Review: Mega Bloks Super Megaforce Sky Ship Showdown

Last month, our friends at Saban sent us a Super Mega package in honor of the new episodes of Power Rangers Super Megaforce, which airs on Saturdays at noon on Nickelodeon. 

We had the chance to check out the brand new Super Megaforce Sky Ship Showdownfrom Mega Bloks. This brand new 306-piece set includes a buildable Red Ranger Sky Ship Zord and features a working launcher. In the set, you can also build Damara’s evil ship, and get the Red Ranger and Damaras micro action figures into the mix.  It currently retails for $19.99 at Toys ‘R Us, Amazon and Kohl’s.

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It took us a few hours after school to finish up the Super Megaforce Sky Ship Showdown. For my 6 year old, it took a lot of patience and time to focus on completing the project. There’s always that awesome sense of accomplishment every time we finish a construction project. Biggie had a great time working on the Super Megaforce Sky Ship Showdown.

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 We also loved checking out the Power Rangers Super Megaforce Red Ranger Key and the San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Mighty Morphin Green Ranger Translucent Key from Bandai.

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The keys activate special features in other Super Megaforce toys such as the Deluxe Legendary Morpher, Battle Gear and all the items in the Zord Builder Collection. And I love this feature: when you use your smart phone’s camera, you can scan any Ranger Key with the free Power Rangers Scanner App and morph yourself into any Legendary Ranger onscreen. So cool.

 

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With the Ranger Keys anyone can enter the Power Rangers “Unlock the Power” instant win game and sweepstakes. Be sure to download the Power Rangers Scanner app for a chance to win coupons and toy prize packs now through December 31, 2014.

 

Full disclosure: a sample was provided to facilitate this review. I am a Saban Brandbassador and was provided with products to share the latest updates on Saban Brands. As always, all opinions are my own.

Jenkinson’s Boardwalk Set for Boo at the Beach October 18-19 and 25-26

With the crispness in the air, there’s no doubt that Fall is here. With the cooler temps, comes some of my favorite activities of the year: sweater weather, apple-picking, pumpkin everything and Halloween. As a kid, I loved heading to the beach in the fall months because it was the time for locals to take back our beach. There’s nothing quite like being at the beach in the fall. It’s like a whole different creature!

 

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Good news for those in NJ: Boo at the Beach is back! Starting next month, Jenkinson’s will be decked out for Halloween-themed weekends. On October 18-19 and 25-26 from noon-4pm, head to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk to enjoy Trick or Treating, face painting, arts and crafts to celebrate the Halloween festivities at the beach. For more information about Jenkinson’s Boardwalk and their events, be sure to check them out online.

Happy Play-Doh Day + 3 Fun Play-Doh YouTube Channels

Today marks National Play-Doh day, and with its close timing to back to school season, the iconic dough compound from Hasbro sculpted six schools and students from classic movies and tv shows. From Cher’s plaid back to school outfit from “Clueless” to the Burn Book from “Mean Girls,” to Rydell High’s infamous T-Birds and Pink Ladies, to Mike and Sulley from Monsters University to the lockers from Saved by the Bell and to two memorable scenes from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Play-Doh captured the essence of these classic shows.

 

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Play-Doh on YouTube

We can’t leave all the fun up to Play-Doh on National Play-Doh Day! In case you didn’t already know, the kids love watching kids play on YouTube. This is a thing, people. Some of the highest trafficked channels on YT are toy and play-based! One of the reasons I know this is because my 3 year old Godson is a huge fan of watching Play-Doh on YouTube. When YouTube was created, I bet they never even considered this would become a thing!

 

And in honor of National Play-Doh Day, here’s a trio of channels that have captivated audiences young and old…all in the name of Play-Doh!

 

Surprise Eggs unboxing toys 

These videos give a thorough visual tour of the toys. What I found about these Play-Doh fan channels is that they rarely have a “face” to them.  And, I guess that doesn’t really matter for the kids who just watch for entertainment, rather than research. As a blogger, I personally appreciate the faces behind the content, but that’s me.

 

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Kid Toys TV

This is another unboxing channel that focuses on the product, rather than details of the toy.  This unboxing of Frosting Fun Bakery Playset which was originally published in August and has about 240, 000 views and counting. What’s unique about these videos is that there’s no commentary, just playing and unboxing. The musak gets repetitive, but it’s still cute.

 

 

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DisneyCollector

Perhaps the rockstar of the the Play-Doh YouTube sector, DisneyCollector has garnered billions of viewers on her channel that overviews toys. Billions! This video of the Mega Factory Play-Doh playset has a staggering 25 million views.

 

 

 

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The voice behind Disney Collector is, quite simply a mystery. Many of her video analyze and unbox new toys, including Play-Doh sets. According to Adweek, she has over 3 Billion views. She’s been mentioned by BuzzFeed, New York Times, AdWeek and now NKT ;)  After watching some of her videos, I get the allure. Her voice and video content are equally mesmerizing.

Project Nursery Launches Online Shop

Project Nursery, one of the preeminent style resources for nursery design and beyond, has just welcomed a new addition to their budding media empire: their e-commerce shop for nursery decor and gifts. The new online shop features timeless designs and well-recommended pieces and products often featured on their site.  


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Co-Founders, Melisa Fluhr and Pam Ginocchio have been showcasing stylish nurseries with thoughtful design on Project Nursery for over six years, the online shop reflects the curated products and exclusive collaborations synonymous with the site’s panache for elegance and design.

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Having covered new and notable kid gear over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting one of the co-founders at baby-centric media events. I’ve personally been a fan of Project Nursery and am always drawn to their beautiful booths whenever they exhibit at Big City Mom’s Biggest Baby Shower.

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Their new online shop is simple to navigate and encompasses the same modern yet timeless aesthetic in nursery design that we’ve grown to love. I love the tassel garland in the party section, the Belabumbum pjs for mom and the gorgeous crib bedding sets. If you’re expecting, have a new babe or on the hunt for a truly stylish baby gift, make sure you check out Project Nursery’s Shop!

Congrats on the new online shop, Project Nursery!

Guardians of the Galaxy Big Blastin’ Rocket Raccoon Review + Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Disney and Walmart, but as always, all opinions are my own.

As superhero aficionados, we’re all about superheros 24/7. You name it: superhero-themed shows, books, games and toys populate almost every inch of this boy house. With younger guys, we have yet to see Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but have definitely been reading all about it. Oh, and playing with Guardians-themed toys, too.

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If you’re fans of the movie, then you’ll be thrilled to know that Guardians of the Galaxy toys are available at Walmart.  There are five action-packed toys that will help kids save the galaxy, including: 

Battle FX Star-Lord Figure

Star Lord Battlle Mask and Blaster Set

 Rocket Raccoon Action Mask

 Big Blastin Rocket Raccoon

Milano Starship

Walmart has the whole lineup of these cool Guardians of the Galaxy toys.

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We had the chance to review the Big Blastin’ Rocket Raccoon toy from Hasbro. This short in stature but big by nature character reflects the bold Marvel character.   

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My big guy got a kick out of his “funny words.” While the smaller guy cracks up at the motions of the blaster and blasting his big brother. The laughter and imaginative play between these two is so great! The main caveat with these toys is that since we haven’t seen the movie, we aren’t familiar with the storyline, other than what we’ve read. It certainly doesn’t take away from the play value, I just think the excitement level would peak even higher if we were more familiar with Guardians. We’ll have to rectify this soon!

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We had such a great time reviewing this cool toy, that my big guy enjoyed vlogging all about it. I loved how he lists the things he loves most about the Big Blastin’ Rocket Raccoon. For those who loved the movie, your kids would certainly appreciate this cool toy. Be sure to check out J’s favorite aspects of the Big Blastin’ Rocket Raccoon.

 

Want a Big Blastin’ Rocket Raccoon for you or your kid? Be sure to enter to win a $25 Walmart gift card. Click below for details. 

The Guardians Of The Galaxy At Walmart $25 Gift Card Sweepstakes

The Guardians Of The Galaxy At Walmart $25 Gift Card Sweepstakes

 

Full disclosure:  This is a sponsored post and I was compensated for my time. However, all opinions are my own.

 

7 Reasons to Love and to Visit Jenkinson’s Boardwalk

I’m going to be completely honest here: when it comes to beaches, I’m a bit of a snob. When I moved to New Jersey more than 13 years ago, I knew nothing about the beaches here, or should I say, the shore.  It was all unfamiliar to me: young professionals would rent space—not even whole rooms—in small shore houses; you had to pay to enter the beaches and they call it “the shore.” What? 

Growing up in a beach town and then settling in a lake community in the NJ suburbs, we rarely visited the shore unless we were visiting family at LBI. In my 20s, we’d visit Jenkinson’s for bachelorette parties, but the daytime boardwalk was totally foreign to me.  I’m so glad that has changed as we’ve grown to love Jenkinson’s this summer as part of the Ambassador program.

 

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There’s so much to love about Jenkinson’s, so much so, I felt compelled to itemize the things we love most about this fun boardwalk and attractions in Point Pleasant, NJ.

 

 

1. The Rides

If you spend any time at a beach boardwalk, then you know just how turnkey the rides are for the kids. It’s, quite simply, a rite of passage to spend hours waiting in the hot summer sun mapping out which rides to ride and then waiting for said rides.  At Jenkinson’s, the amusements are manageable, even on the most crowded days. 

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The lines are streamlined, the rules and regulations are clearly posted and all the rides appear to be safe. Most importantly, however, the kids love them. On wristband days, my older son and I can be found riding Flitzer non-stop.

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I especially love how there’s a great selection of rides that appeal to my two year old as well as my six year old. Some rides that they can ride together include:  Motor Jump, Convoy Race, Carousel and the Elephants.

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IMG 2222The Train is a family fave.  It’s a chance to sit and relax somewhat in the shade, but still, the kids are being entertained by circling the perimeter of the amusement area. It’s a win-win for tired parents and energetic kids!

 

 

2. The Aquarium

Perhaps one of the most unique aspects of Jenkinson’s Boardwalk is their Aquarium.  Educating the public about marine life since the early 90s, the Aquarium remains a mainstay for tourists and locals alike.

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The Aquarium boasts exhibits such as Atlantic sharks, Pacific sharks, coral reefs, penguins and seals. We love to spend a few hours at the Aquarium to cool off from the beach and boardwalk, and it also gives us a chance to say hi to our favorite marine animal friends.

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Like so many others, we love “studying” the sharks’ and giggling at the penguins, but it’s the seals who have our hearts. We talk about Seaquin and Luseal like they’re our friends, and we’re still mourning the loss of the Aquarium’s beloved seal, Coral. 

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We were absolutely touched by the children’s artwork in the makeshift memorial for Coral who passed away last month. On a brighter note, when we’re not touching the stingrays in the touch tank upstairs, we absolutely love watching the seal feeding time or participating in one of the many educational workshops.

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At just $11.50 for adults and $6.50 for kids 3-12, the Aquarium truly is a gem for the Boardwalk and worth every penny of its admission. 

 

 

3. The beach

As a lifelong east coaster, I’ve spent most of my summers at a beach: toes in the sand, relaxing under the sun and listening to the calming waves. It was so fun getting familiarized with the beach at Jenkinson’s.

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We found it to be a spacious and definitely one of the cleaner beaches we’ve visited here in the north. Even on the busy days, because there’s so much to do at Jenkinson’s, we never felt too crowded. My only complaint, as for any beach, is the parking situation—or the lack thereof. Daily rates for entrance to the beach runs around $9.50 for adults and kids five and under are free. Looking to spend even more time at the beach? Look into investing in a season pass, which runs around $90/adult and $45/child.  

 

 

4. Games

If you spend time at Jenkinson’s, then you know there’s no shortage of games.  From the arcade games to the games of chance to mini golf to the fun house, there’s a game for everyone.

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My family has a healthy obsession for competition, so we always like to try our hand at the games of chance. Those ring tossing games always stump us, but we give it a good family try. Thankfully, though, we had some luck at the water gun races. Earlier in the summer, we had fun with the rooftop mini golf.

IMG 3445It was pretty difficult playing mini golf with a toddler in tow who wanted to sabotage everyone’s game, but we had fun nonetheless. It gets a bit hot on the rooftop and this venue is not stroller friendly, so definitely keep that in mind if you’re thinking of mini golf during the day. The views up there are not to be missed!

 

 

5. The Food

I always associate the best beach trips with delicious food. Jenkinson’s Boardwalk offers a great selection of sweets and treats. For lunch, my family likes hitting Little Mac’s for cheesesteaks, pizzas and fries.IMG 2033

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When at the beach, you can’t go wrong with comfort food and fried food. The freshly squeezed lemonade stands, though, can’t be missed!  Looking for sweet treats? Make sure you grab a frozen custard cone from Kohr’s or a chocolate covered Rice Krispie from one of the sweet shops.

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6. The Boardwalk

The beach and the boardwalk go hand in hand. As a teen, I remember walking up and down the boardwalk of my hometown, boy-watching, laughing and giggling with my friends. IMG 2066As a mom, it’s fun to do the same with my family. Only now, our laughter and giggles are elicited from people watching and the silly antics that can be found on the boardwalk. One of the coolest aspects of Jenkinson’s Boardwalk is the family-friendly activities that congregate on almost every corner.  Throughout the summer months, we’ve loved watching magicians, stilt walkers, and most recently, even participating in a kid hula hoop contest!  This is what makes summer so memorable.

 

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7. Making Memories

Last but not least, perhaps the best part of Jenkinson’s is making memories with my family. I can record and take pictures all day long as we have fun, but the best kind of memories are the kind that we make in person.

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On Instagram, I posted how it was so tough being a big brother. As much as big brother hated riding a baby ride, he’s such a trooper for appeasing Littles. Just look at that smile!

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The best kind of memories are the ones that you and the kids will remember for years to come. Whether it’s riding the Flitzer 120 times on one visit, winning a super-sized stuffed animal, getting totally freaked out in the fun house or giving Luseal kisses from a distance, Jenkinson’s is the quintessential backdrop for making family memories that will last a lifetime.

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Full disclosure:  This is a sponsored post as part of the Jenkinson’s Ambassador program. I was compensated for my time and participation, but as always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

So Cozy: Back to School Hairstyles and Hair Products for Kids

With many of us starting school either this week or in the coming days, there’s an equal mix of excitement and anxiety about starting with a clean slate.  Like many of you, we use the new school year as a chance to refresh our wardrobe and update our look.

 Just the other week, we learned firsthand about some easy back to school hairstyles. 

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Biggie was asked to participate in a segment on the Today Show that focused on hairstyles for kids.  But before we get to his hairstyle, here are the tips we learned from Cozy Friedman of Cozy’s Cuts.

 

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1. Turn a braided ponytail into an easy updo by wrapping it up in a bun.  You can accessorize with clips on the side to dress up this easy updo.

 

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2. Turn a side ponytail inside out with a Flip Tail by parting the hair above the rubber band and then flipping the tail through the part.  This is an easy alternative for a regular pony.

 

3. Tame bedhead with detangler and then comb it through.  Add a drop of styling product to polish off a surfer look, and voilà!

 

4. And for the one that is most relevant for my guy, clean up a longer summer cut in lieu of a more conservative look and adding spikes in the front. From what I’m learning, boys this age are starting to become more aware of their appearance. 

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While my guy and I loved his longer locks, his hair got a lot of wear and tear this summer from all that swimming he did. So, one of the talented stylists from Cozy’s Cuts for Kids trimmed his hair, added texture with some layers and then styled with some product, such as Cozy’s styling gel. 

 

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Cozy’s tip about spiking the front of boys’ hair like J’s:  just use a drop of gel and massage into the roots and style as you’d like.  For shorter cuts like this, Cozy says you don’t need product in the back since the hair already goes in its natural direction.

 

Cozy not only has a chain of hair salons geared to kids, but also has a line of excellent hair products called So Cozy Haircare for Children.  This line of hair care products has all kinds of good stuff and much less of the bad stuff. So Cozy Haircare boasts that their products are non-toxic, has no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic color, propylene glycol and are free of gluten, wheat and nuts.

 

 

1.  The 3-n-1 shampoo/conditioner and body wash is ideal for simplifying bath time, especially on hectic school nights.  The 3-n-1 formulation lets you lather up the kids in one fell swoop: from head all the way down to their toes.  

 

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2. Behave Styling Cream helps to tame frizzies and defines curled hair with a softer hold.  The aloe barbadensis leaf extract helps to moisturize and soothe the hair and scalp.

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3.  Behave Styling Gel with medium hold helps to style those spikes or keep those slicked back styles smooth.  The tropical smell is a fresh twist for kids and the fruit acid complex helps to promote a healthy scalp.

 

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4.  Cinch Detangler and Leave-in Conditioner helps with hair that’s prone to knotting.  It moisturizes as it makes combing hair easier.  It contains Keratin which helps to strengthen and protect hair.  The soy protein helps to promote growth and make hair soft.  This detangler is something I could’ve used as a long-haired kid, and to this day as a knotty-haired mama!

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So Cozy for kids is a fun line and ideal for streamlining those back to school routines at home!  In the NYC? Head over to Cozy Cuts for Kids for those back to school cuts!

 

 

And, in case you missed the Back to School segment on the Today Show the other week, here’s Cozy demonstrating her tips on the kids, including my guy at the very end!

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Join Macy’s and Radio Disney for a Back to School Event at Bridgewater Commons

As we transition from these lazy days of summer, we’re starting to gear up for Back to School!  And because we’re all about the Next Kid Thing, we’re zeroing in on the latest and greatest for BTS gear.  Some of my personal favorite trends for kids this fall include bright neon accents, fun embellishments, quirky graphic tees and bold denim.

 

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Want to check out the latest trends for the kids while having some fun?  Be sure to stop into Macy’s at Bridgewater Commons for their Back to School event. Radio Disney will be onhand to help shoppers rock out, and there will be plenty of crafts, games and prizes!  My friend, Hilary of A Fancy Girl Must, will be tweeting and Instagramming Live for NKT, so be sure to say hello!  Follow or hang with us on social media by using #MacysBTS. 

The event starts at noon at the Bridgewater Commons Macy’s, up on the 3rd floor in the Kid’s Department.  We’ll see you on Saturday at Macy’s!

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In the meantime, check out Macy’s Back to School Shopping Guide to scope out some looks for the kids.  

 

Not in the NJ area, be sure to check out the other events going on in other towns.

 

Macy’s Citrus Park

Tampa, FL

Children’s Department, 2nd Floor

August 9th, 1PM

 

Macy’s West County 

St. Louis, MO

Kids Department, 3rd Floor 

August 16th, 2PM

 

Macy’s Woodfield

Schaumburg, IL

Kids Department, Lower Level

August 16th, 2PM

 

Macy’s Northlake

Charlotte, NC

Children’s Department, 2nd Floor

August 16th, 2PM

 

Macy’s Great Lakes

Mentor, OH

Kids Department, Lower Level

August 23rd, 2PM

 

Macy’s Arden Fair

Sacramento, CA

Kids Department, Lower Level

August 23rd, 1PM

 

Macy’s Sherman Oaks 

Sherman Oaks, CA

Kids Department, Level 1

August 23rd, 2PM

 

Macy’s Park Meadows 

Littleton, CO

Kids Department, Level 3

August 23rd, 2PM

 

Macy’s Robinson Town Centre 

Pittsburgh, PA

Kids Department, 2nd Floor

August 23rd, 1PM

 

Macy’s Downtown Brooklyn

Brooklyn, NY

Kids Department, 4th Floor

August 23rd, 2PM

 

Macy’s Clackamas

Portland, OR

Kids Department, Lower Level

August 30th, 1PM

 

Macy’s Walden Galleria

Cheektowanga, NY (Buffalo)

Lower Level

September 6th, 2PM


Macy’s South Shore Plaza

Braintree, MA 

Kids Department, 2nd Floor

September 13th, 2PM

 

 

Full Disclosure: I am a member of the Everywhere Society, who have provided me with compensation for this post. As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.



Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Set for August 23 + Giveaway

In less than a week, on August 23, the 19th Annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Presented by Hess is set to take center court at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens. 

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As in years past, the day promises a lineup of the hottest up and coming musicians including Hunter Hayes, Shawn Mendes, MKTO, McClain, The Vamps and Madison Beer & DJ Salerno. 

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Last year, we enjoyed the likes of Ariana Grande and Austin Mahone, not to mention an awesome intro from none other than the First Lady, Michelle Obama.  

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And because it’s a family-centric prelude to a grand slam event, tennis greats Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are expected to help kick off the 2014 US Open.  

According to reports, defending champ, Rafael Nadal, pulled out of this year’s US Open due to a wrist injury, but here’s hoping that last year’s defending champ will be onhand this Saturday for festivities.

 

Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is not only an entertaining day with musical acts, but it’s also a fun day for families with plenty of free interactive activities. Starting at 9:30, throughout the grounds at the USTA Billie Jean National Tennis Center, there will be free face painting, juggling workshops, 10 and under tennis, hair beading and braiding, balloon artists, Nickelodeon characters and The US Open Express Fan Experience. In addition to watching the tennis pros practice, our favorite activities include the tennis and skills activity course sponsored by Nike and Tennis education clinic.

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Because I grew up watching my dad and brother play tennis and watch the sport on tv religiously, tennis runs deep in our family.  Both of my boys have started practicing with my dad, so it’s even more special that my dad will be joining us this year for Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.  

 

This is absolutely one of my favorite events to cover all year, so I’m even more excited to be giving away a set of four tickets to this year’s Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day! Enter below for a chance to win tickets to this fun family event in Flushing, NY on 8/23!

 

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Westin Introduces SuperChefs Program and Eat Well Menu for Kids

This summer, we’ve had quite a few travel adventures so far.  Just as awesome though, we’ve had some cool kid-centric culinary experiences.  I’m still working on my reviews on my travel pieces, but I wanted to share some information on a recent event we attended.

 

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Westin Hotels & Resorts announced the next stage of its year-long Westin Well-Being Movement and we were on hand to experience it ourselves.  As part of their ongoing initiative to harness wellness within their properties, Westin unveiled two new nutrition-focused partnerships with SuperChefs and The Juicery and the newest member of their Well-Being Council, dietician Ashley Koff RD.

 

In a time where childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years per the CDC, educating and engaging kids with food and healthier habits is so integral.  With programs like the SuperChefs that emphasize the educating kids on eating smart, I truly believe our paradigm is shifting in the right directions.  

 

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Westin’s partnership with SuperChefs underscores the brand’s dedication to well being.  They now offer a menu fully dedicated to healthy options for kids at hotels globally.  The Westin Eat Well Menu for Kids engages children through a playful menu placemat filled with dishes like Build Your Own Fruit Crepes.  Kids get to play with their food, which gives them a chance to discover what they’re eating but still offers the value of healthy eating.  Among some other dishes on the new kids’ menu includes Build Your Own Salmon Nicoise Salad and Baby Spinach & Omelet.

 

A few weeks ago, we had the chance to experience the SuperChefs program firsthand, and super was quite the understatement.  My six year old learned not just what a crepe is, but also how to flip it!  I absolutely loved his surprised look when he learned to snap his wrist and flip! 

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As if smearing Nutella on his very own crepe wasn’t delicious enough, Biggie also learned how to make his own pasta.  I’m not talking opening a box and boiling, we’re talking creating our own dough and cranking out our own noodles with love.  J loved learning how to use the pasta machine and cranking out his very own noodles—so much so, he begged to make noodles at home so we’d have enough for everyone.  You know an event is that good when your kid wants to continue the activity at home and further in life.

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SuperChefs is a wonderful, engaging way for kids to learn about the food they eat.  I appreciate how Westin’s Well-Being Movement continues to make strides to offer their guests with an overall well-rounded approach and includes kids with their recent collaboration with SuperChefs.