Saturday in the city

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The best part of living in NYC is we are never short of things to do on the weekend. However, this past Saturday, the amount of things we did went above and beyond a normal Saturday in New York City. So, to keep it all straight I decided to put a timeline post together of our Saturday, accompanied with photos.

  • 7am The kids wake-up
  • 9:30am We leave the apartment (picked up lattes on our walk)
  • 10am bowling at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers, for Time Out Kids birthday bash. This whole Bowlmor location has been completely renovated with laser tag, a ropes course, updated arcade, perfect for a NYC kid birthday party. #BowlmorKids

BowlmorKids NYC

  • 11am Soccer class

Soccer Chelsea Piers

  • Walk a few block in the cold and check out the ice on the frozen Hudson river.
  • 12am Learned all about the new YouTube Kids app that makes it safer and easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore. Plus hang with Sesame Street puppeteers and characters. #YouTubeKids

YouTube Kids

Sesame Street YouTube Kids Elmo and My Strange Family

  • N A P T I M E / L U N C H T I M E

  • 5pm Checked out the new show The Light Princess, at the New Victory Theater. This show had acting, singing, great costumes and kept my sons attention for the whole 70 minutes. Playing now through March 8th 2015 in NYC, perfect for kids 5 and up. #LightPrincess

The Light Princess

The Light Princess Ashley Monet

  • B A B Y S I T T E R / D A T E N I G H T

  • 7:30PM Watched Every Brilliant Thing, a one man show staring Jonny Donahoe at the Barrow Street Theater. This show has tons of audience participation, and is about depression (but so not depressing to watch) and the lengths we go to for those we love.

Every Brilliant Thing Barrow Street Theater

  • 9pm Have one drink at Sushi Samba 7
  • 9:30pm Seven year wedding anniversary dinner at Sushi Nakazawa, this twenty-course omakase sushi meal is the best we have ever had in NYC and highly compares to other sushi places that we have been to in Japan.

Sushi Nakazawa NYC Nakazawa Sushi

    • G O O D N I G H T

Lets just say we did not do as much on Sunday. How Was your Saturday?

iPhone App: KidsLink, share safely in your circle

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KidsLink is a new iPhone app where you can share documents, photos, and moments safely in your approved circle of family and friends. Parents raising kids in the digital age of Facebook and Instagram, feel comfortable sharing every single moment in their kids lives. These social media sites make it so easy to do so, but will this over sharing behavior have a negative effect on our kids digital legacy?

KidsLink Logo

Digital legacies

As a blogger my kids digital legacies are already set in place, over their friends with non-blogging parents. You know about their potty training, what they like to eat, and some of their favorite activities. But, I try to be careful to not post their names, birth dates, school or doctor info. However, in such a digital age I would love to have all of their documents and my own in one place, instead of in piles, or boxes throughout our home.

KidsLink Tour

KidsLink is here to solve that problem. The initial setup was easy, each kid gets their own profile where you can put in their basic details, plus doctors and dentists name, email, phone number, any medicine they are taking or food allergies etc. Within the vault tab, document images such as vaccination records or insurance cards, can be placed for easy access. You can add additional categories for other document images based on need. The KidsLink app is very smart, and these image documents are linked up either through the vault tab, or the my family tab and who the document relate to.

KidsLink Documents
My husband and I try to do a weekly date night, and this past year we have had the luxury of having two kid free trips overseas. Thinking back it would have been great to have the KidsLink app, to easily link in our babysitter and my parents, for these times away from the kids. For safety reasons and ease of getting the info they need, right on their phones incase of an emergency.

How is KidsLink safe?

When you make a post, you’re in control of who you share it with, just your family, your KidsLink friends, or push it out to Facebook or Instagram. Only those KidsLink users who have you listed in their iPhone contacts list can connect with you. No crazy stalkers allowed, ever.

KidsLink Detail

Finally KidsLink strips the metadata from your photos. Metadata like precise latitude and longitude that lives in digital photos, often gets saved online when you post there directly. KidsLink cares about your family’s safety and digital legacy, so they strip that data, allowing you to post to Facebook or Instagram from KidsLink and protect your family.

Who would like a free Starbucks coffee?

Free Starbucks Coffee

Plus if you need more convincing on why you should download the KidsLink app, they are giving the first 25 My Strange Family readers a $5 Starbucks gift card for downloading! Just download the KidsLink app and leave the email address that you used in the comments below, so they can verify that you downloaded. If you don’t want to leave your email address just comment “downloaded” and make sure your email is in the comment form.

This post was sponsored by KidsLink, but all opinions expressed here are my own.

Product of the Year Awards 2015 {GIVEAWAY}

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I had the pleasure of attending the Product of the Year Awards Gala, held at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. Product of the Year, is the world’s largest consumer-voted award for product innovation. Established 28 years ago, Product of the Year currently operates in 40 countries with the same purpose: Guide consumers to the best products in their market and reward manufacturers for quality and innovation.

Edison Ballroom POYA

The following 30 winners were announced at this year’s 2015 Product of the Year Awards Gala with special guest NBC’s Jenna Bush Hager, along with Emmy-award winning TV personality and New York Times best-selling author Jill Martin. This year’s winners will have the edge for success as consumers will be able to best identify the most innovative products voted on by their fellow consumers:

Jenna Bush POYA 2015

      • Baby: Beech-Nut Naturals baby food
      • Convenience Meals: LiveGfree Gluten Free Pizza
      • Kids Novelty: Snackeez
      • Sensitivity Toothpaste: Sensodyne Complete
      • Female Grooming: Yes! by Finishing Touch™
      • Home Design: Stencil1 Repeat Pattern Wallpaper Stencil Kit
      • Laundry Detergent: Tide Ultra Stain Release
      • Snacks: Werther’s Original® Caramel Popcorn
      • Laundry Booster: Purex Crystals Aromatherapy
      • Interior Paint: Benjamin Moore® Natura® Waterborne Interior Paint
      • DIY: Insl-x® Garage Guard® Waterborne Epoxy Garage Floor Coating
      • Pet Care: Milk-Bone® Brushing Chews™
      • Personal Hygiene: Dial Greek Yogurt Body Wash
      • Pet Nutrition: Milo’s Kitchen® Grilled Burger Bites
      • Specialty Skin Treatment: Carmex Cold Sore Treatment
      • Body Comfort & Relief: Gold Bond No Mess Powder Spray
      • Anti-Aging: Hada Labo Tokyo ™ Ultimate Anti-Aging Mask
      • Skin Care: Gold Bond Ultimate Rough & Bumpy Skin Daily Therapy Cream
      • Enamel Care: Pronamel MultiAction
      • Soap: Dial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap
      • Men’s Grooming: Dial For Men Power Scrub
      • Hair Styling: Smooth N Shine Argan Power 10 Styling Gel
      • Tooth Whitening: LISTERINE® Healthy White™ Gentle Rinse
      • Overnight Protection: GoodNites Tru-Fit Underwear
      • Paper Products: Viva® Vantage* Paper Towels
      • Specialty Paint: Plutonium™ Ultra Supreme Professional Grade Aerosol Paint
      • Bladder Protection: Always Discreet
      • Feminine Care: Always Infinity
      • Candy: Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups
      • Sensitivity Pain Relief: Crest Sensi-Stop Strips

Product of the Year Awards

As a mom I was most excited to try out the Product of the Year Award winners of family friendly products.

The second my son saw the Snackeez he proclaimed, “A Snackeez!!!, That is what I had told you I wanted for my birthday, and did not get!” He then explained to me that you pour your favorite drink in the cup part, then add your favorite snacks to the snack holder. So I made him a smoothie for the drink compartment and added some Werther’s Original carmel popcorn (best tasting carmel corn ever, especially if you are a Werther’s fan) into the snack compartment. He loves his Snackeez like it is a cool new toy.

The baby gobbled up the Beech Nut baby food, just carrots, and she insisted on feeding it to herself. The modern jar style made it easy for her to hold, and I liked that Beech Nut baby food is real food for babies.

Beech Nut Baby Food

I had fun trying out the Hada Labo Tokyo Ultimate Anti-Aging Mask and my skin still feels softer and looks healthier two days later. While I was getting a 10-minute revitalizing facial, I ate the POY winner in the candy category. The new Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups are so good, they are less dry and more chocolate than an original Butterfinger and can easily be shared because it comes in two pieces like a peanut butter cup.

Hada Labo Tokyo

The other family friendly items that I was excited to use are the Dial Greek Yogurt Body Wash, Smells amazing and is nice and thick, just like yogurt. Lastly the GoodNites Tru-Fit Underwear, my son wakes up dry 90% of the time now. He is fully trained throughout the day, however night time is our last step. He is a big boy for only being four, and is slowly outgrowing “pull-up” style overnight protection diapers. The GoodNites underwear is exactly the item I was looking for to try out on him next.

The best part is Product of the Year Awards is partnering with My Strange Family to giveaway winning products to one lucky reader.

(1) Bag full of all of this years Product of the Year award winning products!

To enter please leave a blog post comment- What award winning product are you most excited to try out if you win?

For additional entries please leave separate comments for each!

  1. Like My Strange Family on Facebook
  2. Follow Kristrange on Instagram
  3. Like Product of the Year on Facebook
  4. Follow POY_USA on Twitter
  5. Share post on Facebook or Tweet about the giveaway. Sample tweet:

“Enter to win a bag full of the 2015 @POY_USA award winning products #MyStrangePOY http://wp.me/p1IHBv-1cI via @mystrangefam”

Product of the Year Giveaway

This giveaway is for US residents only and will run from today until midnight EST Tuesday February 24th 2015. Prize fulfillment will be sent out directly by Product of the Year.

I was not compensated for this post just provided with review items and giveaway items. All opinions are my own.

Little Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton

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This is such a wonderful book by Brandon Stanton, the famous photographer from HONY. Perfect for a sweet Valentine’s Day gift for your kid or NYC souvenir! It is not like the Humans of New York blog though, it is totally a book for kids with a sweet positive story being told. Both of my kids enjoy looking at the photos and they love seeing the other children’s faces. This book exposes them to real kids who all look very different, with the icon New York City as the backdrop. H was able to point out many of the places he recognizes throughout NYC, and even sounded out some of the easier words. A perfect keepsake book for any HONY lover with kids.

Little Humans HONY

Click links for more info on Little Humans or Brandon’s popular adult book Humans of New York.

Valentine’s Day cards

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I am a huge fan of those Valentine’s Day cards where the kid is photographed with their hand out like they are holding something, and then they actually have something, like a lollipop in their hand. So, I had all the supplies lollipops and all ready, when a letter came home from my sons school saying.

“On Friday, February 13th, children are invited to exchange Valentine’s Day cards in their classrooms. If you would like your child to participate, please send in cards that are only signed with your child’s name. PLEASE DO NOT ADDRESS THEM. This makes it easier to distribute, as every child independently hands out his or her own Valentines. Also please remember to send cards only, and refrain from sending food (remember our friends with allergies) or pencils or toys. Homemade cards are great, and the children are delighted to receive them. The school will supply bags for the children to decorate and use to collect their cards. Please bring in 21 cards.”

Ok, so I had to scratch the lollies, but what am I going to have my son hold in his hand? After spending way too much time at the arts and crafts store, I found some cute little glow sticks with hearts on them. I know it says “no toys” but he needs to hold something right?

These Valentine’s Day cards are really easy to make, and if you have a HP photo printer at home they can be done in a snap.

First Take a photo of your kid with their arm up like they are holding something in their hand. Then Google image Valentine’s Day and pick a generic background or two to use.

valentines day card prep

Next I used the Superimpose app, I uploaded the Valentine’s Day heart image as the background and the photo of H holding his hand out as the foreground. Then using the mask feature I started to erase away the foreground to let the background heart image come through. The Superimpose app has twelve different masking tools, to get into all of the small spots.

valentine card using superimpose

Then using the HP photo paper that I received from Disney Parks and MomSelect, for my Disney Side party, I printed out 21 Valentine’s Day cards for my sons class. I picked out different themed backgrounds to mix it up some. Then used scissors to cut a slit above and below my sons hand to put the glow stick through.

Here are the final results, I hope they are a hit with his friends this Valentine’s Day. I know my son already loves them.

Kid holding somthing valentine card

Frame your online photos with Instantly Framed

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I love taking photos and posting them on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, but I also love seeing photos of my kids happy faces up on the walls in our house. Instantly Framed, a new iOS app that physically frames your photos from Instagram, Facebook, and your iPhone/iPad in three easy steps: Print. Frame. Ship. Instantly Framed makes it easy to preserve treasured photographs right from your device, ready to display straight from the box.

Instantly Framed My Strange Family

I used Diptic to create a collage of three photos.

On our last family trip to Mexico I took numerous photos of the kids with the beautiful blue background of the Cancun sky and water, and I was looking online for something more permanent to do with the photos. Literally a few days into our trip Instantly Framed reach out to me to see if I wanted to test out their new app and frame product, I was so excited because it was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.

All of their frames are sized 12×12″ so the only choice I had to make was which photo to use, and if I wanted the photo in a 8×8″ square, a 6×6″ square, a 4×4″ square or a 4×6″ vertical or horizontal rectangle. I wanted to create an Instantly Framed frame for my husbands birthday so I let H pick out the final photo.

Instantly Framed was so easy to use, it was just hard picking the best photo

Instantly Framed Choices

Instantly Framed has a flat rate of $65 (including shipping) and is a great price point for an incredibly personalized product that is made to last. It includes an archival print on photo luster paper placed behind an acid-free mat in a 12×12” American-made, sustainably farmed walnut wood frame, and includes free 3-day shipping anywhere in the continental US. The frame was at our home the day we arrived back from Mexico! Super fast turn around time.

Our Instantly Framed frame was at our home, before we were even home from our vacation

InstantlyFramed final product

Perfect just in time for Valentines Day or upcoming Mothers Day. Using the Instantly Framed app was easy and I love the quality of the final product. I guess it is kinda a gift for me too, now to decide where to hang it on the wall. Use code STRANGEFAMILY10 for $10 off each order. For more info on Instantly Framed, check out their web page here.

I was provided with a Frame from Instantly Framed for review purposes, all opinions expressed on My Strange Family are always my own.