When Disney notified me that Planes is coming out, I couldn’t wait to tell my kids! For years, they’ve been fascinated with Disney’s Cars/Cars 2 and all their loveable characters. I know that they will be just as excited to meet all the new fun-loving Planes!
To help anticipate the movie, Disney has shared some fun coloring pages that I want to pass along to my readers. Please feel free to share with all your friends! To download the coloring pages, click on the image.
ABOUT THE MOVIE
From above the world of “Cars” comes “Disney’s Planes,” an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar. “Disney’s Planes” takes off in theaters in 3D on Aug. 9, 2013, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.
Hey Queens and Long Island readers! Gracie Barra Long Island will be hosting a pre-summer Boot Camp for women only starting Monday, June 3. The camp will run for 4 weeks, 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10:30am to 11:30am). Each 60 minute class will entail a workout, featuring self-defense techniques, personal goals assessment, and health tips to help inspire you to get fit, to stay fit. The cost of the camp is $140. Gracie Barra Long Island is located at 24 Jericho Turnpike (New Hyde Park), convenient to both Queens and Long Island.
When I asked Professor Joe Scarola why he wanted to host a women-only fitness camp, he responds, “The inspiration for this really came from knowing that jiu-jitsu is for everyone. We wanted to dip into the fitness aspect of it to introduce the program to more women. Every women might not understand armbars at first, but they will understand getting in shape and feeling great!”
For questions regarding to this camp, please contact Gracie Barra Long Island at email@example.com or 516-616-4662.
I had so much fun today at The Mama’s Expo. With three floors of action and a multitude of vendors to visit, it was exhausting! Good thing Honest Tea was there! They were the perfect booth to visit for a quick break and sample of their “refreshingly honest” drinks!
Though I am familiar with the brand and have had a few different flavors before from their Honest Tea, Honest Ade and Honest Kids line (Half and Half, Cranberry Lemonade, Lemon Tea are my faves.), what I didn’t know was that Honest Tea actually has a 59 oz version of their product. I’ve only previously seen their 16 oz bottles (Honest Tea, Honest Ade) and Honest Kids juices in the stores near me. The Honest Family Size (59 oz) is much more convenient and economical if you are a fan of their drinks and need more at home than the single serving bottles/pouches! The Family Size line is available in nine great flavors – Honey Green Tea, Peach White Tea, Half & Half, Just Green Tea, Lori’s Lemon Tea, Mango White Tea, Honest Kids Berry Berry Good Lemonade, Goodness Grapeness. and Super Fruit Punch.
A couple other products that I didn’t know about but am looking forward to try are:
- Honest Splash: An evolution of Honest Kids pouches, Honest Splash is a great fit for older kids, or kids on the go, who need the convenience of a larger, re-closable container while still meeting the needs of parents who want to provide lower-sugar beverages. This line is named “Splash” because the drinks are flavored with a splash of real juice. Honest Splash is available individually or as 6-bottle multipacks in 3 varieties – Berry Good Lemonade, Goodness Grapeness, and Super Fruit Punch.
- Honest Fizz: A naturally sweetened soda with zero calories and zero sugars, it is available in 4 flavors – Lemon Limey, Orange Pop, Root Beer, and Spiced Cherry.
Here’s what else I learned about the company that makes them honest:
Independent laboratory analysis has consistently proven that Honest Tea has antioxidant levels that are as high, or higher than brewed tea leaves. Honest Tea uses real tea leaves when they make their tea.
Honest Tea beverages are either unsweetened or use much smaller amounts of sugar, honey, or agave syrup than most other bottled products.
- In 2003, Honest Tea became the first to make a Fair Trade Certified™ bottled tea.
- All Honest Tea products are certified as meeting the USDA’s organic standards. This means that their beverages and tea bags are produced without antibiotics, pesticides, irradiation or bioengineering.
More information regarding Honest Tea’s mission and philosophy, as well as where you can purchase their drinks, can be found on their website: http://www.honesttea.com/.
Disclosure: I received samples for review purposes; no other compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.
At the last Mama’s Expo I attended, I met many wonderful and inspiring vendors. Once such vendor is Joovy, a family-run business that offers amazing solutions by way of high quality products at affordable prices to families on the go.
At first glance, all I saw were strollers and playpens – products that weren’t relevant to me as my kids have outgrown the need for them. However, once I stopped and took the time to speak with one of their representatives, I learned that the company offers so much more. The representative took a few minutes of her time to speak with me about my family and offered suggestions on what I may be interested in based on my needs. After finding out my children’s ages, she suggested that I try the Bicycoo Balance Bike.
Training bikes without pedals weren’t familiar to me, but after the Joovy representative explained the benefits, I thought it was a great idea and wanted to try it out on my youngest son R (who barely has any riding experience, even on his traditional tricycle).
As my older children were learning to ride bikes, a friend of mine suggested they practice riding their scooter first to get a feel for balancing. He felt it was more effective than using training wheels (and I thought his point was very valid!) The Bicycoo Balance Bike has the same concept but seems as if it would be even more effective because you are completely simulating the bike riding experience. The Bicycoo Balance Bike teaches you to balance on a two-wheeler so that when you’re ready for the big kid’s bike, you can just take off!
Assembly was quick and simple – after we put air into the tires, R was ready to go. At first glance, the bike looked small but once R got on it, it was a great fit and he was very comfortable on it. Though he was a little hesitant at first, he was soon adjusting and felt confident to glide. I wish I could say that R picked it up after one day but that wasn’t the case. However, because the bike is cool looking, sturdy, and easy to handle, R will be back on the bike in no time to practice again.
The Joovy Bicycoo Balance Bike’s frame is made of aluminum, making it strong and lightweight – easy for young kids to handle. The 12-inch tires are pneumatic (air) and refillable – much better than the plastic wheels on many of the bikes on the market. They help give young ones a much smoother ride which is a big confidence builder! The seat is adjustable and there is a hand brake for the rear tire. Currently, the bike retails for approximately $149.99 and is available through various retailers, including Joovy. To learn more about Joovy and their line of products, please visit their website.
Joovy’s goal is to design and manufacture family gear products that are extremely useful, practical, good-looking, and fun. Their products have premium features and use vibrant, high quality fabrics and materials. Joovy strives for high quality at a reasonable price for their customers and considers their employees, customers, and factory partners members of their family. Customers come first!
Disclosure: I received a Joovy Bicycoo Balance Bike as a sample for review purposes; no other compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.
New York’s largest borough is proud to bring back the mother of all expos. On Sunday May 5, the New York Hall of Science will proudly bring The 2013 Mama’s Expo, NYC’s premiere event to local parents. Open to all parents, expectant moms, and children ages 0-6, attendees will have unprecedented, insider access to some of the best local services, entertainment, activities, specialists and products currently available for families in New York City. From finding new local classes and schools, to the best innovative products and retail stores, parents will receive an exclusive look at all of the new resources available to make sure they are in-the-know!
Families will enjoy:
- Loads of free giveaways from the nation’s best kids brands
- Designated play areas and free sample classes throughout the day to keep kids busy
- Shopping and discounts from the hottest new retail companies
- The opportunity to speak one-on-one to representatives from top vendors and local businesses such as Happy Baby, Music Together, The Queens Botanical Garden, NYC Parks, Click and Improve, Dolphin Organics and more
- Samplings of kid friendly food and treats
- On-site entertainment and performances
- All day access to the New York Hall of Science and the Science Playground
- And much more…
- Media Sponsors: WNYC, Queens Parent Magazine and Yelp
- Corporate Sponsors: Music Together, Click and Improve, New York Hall of Science
- Sponsors: Happy Family Brands, Wildlife Conservation Society, Babyganics, Honest Tea/Honest Kids, DDO Advisory Services, Tempest Toys, Huggies, and Little Pim
Visit www.themamasexpo.com for more details and featured activities.
When: Sunday May 5, 2013 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: New York Hall of Science – 47-01 111th Street, Corona, NY 11368
Ticket Price: To save on tickets, purchase your tickets in advance before May 4, 2013 online at www.themamasexpo.com to save a minimum of 15% off the Mamas Expo Access Ticket. Ticket includes all-day admission to New York Hall of Science, access to the Mamas Expo and events, access to New York’s largest Science Playground, plus one round of Rocket Park Mini Golf.
Mamas Expo Advance Access Ticket:
$17 Adult (18+)
$13 Child (2-17), Student (w/ID), Senior (62+)/ Under 2 Free
(15% off Adult regular price / 19% off Child Regular Price)
Tickets will be available for purchase at the door for full price. Each ticket includes general admission for one, access to the Mama’s Expo, 1 ticket to the Science Playground, and 1 any-time voucher for Mini-Golf (valid for 1 round of Rocket Park Mini Golf, which expires June 5, 2013).
A limited number of Mamas Expo VIP Tickets are available for online advance purchase only. VIP tickets are $30 per person (pay one price for adults, children, students, seniors) and include all components of the Advance Access Ticket PLUS an exclusive Gift Bag including sample products and savings. VIP tickets must be purchased in advance to guarantee your gift bag. To purchase VIP tickets, please visit www.themamasexpo.com.
About The Mamas Network
The Mamas Network is a series of online resources and social communities built by parents for parents including websites, events, and social media hubs. By using local experts and real parent reviews we have built a community where parents can connect. The Mamas Network includes Queens Mamas, Brooklyn Mamas, Long Island Mamas, and the upcoming 2013 Mamas Expo. Visit www.themamasnetwork.com for more information.
About the New York Hall of Science
The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) presents 450 exhibits, demonstrations and design spaces that explain science, technology, engineering, and math. A visit to NYSCI is a hands-on, energetic educational experience where you can indulge your curiosity and nurture your creativity. NYSCI offers professional development for teachers, produces curricula and resources for classrooms, and studies how technology, gaming and play affect how we learn. NYSCI was founded at the 1964-65 World’s Fair and has evolved into New York’s center for interactive science serving a half million students, teachers, and families each year.
From April through August, NYSCI is open 9:30 am–5 pm Monday-Friday and 10 am–6 pm on weekends. For directions and other information, visit www.nysci.org or call 718-699-0005.
For more information about The New Mama Expo, or for press attendance, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure: I have received free VIP access to The Mamas Expo as a member of the press in exchange for this post.
If you know me, really know me, you’d laugh at the fact that I am posting something that has “DIY” in it. I found it particularly hilarious that I was asked to post my own ideas because simply said, I am not a Do-It-Yourself type of person. I see nothing wrong with paying other people for their services (or bribing friends!)
Despite the fact that I do not do-it-myself, I truly do envy others who have the patience and skills to be a do-it-yourselfer.
In anticipation for the upcoming movie, The Big Wedding, I wanted to share a couple of fun tips (that some shared with me!):
Bridal Party Gifts:Have you been a bit of a bridezilla? Show your bridal party your appreciation with a special gift that isn’t something generic. Buy lockets and put pictures of you together inside or write a note on a beautiful strip of decorative paper to fold inside. Make your own pearl and ribbon bracelet or necklace that uses beads, ribbon, needle and embroidery floss or thread. Make each unique to those special girls standing next to you by the color of the ribbon or any extra beading you feel like adding.
Something Blue Wedding Shoes:Every bride needs something new, something old, something borrowed, and something blue. The first three are the easy ones—jewelry, a dress, and flowers perfectly fit into those categories. Something blue though?? Why not color the bottom of your shoes! It’s a fun, easy way to have something blue on you all day that can stay nice and hidden if blue really isn’t your thing. To dye the bottom of your shoes, all you need to do is clean them, paint them with white nail polish and then paint again with the blue of your choice. Let them dry and voila—your something blue will be right at your toes! If you don’t want to color the whole sole, add blue rhinestones for some sparkle and fun.
ABOUT THE MOVIE
With an all-star cast led by Robert DeNiro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, with Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams, THE BIG WEDDING is an uproarious romantic comedy about a charmingly modern family trying to survive a weekend wedding celebration that has the potential to become a full blown family fiasco. To the amusement of their adult children and friends, long divorced couple Don and Ellie Griffin (De Niro and Keaton) are once again forced to play the happy couple for the sake of their adopted son’s wedding after his ultra conservative biological mother unexpectedly decides to fly halfway across the world to attend. With all of the wedding guests looking on, the Griffins are hilariously forced to confront their past, present and future – and hopefully avoid killing each other in the process. Screenplay by Justin Zackham. Directed by Justin Zackham.
Disclosure: I received information to share only; no compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.
I admit, I am one of those moms that feel there is nothing is wrong with using TV as a babysitter for my kids. Don’t get me wrong, I did feel bad (between reading all the countless articles informing me how negative TV can be, my parent-in-laws who drilled it into me that my kids would have bad eyes if I let my children watch TV before the age of 5-by the way, is this an Asian thing?, etc.) but it didn’t stop me from doing it. I’d constantly have the debate in my head (oh my god, am I ruining my kids??) but eventually I got over it and told myself “I’m not a bad mom!” By the way, 2 of my children did make it into NYC’s Gifted and Talented Program so my decision to let my kids over watch TV couldn’t have been that bad, right?
Now that I’ve given up on beating myself up over the “misuse” of TV, I came across the infographic below, “Better TV Means Better Kids“ and found it intriguing. For the most part, I did try to stick with the educational programs and seeing how my kids are now doing well in school, I can totally relate to the stats below. I’m not agreeing or advocating for this data, but I think it has valid points. I’m interested to hear what you think about this – please share your thoughts!
I received Build-a-Bear’s Year of the Snake plush as a special gift. It was a pleasant surprise because I didn’t realize Build-a-Bear made such a product that provides exposure to Chinese New Year and the Chinese zodiac. It was also pleasant because they actually turned a snake (an animal I am not so fond of in real life) into a really adorable plush that even my kids fell in love with.
Here’s a message from my daughter:
“It was very thoughtful of you to make the snake. The snake is cool. I like the snake because it’s the Year of the Snake. Next year, maybe I can get the horse. I think you should make more. The snake tells me which animal is which year, how to write snake in Chinese, and it even has a tag where you can write its name. The snake is so cute!”
I also thought this is a wonderful idea. As my daughter mentioned, the tags include the Chinese character for “snake” and a calendar that tells you which of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac you are according to the year you are born. My children have a basic understanding of the Chinese zodiac but having a product like this reinforces the meaning and makes them interested in learning more. It really is inspiring to see how a simple product can effectively promote the Chinese culture. It also helps my children appreciate and respect their own culture because they see someone else outside of their own family who embraces it, as well.
On Build-a-Bear’s website, it was nice to see a little blurb in the product description of the meaning behind the animal (this is from last year’s Year of the Dragon):
Each year of the Chinese calendar is represented by a special animal. 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. The dragon symbolizes energy, creativity and wealth. If you are born under the Year of the Dragon you have strong leadership abilities. You have natural charisma and are very lucky. Celebrate your year with this special dragon. Personalize this animal with clothing and accessories to make the perfect unique gift.
I was a little disappointed, however, to see so little in the description from the Year of the Snake. It would be nice to see the same level of depth of information from year to year. I would also love to see Build-a-Bear include references to where children can learn more about the history of the Chinese zodiac and Chinese New Year. I do hope that Build-a-Bear continues this Limited Edition collection to teach children of all cultures about the Chinese zodiac and Chinese New Year in which they may not have gotten the exposure otherwise.
DISCLOSURE: I received the “Year of the Snake” as part of a cultural promotional program with Asian Black Community, Build-a-Bear Workshop and The Mommy Factor. Since this item is only available for a limited time, it might be sold out in Build-a-Bear Workshop stores and online website. No other compensation was received. Views expressed are always 100% my own.