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

23 Jul


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…


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.


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!


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:

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


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.


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.


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!” :) :)


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!


Great day!

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




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!!!


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.


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, and natural thinking retailers nationwide. 

Samples provided for review


Good Times At #MuppetsMostWanted Movie Advance Screening This Morning

15 Mar

The Muppets are back!


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.


“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?! :)


Princess House Cookin’ Kids™ Collection Review and Giveaway–ENTER TO WIN

24 Dec

I’ve been talking lately about holiday traditions with the kids. I think we have officially started a new one…baking holiday cookies.

Yesterday was rainy and dreary and the kids first official day of winter break. I had an opportunity to review the Princess House Cookin’ Kids™ Collection and it was a perfect day for it. The kids were so excited when I showed them the kitchen tools that were made especially for them and perfect for creating our cookies.

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The Cookin’ Kids Collection offers real working tools designed to be used safely by small hands. The perfect excuse to spend quality time with the kids! Some key components:

· Built-in rests keep tools elevated to minimize mess.

· Aprons have pockets to hold tools and adjustable neck and waist straps.

· Mixing Bowl has clearly marked measurements inside.

· All of our Cookin’ Kids™ products have been designed for children ages 8 and up

Initially just the girls were in on the action but once my too cool son saw how much fun we were having he wanted in on it!

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The tools are top-quality stainless steel, BPA-free plastic, stain- and odor-resistant and silicone, melamine, 100% cotton.  It’s a good thing my daughter had on that cute apron because when we were done she was covered with flour!

I let the kids have free reign with the design and look of the cookies…they used the wonderful holiday cookie cutters and then designed them as they pleased….so….here are our holiday cookies…

and I love them!

and I love them!

Princess House would like to offer one Cookin’ Kids collection” prize pack to one Just Another Manic Mommy reader!!!  The pack includes: a whisk, spoon, spatula, mixing bowl, apron, holiday cookie cutter and stencil set, and oven mitt.

Each of the following will earn an entry:

  1. Check out Princess House Cookin’ Kids™ Collection and leave a comment here about why your kid would love 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 Twitter, re tweet the giveaway and leave a comment here stating it.
  4. Became a fan of Princess House on Facebook, post on the wall about this giveaway, and leave a comment here stating it.
  5. Become an email subscriber of Just Another Manic Mommy, and leave a comment here stating it.

Winner will be chosen at random on 12/30/13 and notified by email.

Sample provided for review.

Santa Caught on Tape® Review #catchsanta

17 Dec


I mentioned that other day that my kids are beyond nuts during this time of year. First off my twins have their birthdays in November and then we roll into the holidays. Like I always tell the kids, they are soooo special and sooo lucky because we celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas and as I go on to talk about the meaning of that the only word that starts reverberating in their brain is PRESENTS!!!!!!!!!!!! And lots of them!

I love Santa Claus and there’s nothing better than seeing my kids’ excitement and anticipation about Santa. I am devastated that my 3rd graders are starting to ask little questions here and there which indicates to me that the magic and the belief might be coming to an end sooner than I would like…

Or maybe not…after I show the kids the most amazing video…Santa Caught on Tape.  Check this out:

It’s Santa arriving in MY LIVING ROOM!  Proof that he exists!!  The kids are going to flip and I can’t wait to show them on Christmas Day.

Here are the details about this new web service:

Santa Caught on Tape®, ( a new Internet service from Park Bench Media has created a sneak peek for children that will allow them to see Santa in the act without the need to stay awake all night.

Imagine the wonder on Christmas morning when parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles can share a video clip with their loved ones of Santa putting presents under the tree in their own home? Well, wonder no more. Simply take a picture of your Christmas tree on a smart phone or tablet and Santa Caught on Tape will do the rest.

“Santa Caught on Tape came about from stories my wife and I were recounting to our two boys of the failed attempts we had as children to catch Santa on Christmas Eve,” said John Brancaccio, Creator and Executive Producer, Park Bench Media. “The technology is there to support it, so why not offer a product that allows parents to share in the Christmas magic.”

Visit to upload a photo of your tree and within a few days a professionally edited video of Santa in your living room delivering presents will be sent in return. No two are alike and children will think the impossible has happened: Santa was caught on tape! This service is available for $19.99 and provides a 45-60 second HD quality video clip that can be downloaded to any smart phone, tablet or mobile device.

It took 2 seconds for me to snap a photo of the Christmas tree with my iPhone, upload it to the site, and I was done.  It’s so easy and if you use the code Santa_BLOG_20 at checkout you can receive 20% off your order.

This is the coolest thing ever! Snap your photo to get your video before Christmas arrives!

Our Generation Me & You Sets

5 Dec

My poor son is outnumbered to begin with, but when my girls have their dolls out, forget it, he just grabs his iPod and finds a corner and stays far away! Seriously, my girls, though they fight a ton, do have great times together playing with each other.  As close as they are, their dolls are equally bonded!

They were so excited when I told them we had a chance to try out some really awesome Our Generation products specifically tailored for their dolls. But they already know all about Our Generation…as they are magnetically drawn to that area of Target whenever we are there, begging for everything on the shelf.

My little one received a Me & You Outfit and she was beyond delighted. With all of our doll accessories she had yet to acquire matching outfits. She immediately dressed herself and her doll, put her and it at the table, and kindly told me they were ready for breakfast to be served. :)


The outfits are really beautiful and my daughter had no problem dressing the doll without any help from me.

Her big sister, my artist, was delighted to receive the Me & You Tutu Set, which she had to actually construct herself. Being the kid she is she got right to work!


I think my 6-year-old would have needed a lot of help with the tutus, but my 8-year-old only needed minimal help.  And the result…



About Our Generation:
Our Generation is a contemporary, fashion-forward, affordable doll  collection that boasts amazing accessories for girls and their dolls.   Our Generation donates 10 cents from each purchase to Free the Children.  Our Generation earned the 2012 Toy Top of the Year from Creative Child, 2012 Preferred Choice Award from Creative Child, Dr. Toy’s Best Picks  Children’s Products, Parent’s Choice Approved Award and Toy Insider’s  “Hot Toys of the Year” for Preschoolers.  Since it’s brand relaunch, Our Generation has been featured in Parent’s Magazine’s GoodyBlog,  Pregnancy Magazine, North Dallas Gazette, San Diego Family Magazine,  Detroit Free Press and, among many others!

We have so many Our Generation products and I happen to know that Santa is bringing the girls this and this among other things which will surely make them go crazy!

Do you have any doll crazy Our Generation loving girls?


Samples provided for review.

Symphony in B. Toy Review–Music to My Children’s Ears!

4 Nov

Halloween has just finished and the big holidays are around the corner (we are already getting toy catalogues that the kids are scrawling all over). I know I have to get it in gear to get presents for my 3 children. Some of you may be feeling the pressure already like me. If you have a 3-13 year old I have a great toy suggestion to present to you. It’s called Symphony in B.


I, or I should really say, my kids had the opportunity to check out the Symphony in B. which I have actually picked up and scrutinized many times in Target. Why you might ask? Because the music lover in me was naturally drawn to the word Symphony…and it’s an accurate description of what can be produced with this fabulous toy. Here are the details:

You’re the conductor! Choose up to 6 instruments to put in the orchestra pit and hear them play together. Then change up the instruments and hear the musical transformation.

  • 13 instruments and 15 songs and symphonies. Millions of musical combinations!
  • Choose from clarinet, flute, tuba, trumpet, xylophone, drums, cymbals, piano, accordion, koto, guitar, violin and sitar.
  • Lights teach the sections of an orchestra
  • Professionally recorded sounds
  • Included playbill teaches composers, writers and lyrics

We’ve had Symphony in B. a couple of weeks now and I can’t believe the kids are still playing with it every day (of course you know that means they are fighting over it too!).  Admittedly, it’s my 6 year old who is most smitten with it.


She’s says, “This is the best toy I’ve ever played with in my life”.  She loves to listen for the individual instruments as she adds them to the orchestra and she has learned, quickly, the names of them all.  She and her big sis do love to let their dolls enjoy the music too. :)


As a lover of classical music (and the kids have always listened as well) I am beyond impressed with this toy.  My children enjoy it immensely while their brains are stimulated with beautiful sounds!  It’s been great timing in our family as my daughter has recently starting playing the violin.

Have you started shopping for the holidays yet?  Symphony in B. is a winner!

Sample provided for review.


Kids’ Hale Muck Boot Review and GIVEAWAY — ENTER HERE TO WIN A PAIR!

22 Oct

A few weeks ago I got a chance to check out the new Kids’ Hale Muck Boots at the Parenting Experience in NYC.  With all the rain, blizzards and hurricanes we deal with here in the NY area it can be quite a challenge keeping my 3 properly boot fitted for the inclement weather.  I am frequently hearing complaints about ill-fitting, soggy, socks falling down, cold uncomfortable feet in boots that barely last us a season.  So I was thrilled to be able to nab a few pairs of the Kids’ Hale Muck Boots to bring home to try out in fabulous bright colors.

As a mom there’s always that concern about color selection…you think you’ve chosen wisely only to come home to disdain from the kids.  Thankfully though, my children were thrilled with their beautifully colored boots!


Really though, how could they not be happy with these boots!?

The New Hale by Muck Boots, will keep them comfy, warm and dry, no matter what they get into.  Here are the details:

  • The stretch-fit topline binding is snug around the calf to keep warm air in and cold air out
  • Fully insulated with 4mm NEOPRENE. This provides the optimal warmth, comfort, and waterproofing that you expect from a Muck Boot.
  • The PK Mesh lining allows for breathability
  • The Diamond tread self-cleaning outsole wraps the entire perimeter for maximum protection and stability that doesn’t track mud!

Did you see that? Doesn’t track mud!!! I don’t know about you…but that is another absolute plus for me.

I see great fitting, dry, socks in place, warm, comfortable feet in fabulous boots in the future of this mud free home!!!  And I don’t know what it is about these boots but once the kids had them on they ran around the house like complete lunatics.

This was me:  hey kids, can you please put on your gorgeous Muck Boots so mommy can take photos for her blog?

And this is what I saw:


After some threats and yelling gentle,  I was able to get the kids to relax for a second to let me take a few more shots :).




The boots were pretty easy for them to get on and off and they had no problems at all running and tackling anyone in them!  They can’t wait for a load of snow on our snow mountain to really test them out!

How much would you love for your kids to have a pair?!

One Just Another Manic Mommy reader will win a pair of Kids’ Hale Muck Boots from The Original Muck Boot Company !!!

Each of the following will earn an entry:

  1. Check out The Original Muck Boot Company and leave a comment here about why your kid need Kids’ Hale Muck Boots!
  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 Twitter, re tweet the giveaway and leave a comment here stating it.
  4. Became a fan of The Original Muck Boot Company on Facebook, post on the wall about this giveaway, and leave a comment here stating it.
  5. Become an email subscriber of Just Another Manic Mommy, and leave a comment here stating it.

Winner will be chosen at random on 10/29/13 and notified by email.

Sample provided for review.

Some Favorite Products from the Parenting Experience Event

30 Sep

Recently I had another great opportunity to attend the Parenting Experience in NYC where I got to hear about some brands and products.

First I spent time with Plum Organics Baby Food. My youngest is 6 years old and it’s amazing to me how much has changed in the baby market since she was a baby.   Spinach, pumpkin & chickpea baby food?! Really?! I’m so not joking when I tell you I was salivating looking at this stuff!!!  Looks so healthy and delish!



And speaking of baby things, Tommee Tippee has released a new diaper disposal pail. It’s the only 360 degree sealer on the market that individually seals each dirty diaper providing true odor control. Those magic words when you’re talking diapers…odor control!
Also featured is the Perfect Prep Machine…which prepares a fresh bottle at just the right serving temperature in less than 2 minutes….something else that would have made my life so much easier when I had babies!

Seventh Generation is known for many household and personal care products. They are now hitting the beauty market with Seventh Generation Boosts™. Six facial serums, each formulated to care for a unique skin need, work gently to nourish and balance with pure botanical oils. Each Boost is designed to deliver concentrated nourishment directly to the skin and help lock in moisture to promote elasticity without clogging pores. Even oily skin feels renewed and balanced.  The serums are very reasonable priced and available at Walgreens.


LG showed off Door In Door Refrigerator which provides more usable space…we had lots of fun playing with it while I fantasized about owning it!


K12 , an online learning system, took us through their guided lesson plans. The system can be used as an extension for students who need extra help at home as a bridge to their current curriculum OR the program can be used as a home school platform. We saw several students diligently working their lessons while we got our tutorial.


Kindred children’s clothing company displayed European inspired, handmade clothing that I wanted to scoop up for all my friends with babies. The clothing is made with vintage, organic fabrics.  Really cute stuff.


Last but not least Muck boots showcased their kid line which is perfect timing for us as we are in need of boots for our rapidly growing little big feet in this house for the inclement weather. Look for more to come from me in the form of a giveaway and review about Muck boots but let me just say that I’m loving the playful bright colors….all on a great weatherproof boot.


Some many great things!


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