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NY International Auto Show Review 2016 #NYIAS 

31 Mar

Every year I head to Javits Center for the New York International Auto Show as Press, Mom, Auto Lover and Photographer. I scope for the  vehicles that I hope to own one day. There’s no pressure because I’m not walking into a car dealership. I’m leisurely strolling and carefully listening to what catches my attention. Is it the color, model, interior, exterior or features? Maybe it’s my kids saying “Mom we want that.”  

   
  
 
An advantage to being a blogger is I’m able to test drive quite a few cars through the awesome people from Drive Shop. I can say I have quite a few favorites and my list is growing bigger every year. I think I need to hurry up and win Cash 4 Life so I can own a few.  

What I love about the auto show is you’re surrounded by the best… and not all cars cost $2.5 million. There’s plenty of budget friendly vehicles for everyone. If you feel like a test drive unfortunately you can’t do that at the auto show. However, if you head to 11th Avenue there are plenty of car dealerships. Take a look at the pictures below. There’s so many to choose and this post would probably be two pages if I list the vehicles I want. Which one catches your eye? Any favorites? 

  
   
  

 
  

  
  

  

  

  

  
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle or just window shopping head to Javits Center now because the NY Auto Show ends April 3, 2016. There are lots of family friendly activities to do too. My kids and I enjoyed ourselves. I also enjoyed press day for the first two days. 

  
Tickets are available online or can be purchased on site. Clink the link for info: http://www.autoshowny.com/tickets/  Be sure to follow along @NYAutoShow on Twitter and Instagram. 

Photos above are mine. Photos below are courtesy of Auto Show. 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I covered as press and press pass was given. 

   
    
    
 

My Family Weekend Getaway with Residence Inn Central Park 

26 Feb

I promised myself that 2016 would be the year of travel for my family and I. Whether it’s local or abroad we deserve to travel more and go on lots of vacations. My hometown New York is so big and things are constantly being built. I’m not one to walk looking up but I have been noticing the architecture on buildings and have found some interesting things. Sometimes I feel like a tourist in my own city especially when I attend an event in a building I know I’ve passed more than a hundred times. Honestly I like finding things because I like to help guide people to the best places my city have to offer. 

In January I attended Central Park Neighborhood Block Party at Courtyard & Residence Inn by Marriott Manhattan-Central Park. Two hotels in one building and not just any hotel, the tallest hotel in North America. I am proud to say my city has the tallest hotel in North America. How great is that? 

As I walked in I was greeted by amazing staff and directed to the Bistro which is located on the 4th floor till my event started. Drinks and food can be purchased at the Bistro and you can also grab a personal booth with a television and outlets to charge your devices. 

Later I made my way down to the 3rd floor, another spacious dining area where the event took place. I was there to meet clients, enjoy food, cocktails, live music and try to win amazing prizes. 

There were also tours of the two hotels (Courtyard & Residence Inn) that I made sure to go on. As I walked into the rooms I  was in heaven. I knew I just had to bring my family back to experience what I was seeing at that moment. 

Everything was perfect from the beds to the incredible views from the 65th floor. One side of the hotel shows views of Times Square and you can even see the New Year’s Eve ball, so if you’re looking to stay in a hotel for NYE and want to see the ball drop up close I suggest you book early. 

After the tour lots of raffles were given away. Lots of people took home very generous prizes. I won a complimentary 2-night stay at Residence Inn Central Park. You already know I was very excited because I wanted this and it was given to me. When I told my kids they were equally excited and wanted to go right away. 

I decided to go the week of my son’s birthday which also happen to be their week off from school. I took 3 of my kids and we had a great weekend together. Awaiting us in our room was popcorn, soda and candy for a fun movie night and we were also given food from the Bistro. We appreciated that so much.   

  Residence Inn Central Park is a suite-hotel with floor to ceiling windows and awesome views of NYC. There’s also free wifi and breakfast. Inside the room there’s also a microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator and freezer, coffee machine, toaster, crockpot, dishes, glassware and silverware. These suites are great for anyone staying longer than a week. It’s a home away from home. My kids said they wanted to live there. We loved the dishwasher. We all took turns using it. I did shopping in the area and made use of the refrigerator and microwave. My son enjoyed popping his popcorn in the microwave.  

 We watched movies, ate lots of food, had pillow fights, played cards and made shadow figures on the ceiling. We also took pictures outside like tourists, did grocery shopping and enjoyed the weather. We all loved waking up to the beautiful views of New York from the 42nd floor.  

 A full American Breakfast is served on the 3rd floor from 7-10a.m., Saturday and Sunday and 6:30-9:30a.m. Monday thru Friday. They have everything from coffee, tea, juice, scrambled eggs, french toast, sausage, muffins, bagels, oatmeal, cereal, potatoes, fruit, biscuits, waffles that you can make yourself in the waffle maker which my kids enjoyed doing. If you miss breakfast you can head to the Bistro for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, drinks and Starbucks Coffee.   

  The fitness center, sky terrace seasonal outdoor space, ice machine and guest laundromat is located on the 35th floor. Happy hour is from 4-7p.m. in the Bistro 7 days a week.  
 There’s so much to do in the area. Times Square is not far away and you can catch a Broadway Play, go shopping, and take plenty of pictures with all the lights that are so bright up and down Times Square. Also across from the hotel is talk show The Late Show. I don’t know how far in advance you should put in a request for tickets but if you happen to be in town when you do get tickets enjoy! There might even be standby tickets available if you ask.  

 We didn’t want the weekend to end and the kids are ready to return. Our home away from home will always be with Residence Inn no matter where we travel. Thank you for a great weekend getaway Residence Inn.  

 For more info check out @residenceinncentralpark on Instagram. Here is the link to the website : http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/nycpr-residence-inn-new-york-manhattan-central-park/

Disclosure: I won a 2-night stay at Residence Inn. I was not compensated for this post. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

Hyundai Tucson CUV 2016 Perez Family Review

10 Nov

Back in August 2015, Hyundai held their media event for the launch of the new 2016 Hyundai Tucson Compact Utility Vehicle. That is where I got to test drive the vehicle for the first time as everyone took a road trip to different pit stops throughout New Jersey like Lake Kanawauke, Rockefeller Lookout and many more. I fell in love with the different colors, size and how smooth the car drove on the road. The limited edition was my favorite which included leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, hands free smart liftgate, 17 or 19-inch alloy wheels, heated front and rear seats and a 5 or 8-inch touchscreen navigation system. 

  
Drive Shop loaned me the 5-passenger Hyundai Tucson 2016 ECO FWD in Winter White for a week. Now, I could talk about the road trip we took or the errands I ran but I want to talk about the features and how the Tucson handles the road in an urban environment.

*Safety features I appreciated were: 

*Dual advanced front air bags, front side impact air bags and curtain air bags with rollover sensors. Hillstart Assist Control and Downhill Break Control. I’ve always been kind of freaked out going up and down hills or sitting on one at a light knowing my car is slipping downhill. With these features I don’t have to worry anymore. When my foot is taken off break I don’t feel any gear slipping. Rear parking sensors make parallel parking simpler. Rear door child safety locks, rear center 3-point belt and child seat anchors were a plus in my book. 

*Dual shift allowed me to drive in automatic mode where I can relax. More proactive drivers can switch to manual. When you slow down in speed the gears automatically downshifts for you. Sachs shock absorbers are great. As a NYer I’m sure drivers aren’t crazy about potholes. With these absorbers you have a smooth ride. 

*The ECO mode saves gas. I could drive all day and rarely see the meter move. Sport mode gives you more power,  you can feel it and it comes in handy when passing large vehicles on the highway.   

*Anti-whiplash front head restraints. Best comfortable headrest I’ve felt in a vehicle. Rear wiper and defogger comes in handy on foggy and rainy days. My kids loved the rear cupholders. 

We really enjoyed the loaner and we took the vehicle a few fun places for the kids to enjoy getting away from the city. They loved going to City Island for seafood and Rock City for video games and fun. They also loved getting a ride to school everyday and we were sad to see it go but we are looking forward to more exciting road trips and future cruising with Drive Shop. 

   
    
    
   
There’s so much more features that I enjoyed and appreciated but I’ll stop at this. To check out more about the Hyundai Tucson 2016 CUV check out their website: http://www.hyundaiusa.com 

   
    
     
         
 Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was given a vehicle as a loaner for a week. Opinions are mine and my family 100% as always. 

BIG APPLE CIRCUS FAMILY 4-PACK TICKET GIVEAWAY

2 Nov

Big Apple Circus returns to the Big Top at Lincoln Center for the company’s 38th season with the World Premiere of its all-new show, The GrandTour! Tickets start at $25, and the show runs from October 21, 2015 to January 10, 2016. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit http://www.bigapplecircus.org.
 The GrandTour transports audiences to the Roaring 1920s, the advent of the modern travel era, when the most adventuresome began to tour the world in ships, planes, trains, and automobiles. With every seat less than 50 feet from the stage, audiences will be awed by the world-class entertainers as they perform breathtaking acts from the four corners of the globe. Clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and aerialists from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America appear with ponies, puppies and more; the troupe sets off on their own whirlwind adventure, accompanied by the live, seven-piece Big Apple Circus Band at each of more than 100 performances.

Four-time Big Apple Circus ringmaster John Kennedy Kane returns to introduce a variety of stunning performers: clowns Joel Jeske and Brent McBeth; third-generation circus animal trainer Jenny Vidbel with her pony and dog acts; aerialist Sergey Akimov; international juggling sensation Alexander Koblikov; ninth-generation circus performer Chiara Anastasini with hula hoops; the Dominguez Brothers defying the law of gravity with their thrill-filled act featuring the Wheel of Wonder; Chinese hand balancers The Energy Trio; the African acrobatic troupe Zuma Zuma; and the Dosov Troupe soaring on the teeterboard.

The GrandTour, conceived and created by Joel Jeske, is directed by Mark Lonergan (artistic director of Parallel Exit, the three-time Drama Desk Award-nominated physical theater company) with associate director and choreographer Antoinette DiPietropolo. Musical direction by Rob Slowik with clown material created and directed by Joel Jeske. Set and lighting design by Maruti Evans, costume design by Oana Botez, and props design by Katie Fleming.
As a nonprofit performing arts institution, the Big Apple Circus is committed not only to thrilling audiences in the ring, but also to bringing the joy and wonder of circus into the community. Big Apple Circus creates direct, shared connections inside its one-ring Big Top AND in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools, in its New York City home and in cities across America.
**GIVEAWAY: Big Apple Circus is offering one of my readers a family 4-pack of tickets to the Wednesday November 11, 2015 4:30pm show. 

To enter answer this question below: 

What year was the Big Apple Circus founded? You can find answer on the website. 

1962

1982

1977

Winner will be picked and announced Friday, November 6. Winner will be emailed by Big Apple Circus to claim tickets. My readers can also use use promo code BIGAPPLE to save 20% off tickets (that’s not just off one ticket, but the whole purchase).* (*Limited availability. Offer good on select seats and shows. Other conditions apply. Children under 3 are free when on the lap of a paid adult, one child per lap.) 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. This is a giveaway. 

Update: WINNER WAS ANNOUNCED ON SOCIAL MEDIA: @dadarocks is the winner. Congrats! Thank you to all who entered. More giveaways to come. Check out one going on now. 

 

Big Apple Circus Family Fun Day 

26 Oct

Sunday was a great day for the Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center in the big blue tent. This was our first time going and we had great seats in the second row B Door 1. We went to the 12:30 afternoon show. 

   
 What I like about the tent is no matter where you sit you can see everything. It’s not too big and just the right amount of space, seats and acts. The show is about 2 hours with a 20 minute intermission and you can ride a pony during that intermission or after the show if you want, I  believe for a fee. 

  
John Kennedy Kane is the Ringmaster who introduced each act. There are nine acts in the first half. The first act was called Overture followed by Charivari.

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
 The Hula Hoop act had us saying how can she hula hoop with all of those? She started with one and ended up with over 20. She made a big slinky out of it too. 

   
    
 
Feeling Hot, Ball Juggling and Dog Act were the next three acts. Very funny stuff in the Feeling Hot act where a pail of water and wet clown was involved. Ball Juggling did a great job using his feet and hands juggling all the balls. Dog Act had dogs of all sizes running around, jumping through hoops, riding on scooters and leaping into the air. 

   
    
    
    
    
   
Handstands, Red Nose Transplant and The Wonder Wheel were the last three acts of the first half of the show. The group Energy Trio were made up of three guys whose handstands were in sync, very flexible and takes a lot of practice. They did a great job. The Wonder Wheel is always our favorite at any circus. It has us jumping out of our seats, screaming and our jaws dropping. It’s heart pounding and these guys are true dare Devils. They make it look so easy and one of them was even blind folded for a few seconds. Seeing it up close was breath taking and had me nervous but it was fun to watch. 

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 
Second half after intermission with eight acts were Lost In The Desert, Arabian Horses, Istanbul and African Acrobats. We were happy to see the horses perform. The African Acrobats from the Zuma Zuma Troupe did a wonderful job using their flexibility and strength. 

   
    
    
    
    
   
The last four acts were Aerial Straps, Musical Chairs, Teeterboard and the Finale. You can’t have a circus without someone hanging on straps and bending and flying through the air. My favorite act of all was Musical Chairs. My daughter got picked to be in this act and she did a fantastic job!!! She made it to the end and WON a first class ticket to N.Y.,( not for real) just part of the act. She outwitted the clown and took the crown. I was so happy she got picked and so was she. She had fun doing that. I have it on video if you’d like to check it out. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/qzqd_EQm_x4

   
    
    
    
 Teeterboard sent the performers flying through the air and landed on a padded cushion or into a chair. Some had on stilts and landed perfectly after flying through the air. These guys and gals showed their skills and made it look so easy. 

   
    
    
 
Then there was the Finale which we didn’t want to end. Everyone came out and did a little dance, took a bow and gave their waves goodbyes. The show was a treat for us and everyone really did an amazing job. I encourage everyone to go see the Big Apple Circus. My kids and I had the best day at the Big Apple Circus. Loved seeing their faces light up with excitement. 

   
 The Big Apple Circus is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that brings joy and wonder to children and families inside and outside the tent. Big Apple Circus returns to the Big Top at Lincoln Center for the company’s 38th season with the World Premiere of its all-new show, The GrandTour! Tickets start at $25, and the show runs from October 21, 2015 to January 10, 2016. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit http://www.bigapplecircus.org. and on Instagram and Twitter: @bigapplecircus 

The GrandTour transports audiences to the Roaring 1920s, the advent of the modern travel era, when the most adventuresome began to tour the world in ships, planes, trains, and automobiles. With every seat less than 50 feet from the stage, audiences will be awed by the world-class entertainers as they perform breathtaking acts from the four corners of the globe. Clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and aerialists from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America appear with ponies, puppies and more; the troupe sets off on its own whirlwind adventure, accompanied by the live, seven-piece Big Apple Circus Band at each of more than 100 performances.
  
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was given tickets in exchange for this post with my opinions which are 100% mine as always. 

BATMAN THE RIDE BACKWARDS AT SIX FLAGS, GREAT ADVENTURE 

19 Jul

Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ is our favorite amusement park. We were invited to the Press/VIP event July 7th to experience the Batman The Ride Backwards rollercoaster. I’ve always loved the Batman rollercoaster and when I found out it was going backwards I knew I was going to enjoy it even more. Joining us was Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and the Dynamic Duo Batman and Robin. I even got my mother on the ride with me. When I told her I was staying on to go again she said she would sit that one out. Lol. Don’t get me wrong, she loves rollercoasters but wanted to space them out. If my two oldest sons were there they would have went on again with me. It was amazing! No lines, media went on first and I could have rode on it all day. 

After the event ended we stayed at the park and got on more rides. My mother, sister and my two younger kids enjoyed the day. There’s so much to do and it was such a beautiful day. We stuffed our faces with delicious food,  kept cool with drinks and unlimited refills, found shaded areas and covered the whole park. My daughter took pictures with cartoon characters including Batman and Robin. Skull Mountain, Superman, Green Lantern, El Diablo, Great American Road Race and Buccaneer are just a few of our favorites. Can’t forget Bugs Bunny National Park, Bumper Cars, Skyway, Tea Cups, Carousel, and many more kid rides. 

You know I never leave without getting the famous Funnel Cake for everyone. We stayed till a little after 8pm and will be returning again this year. My family can’t stop talking about the fun we had. It’s always a pleasure when we spend the day with Six Flags Great Adventure. 

Six Flags Great Adventure, the world’s largest theme park, unveils a second thrilling roller coaster experience for 2015 as it flips one of its most innovative and adrenaline-charged coasters backwards for a limited time.

BATMAN™: The Ride becomes even more intense as it undergoes a gravity-defying role reversal from July 4th weekend to Labor Day weekend. Guests can dare to take on an all-new experience on the world-famous suspended, looping coaster when its chair lift-style train is flipped 180 degrees on the track.

BATMAN™: The Ride Backwards Fast Facts:

Soar backwards, chair-lift style (beneath the track)

50-mph juggernaut

Five gut-wrenching inversions guests never see coming

2,700 feet of twisted track

Since opening in 1993, BATMAN™: The Ride has given more than 27 million thrilling rides and reigns as one of the most popular roller coasters in the world. 

Video of Batman the Ride Backwards can be found here: https://youtu.be/Cf_S0DIXO3c

Disclosure: My family and I were invited to this Press event. Opinions are 100% mine and my family. 

   
    
    
    
 

CABANA COVE GRILL BLOG-B-Q AT HUURICANE HARBOR, SIX FLAGS

30 Jun

The last day of school for NYC kids was June 26 which was also a half-day. Were my kids going to miss out on anything? No, not really because they said goodbye to their classmates and teachers the day before knowing they were going to have an awesome time at Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor Water Park. Who wouldn’t want to hang out in a water park for the day? So their summer vacation started a day early and they were happy. 

Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor is located in Jackson, NJ. We were invited to celebrate the Grand Opening of their new Cabana Cove Grill and test out their delicious food with a Blog-B-Q. From jerk chicken sandwiches , salads, Tri-tip steak sandwiches, fruit salad, hot dogs, brownies, cookies, cotton candy, drinks and the best part we were given a Cabana for the day. The food was amazing and we received souvenir cups for free drink refills all day. The Cabana boys kept serving us delicious mango or strawberry-banana smoothies. Those were very good. Our Cabana kept us cool with fan and a refrigerator for our food and drinks a table, chairs and a couch. Outside our Cabana we had two lounge chairs. 

We were steps away from the Wave Pool and Cabana Cove Grill. There is also more lounge chairs around the wave pool and benches with umbrellas at the Grill. This was our first time at Hurricane Harbor but we are regulars at Six Flags, Great Adventure. Everyone was so polite and catered to our every need. We didn’t need lockers because our things were safe in our Cabanas that were guarded while we walked around park. We also were given wrist bands for the day. One of those were proof you belong in the Cabana area. 

After lunch we headed to the Wave Pool (Blue Lagoon). Little did we know they have safety drills every 45 minutes that lasts for 15 minutes. We though someone was really drowning until a worker told us the real deal. We were glad it wasn’t a real person in trouble and I was glad to see they take their jobs seriously and practice these safety drills. 

Once our blogger friends came we went exploring and took the kids to the lazy pool (Taak It Eez Ee Creek) and a few water slides in the park like: King Cobra and Boreas. There were no lines we got back on as much as we liked. I enjoyed all the rides as much as my kids. I love amusement parks and every summer that’s on everyone’s agenda. 

All of our kids kept calling the Cabanas their homes. I thought that was cute. The day turned out to be great without rain. I love seeing my kids enjoying themselves and just being kids. This was for them and I will continue to keep them smiling. We will definitely return hopefully with another Cabana and amazing food. You know we couldn’t leave without getting Funnel Cake and Churros. Our favorites. 

We enjoyed ourselves and recommend everyone to come check out Hurricane Harbor water rides, the New Cabana Cove Grill and rent a Cabana while you’re there. Visit their website: https://www.sixflags.com for more info. Follow on Twitter: @sixflags 

Disclosure: My family and I were invited to attend a Blog-B-Q Grand Opening of Cabana Cove Grill at Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags Great Adventure. Opinions are 100% mine as always. 

   
                

PART 3 FAMILY VACATION CRUISE ON NORWEGIAN BREAKAWAY (BAHAMAS)

30 Jun

Here is the last post of my 7-day cruise to the Bahamas on the Norwegian Breakaway. 

Day 5 (Nassau Bahamas) Partly Cloudy 75 Sunrise 6:53 a.m. Sunset 7:29 p.m.

This is what we were waiting for. I’ve always dreamed of going to the Bahamas and finally made it. There is lots to do for your shore excursions. Make sure you plan these things in advance so when you get to your destination all you have to do is get transportation to take you there. Tours include Atlantis Resort tours such as: Discover Atlantis, Atlantis Aquaventure, Atlantis Dolphin Interaction & Beach Day, Aquaventure & Walking with Sharks. There’s also Blue Lagoon Tours such as: Blue Lagoon Dolphin Swim, Sea Lion Encounter and Dolphin Encounter. You also can explore the Ardastra Zoo & Garden, Seaworld Explorer, Glass Bottom Boat and Paradise Island & Sightseeing. 

Next time we will check out a few excursions. We wanted to explore the island on our own. We walked around the town, took pictures, shopped and found a Dunkin Donuts (lol). We didn’t want to go too far away from the ship. We went to the famous Straw Market and did shopping as well. It was a bright, sunny, warm day. The locals are friendly and as soon as you get off the boat they ready to grab you and take you around in their taxis. We of course chose to walk. We had a great day in town and can’t wait to visit again. 

On the ship activities were still going on. There was a Thriller Dance Class, Name that Beatles Tune, Rock of Ages show, Deal or No Deal, Awesome 80’s Party and a Breakaway Fireworks Display. I loved the fireworks. I tried the keep the kids up for that but they were tired. My youngest son popped up to see a few then fell back into bed. I thought I had video but I guess I didn’t save it. It was loud and very nice as if it was the 4th of July. 

Day 6 (Sea Day) Mostly Sunny 73 degrees Sunrise: 6:46 a.m. Sunset 7:29 p.m. 

Now that we are headed back to New York we get to finish exploring this big ship and do things we probably didn’t get to do. We had fun with the Giant Chess Play, Aqua Park, Sports Court and Splash Academy. There was a great Ice Carving Demonstartion and also a Basketball and Soccer Tournament. The Towel Folding Demonstartion was very nice. My daughter was able to see how the staff prepared her amazing towel pets that she received every night on her bed. We visited Carlos Bake Shop and Dolce Gelato and ordered goodies. O’ Sheehan’s also has milkshakes and ice cream sundaes you can order for a small price. 

The Charm Bracelet event was packed with women wanting those charms. The Hot Dog eating contest was crazy. The Family Friendly Feud Game Show was fun. There was a Family Pizza Making class. The Breakaway Celebrity Dance off was a hit with everyone. We enjoyed that very much. Tango Dance classes were available and a Family Cake Decorating Class inspired by TLC’s Baking with the Cake Boss. Teppanyaki & Sushi Demonstration was great! 

Broadway Star Kate Shindle performed a musical and theater show and was available for a meet and greet after. 

Dinner at O’Sheehan’s featured BBQ Spare Ribs. We went to the Garden Cafe for dinner. 

Day 7 (Sea Day) Cloudy 64 degrees Sunrise: 6:34 a.m. Sunset 7:29 p.m.

This would be our last full day on the Breakaway. We were sad but we wasn’t going to let that get us down. We enjoyed every minute. After breakfast the activities begun. Rockettes Stretch Class, Fitness Dance Class, Napkin Folding with staff, Shuffleboard Tournament, Fruit & Veggie Carving Demo. 

Afternoon activities included: Samba class, International Crew Talent Show we very very good. The staff is very talented. My kids and I enjoyed this show. Basketball Challenge, Hip Hop Dance Class that my daughter rocked and participated in. The instructor was very nice and even met my daughter after so they could dance together. That was so sweet of her. My daughter enjoyed that class. Meet & Greet with Nickelodeon, Studio portraits were available to purchase. The kids wanted the video arcade, splash academy, sports court and aqua park every day. Can you blame them? 

The evening was full of things to do like Family Cupckae Making, Breakaway Karaoke Idol 2015, Super Shopper Raffle, Perfect Couple Game Show, Farewell Party with the DJ. My kids stayed at Spalsh Academy till about 10pm. Hey wanted their last night to be fun. They refused to go to bed early (lol). 

For dinner we chose Mexican at the Garden Cafe. 

The next morning we arrived back home in New York. The skylines looked amazing early in the morning. Even though we were already missing our vacation we were glad to be back safe and sound. There are definitley more cruises in our future. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about our fabulous vacation on the wonderful Norewegian Breakaway. If you need any questions answered ask away or leave comments. Check out Norwegian on Twitter: @CruiseNorwegian

Disclosure: I won this 7-day cruise from @themoms. Opinions are mine and my kids 100% as always. 

Enjoy the pics!!!

   
        

       

               

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%.