Tiny Love Gymini My Nature Pals Playmat- Review

My baby girl is almost here, and here I bring you a review of the adorable Tiny Love Gymnini My Nature Pals play mat!  I have been so busy this past week, and going through some tough times..then it's items like this that gets me smiling again.  I have less than 60 days left for my little girl's due date, and between the countdown app on my phone and my fast growing baby bump- it has gotten me picking out items for her arrival.  
What's one essential item for baby?  An activity mat, of course!  This activity mat has lots of great colors, and many great features for child's development.  My toddler had fun discovering one feature after another, so I could only imagine our little girl!  

Adorable characters throughout that rattle, crinkle, squeak and more!  You can add more toys to it, but it already comes with some rattles, a mirror and even a colorful teether.  Also included the baby-activated take-along Lights & Music Caterpillar that definitely adds to the Gymini playtime fun.
A unique smart motion technology makes it possible to move the toys closer to baby as the grow like pictured above.  I wish my sons play mat had that feature, I can see how useful that is for baby just lying down or learning to push up with arms.  This play mat is great for 0-12 months, benefiting gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and baby's senses.

I am so excited to have added this to our items for baby, and recommend it as a must have baby item!  I remember from when my son was a little baby how useful it was to have a great play mat with wonderful features, and I'm so glad I found this one because surely it is a keeper!  Need the perfect baby shower gift?  Expecting yourself?  Have an adorable little one or two in your family?  Whatever your reason this is one item every expecting mother and new parent would love.  It's available for purchase at Tiny Love site as well as many other retailers, also be sure to check out other great products available by Tiny Love including mobiles, soothers, and more baby gear.  Want to find out more, be sure to become a fan of them on facebook here as well!

*I received this item for review, all opinions are a 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided.  

DreamWorks How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular - Our Experience #NYC #NJ

Last night my family and I went to the IZOD Center In East Rutherford, NJ to see the How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular.  My husband and I had two very excited kids with us, 4 and 5 years old.  It was "oohs and aahs" from the very beginning, my son was literally at the edge of his seat the whole time.

We saw all that was promised and all that I mentioned, fire breathing dragons flying through the arena, with incredibly realistic features down to eyes that blink and look around.  It was a great time with family, and I highly recommend it.  Older kids will enjoy it as they understand the story-line and just like the adults can truly appreciate the talent that created the dragons and enabled them to come alive.  I had read some reviews that mentioned younger children that were scared of the dragons, but I didn't see any of it myself, and my little ones loved every minute of it!  I was terrified preparing my son and hoping he wouldn't be scared and want to leave early after reading some reviews BUT it was not scary to us at all!  I had two kids jumping and twirling out of the show saying they were "dragon trainers."  All the kids around us with their families seemed to be enjoying the show as well, I wouldn't recommend for very young children but that goes for almost any show.  :)  

My son has been running around with a shield and sword talking about dragons all day today!  I really feel like this show is a must see for families all according to the reactions of little ones around us, and my son who can't stop talking about it.  There is still time for you to catch the show with your family this weekend! 

You can purchase tickets ranging from $24.50-$89.50 (plus applicable facility fees and services charges).  Tickets may be purchased through the arena Box Office by going to Ticketmaster.com or calling them at 800-745-3000.  Want more out of your time there?  Learn more about premium seats and VIP ticket experiences by clicking here.  Not near the Izod Center in New Jersey?  No worries, you may be able to catch this exciting show at a city near you, check here for tour and ticket dates.

The IZOD CENTER is located at:
50 State Route 120, East Rutherford, NJ 07073
The show times are:
Saturday, September 29 11:00AM/ 3:00 PM/ 7:00 PM*
Sunday, September 30 7:30 PM

For group sales tickets: Call 201-460-4370 or email groupsales@njsea.com or visit IZODCENTER.com/groupsales

*I received tickets to the show, all opinions are my own.  No other compensation was provided. 

Sometimes all you can do is cry...

Sometimes all you can do is just cry.

I had a great Sunday, much different from our Saturday-which involved a visit to the emergency room to see if we can figure out abdominal pain my son was experiencing.  We didn't find out what was bothering him, and it is still bothering him! :(  We didn't want to spend our Sunday indoors so we went with the family to go apple picking, enjoyed the whole day outdoors lounging around with fresh air away from the city.  My son seemed to be doing much better, perhaps distracted from whatever uncomfortable feelings he was experiencing while playing around with his cousin.  He was the first to grab apples off a tree put it in our tote bag, and drag it around saying he wanted to carry it. himself.  When he is happy, I feel complete, and he was happy! :)

We had a long day- a good day, but once we were home again, he couldn't finish his dinner saying he felt weird.  My son always finishes his dinner and it was clear he wanted to eat, but something was bothering him.  Besides him telling us he doesn't feel right, all seems fine...  My son usually doesn't cry, he is very well spoken and expresses himself well, but this feeling makes him cry.  You know what it is to hear your baby say "I want this pain to go away, I don't know what to do"?  I want to take it away, but I don't even know what it is that's bothering him.  Then to top it off today, he told me he wishes he didn't have allergies.  He is getting older, the world is getting tougher for him.  For a boy that just turned four a little while ago, he worries for his life and safety already- I'm glad he is aware of it but that takes away from him being a careless kid.  It makes me sad.  Like every parent out there, I want to give my son the world, and I want him to be happy & healthy.    

So..I broke down today, I cried and cried.  I want to take away whatever it is that's bothering him, and I want to take away all his allergies too.  Give it to me if you can, I want him free from it all.  I want him to feel safe in the world we live in.  I want him to be healthy, and I don't want him to suffer.  Thinking of the life he has ahead of him makes me so sad and helpless.  I do all that I can, but yet it's not enough.  So just for tonight I'm not going to say to myself "all will be okay" and "we've got it all under control" because it's all very scary, stressful, and really unfair...  I want to stomp my feet up and down, throw a tantrum and scream "WHYY!?!?" and for tonight I am weak, I am without strength to even tell myself all will be okay.  With my son asleep in my arms, my daughter in my belly kicking away, I pray health and happiness to them..that's all I could do.

So again, I'm left with all I could do is cry, just for now..just for tonight.

Allerbling Food Allergy Awareness Bracelet - Review #foodallergy

As you all know by now, my son has multiple food allergies.  I'm always looking for new food products he is okay with, as well as new products to help keep him safe.  I recently learned of Allerbling bracelets, and we had the opportunity to try out a full Allerbling Kit for my son.

The full Allerbling kit comes with 8 food allergy awareness charms, one medical cross charm, and two different size bracelets for children ages 3-8.
The charms included in the kit:

  • Peanut allergy 
  • Trea Nut allergy
  • Shellfish allergy
  • Wheat allergy
  • Soy allergy
  • Dairy allergy
  • Egg allergy
  • Fish allergy

My son liked the bracelet right away, he was eager to learn the purpose of it, and put it on right away.  The charms are a bit hard to put on the bracelet, but once on- less likely to fall of and get lost, which is a plus.  It's great to have so child also learns of his allergies, and for others to know what he is to stay away from.  It's in full bright colors, my son seemed to really like it and hasn't taken it off for days now.

We put all the charms on for my son except for the soy allergy charm, and still would need some custom made ones to complete his long list of allergies, as well as a second bracelet.  They offer a list of charms titled "common food allergy charms" and "less common food allergy charms."  I definitely suggest them for kids with food allergies, I think specially great if you don't have a long list of allergies.  Instead of a dreaded "medical" bracelet, it makes it a bit more interesting for kids and gets them and everyone aware of the allergens they should steer away from.  For kids that are allergic to one or all of the top 8 allergens, the full Allerbling kit is perfect.  Keep an eye out for them in stores, find them online here, also be sure to follow them on facebook and twitter.  

*I received the product for review.  No other compensation was provided, all opinions are a 100% my own.  

Successfully Baking Allergy Friendly IS Possible! :)

Baking without all of the foods my son is allergic to; wheat, rye, oats, eggs, milk, and all the other "essentials" in baking...  Four years ago I would have thought IMPOSSIBLE, but today I baked chocolate chip cookies with my son.  They were delicious, it took care of all my chocolate cookie cravings and the best part- cookies I could share with my son!  Probably much healthier than any store bought ones anyway!  I had to stop him from eating the batter while we were getting it ready for the oven.  Made from scratch, probably the best we've had, much better than any box mixes we've tried.

That made my day today, what's something simple that has made your day recently?  

Fall Fashion at Cookies Kids Online #CookiesKids #Cbias

I loved my recent trip to Cookies Kids with my son, I felt I had to check out the online shopping experience, as well as look for more fall items for my son and my little girl due in November.  I have already mentioned how I have yet to go shopping for her yet, so I thought it would be a perfect way to shop on Cookieskids.com for the first time for some fall items for both my children.  I'm happy to tell you it was a pleasant experience!  You can see more photos from my online shopping experience here on Google +.  I think I spent just as much time browsing through the selections as I did in store, online.    

Great selection of children's sets if you want outfits already put together for your young ones, and of course plenty of choices for you to put them together yourself.  Cookies Kids on twitter was right on when they suggested I check out the "sets" section, I found some adorable sets there.  It was fun to go back and forth through the sections, putting outfits together in my head for my little ones.  Online shopping can be so convenient, I was able to click back and forth between sections over and over again-something that wouldn't be that fun if I was in store doing it.  Being in my third trimester of pregnancy I'm not that light on my feet lately. ;)  

The pull down menu makes it easy to hop around all over the site.  I started by checking out the items in the Boy's Department, where I was able to conveniently narrow down by size; size 2T-4T to browse through for my son.

Untitled #4

Created on Polyvore

Here's one of the outfits that I thought would be adorable on my little toddler, a casual classy look for breezy evening out for dinner maybe?

Then of course browsed through the many fun selections for infant girls items they had.  I loved looking through the selections; adorable dresses to coats to sets, the sets were my personal favorite!  The "Cookie's recommends" bar on the right side was so useful too.  
I finalized my order and received the delivery in about 3 days, and was delighted by how fast it arrived.  I ended up ordering some items for my son- a fun hoodie that he loves!  I also ordered a cute dress my little girl can wear in her first days, and adorable cotton sets at a great price for her.
This adorable little dress the Rene Rofe “Hearts in a Row” came complete with knit tights with Mary Jane accents!  Fall fashion at "0-3 Months" sizes, adorraabllee!! :)
I also got this colorful four piece cotton set; Duck Duck Goose “Paisley Butterfly."  I love shopping for my son, but such an experience, and added fun to shop for girls! 
 My son has been turning heads with this fun hoodie; Mon Street “Full Skeleton” Hoodie!  A clothing item a child can get excited about.  He wore it all evening the day we got it in the mail, and I have had so many asking where we got it.  
Here he is again with his new favorite hoodie!
And again hiding his face telling me "no pictures!"  He has already been greeting the cooler temps with this fun hoodie every other evening, and it only makes me want to order more.  My son lives in hoodies in the cold seasons!  With already cooler temperatures out, he other great fall items we picked up in store on our last shopping trip to Cookies Kids have come in handy too!  

I can picture my son running through leaves with his cousins this fall, while I stroll my little girl in the stroller bundled up warm in her comfy cotton sets.  Fall is one of my personal favorite seasons, one of the reasons being fall fashion.  I can't wait to shop more, I feel myself in the mood even more since it is getting much cooler out.  More in the mood to shop for Halloween, for our new addition to be, and more..I feel I'm just getting started!

Did you know that Cookie's Kids was started by a young man named Cookie and his brother Marvin back in 1972?  It all started with a rented out 1600 square foot store in Jamaica, Queens.  Forty years of business with many changes and growth they've come a long way, and have done a great job at providing parents with so much for their children.  It was the sales of school uniforms that helped launch CookiesKids.com back in 2007, and although initially only carrying uniforms, now they carry the entire Cookies Kids inventory-more of a reason to check it out!  ;)  Happy 40th Cookie's Kids!!      

So what's your favorite fall item to shop for?  Shopped at #CookiesKids yet?  It has fast become one of our favorite places to shop recently, I feel like I'm celebrating their 40th year of business with them. ;)  If none of the seven stores in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Jamaica NY are near you, remember to shop online, you will find just as much on Cookieskids.com with great deals.  Follow them on twitter and on facebook so you can keep up with the latest deals.  Speaking of deals, remember to take advantage of the *special offer* shop online, and use promo code: daytodaymoments at check out for FREE SHIPPING on all orders with no minimum! (Excludes furniture, gear and toys.) US only. Expires 11/30/12

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Cookieskids.com #CBias #SocialFabric.

Sizing Made Easy with The AlvaKids App at Cookies Kids! #CookiesKids #Cbias

I'm sure you've heard about Cookies Kids by now, and if you follow me on twitter you definitely have seen my tweets go by about my recent shopping at Cookies Kids. Last week my son and I took a trip to the 510 Fulton St. Brooklyn store, one of the seven locations here in the city. My son and I spent what felt like hours in there going through endless choices of great deals where we found him two great outfits, you can see more from our shopping trip here on google+! I've been to one Bronx location before, but it was nice to visit another location, which I learned was their largest store after tweeting with Cookies Kids on twitter. Follow them on facebook as well, you never know what you'll learn from them, maybe learn of a new deal? ;) While we were there we got introduced to the new Alva Kids app, an app that helps you find the right size for your child! All you need is your child's height and weight in order for the app to help you find the right size in many brands offered at Cookies Kids.
The Alva Kids app is available for download free in the iTunes store right now, they are currently working on an Android version for those of us that don't have an iPhone/iPad. With this app you will be able to log in with your facebook account or create an account to have access to, whenever you need a size recommendation for a specific brand. The app is very easy to use, all you need is a few very simple steps to get started, inputting your child's basic info. for use right away, and to save for later.
Once you got through the basic steps and build your child's profile, you will be able to select a brand, and it will give you the recommended sizes.  It's that easy!
From the moment we walked in, it was "all your kids may need" galore!!
I knew I would be spending lots of time there after making my first two turns in the store!  I love to look through everything, and we couldn't quite look through everything but we sure got close.  The choices were endless! :)
After shopping around #CookiesKids, I learned of how useful of an app it is, specially for a store that carries so many different brands. So many brands do run differently and this app will help take that headache out of shopping for your children. I personally find it very useful if I'm shopping for nieces/nephews that all grow differently, and after the "2T, 3T" sizes are outgrown, I have no idea what size they are in anything. Now I will be able to simply put in their height/weight, save their profile and know what size is recommended. Even if your child is an average size for his/her age, this app will help you when brand's sizes run differently.
Found these great comfy, warm outfits perfect for fall for my son there for a great price. He's a size 4T..or so I was sure he was. We ended up getting a size 3T for the pants on the left and 4T on the right-another reason why the app is so handy! Be sure to check out the app, learn more about it here.
He loves the outfits we picked out!

Are you familiar with the Alva Kids app? Have you shopped at Cookies Kids before? Be sure to check it out for your next shopping, and find out how useful it is for yourself! If you don't have a store near you, remember you can also shop online at Cookies Kids.com for a great deals and tons of selection!  
**Special Offer**
Shop online, and you can use promo code: daytodaymoments at check out for FREE SHIPPING on all orders with no minimum! (Excludes furniture, gear and toys.) US only. Expires 11/30/12

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Cookies Kids #CBias #SocialFabric

DreamWorks How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular! +Special Promo Codes! #NYC #NJ

"Flying Hiccup (Rarmian Newton) and Toothless. Photo credit: Lisa Tomasetti"

I'm excited to share with you the news about How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular!  The show will be at the IZOD Center In East Rutherford, NJ from September 27-30.  Audiences will be able to experience the magic of fire- breathing dragons that soar through the arena skies.  There will be 23 dragons, some with wingspans of up to an incredible 46 feet, Viking warriors and world-class circus artists and acrobats, to perform against a state of the art, wall to floor immersive projection measuring more than 20,000 square feet.  Amazing right?  I'm amazed at the images alone!
"A Viking tries to calm Deadly Nadder in DreamWorks How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular"
If you are familiar with and a fan of How to Train Your Dragon children's book series or the DreamWorks 2010 animated film, this show is a must see!!  I know many of my nephews and nieces were a huge fan of the film so it's will be amazing to see the film come to life before us.  Just by looking at the images you can see how breathtaking and realistic these dragons are.  My family and I are excited as we will be going to see the live spectacular with my family at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey at the end of the month!

"Hiccup (Riley Miner) offers help to wounded dragon Toothless in DreamWorks How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular. Photo credit: Todd Kaplan"
Want to come see the show, experience it live?  You can purchase tickets now ranging from $24.50-$89.50 (plus applicable facility fees and services charges).  Tickets may be purchased through the arena Box Office by going to Ticketmaster.com or calling them at 800-745-3000.  Want more out of your time there?  Learn more about premium seats and VIP ticket experiences by clicking here.
I also have two awesome special offers to share with you today!  Save 25% using code MOM in the promo code box which says "Promotional and Special Offers."  This discount is only available for select seats and is good for nationwide shows.
On top of that, if you are able to make the September 28, Friday show at 11AM, you can get tickets at an unbeatable price of $20!!  Use coupon code SCHOOL during checkout.

The IZOD CENTER is located at:
50 State Route 120, East Rutherford, NJ 07073
The show times are:
Thursday, September 27 7:00 PM
Friday, September 28 11:00 AM/ 7:00 PM
Saturday, September 29 11:00 AM/ 3:00 PM/ 7:00 PM*
Sunday, September 30 7:30 PM

For group sales tickets: Call 201-460-4370 or email groupsales@njsea.com or visit IZODCENTER.com/groupsales

Not near New Jersey?  You may be able to catch this exciting show at a city near you, check here for tour and ticket dates.
"The Deadly Nadder pursues Vikings - DreamWorks How To Train Your Dragon LiveSpectacular. Photo credit: Jeff Busby"
I've only heard great things about this show, it doesn't seem just like a show, more of an experience!  Remember to take advantage of the promo codes above when you check out.  I'll tell you more about our experience after the show at the end of the month. :)

*I will be receiving tickets to the show, no other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own. 

Sea Shells with a Surprise!

My son has been amazing in welcoming our little addition to be.  Anxious to welcome her into our family.  He has included her in everything he can.  When we speak of our family, he includes her, which is just adorable.  He also surprises me often with little cute drawings, letters (scribbles) and other cute things that seem to include her, if that has anything to do with our family.

As almost every child does, my son collected shells on the beach this summer when we were on vacation in South Carolina. On one of the mornings at the hotel, he called me over and told me he had a surprise for me...
He had lined up three shells and pointed out that one was daddy, one mommy, and the smallest one was him.  Super cute right?  I thought so!  But that wasn't all...
He then lifted up the "mommy shell" and there was a little tiny shell inside!  That was "our baby" shell.  "Tada surprise!" he said as I melted in joy! ;D  A MOMent I will always remember!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, sometimes it's the simplest things that mean the most in life! :)

Rookie USA is Now Open!! #RookieUSA #Cbias #NYC

You may recall a previous post I had shared with you guys about #RookieUSA and their great gear for your rookie..well the store had it's grand opening recently, so my family and I had to go check it out!  Located in a great neighborhood accompanied by other great shops at 808 Columbus Avenue, New York, it was a quick 15 minute drive away from our home.  Without a shopping plan in mind, we headed out in excitement...
Doors were wide open with the "Grand Opening" sign along with someone standing by with balloons right across the way.  I was unable to get a good image of the front for you guys because of huge trees that are right in front of the store making it hard for me to, but I promise it was great! :P  You can find more images from our shopping trip on Google +.
On our way to the store, my son and I talked about what he may want to purchase from Rookie USA, he insisted he needed new sneakers.  He has been complaining that every shoe he had was too small for him just that week, so the timing was perfect.  Initially I was thinking hooded sweat shirts, cotton tees, sweat pants, but he wanted new sneakers.  When we finally arrived, I was delighted by the inviting atmosphere; lots of friendly sales people.  My son ran in there like it was a playground, surprisingly excited about clothes.  He let me shop around, and wanted to keep shopping even when my husband and I decided we were done.  Luckily, they had tons and tons of choices for footwear for my son!
It was fun to walk around and look at the neatly displayed merchandise, along with the mannequins my son couldn't get enough of.  He kept standing by them, pretending to be one.
If you follow Rookie USA on twitter or facebook, you have already seen great pictures of the awesome sneaker chandelier that I was able to see in person!  And if you aren't following, get to it so you don't miss out, they update often and will keep you "in the know."  
A store that I could let my son could pick out anything, and I'm sure it'll be great!  Brands like Levis, Converse, Jordan, Nike..you can't go wrong.  He was all over the place browsing with me, even pointing out girls items for his little sister due in November! ♥  Overall great feel to the store which had cool fitting rooms marked as "locker rooms," tons of selection for casual and sports wear for girls and boys.  Totally unique in itself for being geared for children, but yet very pleasant for both parents and kids to shop.          
My son chose his favorite pair of sneakers from this wide selection of infant/toddler footwear, and it worked out! 
He wanted to put on his new Jordan's right away after checking out...  We'll be heading back soon I'm sure, so I of course recommend that you go check it out! 

*I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Rookie USA #CBias #SocialFabric