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Momtrends Holiday Soirée 2017 #MTHoliday #hosted

4 Dec

I was so pleased to join Momtrends once again for their holiday soirée at Splashlight Studios. I walked into a room full of amazing brands waiting to show me all their great gifts for the holidays and beyond. 

First stop was the manicure station from Mani or Pedi. I particularly don’t like getting my nails done first because I always mess them up as I need to use my phone to take pictures so I put it off till later. Mani or Pedi had amazing colors and definitely hooked bloggers up for the holidays. You can book at home or office appointments and they also cater to spa parties, office events or weddings. Check them out on Instagram @maniorpedi 

Name Bubbles have the best labels to keep me and my kids organized. There were jars of hot cocoa mix to decorate. I wrote in calligraphy. These labels make great stocking stuffers. Check out all the different styles on their Instagram @namebubbles


Riders by Lee always have cute jeans and plaid shirts. I love their clothes. Comfy and very affordable. They had a style challenge for bloggers to come up with a outfit for a certain theme. Mine was for shopping and errands. I created a cute outfit that I would definitely wear. I loved everything I put on the mannequin. I want that entire outfit. Check out @ridersbylee on Instagram. 

Jarlsberg cheese set up shop and also had a challenge. We had to create a cheese/ fruit platter. You could either eat it or leave it there for pics. I love Jarslberg cheeses especially in my sandwiches. Original, Lite, Special Reserve and Smoked are so delicious. They also have Cheese Crisp Crackers which are available in 4 different varieties. My family enjoys those as well. Check out @JarlsbergUSA on Twitter. 

My Cents Of Style. I just want to say I immediately fell in love with their clothes and accessories. The blanket scarves they gave out are gorgeous and I enjoy wearing mine. I also have to get a few outfits and I just ordered their gloves. They have a 2-FOR-TUESDAY where you able to get two items for a great price. So I purchased the gloves I was eyeing at the event plus another pair for only $15. At the soirée there was a raffle and I won a blanket and reindeer slippers for my daughter. She was so excited. Looks like every Tuesday I will be taking advantage of their great deals. Go to Instagram now to see what I’m talking about @centsofstyle 

Red Velvet NYC gourmet desserts were in the house. I decorated my red velvet cupcake with frosting and couldn’t wait to eat it. They have pre-measured ingredients and recipes to bake desserts and deliver right to your door. Everything from Chocolate Truffles, Eggnog Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Nutella Cupcakes, Pecan Maple Cupcakes, Red Velvet Cupcakes and so much more. Red Velvet NYC gave us a baking kit to take home and make gingerbread cookies with the kids. Everything is pre-measured and in its own package. Just follow directions. My kids and I love baking. I love this company. Find them on Instagram @redvelvetnyc 

Second Chance Toys Charity Organization were collecting plastic toys for children in need so I gladly handed in a few. If you would like to donate toys to kids in need and keep plastic out of landfills head to their Instagram page @secondchancetoys for more info. 

Hasbro has a new fun family friendly game called Hearing Things. It’s a lip-reading challenge game that comes with speech cancelling headphones and  guess the phrase fast. There’s 600 phrases and a built-in-timer and sounds.  @hasbro on Instagram for all the fun.

Noble Vines Wines made sure they came to impress and get some of us tipsy. Love the 667Pinot Noir, 515Rose, 242SauvignonBlanc, 337Cabernet Sauvignon. These make great hostess gifts. Ok you can purchase for yourself too. I’m saving my bottle. Check out @noblevineswine on Instagram. 

O -Venture has the best key ring I’ve ever had and I can find my keys so fast I should’ve had this a long time ago. It’s literally a big O and we were given one and I haven’t lost my keys yet. I picked out a pretty blue. Sometimes when I don’t carry a bag for school pick up or a quick errand I just grab my big O and go. It’s like wearing a bangle just with keys attached. You can also add a card case to it for credit cards. I love mine. Their on Instagram @shopoventure 

I would also like to thank Boxed Water, Kidz Bop 36, Living Proof, Pearhead and Thimblepress. 

Big shout out to Momtrends and staff for another amazing holiday soirée. As always I appreciate you. Amazing time with friends and brands. 

Disclosure: I was invited to this event hosted by Momtrends. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

All Aboard Carnival Cruise Line For A #CarnivalCuisine Experience (New Ship Spring 2018)

18 Sep

I had the pleasure of being invited on Carnival Sunshine Cruise for a #carnivalcuisine experience. When you see me post things about food you know I’m either throwing it down in the kitchen, eating at the best restaurants or creating a new recipe. I also work in a restaurant so I’m definitely a foodie lover. 

I went on a vacation with my son on the Carnival Vista back in November 2016 for an 11-day cruise and we had a blast. I love cruising and enjoying great food and Carnival sure knows how to please your palette. They cater to everyone’s needs and if you have a food allergy or dietary restrictions they accommodate you. 

On board Carnival Sunshine we were in for a treat. We ate at the Fahrenheit Steakhouse. The waitstaff passed around appetizers which melted in my mouth. Loved the mini lobster sandwiches. To start I chose the Gulf Coast Shrimp with Yukon Gold Blini and Lemon Butter Avocado Cream. I also chose the Classic Caesar Salad. For my main course the Double Cut Lamb Chop and Loin with Crispy Quinoa, Carrot Cumin and Port Wine was amazing. I also had Yukon Gold Mash with Wasabi. For dessert the Chocolate Melting Cake was perfect. There were also cocktails, wine or soda. 

Did you know Carnival is America’s Cruise Line sailing 5 million guest a year? Carnival also sails more children and military personnel than any other cruise line. Carnival also recently launched their first sailings to Cuba and just announced 5 additional voyages to the island in 2018. In Spring 2018 Carnival will introduce their second Vista Class Ship Carnival Horizon. 

Carnival Horizon will leave from New York May to September 2018 for four -to eight day cruises. I hope to be on one of those with my family. Carnival Horizon will be the first in the fleet to feature Dr. Seuss WaterWorks with more new features still being announced. 

On Carnival Vista my son and I enjoyed the 24 hour pizzeria and Guy’s Burger Joint. I also enjoyed tacos and lobster rolls. On Carnival Horizon new food venues like Guy’s Pig N Anchor featuring a variety of BBQ favorites smoked right on board over hickory and cherry wood using Guy’s signature recipes, rubs and spices. Another new food venue will be Seafood Shack a New England style seaside spot which will feature crab cake sliders, lobster rolls, fish & chips, lobster rolls and much more. 

Disclosure: I was invited to attend this event as media. This is not a sponsored post. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

#NationalBreakfastMonth with @Krusteaz (New Recipe & Giveaway) #spon 

18 Sep

September is National Breakfast Month. Breakfast is a staple in homes across the country and while it can range from toast to eggs to yogurt, pancakes are an all-time family favorite. Krusteaz, makers of premium pancake and waffle mixes, is launching a new Buttermilk Protein Pancake mix this fall.  

With 13g of added protein, it’s the perfect way to keep your family full and energized all day long. In keeping with Krusteaz’s commitment to simplified and wholesome ingredients, the new protein pancake is free of partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

Don’t you want some pancakes? I gladly accepted Krusteaz’s offer to create a recipe using their new buttermilk protein pancake mix. I kept it simple and my kids were a big help. We used 3 ingredients. That’s it! 

Strawberry And Cream Cheese Crepes/RollUps 

Ingredients:

1 Box of Krusteaz Buttermilk Protein Pancake Mix (follow instruction on box) 

I package strawberries 

1 container of Philadelphia whipped cream cheese

Instructions:

Make pancakes according to box. The blender bottle was a great help with mixing, pouring and cleanup. It’s all I use now. 

Cut up strawberries in circles or whatever shape you want.

After pancakes are done, let them cool the spread whipped cream cheese on pancake, add strawberries then roll up. That’s all folks!! You can also get fancy and add syrup or confectioners sugar or even BACON!!!! 

What are you waiting for? Get to your local grocery store and buy a few boxes and try my recipe. You can also enter my giveaway that Krusteaz was so kind to offer to one of my readers. 

**GIVEAWAY**

· Krusteaz Protein Pancake Mixes
· A whisk

· A blender bottle and tote bag (for you to take to the gym or the kids soccer games!)

How To Enter: 

*Make sure you’re subscribed to my blog. 

*Following my Instagram @nilimo

*Following my Twitter @nilimonicky

*Leave your email and social media handles. 

*What would you create with Krusteaz Pancakes?

Giveaway starts today and winner will be announced on 9/25 on social media. 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Items were also given for my recipe and review. 


 
 

SUNDAY SKILLET FRITTATA WITH NELLIE’S EGGS & CABOT CHEESE #NelliesBrunch #AD

5 Sep

It’s nearly indisputable that Sunday brunch is the best meal of the week, and what is brunch without eggs? 

Nellie’s Free Range Eggs come from the first Certified Humane farm in the country where the hens have as much, or as little, access to outside as they want.

Nellie’s Free Range Eggs and Cabot Creamery Co-operative Cheese asked me to come up with a brunch recipe using these two stellar brands. 

We love eggs no matter what time of day. There’s so many ways eggs can be used. I must say I can’t have eggs without cheese unless I’m baking or making pancakes or waffles. We are cheese fanatics and you know cheese go great with lots of things. 

The farm families that own Cabot Creamery Co-operative love what they do. And they’ve been doing it for a long time—every single day since 1919. 

I love my eggs very cheesy, scrambled eggs, omelets, etc. For my brunch I decided to create a one pot frittata type of egg recipe. 

SUNDAY SKILLET FRITTATA WITH NELLIE’S EGGS & CABOT CHEESE

INGREDIENTS:

 Nellie’s Free Range Eggs 6 or 7 eggs depending on size of pan and amount of people you’re feeding. ( I fed 6 people) 

**Cabot Cheese Legacy Collection Alpine Cheddar Cheese (you decide how much to put in) just cut up in pieces

**Cabot Cheese Gatlic and Herb Cheddar Cheese

**Cabot Cheese Seriously Sharp Premium Naturaly Aged Cheddar Cheese 

**You can use whatever flavor cheese you want. 

1 Red Bell Pepper chopped up 

1 Orange Bell Pepper chopped up 

2 Whole Tomatoes chopped up 

2 whole onions

I used garlic powder, onion powder and salt & pepper. 

PREP:

In my nonstick skillet I cracked 6 to 7 eggs. My daughter whisked them up. My veggies and cheese were already choppep. I added them inside the egg mixture with my seasonings and stirred it up. 

My oven was already preheated to 350 degrees. (Check your oven for your right temperature). You don’t want the frittata to burn before it can cook all the way through. 

Yes, skillets can go in the oven. I tried to avoid opening the oven too much because that slows down the cooking process. It took roughly 45 minutes to an hour. Cooked to perfection. It was well worth the wait. Everyone enjoyed it and I can say that will be a part of our breakfast/ brunch or dinner quite often. It can also be put on bread and made into a sandwich. My daughter did that. 

To learn more about Nellie’s Free Range Eggs head to http://www.nelliesfreerange.com

For more info on Cabot Co-operative Cheese check out http://www.cabotcheese.coop

Check your local supermarkets for product. 

**GIVEAWAY**

Nellie’s Eggs and Cabot Cheese sent me 

2 coupons for free cartons of eggs

· $50 gift card courtesy of Nellie’s Free Range Eggs to purchase other necessary ingredients

· Cabot Creamery Co-operative cheese (4 varieties)

· Set of fun egg molds

They also want to send one of my readers  coupons, cheese and egg molds. (Sorry gift card not included but hey look at all the great stuff you can win). 

*Leave a comment below about eggs and cheese and what flavor cheese you like or how you like your eggs and you will be entered to win. 

*You also must be following my blog. 

*Follow my Instagram @nilimo

*Also leave your email and social media handle for Instagram and Twitter. 

Giveaway ends September 10, 2017. Winner announced September 12th. 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 





Back To School Bash With Momtrends #MomtrendsSchool

14 Aug

Yes it’s that time of year again. I’m talking about Back To School. Am I the only parent who loves back to school shopping or actually wanting her kids to have an extra month off? Well if I am so be it. I like all the new school supplies, accessories, clothes, backpacks and of course knowing my kids keep moving up a grade so they can graduate. I officially have a 5th and 9th grader this year. One tween and a teen. I’m sad they are going to different schools. My son starts a new school and my daughter is the last of the bunch in her school. Even though they’re not far apart they wil still miss each other. 

I attended Momtrends Back To School Bash and of course I had a great time. So much to see and share I had so many goodies I had to take a cab home. 

Ozery Bakery. If you haven’t heard of them I advice you to get on social media ASAP and see what I’m talking about. Since 1996, the Ozery family has been inventing alternatives to traditional bread products that are made from hearty whole grains, fruits, and seeds. Everything they make is intended to help you eat well and feel good.

The brioche buns are amazing. I had some with cream cheese and fresh strawberries and I made the exact same thing the next morning for my kids breakfast and they loved it. I think I ate about 7 at the event. Yes they are that good. Check out @ozerybread on Instagram. You can thank me later. 

Kite Hill is the brand where the cream cheese came into play. Plant based cream cheese made from Artisan Almond Milk. This cream cheese was banging. Yes my kids loved this cream cheese as well. I found more at Whole Foods and used the coupons that were given to restock. Tastes very good. 

The bread and cream cheese will be used quite often for breakfast, lunch and snacks. 

Head to @kitehillfoods on Instagram for more info and more products.

Staples is always my go to for back to school supplies. My kids and  I recently went on a back to school shopping spree and were happy with the sales and the amount of stock. I’m loving the folders and back packs this year. Also purchased my daughter over the ear headphones for $6.99. I’love be making another trip because my son hasn’t received his school supply list yet but I purchased some things for him to start. I couldn’t resist the sales.  @staples on Instagram. 

Name Bubbles has the best name labels for school supplies, iron on, clothing, bags, etc. There’s so many designs to choose from and the kids will love them. Even if clothing, lunchbags, bookbags or books are lost have no fear as long as your Name Bubbles labels are on them there’s a good chance they will be returned. I label my daughter’s clothing, and school supplies. @namebubbles on Instagram.

Bath and Body Works even hooked us up with hand soap, body wash and scrub with their amazing smells. I love this store and all the different scents for your body and home. I’m also loving the Purely Clean hand soaps.  Head to @bathandbodyworks on Instagram. 
French design Orchestra provided the clothes to the children who modeled for us in the mini fashion show. Orchestra had high quality affordable clothing for babies and kids. Take a look @orchestra_usa on Instagram. 

There was a contest to see who could create a lunchbag and fill it up with back to school favorites. I had fun decorating mine with iron on patches, snacks and a few school supplies. 12 Little provided the lunchbags. They can be found on Instagram @twelvelittle with a variety of kids bags, diaper bags and everyday bags for the modern family. 

Disclosure: I was invited to attended this event. Opinions are mine 100% as always. Swag was given. Thank you to Momtrends for another amazing event. 

Emoji Movie Screening & Roundtable with Maya Rudolph #emojimovie

28 Jul

Oops I did it again. I was invited to a Part 2 roundtable with Maya Rudolph, director Tony Leondis, producer Michelle Raimo and World Emoji Day creator Jeremy Burge. 

This is my second time interviewing  Tony & Maya and they remembered all of us bloggers. Maya also suggested we attend other press junkets/roundtables in places like Hawaii. I’ll be waiting for that email. 

Maya explained how she had to talk with a smile on her face the whole time she was in the studio. She plays Smiler in the movie and you will see why once you see it. I told Maya my daughter said her teeth were so white in the movie. I told my daughter that’s what brushing three times a day, flossing and a dental pik would do. 

In the movie Smiler is in charge of all the emoji’s but wasn’t too fond of the emoji Meh who was different from all the other emoji’s. He couldn’t be just Meh and he didn’t want to so that got him in trouble with Smiler who wanted him deleted. There’s so much more to see and so many apps to explore. 

My kids and I enjoyed the movie very much. We were laughing and dancing in our seats when Meh, Jailbreak and Hi 5 visited the Just Dance app. Candy Crush was another favorite and we just loved the emoji town period. Emoji Hi 5 and JailBreak was another favorite of ours. This movie is for all ages and opens in theaters July 28th. Take the family and have some emoji fun. My daughter is tempting me with emojis like crazy now that she has a phone but I don’t mind because I use them as well. Emoji’s aren’t going anywhere. Right now there are over 2,000 emojis and more are being created Jeremy Burge told us. We hope there is a Emoji 2 in the works. Until then enjoy the film. We did!! 

Check out @emojimovie on Instagram and Twitter. 

Disclosure: I was invited to attend this roundtable and screening. Opinions are 100% mine and my family as always. Thank you Sony Pictures Entertainment. 

Neuhaus Chocolate with Almonds

10 Jul

Neuhaus presents the perfect collection for National Chocolate with Almonds Day

 

Neuhaus Chocolates has the perfect collection to celebrate National Chocolate with Almonds Day on July 8th– the Chocolate Discovery Collection. This collection features several pralinés with almonds for all kinds of taste buds, including milk, dark and white chocolates.

National Chocolae with Almonds Day is over but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy Neuhaus Chocolates. 

In 1875 Jean Neuhaus settled in Brussels and opens a pharmacy in the prestigious Galerie de la Reine. He made a name for himself by innovatively covering his medicines in a layer of chocolate to make them more palatable. 142 years later, Neuhaus is the market leader in the luxury chocolate sector in Belgium. The company currently has over 1,000 sales outlets in 50 countries, and six stores in New York alone. Neuhaus recently opened its latest shop in Westfield’s, WTC. It is one of the few chocolate companies still manufacturing in Belgium. 

 

 In 1912, Neuhaus Jr. decided to expand his grandfather’s idea replacing traditional medicines with fresh cream, thus creating the first filled chocolate. He called it ‘Praline’, which became an immediate success, and an early form of the delicious chocs we know and love today. 

 

Hailing from Brussels, the luxury chocolatiers have a couple of options which lend themselves to this National Food Day – Passion Amandes White, a praliné with caramelized almonds and a pinch of salt or the Satan Dark, an almond and hazelnut praliné with caramelized hazelnut pieces.

The Chocolate Discovery Collection promises something for everyone. Whether for chocolate lovers or those looking to give that perfect gift – we all love an excuse to eat more chocolate, right? 

Check out http://www.neuhauschocolate.com

Instagram:@neuhauschocolates

Disclosure: Thia is not a sponsored post. Product was given for review purposes. 

 

 

#SpiderManHomecoming Screening, Press Junket, Goodwill DIY Spider-Man Challenge, Sailing Around NY, Sony Experience

6 Jul

I just want to start by saying thank you to Sony for the best Spider-Man Homecoming Press Junket ever!!! 

There’s nothing like getting that email that says we’d like to invite you to….

It started with a screening of Spider-Man Homecoming. I took my 14 year old son with me and we enjoyed the movie so much. I was like “did you see that and ohhh that was nice” and I was jumping in my seat. It’s great for teens. I also took my 10 year old daughter to another screening and she enjoys it as well. Concession snacks were given to us and it was a nice comfortable theater. 

Haven’t seen Michael Keaton in a while so it was good seeing him play the villain Vulture. When you have a family to support and protect and no one cares or wants to listen you will do anything to provide for them and that’s what made him evil. Can I just say I liked his costume which would make a good ride at an amusement park. 

Tom Holland played 15 year old Peter Parker (Spider-Man). I enjoyed the storyline how Peter Parker was determined to show Tony Stark that he can fight crime and was ready to be an Avenger. He took on lots of bad guys but that didn’t stop him. 

Jacob Batalon played Spider-Man’s best friend, (sidekick) Ned. He was hilarious. He’s one of those friends you want in school. He’s there for you sometimes for good and sometimes you’re like Nooooo why did you say that? He’s a funny guy in person and real down to earth and sweet.

Zendaya played Michelle. I loved her character who played a loner but smart girl. She always had these one liner remarks. Love this line: 

Zendaya: I can’t believe you guys are at this lame party

Ned: You’re here too

Zendaya: Am I? 

When you see the clip you’ll be laughing too. I noticed Michelle might have a crush on Peter Parker. Hmmmm. Anyway, Zendaya is beautiful and sweet too. 

I enjoyed the press Junket at the Whitby Hotel with the cast and they enjoyed taking selfies with me (especially Robert Downey Jr.) Take a look at my pics below. After the press Junket we boarded a private bus to the Goodwill to compete in a DIY challenge. We were given a $25 gift card and had 15 minutes to shop for clothing to make a Spider-Man costume. I made my daughter a SpiderMan costume. She enjoyed dressing up like Spider-Man the girl version and posing for pics. We love it!! Pics below. Once we rung up our items without going over $25 we took our clothes and got back on the bus and headed to Chelsea Piers to sail around Manhattan on the Adirondack and explore the sights that Spider-Man took on in the movie like the Staten Island Ferry. I love boats and I even got behind the wheel. The captain asked if I’ve drove boats before and I told him this was my second boat I drove and I think it’s gonna be a new hobby of mine. It was a beautiful day. Food and drinks were served and just a great time. 

​​Back at the hotel a sketch artist drew our pictures with the special powered they we told him we wanted to have. Of course I wanted to teleport. I didn’t get the full pic of what he created. It was supposed to be sent to my email but I never received so I only got a picture of the unfinished version. The pad he was using was from Dell. I would be on that all day. I love it. All the Dell computers were amazing. I also got video of myself falling off the side of a building. Spider-Man was supposed to rescue me but he was no where to be seen so I was screaming my lungs out. I obviously made it or I wouldn’t have written this post. Lol.

The next event we went to was at Sony Square for the Spider-Man Homecoming VR Experience. We took pics on the side of a building and the kids got to meet and take pics with Peter Parker ( Tom Holland) and Spider-Man this time. There’s also displays of the outfits worn in the movie and the weapons. The VR is fun for teens during adults  to experience. My daughter was able to try it though. 

What will you be doing on July 7th? Hopefully you’ll already have your tickets and go check out this amazing movie. I saw it twice and will probably see it again. Check out @spidermanmovie on Instagram

Disclosure: Hosted by Sony. Thanks again to Sony for all these amazing opportunities for Five Little Words. It’s always a pleasure to work with you. Opinions are mine and my kids 100% as always. Swag was given. 

Coney Island Blogger Day/Ride All Day Wristbands #LunaAllDay

5 Jul

Coney Island Family Blogger Day took place in the month of June and what made this day particularly special was celebrating 90 years of the Cyclone and ride all day wristbands. No more checking the time to see if I can make it to one more ride. Now we get on as many times as we want for the whole day. I love it! We got on Steeple Chase like 5 times in a row. The Tickler roller coaster is another favorite and the Comely Island Raceway.  I didn’t have to tell the kids to run and get scanned because this is the last ride. Even though it rained a few times we stayed and had fun. The rides were still in action. 

Luna Park is an open gated amusement park. This means that there is no fee to enter. With Luna Card deals and Wristband deals there are options for any guest whether they want to go on 1 ride or tackle all the rides. 

Wristband Deals:

ALL-DAY* WRISTBAND WEEKDAYS UNDER 48″ $29
ALL-DAY* WRISTBAND WEEKDAYS 48″ & UP $49

ALL-DAY* WRISTBAND WEEKENDS & HOLIDAYS UNDER 48″ $42

ALL-DAY* WRISTBAND WEEKENDS & HOLIDAYS 48″ & UP $69

Fireworks take place every Friday night at 9:30 and since we’ve never been there for that this year I’m gonna make sure we do. I also want to check out the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball games at the MCU Park. On the 4th of July I hung out on Coney Island’s Boardwalk for the UFL World Cup event at the Ford Amphitheater. Lots of celebrities were there for this event. It was amazing. 

There’s never a long line for rides at Coney Island, prices are great and there’s so many restaurants to choose from then you can enjoy the beach. I’m so glad they now carry a souvenir cup that can be purchased and used to get free refills now drinks all day. The more cups you purchase the cheaper it is. 

Coney Island is super easy to get to by train, car or bus. We take to Q train to Stillwell Avenue and walk across the street. 

Hours vary depending on days and the weather. Check http://www.lunaparknyc.com for more info. @coneyislandfun on Instagram. 

Disclosure: This event was hosted. My family and I were invited to attend and cover. Opinions are ours 100% as always. Swag and tickets were given. 

Farm Fresh FAM Tour with Dutchess County, EscapeMaker, Metro North #distinctlydutchess #hosted

3 Jul

I’ve always dreamed of moving into a big house having a farm and lots of land. I love the quiet life. New York is fine but it’s overcrowded. Who knew my dream was just a train ride away? If you hop aboard the Metro North you would think you have traveled to another world. Well that’s how I felt. It’s perfect. 

I was invited to the Farm Fresh FAM Tour with Escape Maker, Dutchess County and Metro North. 

I started my day early and met other journalists at Grand Central Terminal and we boarded the Metro North to Wassaic. From there we took a shuttle to our first stop on the tour to Harney & Sons Teas in Millerton, NY. If you appreciate a good cup of tea then I suggest you check out this shop. The company, which sources, blends, and packages their product from start to finish has grown from their original six teas, to more than three hundred. We sampled some of the teas and my favorite was the Hot Cinnamon Spice. Harney & Sons Teas gave us a nice variety of teas to take home. I absolutely fell in love with this town. So many cute shops and all the locals know each other and in no way is it overcrowded like Manhattan. Check out @harneyteamillerton on Instagram and http://www.harney.com for more info. 

Stop #2 was Irving Farm Coffee Roasters also located in NY. If you know me you know I love coffee. Iced, hot, cold brew and an occasional coffee ice cream and can’t forget coffee cake. Wait is there coffee in coffee cake? Don’t know, but it’s still good. Coffee samples were great. Coffees from Guatemala, Brazil and Columbia to name a few. I also purchased a coffee mug and bakery treats. Head to @irvingfarm on Instagram. 

Stop #3 the McEnroe Organic Farm. They produce premium organic meats, vegetables, and soils & compost. We took a tour on the shuttle through the farm and oh my did we smell the compost. I spotted chickens and sheeps. I also went inside my first greenhouse. There were tomatoes everywhere. We enjoyed the best organic, fresh, healthy lunch from the farm. Roast beef and chicken salad wraps, green salad cucumber water or iced tea and cookies were amazing. We were given time to shop in their market and McEnroe was nice to give us more cookies to take home. If you have kids or even if you don’t this can be a fun tour to take and learn all about McEnroe Organic Farm. Please check out their page on Instagram @mcenroeorganicfarm http://www.mcenroeorganicfarm.com

McEnroe Organic Farm has been NOFA-NY Certified Organic for over 25 years; it is one of New York’s oldest and most diverse certified organic farms and stands at over 1,100 acres of fields, pastures, and greenhouses.

Their Market has grown from a small roadside stand to year-round market, offering local, seasonal, and organic groceries. The talented kitchen staff uses the produce and meats from the farm to create healthy. delicious, and sustainable meals.

The farm’s methods include crop rotation, biological pest control, composting, careful cultivation, and cover cropping. They grow certified organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, and feed for their livestock. With green houses and cold frames, they extend the season for organic tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, field greens and herbs, enabling them to grow as early as April and as late as December.
Established in 1683 as one of the original counties of New York. Bestowed in the Hudson River Valley midway between New York City and the the capital of Albany it is easily accessible by car, train, bus, air and boat. With its abundance of historic landmarks, restaurants, festivals and natural scenic beauty, Dutchess County is 800 square mikes of fascinating sits, lively events and breathtaking vistas. 

Dutchess County is a year-round vacation getaway so there are plenty of events and activities for all tastes and styles. Listings are subject to change so it’s a good idea to call ahead. Check out the calendar at DutchessTourism.com for current listings. 

EscapeMaker.com, NYC’s guide to local getaways since 2000, announced earlier this year that it was selected by Dutchess Tourism, Inc. to administer the operations of their successful Dutchess County Farm Fresh Tours program through 2017 with Metro- North Railroad.

For 10 years, Dutchess Tourism, Inc. has operated the Farm Fresh Tours program, which offers guided day trips to local farms and producers in and around Dutchess County by providing bus shuttle service to train passengers arriving at Metro-North Railroad stations in Poughkeepsie and Beacon, among others. 

Many Dutchess County farms are family-owned and welcome visitors to “pick-your-own” produce, make purchases from their farm stands, or join them during family-oriented festivals. Apple picking, wine making, visiting breweries and learning about cheese making are all examples of agritourism, which supports local farmers and producers.

Stop #4 Taconic Distillery. If you’re a bourbon whiskey fan this stop is for you. Yes you get samples of spirits here. I’ve been in Distilleries before but if you see all the land that the Taconic is on you won’t want to leave. It’s breathtaking. I learned quite a bit about how the bourbon whiskey is made and how long is has to rest to become Straight Bourbon Whiskey. (2 years in case you wanted to know). I wrote my name on a barrel and will check it in 2 years. There’s also Founder’s Rye Whiskey, Dutchess Private Reserve, Rolling Hills Rum, LIMITED EDITION Double Barrel Bourbon Whiskey with Maple Syrup and Cask Strength Straight Rye Whiskey. We also tasted pure maple syrup. I purchased a bottle of the Barrel Bourbon Aged Maple Syrup which is enhanced by the hint of their Dutchess Private Reserve Bourbon. My pancakes and waffles won’t know what hit them!!! There was also a raffle and I won a cool tshirt. Instagram: @taconic_distillery and http://www.taconicdistillery.com for more info. 

Our final stop was at Crown Maple. This is where magic happens. Pure, organic maple syrup is made at Madava Farms. Lots of syrup tasting going on here. I also love the shop where I made sure to take home Madagascar Vanilla syrup for the kids. You can find them on Instagram @crownmaple https://www.crownmaple.com/visit-madava-farms

I really enjoyed myself on this Farm Fresh FAM Tour. It was great meeting new people and exploring for the day. Everyone on the tour was great!! 

Farm Fresh Tours will officially kick off for the season on Saturday, September 2nd and will run through the end of October 2017. Packages will go on sale via Metro-North Railroad in July 2017 and can be purchased from full-service ticket windows and ticket vending machines. Attendees will be required to make reservations beforehand at EscapeMaker.com/FarmFreshTours 
EscapeMaker .com will continue to offer many of the existing farm and destination itineraries from past seasons, which include Metro-North transportation. All itineraries transfer from the Beacon, Wassaic and Poughkeepsie stations and highlight artisanal eats, craft beverage tasting, apple picking, eco-friendly and organic farming, festivals and more. Following the 2017 season, EscapeMaker.com will be exploring ways to expand in other seasons, including working with GrowNYC’s Greenmarket and farmers to educate their shoppers about trip options.

Metro-North Railroad, is a suburban commuter rail service run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a public authority of the state of New York. The service also offers packages, special fares and deals to area local attractions and weekend getaway destinations.

Disclosure: This tour was hosted by EscapeMaker, Metro North and Dutchess County. Swag , tickets, transportation and lunch was given. Opinions are mine 100% as always.