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Mensch On A Bench – A Must Have Item for Hanukkah! @menschonabench

17 Nov

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It was just two Hanukkahs ago when former Hasbro marketing executive Neal Hoffman was at a favorite retailer holiday shopping with his two boys.

“I want an Elf on a Shelf” proclaimed Neal’s 5 year-old son.

At that moment, a light bulb went off in Neal’s entrepreneurial head. Why couldn’t Jewish children and parents have their own Jewish-themed tradition…and the Mensch on a Bench was born. Mensch on a Bench became last Hanukkah’s surprise mega-hit which sold out in just 10 days, and is this year’s “Basement to Big Time” story.

As a family that celebrates Hanukkah and Christmas, I can relate to Neals story!  I suspect our Elf, Smiley, will become fast friends with our Mensch, because he does gravitate towards our menorah and driedals. :)  Check him out here.

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Mensch on a Bench is a 12’’ doll with an accompanying hardcover story book that tells the story of Hanukkah from the view of Moshe the Mensch.  It introduces children to the traditions of Hanukkah and teaches them to be good and honorable people…Mensches.  The doll holds the Shamash (leader) candle and needs to be moved each night to watch over the Menorah.

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In year 2, Hoffman has added new pages to the Mensch on a Bench book to teach children the Hanukkah prayers and how to play dreidel.  There is even a page to write down their favorite memories of each holiday season.

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The Mensch on a Bench is fun way to start another family tradition at Hanukkah. Mensch on a Bench is available at retailers such as Target; Bed Bath and Beyond; Michael’s Arts & Crafts Stores, Barnes & Noble, Toys R’ Us and more.  Shop now at www.themenschonabench.com. and use coupon code OYVEY at checkout to receive 10% off your order.

Be sure to check out Mensch on a Bench on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. 

 

Sample provided for review.

 

 

 

Big Hero 6 Movie Review!

9 Nov

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Who can believe Halloween is already way gone and Christmas music is already blasting in the mall!?

Well, the chaotic week of Halloween, I was battling 2 weeks of bronchitis and it wasn’t letting up!  We were invited to a screening of Big Hero 6.  I was feeling unmotivated but the kids were completely manic when they got wind of this invite and their excitement gave me the energy I needed.

And the movie did not fail us!  You know without putting myself down too much, I’m really not a big fan of kid movies………..but.  Big Hero 6 I loved.  My kids loved.  It was adorable.  Baymax is our favorite kids movie character ever….”so gentle, cuddly and cute” as my daughter says. Fair warning though.  As in most Disney flicks, someone does die, and in being the mess I was/am I even got choked up! (I think my daughter was too but she wouldn’t admit it!)

Synopsis:
From Walt Disney Animation Studios, the team behind “Frozen” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” comes “Big Hero 6,” an action-packed comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between Baymax, a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada. When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends – adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, clean freak Wasabi No-Ginger, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6.” Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6″ is directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), and produced by Roy Conli (“Tangled”).

We really enjoyed this adorable movie.  Check out Big Hero 6 which is in theaters now!

If you’ve seen it already let me know what you think…

 

 

 

 

City Sports Opens First Long Island Location…I Checked it Out!

10 Oct

I was invited to take a tour of the newly opened City Sports in Manhasset, NY which is the first Long Island location.  I was delighted to do so because I spend 95% of my existence wearing sneakers and about 80% of my attire is workout gear.

Started in 1983 in Boston by two high school tennis partners looking for athletic gear in their neighborhood, City Sports has more than two dozen locations in the Northeast and boasts an assortment of innovative athletic apparel, equipment and footwear.

When I entered  the store, I saw a staff person stringing a racquet which I learned that they indeed do right on the premises…pretty cool.  I was also drawn to the pink wall honoring breast cancer awareness.

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And hello yoga pants!

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I went downstairs to get fitted for sneakers, but I had to first spend a moment on this wall of backpacks.

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I could hear my son “mom can I get this? mom can get this one?” :)  The only thing that would distract him would be to move him over to the wall of balls!

 

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See how crazy I am?  Here I am supposed to be heading over to get fitted for shoes for ME and I have those kids on my mind…the life of a mom!

But I did make it over to the sneakers and wow…

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There were so many choices…I was overwhelmed!  But I soon realized I didn’t have to be.  I met the most lovely store associate, Luis, who told me he would be fitting me with sneakers.  Yes I had been told that already but really? Do these shoe guys even exist anymore? And in a sports store? Well I’m here to tell you that they do!!!

Luis first asked me to walk so he could observe my gait and then he asked me some questions about my level of activity and where I would be wearing the sneakers.  He correctly guessed my foot issues based on his observations.  I have old lady feet people…tendinitis, fasciitis, pronation and a heel spur which require me to wear ORTHOTICS!!! That’s why I always wear sneakers.  I didn’t think I could put on a orthotic free pair that would feel better than mine. But when I put on the pair I walked away with, I swear to you I almost started to cry they felt so good!  My whole body felt relaxed!

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I purchased the Brooks Adrenaline GTS and my podiatrist gave his seal of approval.  Luis also showed me how to tie them to support my ankles better.  They are wonderful.  They are a little more than I usually spend but they seem to be a great product.

Luis also recommended OOFOS thongs that would give me good cushioning.  I purchased them also and they are amazing!  Normally, I cannot wear thongs due to the lack of support they provide so I am quite excited.

I headed back upstairs to check out the women’s apparel.  I was in all of my glory.  I go to the gym 3 times a week and I end up wearing the same two pairs of pants A LOT with a skank tank top.

It’s about time I got something nice!  I ended up with the Brooks Nightlife Long Sleeve top in blue and the Brooks Infiniti Run Tight.  Though everything I went home with is Brooks, it was just a coincidence, as I saw almost every brand available.

I love the choices and the assistance available at City Sports.  Check it out!

Long Island – Manhasset
1900 Northern Blvd
Manhasset, NY 11030
Phone: 516-365-7649
Mon-Sat: 10am – 8pm
Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Apparel samples provided for review

Disney’s ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY Screening

4 Oct

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Though I love the sun sometimes I do love a rainy day, especially when it means I don’t have to go to 3 soccer games!  Instead, today we were all able to attend a screening of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The kids were absolutely thrilled because we’ve all read the book a thousand times.

It’s funny because our day started out a bit like Alexander’s.  We, who are always very early and punctual, got very delayed with my son’s ice hockey game and then got tied up in terrible torrential downpour traffic.  Then we realized he had no shoes and had left them at the hockey rink in our rush to get to the theater!  We finally arrived late (the movie had begun!) and had to sit in the very front row.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is great!  I love any movie with Steve Carell as he is just adorable and always likeable.  (There was some language that was a little racy for my brood but it was brief.)  The movie seems loosely based on the book but now expanded to focus on the entire family experiencing a day where nothing seems to go as planned and ultimately learning to appreciate every day…bad and good!

SYNOPSIS: Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” follows the exploits of 11-year-oldAlexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life—a day that beginswith gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family aboutthe misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen tohim. He soon learns that he’s not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (DylanMinnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very badday. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn’t had one.

In theaters October 10th!

 

 

Parenting Experience Event

29 Sep

I was delighted to be invited to the Parenting Experience Event by Cercone Brown in NYC where I got to take a look at some great brands.  Here is summary of some of my favorite finds:

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Seventh Generation has developed a hypoallergenic and triclosan-free hand wash.  I’m really excited about this because I am a little nuts with my kids and anti bacterialing them all of them but I’m not crazy about all of the recent warnings that have come about regarding triclosan.  SO excited for this product to hit the shelves!

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Summer Infant is featuring the new Pop ‘n Play Portable Playard which allows you to easily create a safe portable play area for your child. The ultra-lightweight and compact fold playard can be set up and taken down in seconds, making it perfect for use at home, a day at the park, or a weekend at the beach.  I found myself imagining this beautiful playard by my side on the soccer field as I fantasized about having a fourth baby…(and then reality hit and I realized I’m too old and I’m too tired!)

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Zarbee’s has a new line of Immune Support gummies which are great for my brood…3 germy kids all in a petri dish called elementary school :)

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When I started talking to the rep at barkTHINS® it was instantly great conversation.  I sampled thin slivers of chocolate that are easily snap-able for portions you can snack on! Crammed with natural ingredients and fair trade chocolate, barkTHINS® are the perfect snack for the serious chocolate lover.  We talked some more and discovered we went to the same high school (in NJ)…how fun!  So now how can I not have good feelings about this brand?! :)

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I got to sample ProBugs™.  Lifeway ProBugs™ is Organic Whole Milk Kefir for kids with fun characters and flavors, with the added bonus of protein and calcium. Plus it has seven to ten billion CFU’s of 10 live and active cultures (friendly bacteria) per cup. As with all Lifeway Products, this kefir is made with milk from grass-fed cows that is free of rBGH (Bovine Growth Hormones) and antibiotics. I’m loving the easy-to-grip shape and no-spill spout and can’t wait to test it out with my three!

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I was reminiscing about having 3 babies 18 months and younger (OMG I still can’t believe it!) when I checked out the UPPAbaby Vista.  The VISTA is a convertible stroller system that can transport up to three children – without growing wider. Designed to adapt as your family grows, the VISTA accommodates your precious cargo from birth through the toddler years.  How totally awesome is that!!! Geez, I would have loved to have had this beauty around when my babies were babies!

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And finally, I was dying from cuteness checking out Magnificent Baby…infant wear with magnetic fasteners so there’s no need to mess with snaps or velcro…brilliant!  And again, I think about how helpful that would have been for ME! (because it IS all about me right?!)  Seriously though it is amazing how baby products keep evolving to make it a little easier for parents.  Hopefully some of these finds will be helpful for you too!

 

Back to School With Mabel’s Labels

7 Sep

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So now that we’ve completed our first week of school we’ve had the weekend to recharge a bit and reflect upon the week. I’ve been contrasting how relaxed I feel today as compared to last Sunday as I scrambled to get all the last minute things done to get 3 children ready for school. Getting kids ready for school = needing lots of labels.

Enter Mabel’s Labels

Mabel’s Labels sells labels for all of your needs from babies to tweens to household labels and child safety labels.  The labels are dishwasher and microwave safe, washer and dryer safe, water proof and UV resistant.

I received the Ultimate Back to School Combo which includes 40 skinny-minis ~ 50 Tag mates ~ 16 Shoe Labels ~ 2 Teeny Tags.  I was able to go on the website and personalize the label and choose the design and color.  (Because I have 3 kids I choose grays and blue with our last name.)  There are so many options!

Though my children are 7, 8 and 8 they still have trouble losing jackets and things so I am thrilled to be to utilize the Tag Mates to label all of their clothing and backpacks.  The labels are also great for the many water bottles we take to all of our sports practices that look like all the others on the field, because my attempts to label with a marker have failed! (Those insulated water bottles aren’t cheap!!!)

Mabel’s Labels has helped this household ease back into school. :)

You can find all of Mabel’s Labels products at http://www.mabelslabels.com/   You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Sample provided for review

Balance Bar Summer Shape Up – Review and Giveaway #BalanceShapeUp #spon

23 Jul

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It’s pretty sad that as a mom I’m constantly working on making sure my kids eat healthy and then I have my son saying to me, “Mom how come you never eat?” I think he’s referring to the fact that I don’t eat breakfast, which, I know is bad. But on days that I go to the gym I pretty much realized it’s awful and not a good plan.

I’ve been trying various shakes and bars but recently was given the opportunity to head over to Walmart and grab some Balance Bars to try out…

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I found them by the pharmacy and I was looking for the Cookie Dough or Peanut Butter flavor but they were sold out but for one Peanut Butter bar I snatched along with a Dark Chocolate Coconut.

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I love the fact that there are 15 grams of protein in one bar and only 7 grams of fat.  I like to get a good dose of protein before I head to the gym and this worked for me.  I also like the flavor and consistency….it’s good!!!!!!!!!!  In each bar, 40% of your calories are from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 30% from fat – making a Balance Bar a great choice for taste and energy.

And, there are so many choices to find a Balance Bar that suits your palate best!

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Balance Bar is currently running a  Summer Shape Up Challenge – which is a 40 Day Challenge filled with 30-minute workouts from NASM Certified Personal Trainer Holly Del Rosso, healthy eating tips, and lots of giveaways on their various social media networks:

Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter(***Balance Bar will be having a Twitter Party on July 31, 2014 at 3pm***)

One Just Another Manic Mommy reader will win a $10 Walmart gift card and a variety pack of Balance Bars !!!

To enter, leave a comment stating which flavor you think you will like the most.

Each of the following will also earn an entry:

  1. Follow @justmanicmommy on Twitter, re tweet the giveaway and leave a comment here stating it.
  2. Became a fan of Just Another Manic Mommy on Facebook, post on the wall about this giveaway, and leave a comment here stating it.
  3. Follow justmanicmommy on Instagram.
  4. Become an email subscriber of Just Another Manic Mommy, and leave a comment here stating it.

Giveaway will end on July 31, 2014.

Disclosure: I received a Walmart gift card and additional product as part of a sponsored collaboration with Balance Bar and Walmart.  All opinions are 100% mine!

 

 

Getting Gorgeous with VO5! #GettingGorgeous

9 Jul

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Every year I attend a fabulous event for moms called Getting Gorgeous developed by masterminds Vera and Audrey who are iconic mom bloggers.  It’s an excuse for me to go into NYC and get a little bit of pampering.  This was my 4th Getting Gorgeous (I think)….I remember when Vera and I were sitting in our town library as our kids attending story time all those years ago and she told me this idea she and her “new friend” had :)

Vera, Me, Audrey

Vera, Me, Audrey

VO5 was the title sponsor and I as I got there a bit early, I raced over to that section and got GORGEOUS with a fabulous hairstyle as I heard about all of the great products.

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You know I love any and all fitness related stuff so I was intrigued to hear about ReXist360 who was there doing workouts with the guests! I’m excited to try it at the gym.

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BALI Intimates was there doing bra fittings and definitely the quote of the day was when the bra fitter said to me “You’re so small yet you’re so big!” :) :)

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Vitabath introduced me to some new smells and it was awesome. And then I headed to Stop & Shop who was there showing some summer dishes!

Calgon was there featuring a fortune-teller for all of the attendants! That was pretty cool.

And before I headed back to Long Island I got an amazing mini foot rub!

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Great day!

And here’s a full list of everyone who was there….

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Kiss My Face New Sun Care for 2014

22 Apr

I’ve been posting about the fact that we just got back from Florida where, though, I LOVE it, I’m always concerned about how to protect my little fair-haired beauties from the sun!!!

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I had an opportunity to test out some of the sun care products from Kiss My Face and was pleased! First off we’ve hit a milestone in this family because the kids are able to pretty much apply their own sunblock and then help one another.

Kiss My Face has introduced a new any angle Air Powered Spray™ that delivers sunscreen without the use of chemical propellants…ideal for hard to reach areas, like behind the legs.  With the new Kiss My Face Kids Sun Care Collection, kids can protect their skin all summer long with formulas that effectively block harmful UV rays with the use of Antioxidant Defenders™ that are free of parabens, oxybenzone and artificial fragrances.  Whether mastering the biggest cannonball or setting up shops for the best lemonade stand, summer’s possibilities are endless thanks to Kiss My Face.

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Kiss My Face Kids Defense™ with Air Powered Spray™ SPF 50

  • Quick and easy application for hard to reach places with any angle Air Powered Spray™
  • Formulated with a unique blend of Antioxidant Defenders™ for advanced protection
  • $16.99 for 6 oz

 Kiss My Face Kids Defense™ Mineral SPF 30

  • Natural mineral sunscreen with Antioxidant Defenders™ for extra fun in the sun
  • Gluten free and biodegradable
  • $14.99 for 4 oz

 Cool Sport™ with Any Angle Air Powered Spray™ SPF 50

  • Provides fast drying, any angle  Air Powered Spray™ protection
  • Combines a blend of Antioxidant Defenders™ including chamomile, Vitamins C and E, with aloe and cucumber to instantly hydrate and cool skin
  • $16.99 for 6 oz

I was surprised at the ease at which the kids were able to apply the sunblock and the protection in the hot Florida sun was great.  And I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for products with more protection and fewer chemicals!

Kiss My Face products are available at Whole Foods, Natural Supermarkets, KissMyFace.com and natural thinking retailers nationwide. 

Samples provided for review

 

Good Times At #MuppetsMostWanted Movie Advance Screening This Morning

15 Mar

The Muppets are back!

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Though the Muppets came out with a movie in 2011, I can honestly say that the last time I have watched anything Muppets was probably around 1981.  So, when I was given the opportunity to attend the screening of Muppets Most Wanted with my children I jumped on it.  I immediately began to school them on all of my favorite characters and we had a blast looking through the thousands of videos available on YouTube.

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“This film takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine-the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit-and his dastardly sidekick Dominic.”

What a complete joy it was for me to enjoy the same cast of characters today, with my kids, that I enjoyed so may years ago as a child.  The characters are just as lovable and endearing and once again the Muppets have produced some great songs.  I was completely floored with the number of superstars that were popping up in scene after scene…cameos everywhere……Selena Gomez, Celene Dion, Usher, and of course my daughter noticed Ross Lynch :) ….just to name a few.  Ray Liotta has a small part and I adore him.  The movie is packed with all-stars which I found surprising for a children’s movie.

I’m not going to lie to you.  I don’t take my kids to the movies a lot because I can’t tolerate sitting through a children’s movie.  But Muppets Most Wanted is really a movie we all enjoyed, and, maybe I’m hormonal or something, but, I even got a little choked up towards the end. :)  We loved it and only wish my favorite, Beaker, had more screen time!

Muppets Most Wanted in theaters Friday!

Who’s your favorite Muppet?! :)

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