Tag Archives: THE MOMS

Escaping the Cold and Snow For A Sneak Peak Of Paddington Movie with The Moms and Nicole Kidman

7 Jan
Image from http://www.imdb.com

Image from  http://www.imdb.com

Yesterday temperatures were very cold and snow was falling in NYC.  My youngest daughter and I headed up to the Film Society of Lincoln Center to join The MOMS for a sneak-peak of the Paddington Movie. It was the perfect day for a movie.

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Getting ready for the event, looking at one of her favorite books!

With a great group of MOMs! Image from The MOMS

With a great group of MOMs! Image from The MOMS

Paddington Bear was a childhood favorite of mine. I now enjoy reading the books to my girls and they’ve come to love the adorable little bear too.  When we saw a trailer for the movie, staring Nicole Kidman (Millicent), Sally Hawkins (Mrs. Brown), Hugh Bonneville (Mr. Brown) and Ben Wishaw (the voice of Paddington), we got so excited and couldn’t wait to see our favorite little bear come alive.

Paddington, a young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British, travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined – until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck (‘Please look after this bear. Thank you.’) and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist. Written by Marmalade Films (from imdb.com)

I loved the movie.  There’s some suspense and a lot of humor- the entire theater broke out in laughter no matter the age.  I really loved Paddington’s character.  Not only was he furry and absolutely adorable, he was full of honesty and had a very kind nature.  He was an outsider trying to fit in to find a home, which got him into a bit of trouble at times.  It’s a movie the entire family would enjoy and you might want a Paddington of your own by the end.

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Image from IMDB.com

Image from IMDB.com

Image from IMDB.com

Image from IMDB.com

Image from IMDB.com

Before the film started, Nicole Kidman joined The MOMS and guests for a Q&A.  I’ve always loved her movies and always wondered what she would be like in person. Nicole was lovely and a pleasure to listen to.  As a child, she always loved books.  She would read and imagine herself as the characters.  She has since shared her love for books with her children, reading to them every night.  Some books they read together include Goodnight Moon, The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Since becoming a mom, Nicole only accepts parts in which her children can travel with her so they don’t have to be apart.  Like many of us, she also faces the food challange- her kids want pasta with butter and cheese, no sauce.

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Don’t miss the Paddington Movie in theaters January 16, I’ll definitely be going again with my oldest daughter.  See the trailer here.

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Heading home after a fun afternoon.  Thank you to The MOMS, Norwegian Cruiseline and Chevy Tri State!

Heading home after a fun afternoon.

After all the excitement of the event, we felt the bitter cold.  Winter is just getting started and warmer destinations are sounding very appealing especially for Winter Break.  Norwegian Cruise Lines, a sponsor of the event, offer cruises from NYC to warmer destinations the entire family will enjoy.  Find out more here and see our experience on a Norwegian Cruise Ship with The MOMS.

The Norwegian Breakaway sails into the sunset!

The Norwegian Breakaway sails into the sunset!

Love the winter weather and want to hit the slopes? The other sponsor of yesterdays event, Chevrolet, will help you get to the slopes of upstate NY in their 4WD SUVs!

Thank you to The MOMS, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Chevrolet for a wonderful and memorable event!

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  All photos and opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted.

Family Fun On Board The Norwegian Getaway!

30 Jan

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Every once in a while, the girls will catch a cruise ship out of the corner of their eye while walking along the Hudson or they”ll catch a glimpse as one passing by our living room window.  They have so many questions about the ship passing by.  As I was walking by the Hudson River, partly covered in ice (pictured above), all I could think about was a vacation to a warm destination.  Although the girls have asked to go on a cruise as they watched ships pass by, I never thought about taking a cruise for our family vacation. Partly, because I never realized how much they have to offer for families but also because my husband has only heard negative media so wasn’t a huge fan of the idea.  When I got the invite from  The MOMS to spend the day on Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Getaway, I couldn’t say no. I was anxious to see the girls reactions when they saw a ship similar to the ones they would look at in the distance but I also wanted to see all the cruise ship has to offer.

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We watched as the Norwegian Breakaway sailed past our building last summer!

The Getaway recently sailed across the Atlantic from Germany,where it was built, to its temporary port of New York City. The Getaway transform into a Bud Light Hotel during the Super Bowl. After the Super Bowl, it will make its way to it’s new home in Miami, Florida.  Beginning in early February, the Norwegian Getaway will set sail all year-long from Miami to the Eastern Caribbean (yes, get me out of this freezing cold weather and take me to sunny beaches).  There are two itineraries to choose from:

  1. Embark in Miami, with stops in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, Nassau, Bahamas, then Disembark Miami
  2. Embark in Miami, with stops in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, Tortola, Nassau, Bahamas, then Disembark Miami

Getaway to Paradise

As we pulled up to Pier 88, for our outing with TheMOMS, my girls were mesmerized by the size of the ship. When your small, everything seems so much BIGGER, so I can only imagine what was going through their head. I heard “wow”, “oh boy”, “it’s soooo big”.  I was excited to see my girls reaction when they saw a ship up close and personal.  Throughout the day we got to experience a sample of activities, services, and amenities offered on board the Getaway.

NCLGetaway Dining

The Norwegian Getaway offers many dining options.  There are complimentary options which include three main dining rooms with brand new menus as well as O’Seehans Bar and Lounge which is open 24 hrs.   Finer dining is also available for a cover charge. Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurant Ocean Blue is on the Getaway with a chance for a dining experience with him on select cruises!

Our day on board began with a three-course meal in the Illusionarium.  The starter was prosciutto with mozzarella, tomato, balsamic vinaigrette, and gourmet young mesclun greens.  The main course was a surf and turf with jumbo coconut shrimp, roasted beef tenderloin, double baked potato, broccoli and a demi-glaze sauce.   The dessert included a trilogy of sweets: red velvet cupcake with vanilla cream cheese frosting, vanilla crème caramel with wild berries, and a flourless chocolate cake with praline crème. The children had a separate menu that included macaroni and cheese or chicken tenders with a banana cup cake for dessert.  Not only was the food delicious but the service and staff onboard was phenomenal. I was very impressed with our waitress, Donie.  She was very accomodating when my youngest couldn’t decide what she wanted so she brought her both, mac and cheese and chicken nuggets.  Before we even looked at the menu she asked about any food allergies. As a mom of a daughter, with a peanut/ tree nut allergy, I can’t tell you how appreciative I was. It’s rare a waitress or waiter at a restaurant asks, I’ve always had to tell them about my daughters allergy.

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During our experience on board we got a little sample of the entertainment on board. All the performances we saw took place in the Illusionarium however there are separate theaters onboard when on vacation. My girls were in awe of the performances by the Burn the Floor dance group.  They also loved watching Legally Blonde the Musical and seeing their favorite characters (Dora, Diego, SpongeBob SquarePants & Patrick Star) during a performance by Nick Junior.  The magic show was unbelievable. They were amazed to see a table float through the air. It was an incredible experience just watching the shortened, condensed version so I can only imagine what they would think of the full shows.

NCL endless possibilities

The recreational activities for kids and families are endless.  There is a Nickelodeon Jr theme aqua zone for kids to splash around.  In the aqua park there are 2 pools, 4 hot tubs, and 5 water slides.  The Free Fall water slide is one of the fastest at sea and one of two drop slides that floor comes out from underneath you and drops you down the slide in 6 seconds.   The sports complex features a miniature golf course, a basketball court, a rock climbing wall, a bungee trampoline and a ropes course.  At the end of the ropes course, those brave enough can walk an 8 foot plank off the side of the ship with a photo opportunity at the end.  Other activities include an arcade, pool parties and opportunities to meet Dora, Diego, SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star.

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Splash Academy provides complimentary drop-off activities for ages 3-12  onboard the ship from 9:00 am – 10:30 pm, closing during meal times.  Once on board you can get the full schedule of activities and classes offered.  Each themed activity is two hours.  Themes and activities change daily.  Whether it’s free-style play, a Turtle’s Luau Party or super sports, your child will make new friends and have tons of fun.  While my husband and I were on a tour of the ship, both of my girls spent some time in Splash Academy.  They came out with art projects, balloons, and a huge smile on their face from all the fun they were having.  The supervisors were extremely friendly and engaging with the children.  Each child was assigned a number upon entering.  To pick up your child, parents we required to return the corresponding number.  Because of food allergies, Splash Academy is free of food.  A late-night zone with fun activities like fort making and Nintendo Wii action is available from 10:30 pm until 1:30 am at a reasonable rate ($6 for the first child and $4 for siblings).

DateDayorNight

After you drop the kids off at Splash Academy, don’t feel guilty their having fun, you can head to the spa for a dip in the thermal pool or for a relaxing massage.  There are also many adult only areas to enjoy a beverage, a bite to eat, or soak up a few uninterrupted rays!  While on international waters you can also take an hour (or more) for duty-free shopping or chancing your luck in the largest casino at sea!  At night, you can visit the dueling piano bar, Howel At The Moon or cool off after a day of fun in the sun for a unique experience in the SVEDKA and Inniskillin Ice Bar.  While onboard, don’t miss The Grammy Experience.  The first headliner will be Nestor Torres.  I could go on forever with the entertainment, bars, and activities you can take part in if you need a date day or night while on vacation.

staterooms

While we were onboard we got to peek into a few staterooms.  For families, there are suites with pull-out sofas, adjoining rooms, or rooms with two single beds and 1 or 2 pull down beds above.  The Haven Suite is incredible, my daughters couldn’t get over the closet and the spa bathtub filled with roses. Budget friendly options are available as well!

You may have seen the recent news about the recent outbreak of a virus leaving 600 passengers onboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise.   When you hear news like that you may be skeptical of jumping aboard, I know my husband was in the past. We were discussing the news and my husband, the skeptic, pointed out how extremely impressed he was with Norwegians proactive efforts to make sure cleanliness and hygiene were a priority aboard the Getaway.  There were hand sanitizing stations almost everywhere you turned. In the bathrooms there were signs reminding guests to wash hands and use a paper towel to open the door.  The sink, soap dispenser, and trash can had sensors so you didn’t have to touch anything.  The trash can had a reminder note on top letting you know not to touch.

Explore

There is so much to do and explore.  By the end of our day on board the Getaway, I had to drag my girls off the ship. They were ready to move onto the beautiful ship, permanently.  My oldest said “This is a beau-ti-ful ship! Mommy, can we move here?”  When I told her that a cruise ship is for vacations and not for living she said “Can we go on vacation NOW?” My husband even changed his mind about taking a cruise and is ready to book for an exciting and entertaining adventure for all at sea.

Can’t make it to the port of Miami, the Getaway’s sister ship Breakaway embarks from NYC and sails to Bermuda!

Watching the Norwegian Breakaway sail by!

Watching the Norwegian Breakaway sail by!

Thank you to The MOMS and Norwegian Cruise Line for an awesome day for my family.  For more information visis www.ncl.com, follow on Instagram: NorwegianCruiseLine , on twitter: @cruisenorwegian and be sure to like Norwegian Cruise Line on Facebook!
Follow the Getaway’s journey at #UltimateGetaway.

To learn more about The MOMS visit http://themoms.com

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  I received a day on board the Norwegian Getaway and complimentary services and meals as part of the Family Media Day with The MOMS.

Daisy and Josephine Is “TuTu” Cute!

26 Jan

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Walking home from haircuts we always stop at the puppy stores on Christopher St. During our second visit, my oldest daughter fell in love with a black French Bulldog she named Frenchie. She left the store in tears. And every time we go by she looks for Frenchie in hopes he’ll come home with us one day!  Any time she sees a French Bulldog, she gets so excited!

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The other week I attended a Mamarazzi event with The MOMS to celebrate the release of Melissa Gilbert’s book, Daisy and Josephine.   My girls, especially my oldest, was so excited for the event and the book when she learned that Josephine was a “Frenchie”. The event took place at Bucco di Beppo in Times Square.  Dinner featured pizza, pasta, and salad. To drink, we sampled Arizona Iced Tea’s collaboration with Skinnygirl, the Skinnygirl Sparklers.  The kids tried Arizona Kidz!  My girls loved the (decaffeinated) flavors: Arnold Palmer and lemon iced tea.

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After dinner, Melissa Gilbert arrived and read her adorable book about the friendship between Daisy and her French Bulldog, Josephine.  Similar to Melissa, Daisy grows up with a father in the entertainment business.  She was on the road often with him and found maintaining friendships difficult.  In the story, Daisy’s father gives her a puppy to keep her company!  Throughout the story they create a wonderful friendship and a special bond!

Image from The Moms

Image from The Moms

My daughter was elated to meet the real Josephine, who looked very similar to the Frenchie she fell in love with. We all know Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie.  My girls will forever remember her as the woman with the cutest French Bulldog, Josephine, with hot pink nails, a tutu and the author of their new favorite book!

Daisy and Josephine is available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon!

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In a Q&A, Melissa Gilbert said she will be releasing a Prarie Cookbook in the near future with favorite recipes and some that were inspired by her time on the set of Little House on a Prarie!  Can’t wait to see the recipes and try them with the girls!

Dsclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post, all opinions expressed are my own.  We received dinner and a copy of the book for attending the event.

Trick-Or-Treat For UNICEF

29 Oct

Last night the girls and I headed to Dylan’s Candy Bar to join The Moms and Laura Marano, actress and star of the Disney Channel series Austin and Ally.  The event was held to educate and highlight the 2013 Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF campaign!  I was excited for my girls to learn about Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF because they will be the third generation in my family helping save lives.

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For those unfamiliar, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more.  The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.  Together, we are working toward the day when ZERO children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.

Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF began in 1950 by a family collecting change at Halloween for children left vulnerable from World War II. Sixty-three years later, children continue to raise millions to help other children around the world.  No matter how big or small the donation, every penny counts.   How you can help:

The Trick-or-Treat School Challenge for Teachers:  Beginning October 1st through January 31,2013, K-6 teachers can submit a video or another form of creative visual media, demonstrating how their students are helping kids around the world through their efforts surrounding Trick-or-Treat For UNICEFResources, lesson plans, and things to do with the class are available on the Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF website to help get started!

Families:  If your school isn’t participating in the Challenge, your family can help by downloading everything you need.  After Halloween, send your money and donation form to: Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, 125 Maiden Lane, New York, New York 10038

Clubs and Groups : Get your soccer team, cub scout den or girl scout troop to help too!

Make this Halloween a happy one for those in need.  Join children all over and Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF

These items also benefit UNICEF:

UNICEF “I Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF” tote from HSN, Chasing Fireflies, and Grandin Road available in Orange and black until October 31st!

Image from Chasing Fireflies

Image from Chasing Fireflies

IKEA “Soft Toys for Education”: For every purchase from the soft toy collection between November  10th – January 4th, the IKEA Foundation will give one euro to support UNICEF.

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Image from IKEA

Gifts and cards from shop.unicefusa.org!

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Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  I received a gift bag for attending the event which included items that help the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.  All information came from the event, the UNICEF website, and a press memo.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

27 Sep
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Image from IMDb

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 was released in theaters today.  My daughters and I had the opportunity to see it at the MOMS Cloudy 2 Mamarazzi Event Wednesday!  Initially, my oldest was fighting to go into the Theater but a little popcorn and Subway Kids meal Packs helped her make it into the theater. Once Bill Hader, voice of Flint Lockwod, started a Q & A with the guests she wanted to leave because she knew the movie was starting soon.   She was scared because she didn’t know what to make of the “Foodimals” from the movie poster.   We only saw bits and pieces of the first movie so were unfamiliar with the story line.  We were ready to leave when someone else told her it wasn’t scary.  She thought about it for a bit and decided to go back in and give it a chance.  Half way through the movie, she leaned over to me and whispered “thank you for making me stay mom, I love it”.  From this experience, she has learned she needs to give things a chance before she decides she doesn’t like something, (more below images).

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Both of my girls sat through the entire movie and absolutely loved it.  They laughed and occasionally grasped my hand anticipating a scary part.  They fell in love with the Foodimals.  Since seeing the movie, they talk about them all of the time.  My youngest loves Barry the strawberry, my oldest loved the Flamangos, and my personal favorite was the Cheespider!  My oldest packs her school snacks in the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Subway  lunch bag she received at the movie preview.  Because they love the Foodimals, I have tried to incorporate them in their lunch and have them come up with their own creations!  Check back next week for meal ideas inspired by the Foodimals.

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Image from IMDb

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An entertaining and adorable  film for the entire family.  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is rated PG and is 95 minutes long!   Watch the trailer for a preview or search for a theater and show time near you!

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  Ideas and opinions expressed are my own.  I was invited to the screening and my girls received a small gift for attending.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Blu-Ray DVD Release Celebration

18 Dec

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days was released today on Blu-Ray DVD.  Perfect timing for a great stocking stuffer! To celebrate the release 20th Century Fox and The MOMS hosted a Mamarazzi event at Apple Seeds with author Jeff Kinney and actor Robert Capron (Rowley Jefferson). The event began with a Question & Answer Session with Jeff Kinney and actor Robert Capron.  During the Q&A, kids had refreshments which included CapriSun Super V juice pouches, Happy Tot pouches, and  popcorn (a movie time favorite). When Jeff Kinney was asked how he came up with the idea he said that he initially wanted to become a newspaper cartoonist however was unable to break into the field. He knew that he still wanted to do something with cartoons and eventually came up with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. I hope my daughters learn that if they are passionate about something, they shouldn’t give up and should try something similar even though it may take them down a different path.

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Next the kids went to two different rooms. In the first room they created bookmarks with Robert Capron and in the second room they created their very own diary and drew characters. While the kids were creating their characters and diaries, Jeff Kinney drew up front on a dry erase board describing how he creates his characters. Did you know that he draws using the least amount of lines possible? He also uses personal features on his characters and then uses features of people around him to come up with more characters. At then end of the event, the children were able to get autographs which made my daughters day!

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Disclaimer:  I was not compensated for this post.  Thank you to everyone who made the event possible.  My daughter and I had a wonderful time!