection. Created by an all female marketing and design team these construction toys are designed to empower girls to build big ideas through creative and stimulating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The set comes with colorful rods, connectors, panels and story based instructions that follow the adventures of the included female figure. Choose from Inventor’s Clubhouse, Ferris Wheel, and Home Designer to name a few. My daughter is going to love this. Check out knex.com 

Just Play came through with he mini snowmen from DISNEY’S Frozen movie. They are called Snowgie Chatterbacks. These plush characters talk and repeat what you say in funny voices as their heads and bodies bob up and down. The Sheriff Callie’s Callie-oke Sing Along is great for those who love singing. Press her badge to hear her sing her theme song and dance along. There is more available from this line as well. Go online to http://www.justplayproducts.com ;

Alex Toys DIY Bro Bands are great for the boys in the family who want to make friendship bracelets to give to his friends. You can make 15 bracelets in 2 styles with lots of patterns in glow and neon. I loved the hair chalk pens that were for the guys but us girls can use it too. Includes 6 hair chalk pens that are washable. For the girls Shrimky Dinks Bake & Shape Jewelry. Amazing Knitter, make tons of knitted strands to create necklaces, bracelets and headbands. Slinky is still around for those that remember. This Slinky makes 10 different silly sounds as it flips and walks.  Their web is http://www.alexbrands.com

This year TTPM had furry friends greeting us. Nerf teamed up with the dogs to bring your best friend toys that will have them barking to stay out and play all day. Squeaker football, crunchable football, football launcher, barbell chew toy, rubber tennis ball, whistling flyer disc and a squeaker bone are just some of the toys available to keep your dog active the entire day outdoors and in. Check out the entire collection at : http://www.nerfpet.com

Zing Toys is coming at you with their Firetek Rocket and Firetek Bow. The Rocket has a light switch that you turn on, then attach the light up rocket to the launcher, pull the tab and let it roar in the sky. It flies up to 250 feet high. Each set comes with two light up rockets and one launcher. The Bow now with blazing LED light up power. Just hook the Zonic blaze arrow into the loops then pull back and it’s ready to fire. Soaring through the air up to 145 ft. Both are for ages 8+. The Air Huntress Firetek Bow available for girls in two colors: pink and purple or pink and black. http://www.zingtoys.com http://www.firetekbow.com for more info. 

Minions made an appearance at TTPM for pic ops and to greet the kids that cam later on during the day. The gifting suite was handing out Minion helmets which were so cute. You could choose one eye or two on the helmet. These are  going to be a big hit this summer and for many more to come. I could never get tired of Minions. We all love them. 

Skyrocket Toys have these helmets available. They also have safety pads, a Minion Kickboard and goggle swim mask for the water for ages 3 and up. There’s also the Minion Singing Sound Pad that plays hilarious musical Minion sounds and harmonies.  For more visit http://www.skyrockettoys.com

These are just some of the toys. For a list of all the hottest toys please check http://www.ttpm.com

My kids will be reviewing toys soon so look out for their favorites. 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was given toys for my kids and I to review. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

   
     

FRENCH SOLE FALL 2015 SHOE PREVIEW 

3 May

French Sole invited me to their Fall 2015 shoe preview. The boutique is located on the Upper East Side in NY. They have a fabulous collection of ballet flats ranging from animal print to their own exclusive, exquisite materials. Leather, suede, calfskin, haircalf, snake print, you name it they have it. If you like a print in a round toe it can be transferred to a pointy toe shoe. Sizes range from 4-12 but can go up to some 13’s as well. 

I immediately was drawn to the PEPPY-LEOPARD HAIRCALF shoe. Love the flat pointy toe. The PYRO in NAVY SUEDE was gorgeous. I also loved the burgundy too which is also a flat. There was a Broze Lace/Black Satin wedge shoe called OCEAN. And even though it’s a wedge it’s still looks and feel like a flat. This is a great dressy shoe but your feet will thank you and you can go from office to a girls night out or date night with this. The OUTLAW in Velvet comes in black or wine and has chains that would look great with a military jacket or peacoat. 

  
   
  

  

 More favorites were the leopard print suede slip-on sneaker called OUTDOORS. Also available in zebra print suede. These are a must have. I could walk around in these all day. Also, the OASIS slip on sneaker in blk/white snake. These prints are amazing!!  As a New Yorker who is on her feet all day, everyday I could appreciate these comfortable, trendy sneakers. 

   
 The JIGSAW flat in a scalloped shape came in metal, lizard print or velvet. Colors were pewter, bronze, wine, navy and black. 

  
The pair that were given to those who attended were called ZEPPA. There were 3 colors to choose from. Coral, Navy and Turquoise. I chose Coral because I loved the color and it looks great with my skin tone and reminded me how fast I want the summer to get here. I couldn’t wait to wear them that I actually did and they were great! Comfortable all day and has a small wedge. I received lots of compliments and didn’t want to take them off. They suggested we get a size bigger than what we normally wear but depending on the shoe I went with a 10 which fit perfect. I tried them on before I left. These are Italian shoes so if you already own the brand or Italian shoes than you should know your size. If not and you are in NY stop in and try a pair on. 

French Sole: 985 Lexington Avenue New York, NY 10021 at 71st. (212) 737-1116.  www.frenchsoleshoes.com

  
There are so many shoes to choose from you might be there for hours. I enjoyed reviewing the collection and my shoes and will be posting more pics of my shoes on social media. Thank you French Sole for the invite and the shoes. Can’t wait for the collection!!

   
         Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was given a pair of shoes to review . Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

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