Inside the KidzVuz Holiday House Party (Video)

photo credit: Josh Strauss Studios

photo credit: Josh Strauss Studios

100 mom and dad bloggers from all over the Northeast  - and their awesome kids, about 140 of them! – came ready to party with KidzVuz in NYC on November 24th, 2013.  We had amazing large sponsors like Homewood Suites by Hilton, Dermalogica, Samsung, Nintendo, Hasbro, Spinmaster and Audible.com along with smaller NY based brands we love like Downtown Bookworks, IScream NY,  Battery Pop, Green Mustache, Fairway Market and Chloe’s Soft Fruit.  Plus incredible non-profits like The Broadway League, ESRB and The Lamp NYC.

With hands-on activities throughout the room, and video stations where kids could talk about the fantastic products and sponsors that they really loved, the KidzVuz Holiday House Party kicked off the holiday season with joy, fun and plenty of candy to go around!

Watch the video and you’ll instantly see why KidzVuz is the only company that truly brings kids, families and awesome brands and experiences together in a really engaging and unique way!

Scary Santa (or Being Jewish on Christmas)

There are many aspects of Christmas that I envy as a Jewish girl.  Tree trimming,(and the fabulous ornament shopping and collecting), baking, decorating, just one morning of gifts instead of eight nights of pressure, and the amazing holiday songs (the best of which were written by Jews)

But Santa was never a source of envy for me.

A strange man manages to break into your home, even though your parents have assured you that could never happen. He eats your cookies and tries to win your favor by leaving toys.  (Don’t take toys from strangers, right?)

But weirdest of all is that your mom will stick you on the strange man’s lap and expect you to be happy about it.  If you’re Jewish it is especially strange to partake in this tradition.  Or, as you can see from this photo of me, and my screaming sister, terrifying.

scary santa

And don’t get me started on the Easter Bunny.

Check Out KidzVuz on WPIX Morning News: Hot Holiday Picks for Tweens!

Yesterday, Nancy Friedman and I were incredibly excited to do our first live on-air TV segment for KidzVuz.com.  We were featured on the WPIX Morning News here in NYC with two awesome KidzVuz reviewers to show the best holiday picks for tweens – by tweens!  Aren’t you sick of hearing adults go on and on about what kids want – only to discover your kid didn’t really care about that supposedly “hot” toy at all?  Well, we are lucky to have kids all over the country telling us what’s cool, trending or on their wish lists every day on KidzVuz.com.    Check out our awesome segment with the incredibly wonderful Tamsen Fadal who was beyond genuinely nice and great with the kids!

And check out the amazing giveaway for some of these products and a Windows HTC phone on KidzVuzParents.com.  Plus there’s still time for your kid to enter to win a $100 Visa Gift Card on KidzVuz.com.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Flashback

In 2004 my sister worked at CosmoGirl in the temporary offices of the Hearst Corporation, used while they were building the new fabulous building on 8th Ave.  These offices perfectly overlooked the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – right at eye level with the giant balloons.  My daughters were two years old – and totally in awe.

 

A Very Chocolatey Halloween with Jacques Torres

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This week we were seriously delighted to go to Jacques Torres in Tribeca and create chocolate Halloween confections with Jacques and his amazing team.  If you follow me on twitter you already know that I documented my first Wicked Hot Chocolate of the season on the first chilly day in October.

I love Jacques Torres chocolates, so when he opened a store near my daughters’ school it was a mixed blessing – for my dark chocolate tooth.  I sort of hid how awesome it was from my daughters, because the last thing I need are girls who love lobster AND high quality chocolate.  If a 50 cent Kit Kat makes them happy who am I to tell them otherwise?

But, I was super excited to bring my girls to have this incredible experience of both meeting Jacques and getting to work with his delicious chocolate to create really fabulous Halloween chocolate treats.  I had no idea how awesome it was going to be, but it was one of the experiences that surpassed my expectations.

First, the girls were given chef hats and smocks and I was given a hair net (this is why there are no pictures of me!)  Then they were led into the back of the store to the actual chocolate factory.  Vats of chocolate were stirring, racks of finished products were stacked to the ceiling, and the tables were laid out with jars of candy, sheets of molds, containers of fruits.

colored chocolate for decorating

All the fixings for candy chocolate making

They immediately dove in and started making Halloween lollipops and giant tombstones.  After filling in the details with colored chocolate they used a huge pastry bag full of dark, milk or white chocolate to fill the molds to the top, and then they were whisked off to the refrigerators to set.

Filling the tombstone mold

That would have been fabulous enough, but then wax lined baking sheets appeared with huge dollops of chocolate waiting to be decorated and candy covered.

Then, a giant Jack o’lantern (Jacques o’lantern) puzzle mold.  And finally, the huge haunted house molds.   Before I knew it my girls had created 40 pieces of chocolate Halloween goodness.  40!!!

Entire Halloween chocolate creation haul!

On top of all that, Jacques Torres couldn’t have been more wonderful with the kids.  He obviously loves what he does, and loves sharing it.  His team was incredibly gracious, patient and encouraging even though they were over run with sugared up kids (and parents.)   They even packaged everything up professionally to take home.

40 chocolate Halloween creations!

And now, I think that little Jacques Torres store near my daughters’ school will never be just my place ever again.  Also, I’m totally ordering the chocolate turkeys for Thanksgiving!

Get ready for Thanksgiving next!

Pinned on Pinterest: Tween/Teen Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

I’ve been a pinning maniac lately over on our KidzVuz Pinterest Board.  It’s such a great way to share our reviewer’s picks with parents of tweens, and also a super fun way to curate the best of what we see trending for tweens on the web and on KidzVuz.  Here’s our Valentine’s Day Board – we’re adding new stuff every day so follow us on Pinterest!

The Yule Log – An NYC Wordless Wednesday Fireplace

Nothing says holidays in NYC like the Yule Log.  Because who builds a fire in an NYC apartment?  If you grew up in the 70′s and 80′s in NYC the answer was WPIX (channel 11).  Now it’s available on demand on TWC channel 1006 – in HD.  So much better than hauling wood – and greener too!