Weekend Family Fun in Philly With The 2016 Toyota Rav 4

28 Sep

I enjoy car loans and test driving around the mean streets of New York and going on weekend getaways and road trips with the family. The Toyota 2016 Rav 4  SUV showed up and I fell in love immediately with the size, the interior design and the color. If you’re from New York you know how bumpy the streets are. With the Rav 4 you don’t feel a thing. Smooth driving all week was what I was doing. 



When a car is delivered for a review it comes with a full tank of gas. I received it on a Monday and drove around taking care of errands and school drop offs with the kids. That Saturday was our family road trip to Philadelphia for a blogger event. Before our event started we toured the streets of Philly and the Museum. We made sure to get our Philly cheesesteaks and headed to the hotel after our event ended. We stayed the weekend in Philly and drove home Sunday. That full tank of gas got us there and back and I filled up a half tank in Manhattan for about $15. Can you say amazing? An EZ Pass also came with the Toyota Rav 4 courtesy of the company. That saved us a lot of money on tolls and we were very appreciative of that bonus. 



The Toyota Rav 4 is very comfortable and the heated seats kept us warm that chilly morning. I love the cup holders, in front and back, leather steering wheel, power moonroof and ECO Mode that helps maximize fuel economy. RAV4’s standard backup camera displays a real-time view of what the camera sees behind you on the 6.1-in. touch-screen display on the dash. Always great to have. 


The Entune Audio Plus system with Connected Navigation is standard on XLE and SE and ready to help you find your way. RAV4 is now equipped with the Scout GPS Link App, so simply pair your cell phone to get turn-by-turn directions.  I was happy to use this which came in handy. 


We left New York with 2 bags in the back and came back with loads of things. The trunk was full and the cargo space was perfect for all of our goodies. 

We give the Toyota 2016 Rav 4 eight thumbs up. Even though I have a big family and if I ever purchase a car or SUV I would need more seats but if I’m purchasing for myself this would be first on my list. I enjoyed driving and the kids enjoyed being back seat drivers. We miss it already and hope to drive it again. 
For more info head here: http://touch.toyota.com/rav4/2016

Disclosure: Thank you Toyota for loaning us the 2016 Rav 4 for a week to review. Opinions are ours 100% as always. 

NY Liberty and Laura Marano Back To School Night At MSG

14 Sep

NYC kids returned to school Septmeber 8th this year and what better way to start off the year with a surprise family night out at Madison Square Garden Septmeber 9th to watch NY Liberty take on Connecticut Sun. My kids were very excited to attend when I told them the good news. What made it more fun is the fact it was Back to School Night presented by Kids Foot Locker and a halftime performance by Laura Marano of the Disney Show Austin & Ally. She performed two songs Boom Box and La La. Also enjoying the game was 2016 Track & Field 3x medalist Tori Bowie Knicks alum John Starks and special guest DJ Nina Sky. 


We always enjoy basketball games as a family at Madison Square Garden and every NY Liberty game we’ve attended they always win. They’ve been doing their thing. These young ladies are no joke and we are huge fans. The Liberty is one of New York’s most successful teams and are even making a run to qualify for the WNBA playoffs. 



The first 5,000 fans were given back to school folders and pictures of Laura Marano. We had great seats and can’t wait to return. The score was 89-82 (NY Liberty). 

For more information check out @TheGarden and http://www.thegarden.com

Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. Tickets were given. Big thank you to Madison Square Garden. Opinions are ours 100% as always. 

Our Top 6 Favorite Snacks 

9 Sep

As a busy family we are always on the go and look for snacks to keep us energized and must taste great. I look for snacks that transport well, doesn’t get soggy or crushed and keep the kids happy. I’ve listed our favorite snacks my kids and I love. These snacks are great for movie night at home, camping, lunchboxes, road trips, picnics and pajama parties. To be honest they are good anytime and anywhere  you want them. 

1. Horizon Organic: 

Horizon Organic Chocolate Protein Plus – This organic chocolate milk has 15g of protein per bottle, making it a great after-school boost or post-gym recovery drink!


· Horizon Organic Apple Fruit Clusters – There’s only four ingredients in this tasty treat. Plus, they’re 60 calories per pouch.


· Horizon Organic Sandwich Crackers – These bite size snack crackers are made with organic peanut butter or organic cheese, depending on the variety.


· Horizon Snack Crackers – Unlike conventional options, these crackers use organic wheat and, in the cheddar variety, real organic cheese.


· Horizon Snack Grahams – These are a kid- and adult- friendly treat with 8g of whole grains per serving.


Check out http://www.horizondairy.com  and http://www.horizon.com for more info. 

2. Hain Celestial Snacks represent a variety of snacks from Sensible Portions, TERRA and Garden of Eatin. 

*Garden of Eatin’ Bowls Tortilla Chips. Available in two delicious flavors: White Corn with Sea Salt and Blue Corn with Sea Salt. Both varieties are certified USDA Organic and non-GMO project verified. Go to http://www.gardenofeatin.com for more info. 


*Stackable Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Chips are a fun, better-for-you snack for the whole family. They are made with delicious, wholesome ingredients that pack fun and flavor, not preservatives or fillers and they come in four delicious flavors – Sour Cream & Onion, Cheddar, Sea Salt and BBQ. Website: http://www.sensibleportions.com


*TERRA comes in two main varieties, Exotic Blend, which includes the original flavor, and Sweet Potato, which includes our sweets and beets flavors. All TERRA Real Vegetable chips are made with non-GMO ingredients, are gluten free and certified kosher. Go to http://www.terrachips.com


We absolutely love all of these. Terra are our favorite. The taste is amazing and so healthy. 

3. KingOfPOP. These new Gourmet Popcorn offerings have unexpected flavors, including: CInnamon & Sugar Kettle Corn, Garlic Parmesan, or even Hickory Maple Bacon Kettle Corn, Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Kettle Corn, Sweet Onion Kettle Corn, Buffalo Popcorn, Zesty Ranch Popcorn, and Honey Mustard Popcorn. The price for a 24-pack of 1.4 oz. bags is just $26.40 at http://www.KingOfPOP.com.


4. Cheryl’s is famous for their buttercream frosting, which uses only the finest ingredients, such as rich, creamy butter, go into these soft, delicious, smooth cookies. After more than a year of research and product development, Cheryl’s recently launched its first gluten-free baked goods line, produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility. Check out http://www.cheryls.com


5. Del Monte Fruit Refreshers Fruit Cups. It’s for adults but my kids love them too. I love the adult size and the flavors like Pineapple in Passion Fruit lightly sweetened in Fruit Water. Go to http://www.delmonte.com for more info. 


6. Organic BROWNIE BRITTLE is available in three flavors including: Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate & Pretzel and Chocolate & Toasted Coconut, with the latter two flavor combinations new to the BROWNIE BRITTLE family. These three flavors are available in a five-ounce resealable package and will retail for $4.99. In addition, Organic Chocolate Chip BROWNIE BRITTLE is available in a 16-ounce club store-sized bag. Head to browniebrittle.com


Disclosure: I was given product to review. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

 

Back To School With Crayola Products

7 Sep

School supplies don’t have to be a difficult shopping experience when you know exactly what brands you can trust. Ever since I was in school my parents always chose Crayola crayons, markers, paint, and colored pencils. I always wanted the ginormous pack of crayons with the sharpener in back. It had to be CRAYOLA! The cheap crayons didn’t cut it and I loved the variety of colors Crayola had and still has. They even have glitter crayons now. 

Since I grew up using Crayola it’s only right my kids use them too. There’s even new products that I know my kids will want.

New Products

· Crayola Emoji Maker: Drawing inspiration from the growing popularity of emojis, kids can experiment with Crayola colors to make 16 custom color emoji stampers and share their unique emoji messages with friends. Using the included design labels, kids can also create custom color names and decorate their barrels. For children ages 6 and up; suggested retail price is $19.99.


· Crayola My Way: Crayola My Way allows fans to customize their own box of Crayola Crayons – from a personalized message on the front of the box to the colors of the Crayons inside the box – in an easy, highly interactive an fun process. After choosing the First Day of School theme, kids can make the Crayola Crayon box their own by uploading a personal photo or piece of artwork to the front of the box, adding their favorite nickname, and selecting their favorite Crayola colors. The personalized 64-count box starts at about $5.99 and can go up to $24.99 depending on the level of customization.


With the new school year just around the corner, kids want to have the best materials and coolest new supplies that reflect their unique interests, while parents want their kids to have best-in-class products that will last them through the year. From tried-and-true classroom staples like Markers, Crayons and Colored Pencils to make –your-own Emoji Markers and customizable Crayon boxes – Crayola offers a wide selection of products that will inspire creativity and get kids excited for the school year.
Classroom Staples

· Crayola 24-count Crayons: Crayola Crayons are a classic kids’ art tool that generations have used to learn to color, spell and draw. Crayola Crayons are designed with a focus on true color, smoothness, and durability.


· Crayola 10-count Classic Markers: Crayola Classic Broad Line Markers are the classic, long-lasting, durable markers that many generations remember from childhood. They lay down brilliant color, yet won’t bleed through most paper. Crayola Markers are also preferred by teachers for all of their projects.


· Crayola 10-count Ultra-Clean Washable Markers: Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Markers are formulated to provide brilliant color where you want it while washing easily where you don’t. Crayola’s classic markers now have an improved Ultra-Clean washable formula and come with two new bold colors.


· Crayola 24-count Colored Pencils: Crayola Colored Pencils are an essential creative tool for kids to use at home or school. Each pack contains pre-sharpened Colored Pencils and a range of vivid colors to inspire children’s self-expression and imagination. Made with thick soft leads that won’t break easily, the pencils create brightly colored lines that are perfect for school projects and creating detailed artwork.


Check out @Crayola on Twitter and http://www.crayola.com for more info. 

Disclosure: Crayola sent my kids products for back to school. Opinions are 100% ours as always. 

 

Movie Review The Light Between Oceans #LightBetweenOceansNYC

1 Sep

I attended the VIP screening of The Light Between Oceans. This movie had me all kinds of crazy. Definitely lots of mixed emotions. Happy, sad, crying, laughing, hating, loving. Geez I mean what did I do to deserve this? Well you just have to see the movie to find out what I’m talking about. It’s based in the 1920’s about a lighthouse keeper and his wife. 


Will men do anything for love? Are some women evil? Can loneliness make you insane? Can losing someone make you lose your mind? I’ve gotten different comments about this movie but I actually liked it. It is long (but what movie isn’t?) and you have to pay attention unless you fall asleep then I don’t know what to tell you. I stayed up and I’m glad I did. 

The main characters in the movie are real life couple. Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander did a wonderful job. 


If you don’t mind a tear jerker movie then I advise you to bring Kleenex. I even noticed a few men getting teary eyed and sniffling. 

Following the movie was an after party at SpyGlass Rooftop. I enjoyed myself with friends, drinks and appetizers. 



In theaters this Friday, Septmeber 2nd. Check out @TheLightBetweenOceans on Instagram and @TLBOmovie on Twitter 


Disclosure: I was invited to this screening and after party. Opinions are mine as always. 

Soul Kix Shoe Giveaway 

1 Sep

Soul Kix is an interactive shoe company with a purpose of allowing the consumer to have a creative choice in their footwear while also donating a pair of shoes to those in need for each pair purchased.


Here’s how you can join the Soul Kix  movement:

Our shoes come in a bag that has been made of recycled materials and can be reused for almost anything which is why we say Think Outside The Shoebox.


For every pair of SoulKix purchased, we donate the equivalent to a pair of shoes to our partners Soles4Souls. They then provide shoes to those in parts of the world that are less fortunate.

We have over 500 celebrities, athletes, musicians and actors wearing SoulKix.

We currently have a Kickstarter Campaign going to create awareness, excitement and support for our Kids line of shoes. Check it out.

You Design It. We Print It. This is what SoulKix is all about. The is the foundation of our company and caters to everyone who has ever wanted a pair of shoes they can truly call their own. 


Here’s the pair Soul Kix custom made for me. I will be taking these on my cruise this year. These can be worn anywhere like on the beach, streets of NY, traveling, shopping, etc. I love the way they come packaged and the bag can be worn with your shoes inside. Love it! I’m so glad to have met Soul Kix at the Blogger Bash conference I attended this year. Can’t wait for the kids line to come out. 


Outfit your company/organization with our shoes but your brand.

Employees are a company’s most important asset and being able to create an environment where each employee feels like they are a part of a team helps to create a culture of happy, efficient and loyal employees.


**GIVEAWAY**

Soul Kix is kind enough to offer one of my readers a custom pair or in house design of shoes. 

To enter (Mandatory entries):

*Leave a comment on Instagram and tell me which pair you would pick or what custom pair you would design. Tag it @soul_kix and hashtags #soul_kix  #fivelittlewordsgiveaway

*Follow @soul_kix on Twitter and Instagram 

*Make sure you’re subscribed to my blog.

*Make sure you’re following me on Instagram  @nilimo and Twitter @nilimonicky 

*Like my Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fivelittlewords

**Bonus entry:
Retweet this: I want to win a pair of @soul_kix from @nilimonicky through her Instagram @nilimo 

Giveaway starts today September 1st and ends 11:59 pm September 11th. Winner announced on social media September 12th. 

Disclosure: This post is not compensated. I was given a pair in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 


Back To School Fashion With Lands End 

29 Aug

Back to school is a breeze when your kids wear uniforms in my opinion. It’s also a money saver. This year I’m focused on my two younger children. I have a middle school and elementary school kids both in the same school and both in uniforms. 


Lands End is my go to for uniforms. My daughter’s colors are navy blue and white. I don’t know how my daughter grew so fast but I’m glad Lands End has her size, quality and styles that she needs. My son has been in the men’s section for a while now but Lands End can also help with that. Basic colors for him are khaki and navy blue. 

She loves skorts and with the weather being comfortable she can start out the school year wearing it. 
School Uniform Girls Active Skort $35

· Moisture-wicking enhancement allows for quick dry when working up a sweat

· Hidden waistband pocket for any gear or gadgets needed when exercising

· Hidden shorts keep her completely covered and confident while the skort gives off a cute feminine flair


Her school allows her to wear cardigans. We love this one from Lands End. 
School Uniform Girls Performance Button Front Cardigan $45

· Resists fading and piling for long-lasting color and comfort

· Easy-care blend feels soft as cotton

· Fully-fashioned construction for a great fit


Polos or button down collar shirts is also part of my daughter’s uniform. Here’s a great one. Love that it’s 100% cotton. 

School Uniform Girls Short Sleeve Fem Fit Mesh Polo $18

· 100% cotton mesh fabric is breathable and feels soft from the start

· Shaped side seams and neat side vents for untucked days

· Enhanced fabric keeps colors true and resist stains


Can’t go back to school without a brand new cool backpack. You know Lands End came correct with these. 
Classmate Backpacks

Double-touch bottoms, comfort-foam padded back panels & shoulder straps, long-lasting zippers and numerous pockets for organizing made easy. Backpacks come in five sizes made for every kid in school – preschool to high school. Personalize your backpack by adding a monogram, embroidery or both!

 Classmate Medium Backpack – Print $39

Classmate Medium Backpack – Solid $39

Check out @landsend on Twitter and online at: http://www.landsend.com

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Clothing was given to review. Opinions are 100% mine as always.

Back To School Sandwiches With @BJsWholesale #shoptheclub

29 Aug

National Sandwich Month is coming to an end but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy sandwiches whenever we want. 

Back To School is approaching very fast and my kids know what type of lunches they want to take to school. When it comes to sandwiches they are only picky about the types of meat they eat.  

A morning breakfast sandwich could be bacon, egg and cheese or a grilled cheese sandwich but a deli sandwich has to be honey glazed or regular turkey. 

Since I’ll be preparing lunches for two kids I’m depending on BJ’s Wholesale to give me the great selection and meats, cheeses, breads, produce and condiments I need. 

My daughter who’s going to 4th grade will probably be the one who will use cookie cutters and make cute faces for her food. (As she did below) My son who is going to 8th grade just wants a meal. He’s not into all the cute lunches. 


I love pre-sliced cheeses. No cutting or slicing just take out of package, put on bread and that’s it. Wellsley  Farms has a variety of cheeses to choose from. Pepper Jack, Provolone, Sharp Cheddar and Muenster are on the top of our list.  


Bread for my kids school lunches have to be on rolls. Even though the kids love Wellsley Farms whole wheat bread and Sara Lee Artesano Bread they prefer rolls at school. My daughter switches up sometimes. BJ’s has a great selection of fresh bakery bread from rolls to whole wheat and even challah when I want to make French Toast for breakfast.

(Turkey and Pepper Jack Cheese on a roll)


Deli meat is Turkey like I mentioned earlier. You can purchased from the deli department by the pound or packaged deli meats. I love Wellsley Farms brand and I think I’m going back to Chicken Breast which is also good. I’ll still but Turkey but I want to eat chicken again. I also want to try buffalo chicken as well. I love spicy food. My kids also love spicy. 

So for back to school cold sandwiches hold better for my kids and when they get home they enjoy grilled cheese or panini sandwiches. No matter what type BJ’s has it all. Here are my grilled cheese and panini versions I made before. Grilled cheese doesn’t have to be just cheese I made a turkey, cheese, peppers and onions. The kids also loved the panini grilled cheese and the triple decker grilled cheese. 


Here’s a great recipe from BJ’s for a grilled Cuban panini sandwich: http://journal.bjs.com/recipes/grilled-cuban-panini

Keep reading on how to get your free 90-day membership. 

Americans love to shop membership warehouse clubs. In fact, nearly 125 million Americans shop at the largest warehouse shopping clubs. Members at BJ’s Wholesale Club — one of the leading clubs — save 25% off grocery store prices* every day and find twice as many items as other warehouse clubs, including groceries, electronics, home goods and more. 

 

For consumers who want to experience what they’ve been missing, BJ’s is offering a Free 90-Day Membership (today through December 31st).

 

In addition to unmatched value on one-stop-shopping, a BJ’s membership comes with big benefits, including:

 

Valuable Coupons – BJ’s accepts more coupons than any other warehouse clubs.

Fresh Choices – Shop a delicious variety of fresh produce, meats and bakery items includes everything needed for weekly shopping.

Custom-Cut Meats – BJ’s butchers are standing by to recut and repackage any selection at no charge.

Exclusive Club Brands – Save on our high-quality Wellsley Farms® and Berkley Jensen® brands.

Easy Party Planning – Wow guests with fresh deli platters, custom cakes and cookie trays.

More Ways to Pay – Get rewarded with My BJ’s Perks ™ Program or use any other form of payment including EBT.

Order Online and Pick Up in Club – Save time with BJ’s Pick Up & Pay. Enjoy the convenience of shopping online and immediacy of in-Club pick up.

Gas Savings – Our gas prices are consistently rated as the best around. Find great low prices on fuel every day at 130 locations.

 

BJ’s Free 90-Day Trial Membership offers savings during the biggest budget-busting seasons of the year, protecting shoppers from such wallet whoppers as:

Back-to-School Shopping

Halloween Costumes and Treats

Thanksgiving Festivities

Holiday Shopping and Entertaining

 

Shoppers can print the Free 90-Day Membership coupon at http://www.BJs.com/savings and visit their local BJ’s club to activate their trial.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored. I am a BJ’s Wholesale Club Ambassador. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

 

Save On Massages, Facials and Manicures With #Groupon #ad

29 Aug

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are mine 100% as always. 

I have a birthday and cruise coming up this year and I’m gonna treat myself to a facial and massage. I 100% sure I will also get a manicure and pedicure while I’m at it. Sure I could get those things done on my cruise but do they accept Groupon? I doubt it. I’ll be saving a lot more money getting these treats done before I walk on board.


Groupon has amazing deals going on for Swedish or deep tissue massages, facials and manis and pedis. On my off days it’s all about being pampered with a wash & set, massage, eyebrow threading and mani/pedi. 


My muscles can get very tight and a deep tissue massage won’t hurt me or my pockets. Groupon knows exactly what emails to send me around my location and I also have the app on my phone as well for fast access. 


If you click on this link you will see the deals I’m talking about in the “Health, Beauty & Wellness Groupons”) – https://www.groupon.com/local/massage

I’ve even tried acupuncture before and loved it. Might search for that as well and make it a whole day of spa treatments. 

Also check out Groupon on social media : 

– Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Groupon.US/?brand_redir=526662987435979

– Twitter – https://twitter.com/groupon

Comfort In Kids Lee Jeans 

26 Aug

5 Star Apparel Showroom in Manhattan is filled with kids clothing from different name brands. It’s like walking into a huge dream walk in closet with clothes at your service. I met with Brianne Tursi Manz (Stroller In The City) for a blogger event. 

Once there I took a look at what all the brands had to offer. Lee Jeans stretch jeans with soft jogging material and a drawstring  were the jeans I knew my daughter would like. My rule is always comfort first. 

Kids grow so fast so I’m always thinking ahead when buying clothes. My daughter loves dressing herself and putting outfits together.


When my daughter tried on her Lee Jeans she was able to bend, run, do a few cartwheels and just enjoy her Lee Jeans and style it with the Arizona Printed Peplum Cami (JC Penney) and her favorite glitter slip ons from (KidPik). 


Disclosure: Thank you Brianne and 5 Star Apparel for the jeans. Opinions are our own 100% as always.