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Disney’s Zootopia Review & Behind the Scenes with Animator Darrin Butters

2 Mar

We recently attended an advanced 3D screening of Disney’s animation film Zootopia. In the city of Zootopia there’s all types of animals from every environment living together. It reminds me of New York with neighborhoods like Sahara Square and Tundratown.  

When rookie Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack acase, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman),to solve the mystery. 

My favorite characters were the Sloths. They’re in the DMV scene where it’s actually showing you how slow the DMV really is and the Sloths represent the workers. That was the funniest scene in my opinion. My kids enjoyed that part too. Another scene we enjoyed were the elephants in the ice cream shop. Wait till you see the giant pop that the so-called kid wanted. 

Voice Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Shakira, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Nate Torrence, Jenny Slate, Tommy Chong, Octavia Spencer, Bonnie Hunt 

Hits theaters Friday, March 4, 2016

http://movies.disney.com/zootopia

@DisneyZootopia on Twitter 

I also attended a behind the scenes animation event with Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Darrin Butters. Darrin has been an animator on many of Disney’s top films including TANGLED, BOLT, WRECK IT RALPH and FROZEN. Butters began his career as an assistant animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios in September 1996. He shared exclusive clips and behind the scenes info on the upcoming ZOOTOPIA, and there was a Q&A session.

It was great to see what goes on in the making of animated films and how a persons expression can turn into something so funny when it’s shown on the big screen. Darrin Butters is a genius. His work is amazing. It was a pleasure listening and meeting him. 

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

   
 

Mitsubishi Mirage Car Review #DriveMitsubishi 

18 Dec

The 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage was handed to me on loan from Drive Shop for a week. I’ve seen this cute purple car before when my friend also received a loan. I thought it was the cutest compact car ever. Five-door, seats five and seven air bags which includes a driver’s knee airbag designed to stabilize your lower body and knees during certain types of collisions. That’s extra level of protection when you need it most. 

Perfect and small enough to fit just about anywhere in my neighborhood and not take up lots of space. The plasma purple color stood out I could spot it blocks away. My daughter was very happy to have a purple car to drive around in. There are eight colors to choose from.  

Love the 37 MPG City and 44 MPG Hwy. 5-speed manual transmission or Continuosly Variable Transmission where the Mirage does the shifting for you. It shifts into neutral when you come to a complete stop and applies the brakes to save on fuel. The instant you let your foot off the brake, it goes back in gear and you’re on your way. 

Bluetooth hands free phone system came in handy with voice command which meant never having to take my hands off the steering wheel. 

Another favorite for me is starting a car with touch start/stop engine switch. Put foot on brake and press start/stop button and it starts. Park car and press button and engine turns off. Also unlocking/locking the Mirage with the fast-key entry system was great. Push button once to unlock driver’s door or twice to unlock them all. Piece of cake. 

There’s also a 10 year /100,000 mile Powertrain Limited Warranty and included is a 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable New Basic Limited Warranty and more warranties. See your dealer for details. 

We enjoyed our Mitsubishi Mirage for the week and look forward to more loaners from Drive Shop. 

For prices, dealers, gallery and accessories check out http://www.mitsubishicars.com 

Disclosure: I was given the Mitsubishi Mirage as a loaner to review. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

   
    
    
     
  

LifeLock: The Smart Talk-Holiday Giving Edition

15 Dec

Disclosure: Thank you LifeLock for sponsoring this post. Please visit The Smart Talk for more tips on how to prepare your kids to develop healthy online habits. 

 
It seems like kids are born knowing how to use technology. As soon as we hand them our cell phone they think it’s the coolest device ever but little do they know the parents are concerned with online safety and protecting our kids from what’s going on in cyber world. With the holidays coming, you might be considering the gift of technology for your child. Even if a tech device isn’t topping your kid’s holiday wish list, you might be upgrading your own device, making it the perfect time to give your child your old smartphone or tablet without the extra cost. To help parents better manage kids and technology devices and usage, LifeLock and the National PTA recently teamed up to create The Smart Talk – a free, digital toolkit that gives families a roadmap to set collaborative ground rules that help strike a healthier relationship with technology.  

 When I met the Smart Tak reps at a recent Kidz Vuz event I wanted to know more about setting ground rules and signing the Smart Talk Family Agreement with my son (T.J.) when I give him his first cell phone. My son and I sat down together and agreed on healthy digital habits on his phone and signed the family contract. We had a great time. It is very easy to do. Head to http://www.thesmarttalk.org and take a look.  Included in the contract are the Safety & Privacy, Screen Time, Apps & Download for you both to discuss, also parental controls and passcodes, how many hours of screen time is allowed for your child, how much money can be spent on apps and what ratings of movies can be viewed.  

   
T.J. will be a teenager next year so some of the rules will diminish as he shows more responsibility. He’s been asking for a cell phone for a while and I wanted to make sure he was absolutely ready to own one. After agreeing on healthy limits together, a personalized, official family agreement can be stored on the computer or printed and posted at home. We printed ours out and will hang it on the refrigerator.  

 Visit The Smart Talk site to check out this free resource for parents and create your own personalized family contract to encourage healthy digital habits.

To help you get the technology conversation started with your family, use these The Smart Talk created technology gift tags to remind your family to talk about technology together before the fun and games begin. 

   
Here is the downloadable and printable one sheet of gift tags: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxsi9BsVTS8GQjZoN3FzTWRHYUk/view?pli=1

 

Disclosure: I was selected for this opportunity as a member of KidzVuz blogger network and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

What’s Inside My Holiday Gift Guide? 

4 Dec

What are you looking for in a holiday gift guide? Who are you shopping for? Does price matter? Do you shop online or in stores? Favorite stores, websites, charities. 

I’m listing my favorite fashion, beauty, houseware appliances, tech, toys and food items. Take a look and see what catches your eye. Some even make great stocking stuffers. Giving you a few ideas. Enjoy! 

HOUSEWARE APPLIANCES 

1. Ninja Coffee Bar with glass or thermal carafe makes classic, rich, over ice & specialty coffees. http://www.ninjakitchen.com

  
2. Nutri Ninja Auto-IQ Compact System Blender. Auto-iQ Smooth Boost technology takes drink customization to the next level. A unique combination of powerful Ninja blades, high-torque motor, and high speeds allows you achieve an even greater level of smoothness than Ninja has ever delivered before—all at the touch of a button. http://www.ninjakitchen.com

   
 

3. Power Pressure Cooker XL. Available in 6, 8 and 10 quart models. Save time, energy and money. Prepares succulent meals with one touch of a button up to 70% faster than conventional cooking. http://www.powerpressurecooker/TurkeyDude

  
4. KitchenAid Mixer. Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer. Choose over 20 colors, 10 speeds and the power hub fits optional attachments from food grinders to pasta makers. http://www.kitchenaid.com

  
5. KitchenAid Spiralizer Attachment. Reinvent classic meals and inspire your culinary creativity with the versatile KitchenAid Spiralizer with Peel, Core and Slice Stand Mixer Attachment. Make fresh fruit and vegetable recipe options, from zucchini noodles to sweet and savory dishes.

   
 
TECHNOLOGY

1. HP Envy 5540. The HP Envy All-in-One printer is a great compact solution for your home and office printing, scanning and copying needs. Now, when you buy the HP Envy 5540 e-All-in-One printer, it comes with 3 months free of HP Instant Ink! With HP Instant Ink you select your subscription plan and HP takes care of the rest so that you never run out of ink and printing costs a lot less! Ink, shipping, and cartridge recycling are included in your monthly plan. Plans start as low as $2.99/month and are based on pages printed, not cartridges used. There’s no annual fee and you can change or cancel plans online at anytime. Link to HP Envy 5540 e-All-in-One printer: http://bit.ly/HPEnvy5540Printer  Link to HP Instant Ink: http://bit.ly/HPInstantInk6

FREE INK OFFER: Now through December 31st, when you enroll your printer in HP Instant Ink, you will receive six free months of ink! To decide which plan is right for you and to enroll, visit http://bit.ly/HPInstantInk6 but remember to do it before December 31, 2015! 

   
   
2. Monster Products. 24K Backfloat Speaker. This is a rugged Bluetooth shower speaker, a floating speaker for the pool, and one of the best portable speakers around. Sing along in the shower or tub or float this powerful speaker in the Jacuzzi. Bring it to the campsite or to the beach. BackFloat is engineered to keep pumping out high-performance Pure Monster Sound no matter how wet things get. http://www.monsterproducts.com

  
3. My Charge Razor Max Rechargeable 6000mAh battery. RazorMax delivers an extra 27 hours talk time for your smartphone. This powerbank comes equipped with 2 USB ports and is perfect for charging two devices at once. With a 2.4A output, the RazorMax portable charger is great for charging tablets and other power thirsty devices. http://www.shop.mycharge.com

  

4. Monster ClarityHD High Performance Earbuds. Advanced construction with reinforcement at critical stress points. Ergonomically designed, with multiple ear tips for a better fit. Won’t fall out of your ears like other earbuds. Premium sound quality at an incredible value. Superior noise isolation. ControlTalk Universal for clearer calls, simple music controls. Flat, tangle-resistant cable. Extremely lightweight. Low-profile right angle connector. http://www.monsterproducts.com 

For a 20% discount on all products on Monster, please use promo code ‘MonsterNation’ at checkout. Offer good until December 25.

  
5. Lumee Case. LED lighting on both sides of the case give you a soft and beautiful light for every occasion. Dimmer Switch to control light output and let you control the light. Rechargeable battery and charging cord. Long lasting battery that works independently of your phone. I use for my IPhone 6. Check website for your phone. http://www.lumee.com

  
KIDS COOKING TOOLS

Thanks to Curious Chef – which provides real cooking tools designed just for kids – little ones can be more involved in the baking and cooking process as they aspire to be the next Cake Boss or Top Chef! These cooking tools are specifically designed for kids 4+ with safety and smaller hands in mind, helping inspire curiosity in the kitchen. http://www.curiouschef.com

1. 2 Quart Mixing Bowl – Designed with a sturdy base and easy grip handles, the 2-Quart Mixing Bowl helps your child mix up family favorites like cookies, pancakes or brownies

  
2. 2 Cup Clear Measuring Cup – Help your kids practice math and measurements with the 2 Cup Clear Measuring Cup, complete with color-coded measurements in both cup and ounce increments.

  
3. Medium Nylon Plastic Knife – Put your kids to work chopping with the Medium Nylon Plastic Knife, which is designed to be tough on foods and safer on skin than a metal blade. Also featuring an ergonomically-designed handle, this knife is easier for little hands to grasp.

  
4. Nylon Cookie Turner — Cookies and kids go hand in hand, especially when it comes to baking. The Curious Chef Nylon Cookie Turner real kitchen tool lets your child have a part in the cookie baking fun.

  
5. Actus Lunch Box. These collectible lunch boxes are designed for PEANUTS lovers of all ages! Choose your favorites from our PEANUTS lunch boxes, utensils kit, plastic mugs and many more! http://www.skaterlunch.com

   
  
TOYS

1. Guitar Hero Live. This is the first ever playable music video network and has launched with two 24-hour channels and hundreds of playable songs.The all new Guitar Hero. One game. Two ways to play. GH Live, where you can rock real crowds with real reactions.With a continually updating library of hundreds of videos across genres, there’s something for everyone. 

   

 
2. Shopkins. Moose Toys collectible characters from your favorite shops. Also in plush, backpacks and accessories. Seasons 1-3 available now while Season 4 will be available in December. Shopkins Plush are an Imports Dragon product. http://www.importsdragon.com and http://www.moosetoys.com
 
 
3. Pie Face Game. Hasbro has done it agin with this board game for the whole family filled with fun and suspense. Someone is bound to get a pie in their face. http://www.hasbro.com 

  
4. Barbie Fashionistas. These dolls are ready for anything dressed in a look you’ll love that’s perfect for daytime and nighttime fun. The fabulous fashion is right on trend and fits their style and personality perfectly. With an amazing pair of shoes and the perfect bag, the sensational look is complete! Girls can try new styles and play out a variety of stories with this delightful doll. http://www.shop.mattel.com

  
5. Star Wars Episode 7 Remote Control BB-8 – Only at Target. This remote control BB-8 figure rolls in any direction and makes expressive droid sounds as you lead him into adventure. Collect and battle with this and other figures, vehicles, and Star Wars toys. http://www.target.com

  
 FASHION

1. Hanes Hoisery. Hanes Hosiery’s new Fall 2015 collection features innovative styles that are the perfect balance of beauty and comfort. Hanes is revitalizing legwear this season with the introduction of X-Temp technology and solution based sheers, tights and leggings that compliment women of every age, nationwide.

The Hanes Power Shapers collection integrates the benefits of shapewear into legwear with run resistant technology that keeps every woman looking polished with a flawless finish from day to night. Available in a variety of deniers and a no hose® slimmer, the Hanes Power Shapers collection provides a smooth, no lines appearance, even under the most body conscious styles.

X-Temp tights from Hanes are designed to adapt to your body temperature providing comfort throughout the day. X-Temp technology is designed to adjust to your body’s temperature and activity to keep you comfortable and confident. X-Temp tights are available in a variety of styles from core opaques to boot liners, convertibles and smoothing leggings that can be dressed up or down for any occasion.

Website: http://www.hanes.com/onehanesplace/legwear/legwear-brands/all-hanes

2. L’eggs Tights. Introducing New L’eggs Energy Tights! By combining health & well being with fashion, L’eggs Energy delivers a true “feel good, look good” combination. By leveraging Beauty, Wellness, and Comfort macro-trends, the Energy Collection provides a compelling and affordable legwear solution. By integrating 360-degree Graduated Compression (which many millennials equate with sports/fitness), L’eggs Energy appeals across generations.

L’eggs Energy comes in Tights, Footless Tights and Trouser Sock styles in sizes S thru XL. 

Found for $7.99 or less at your local food, drug and mass merchandiser like CVS!

Website: http://www.hanes.com/onehanesplace/brands/our-brands/leggs

  
3. nicole by Nicole Miller. nicole by Nicole Miller Sleeveless Embellished Jumpsuit, $68 available at JCPenney and jcpenney.com 

nicole by Nicole Miller Feather Trim Dress, $86 available at JCPenney and jcpenney.com

nicole by Nicole Miller Pave Crystal Hinged Gold-Tone Cuff Bracelet, $34 available at JCPenney and jcpenney.com

  
4. Jord Wood Watches are focused on creating timepieces that are modeled after a modern lifestyle. They value sustainability, efficiency, and experiential living. They make their watches for people who don’t just have somewhere to be, they have somewhere to go. Scratch-resistant mineral glass deployment buckle with push buttons. http://www.woodwatches.com

  

5. Heavenly Touch Denim from Riders by Lee.  Slimming Stretch denim is now softer than ever! Touching is believing with Heavenly Touch denim, the innovative fabric construction that is ultra-soft. And with the right amount of stretch, these jeans are as comfortable as your favorite sweats, but are infinitely more flattering! Soft & comfortable, slimming & flattering…look good feel great. http://www.lee.com and http://www.kmart.com

  
FOOD

1. Deep River Snacks. The high quality snack brand that “Gives a Chip” is more than just a bag of chips… they pride themselves on doing right in everything they do. All snacks non-GMO, made in a nut-free facility and contain no artificial dyes, flavors or preservatives. And each bag uses its packaging real estate to raise awareness for a specific charity!
This holiday season, Deep River Snacks is offering four special edition snack packs that make the perfect gift or stocking stuffer:

Chips & Charity – an assortment of kettle chips plus a $10 charity gift certificate that the recipient can use to make a donation to their favorite non-profit
Snack Attack – 24 bags of delicious kettle chips with 12 different flavors to enjoy

Turn Up The Heat – a collection of the brand’s hottest flavors for those who love some heat: Zesty Jalapeño, NY Spicy Dill Pickle and Aged Cheddar & Horseradish

Holiday Crunch – an assortment of red, green and white bags perfect for parties, stockings, hostess of teacher gifts and combining three of the top selling kettle varieties: Original Salted, Mesquite BBQ and Zesty Jalapeño

Party Pleasers – an 80 count box of 1 oz bags of kettle chips

http://www.deepriversnacks.com

 

 
2.Woodbridge Wine. Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi is pleased to introduce the limited-edition Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Harvest Spiced Red Blend. A unique red blend with flavors of rich red berries accented with cinnamon, vanilla, and clove, this blend is the perfect accompaniment to festive gatherings with friends and family. Available for $5.99-7.99 per 750 mL bottle, the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Harvest Spiced Red Blend is delicious served at room temperature, or can also be heated on the stove with cinnamon sticks, orange slices and cloves, for a cozy mulled cocktail treat.

  
3. POM Juice. Sweet, a little tart, and a whole lot of healthy. Powered by pomegranate antioxidants, it’s authentic, delicious and 100% pure. There is no added sugar, colorants or cheap filler juices. Also Super Teas, Juice Blends, Fresh Fruit and Fresh Pomegranate Arils. There’s also loads of recipes available online: http://www.pomwonderful.com

  
    
 

4. Del Monte Fusion. Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions come in 3 delicious flavors: Peach Mango, Apple Pear Watermelon, Cherry Fruit Trio. 1 snack cup = 1 combined serving of fruit & veggies, (contains 1 serving (1/2 cup) that is 75% fruit and 25% vegetables, per USDA Nutrient Data), No high fructose corn syrup, No artificial flavors or sweeteners, Excellent source of Vitamin C, Available nationwide for $2.99 for four 4oz cups. 

  
5. Military Match K-Cup Pods Variety Blends. Buy four boxes of our 18-count K-Cup pods and they will match your order with four additional boxes, plus our signature Military Match mug – FREE! They will also send all 8 boxes plus a signature military mug to the APO/FPO or military base address you provide – it’s all part of our MIlitary Match Gift Box Program! This gift set includes two 18-count boxes of each: Dark Roast, Cafe Special, Breakfast Blend and 100% Colombia Altura K-Cup pods and one Military Match mug. http://www.communitycoffee.com

 
6. Siracha2Go.  The perfect package for the Sriracha lover who needs to always be equipped with their favorite hot sauce. http://www.siracha2go.com 

    
  
BEAUTY

1. Alien by Thierry Mugler. Mysterious and fascinating, ALIEN perfume has the power to illuminate and reveal a radiant, feminine aura. ALIEN fragrance brings out the solar goddess in every women. … Thierry Mugler ALIEN perfume at the ALIEN perfume Source, or with refill bottles and ALIEN eco-refills! http://www.macys.com and http://www.muglerusa.com

  
2. Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser helps improve skinny one, texture and clarity.  Oil free, hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic. Luminous looking skin after removing dirt, oil and makeup. http://www.aveeno.com

3. Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 evens tone and texture in 30 days. http://www.aveeno.com

 
 
4. Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+ Mascara. Increase your average lash volume by up to 400%. My lashes definitely increased in length and looked full and amazing. Never seen my lashes this long before. http://www.youniqueproducts.com

 
 
5. Zest FruitBoost Shower Gel. All four Zest Fruitboost varieties revitalize with gentle moisturizers and skin-nourishing, antioxidant-rich Vitamin C. Every Zest Fruitboost 10oz tube lasts up to 40 showers, so a little quarter size amount goes a long, long way. And at a suggested retail price of $2.99, a huge boost for wallets everywhere.  Available in four luscious, fruit-filled scents — Citrus Splash, Very Berry, Peach Mango, and Pomegranate Acai. Available at Walmart stores. http://www.zest.com

  
6. Dove Hair Oxygen Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner collection, which provided 95% more volume after one wash. http://www.dove.us.com and http://www.walmart.com

  

DONATIONS:

1. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. What are you grateful for? Join our community of supporters​, patients, partners and celebrity friends and let the world know you support the kids of St. Jude.When you donate $1, you’re helping save lives. http://www.stjude.org

2. No Kid Hungry. Instead of another ugly sweater, send your family and friends beautifully designed and printed holiday cards from No Kid Hungry. 100% of the proceeds go toward the mission feeding our nation’s hungry kids. This holiday season, help us reach our holiday goal of providing 10 million meals to kids in need. http://www.nokidhungry.org

Disclosure: The HP printer/InstantInk part of this post listed under Technology is sponsored campaign with Mom Select. All opinions are mine 100% as always. All other items were either reviewed or just something I liked and added to my gift guide. 

HP Instant Ink Replacement Service Added To Six New Envy Printers

7 Oct

I think anyone who works from home, have kids or owns a desktop or laptop should own a printer. I’ve been through my share of printers and it wasn’t that the printers weren’t good it was the ink was expensive or discontinued. One thing I hated doing was buying ink or forgetting to buy it when I was running errands. 

I’m so glad HP thought of a way for me to never forget or run out of ink anymore. Between homework, reports and constantly printing out work now I can be at ease. 

HP unveiled the expansion of its rapidly growing Instant Ink replacement service to six new HP ENVY, OfficeJet and DeskJet printers. With the HP Instant Ink service and enabled devices, HP is eliminating ink anxiety and cutting ink costs up to 50 percent so customers can print what matters most and never run out of ink.

 The new HP printers are HP Instant Ink ready with the sign-up experience integrated into the printer set-up out of the box, making it simple to begin the convenience and savings on day one. Customers can quickly choose the plan that works for them or choose the traditional model of purchasing ink at retail or online when they run low. Additionally, for the first time, HP is offering the choice of one or two year HP Instant Ink plans out of the box with the introduction of the HP OfficeJet 5741 and HP OfficeJet 5743.

 Smart Original HP Ink cartridges can reorder ink before it runs out and deliver it directly to the customer. Whether printing at home, for a small business or at college, customers can enjoy the lowest two year total cost of ownership available, printing high-quality photos as well as black and white or color documents for the same cost.

Recycling is simple with HP Instant Ink. The program provides prepaid envelopes to return used cartridges, lowering the carbon footprint related to ink cartridge purchase and disposal by an estimated 70 percent.

My HP printer that I owned prior to was not WI-FI enabled printer so HP was kind enough to send me the Envy 5540 All-In -One Printer. I’ve always wanted to be able to print right from my phone or tablet no matter where I was instead of waiting to get home and push a button and now I can.  Now when I get home documents and pictures are waiting for me. The Envy 5540 copies, prints and scans. Even has 2-sided printing. Easy wireless set up was a piece of cake. Only one plug to use. I downloaded the app and set up an account and viola. I was printing from my phone in no time. I was also given a gift card to order ink with the Instant Ink replacement service. I took the one year plan and within a few days I was receiving more ink way before I ran out and still haven’t opened the new ink yet. We love our new printer and this amazing new Instant Ink replacement service. Ink will always be available at my finger tips and nothing will be delayed. I enjoyed printing photos from my printer. 
Thank you HP for keeping this mom and her kids up to date with the latest in technology. 

Here’s info on the printer I have: 

HP ENVY 5540 All-in-One Printer: An affordable printer with a quick, five-minute mobile installation process so users can print from a smartphone or tablet with or without a router or local wireless network. Users can also scan, copy, and access web content directly from the color touchscreen. Starts at $129 and is available now. 

HP Instant Ink is currently available in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, France and Germany. Additional information about HP Instant Ink and the new generation of eligible HP printers is available at http://www.hp.com/go/instantink. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was given a printer and gift card for review purposes. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

   
   
 

Join Me In Taking The 7-Day Switch Up With Viva® Vantage®

6 Oct

Tracking Pixel

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Viva® Vantage®.Opinions are mine 100% as always. 
Viva® Vantage® understands that people fall into all kinds of routines in life, including the household products they buy, and sometimes miss out on other great options in the process. Therefore, Viva® Brand is asking consumers to switch up their normal routine by trying Viva® Vantage® for seven days to see what they have been missing with their regular paper towel. Experience the stretchy-strength and great scrubbing power of Viva® Vantage®, recently named a 2015 Product of the Year.

I was invited to a Viva® Vantage® Live Party to the house of Amy Oztan from selfish mom.com in Brookyln, NY to learn more about the product. I learned some great tips that I will incorporate in my home. 

One of my favorite tips and newest kitchen switch up is to use a damp Viva® towel in the bottom of a container and put your washed strawberries on top and close with lid. They will last longer. 

Another tip is to use a damp Viva® towel under your cutting board to prevent it from shifting while slicing and dicing. I learned this from culinary classes years ago and still use this tip till this day. 

Ditch the bulky colander in favor of a paper towel. Place veggies and fruit on a sheet of Viva® Vantage® paper towels under a running faucet to function as a strainer; the stretchy-strength will keep the towel intact when wet. 

Need to chill white wine quickly? Don’t dilute it with ice; wrap a damp paper towel around the bottle and put in the freezer to chill rapidly.

I also enjoyed decorating wine glasses after I hand washed and dried the glass using the cloth-like texture of Viva® Vantage®. There was also a sparkling finish. 

I’d like to thank Amy for being a great host and making amazing food and sangria for her guests and also showing us her tips using Viva® Towels.  

Check out the website and kick off your own “7-Day Switch Up” by visiting http://bit.ly/1T3mdFX for a Viva® Vantage® coupon to purchase and try the product. After experiencing the stretchy-strength and great scrubbing power of Viva® Vantage®, return to the website to dish on your switch and enter for a chance to instantly win a $100 gift card.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Viva® Vantage®.Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

   
    
 

  
   
 

Shopping at Target Just Got Easier: Curbside Pickup

18 Sep

Ever been running around doing errands all day wishing you didn’t have to park, get out of the car, unstrap your little one from the backseat and then go in and face the crowds and long checkout lines?

With Curbside, a new mobile app that allows shoppers to order from Target from their phone and swing by the store to pick up their order without having to get out of the car, those days are gone. Yep, their goods are waiting for them by the curb when they arrive (hence the name Curbside).
The Curbside app is free, there’s no mark up in pricing and shoppers no longer have to battle the parking wars, the mob scene finding items on shelves and the never-ending checkout lines. It’ll make running errands and doing your upcoming holiday shopping about as easy as possible!
Curbside launched first in the Bay Area to the delight of shoppers on the go and it’s now available in New York and New Jersey!

I was asked to test out this service and downloaded the app. The app was very easy to use. I went to the Target in the Beonx because my local Target doesn’t have this service yet. I ordered a few things and the app said it would be ready in an hour. By the time I arrived I still had about a half an hour till the delivery. I started getting emails and texts saying my order changed. Some things I ordered weren’t available. I waited then received a text letting me know my order was ready. I saw the Target employee with blue bags in her hand and knew those were mine. We went over the list together and everything checked out. However, there was one thing I came all the way to the Bronx to get that I really wanted because I was flying out the next day and called Curbside customer service and explained and everything was resolved and I got what I needed. 

Curbside customer service was great. 

App is easy to use. 

Hope they set up in my local Target so I don’t have to travel to Bronx. 

If you want to try out Curbside the stores are listed below. I’m offering my readers a coupon code to save $10 off your $20 purchase. Use: FIVEWORDS at checkout. You can also try this code: SFPTB 

Curbside is available at the following New York and New Jersey Target locations:
 

Bronx-Throggs Neck Target

815 E Hutchinson River Pkwy

Bronx, NY 10465-1818

 

Gateway Target

519 Gateway Dr.

Brooklyn, NY 11239-2801

 

College Point Target

13505 20th Ave.

College Point, NY 11356-2446

 

Edgewater Target

543 River Rd.

Edgewater, NJ 07020-1146

 

North Bergen Commons Target

7101 Tonnelle Ave.

North Bergen, NJ 07047-4507

 

Jersey City Target

100 14th St.

Jersey City, NJ 07310-1202

 

Menlo Park Target

100 Parsonage Rd.

Edison, NJ 08837-2424

 

Fairfield Target

632 Route 46 E

Fairfield, NJ 07004-1581

 

Hackensack Target

630 Main St.

Hackensack, NJ 07601-5913

 

Union North Target

2235 Springfield Ave.

Vauxhall, NJ 07088-110

Disclosure: I was given a gift card to try out Curbside. Opinions are mine 100% as always and the gift card had no influence on my thoughts. 

   
    
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Express Yourself With Cherokee School Uniforms

17 Aug

I’m sure those of you that have children or shop at Target are aware of the brand Cherokee. The back-to-school shopping season has begun and school uniforms by Cherokee earn high marks for durability, versatility and affordability. As shopping budgets continue to rise, almost 60% of American families surveyed by the National Retail Federation plan to spend more in the 2015 school season than last year, and a quarter of those consumers wait until the last minute to make back-to-school purchases. No matter when or where consumers choose to shop, Cherokee school uniforms are readily available at Target stores and on-line at http://www.target.com

Cherokee has its pulse on back-to-school basics with school uniforms that meet classroom dress codes without compromising individuality. Wearing a Cherokee school uniform can still allow you freedom of choice to customize your look. For girls, Cherokee uniform selections include a button front blouse, a safari dress with cinch waist and front pockets, knit scooter skirt with side button details and a drop waist jumper. While boys can choose from durable flat front shorts and pants, a classic oxford shirt as well as a smooth uniform blazer while unisex options abound featuring polos in a variety of colors. Cherokee uniforms range in price from $7.99-$29.99 

Cherokee asked my daughter to express herself with their uniforms and make a style that she likes. Even though my daughter has always worn a uniform she’s always made her own style by wearing funky statement leggings, crazy socks, printed tights, blinged out shoes/boots and cute accessories with pops of color. The basic blue and white uniform wasn’t basic anymore and everybody looked forward to seeing what she was going to wear the next day. We knew this shopping trip was going to be fun. 

Target is one of our favorite stores to shop at and Cherokee uniforms are front and center when we walk in so once the uniforms were found we headed straight for the accessories. This year we were going make her uniform pop with a cute Hello Kitty tutu that we found at Target. The cute socks and ankle boots with blinged hearts are from previous purchases. The Safari dress and blouse are Cherokee from Target and the total for all three items were $44.87 and I saved $8.99. How awesome!! 

She loves her knew outfit and we styled it according to how she likes to dress. She added bracelets for that extra girly look and it matches her tutu. We are showing you a variety of looks of how the safari dress looks with the tutu underneath whether it’s open or closed. The white blouse which is part of her school uniform went great and we popped the collar up. 

As the weather changes we will add in a sweater, scarf, leg warmers and outerwear. Even cute earmuffs would go great. 

Boys also can add a dashing bow tie, suspenders, blazer, beanie, denim jacket or spiked bookbag. 

It’s a no brainer… your choice for back-to-school basics has never been more simple. Convenient, durable, affordable Cherokee school uniforms give you the foundation to express yourself. You’ll find Cherokee school uniforms at Target stores as well as on-line at http://www.target.com

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
 Disclosure: I was provided with a Target gift card to review Cherokee uniforms for my daughter for this post and for back to school. Opinions are ours 100% as always. 

How do you like the way we styled the Cherokee uniform ? What about the prices? Leave comments below. 

#NewTucson 2016 Hyundai Midsize Crossover

7 Aug

Hyundai hosted a special launch in NYC August 5th for its recently redesigned midsize crossover vehicle, the 2016 Tucson. This was the first time journalists had the opportunity to test drive the vehicle before the model hits dealer showrooms across America later this month. 

Crossovers are one of the top selling vehicles and Hyundai has re-invented the popular segment by adding industry first features into the Tucson. 

We met at The Park in Chelsea with breakfast , presentation then we got to test drive The Sport through a scenic route up the Palisades Interstate Parkway, through the Harriman State Park and back to The Park for lunch.

  
   
  
Our Tucson’s were across the street from The Park in the garage. Our first stop was the Rockefeller lookout which absolutely amazing. That is a great spot. Next we were off to Lake Kanawauke. When we arrived we traded our Sport for the Limited Edition. 

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
   I just have to say I really loved the way the Tucson drove. The blind spot detection with rear-cross traffic alert is always good to have as well as the rear parking sensors and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. 

The ventilated front seats kept me cool so that got two thumbs up. The rear seats have adjustable recline which my kids will love. Hands free smart power liftgate with auto open and heigh setting. Just wait three seconds and your trunk will automatically open. There’s also a dual- level cargo floor. Improved road noise isolation which I appreciated very much. Premium 19″ alloy wheels. 

The Limited Edition was my favorite. Leather seats, and huge sun roof was just some of the interior features. 

The prominent hexagonal-shaped grille, stylishly efficient LED low-beam headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights are presented below a sculpted hood.

The standard integrated Bluetooth hands-free phone system with voice recognition lets you take calls and stream audio, without taking your hands off the wheel. There’s also a standard 5-inch color touchscreen audio system and rearview camera. At the top of the tech wish list is the 8-inch color touchscreen navigation system with a rearview camera, and NavTraffic which provides real-time road conditions that’ll help you avoid traffic jams and give a clear picture of alternative routes. Also if you have an Apple Watch it is compatible with it using Hyundai’s blue link system. 

The Tucson SE 2.0L 4-cylinder engine gets up to an EPA-estimated 31 MPG Highway.The Eco, Sport and Limited’s 1.6 Turbo GDI engine steps up the horsepower to 175 and can still deliver up to an EPA-estimated 33 MPG Highway. Both engines were designed to give you the optimal balance of horsepower and MPG.

Tucson SE from $22,700

Tucson ECO from $24,150

Tucson Sport from $26,150

Tucson Limited from $29,900

Comes in beautiful colors like Caribbean Blue, Sedona Sunset, Ruby Wine, Chromium Silver, Coliseum Grey, Mojave Sand, Winter White and Ash Black. I loved all the colors but my top 3 were Caribbean Blue, Sedona Sunset and Chromium Silver. 

I’m ready to take this baby on a road trip or an adventure with the family. Hope to bring you more pictures. 

What color and features do you like? 

Check out http://www.hyundaiusa.com for more info and @Hyundai on Twitter and @HyundaiUSA on Instagram. 

   
    
    
    
 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was invited to attend this media event. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

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.