Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Win a Sodastream Fountain Jet! My Mom Was Right.

I love seltzer! Seltzer loves me! Seltzer is the unofficial drink of New York City. I can recall spending countless afternoons at my best friend Mint's house in the early 1990's drinking Vintage seltzer. It was the best.

Fast forward from 1992 to 2010. One glorious day, my mom announced to me that she'd made a purchase. "I bought a seltzer maker!" She said. The machine in question was the Sodastream. I was instantly in love. There was one problem.

"Only I am allowed to use the Sodastream." She warned me. "I will gladly make you seltzer, but I'm the only one allowed to touch it."

Well, that certainly put a damper on things. You see, my mom was so in love with her Sodastream, that she was concerned about it getting damaged by myself or the kids. Fair enough, I thought.

A little history; it turns out that a version of the Sodastream has been around since as early as 1903! There were seltzer lovers even back then.

But back to my mom. I decided that if she loved the Sodastream that much, it must be awesome. So I wrote to Sodastream and asked if they'd like to collaborate on a review and giveaway. Guess what? Lauren, in Sodastream PR, said yes!

They sent me the Genesis. It sounds fancy, right? Wanna see what it looks like?

Look at all the fun stuff they sent me that goes along with it!

You can make your own seltzer and your own soda! How fun is that? There's Root Beer and Lemon Lime flavors to name a few. You can also flavor your seltzer with a hint of raspberry with one of their flavor syrups. I tried them and they rock.

I can honestly say that I'm in love. I love you Sodastream! I never have to buy seltzer in the store again!  Now I know why my mom loves hers so much.

So...want to win a Soda Stream Fountain Jet? I'm giving one away! It looks like this:

 Enter to win a Fountain Jet Soda Lover's Start-Up Kit below!

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Cards Against Humanity - A Party Game For Horrible People - Win it!

I first played Cards Against Humanity at my friend Kodjo's house. Every week, we get together and  play Magic The Gathering, but this time my friend Kevin brought over a new game. The game in question was: Cards Against Humanity.

By the title alone, I knew I was going to love this game.

Here's how the game works: A player chooses a black card that has a sentence with a blank to fill in.
The players then choose the funniest word (or group of words) from the white cards they are  holding to complete the sentence.

Here's an example:

The white cards are downright hilarious. Here are some other options you might have to complete the sentence:

Believe it or not, I even convinced my parents to play Cards Against Humanity and guess what? They love it too!

By the end of the evening that I first played Cards Against Humanity, I was hooked. I wrote to Jen (one of the creators) and asked if I could giveaway a copy of Cards on my blog. She said hell yeah! Well, actually, she said "sure, why not?" So here we go!

Here's your chance to win a copy of the most politically incorrect and hilarious game out there!
Giveaway ends 6/9/13

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Win a Children's Hoodie From Brooklyn Industries!

I'm a huge Brooklyn Industries fan. I own at least four of their hoodies, and whenever I step foot into the Brooklyn Industries store on Union Street in Park Slope, I want to buy everything.

I not only love their women's clothing, but I adore their children's clothes too!

So I wrote to Brooklyn Industries and shared my love for them (as well as my Brooklyn pride) and asked if they would be willing to do a hoodie giveaway.

Teddy (one of the designers) wrote back immediately and said that they would love to collaborate on a giveaway!

Without further ado: I am giving away the children's hoodie that Ari is modeling below!
It can also be found here on their website

All you have to do to enter to win this hoodie is subscribe to the Brooklyn Industries Newsletter by clicking here and entering your email address!  Leave a blog post comment to confirm your subscribed to the newsletter!

And for extra entries see below! Contest ends 6/6/13

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Dear Ari,

You are five years-old. I can remember the moment I found I was pregnant with you. I was in disbelief, yet wildly happy and excited. When I was pregnant with you, I was working as a vocational rehabilitation counselor with recovering addicts in the Far Rockaway. I remember you moving in my belly at night every time I ate Hostess cupcakes.

I remember when my water broke and the hospital told me I peed on myself. I remember when my flamboyantly gay doctor marched in carrying a red bull and said "Let's have a baby!"

I remember when you came out of me and I held you and said "My baby! I love you so much!"

I remember making the tough decision to quit my job working with ex-addicts and stay home with you for your first year. It was the best decision I've ever made.

I have loved you since you were growing inside of me and continue to love you as a little person. You have grown so much in your first five years of life. You are inquisitive, bright, stubborn, funny, fun to hang out with, and changing and growing every day.

It's wonderful to watch you grow in front of my eyes, and also scary. 

I want to freeze time. 

I want you to stay five forever. I love you at this age. You're so much fun!

But I know that you're going to get older, it's inevitable. That just means there's more to learn about you as you become a bigger human. 

Happy five to you, my son. I love you.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mancala Giveaway and Enter to Win a $10,000 Educational Bond From University Games

I was first introduced Mancala when I was nine years-old and in the 4th grade at P.S.87 on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

In Lucy Mahon's class (my fourth grade teacher) we called it "the rock game." It was a wooden board with several slots and colored rocks of all shapes and sizes.

The other day I was in a local toy store looking for a birthday present for a five year-old. The salesperson said, out of the blue, "what about Mancala?"

All of a sudden memories of playing "the rock game" came flooding back, and I knew I had to purchase this game, not for a birthday gift, but rather to play at home with my kids.

I want you to love Mancala AKA "the rock game" as much as I do. So I wrote to Jordan at University Games, and they agreed to do a Mancala giveaway!

But there's more! University Games (makers of this version of Mancala) is hosting the National Young Game Inventor's Contest!

Children ages 5-12 can design and create their board game and enter for a chance to win awesome prizes including a 10,000 dollar educational bond, a trip to San Francisco, and a 
Toys R Us gift card! How cool is that? 

You get extra entries to win Mancala by sharing about this contest.

So, what are you waiting for?

Do it!

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Big Daddy's Rules - Steve Schirripa Makes Me Laugh

When I first read the title of Steve's Schirripa's book, Big Daddy's Rules, I have to admit, I was hesitant to read it. Being a strong maternal figure myself, my immediate reaction was, uh oh, am I going to like this book?

But then I opened it, and began reading and before I knew it, I was laughing aloud as I turned page after page.

Steve Schirripa is best known for his roles on The Sopranos and The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

Steve describes his journey of fatherhood, filled with hilarious bumps in the road.

My fears about this book being anti-feminist were relinquished with reading the first 15 pages. Here's a particularly significant quote:

"So here's the next rule for new dads: Get your hands dirty. And I mean, dirty. As in, change a goddamn diaper once in a while. Guys act like they don't know how to change a diaper. These are the same guys who can pull an engine out of a two-ton '92 Jeep Wrangler while drinking a beer and watching the ball game on a 12-inch TV they've had in the garage since the first bush administration, and they can't change the diaper on a ten-pound baby? Please." -Schirripa P. 15

Schirripa's writing style is conversational, relatable and downright hilarious. Check this quote out:

"When it comes to my girls, all I want is to raise them to be good people, and I want them to be safe. That's it. You ask me my philosophy? That's it. Not complicated. I don't need them to be brain surgeons. I don't need them to make a lot of money. I don't judge people by how much money they make, because in my business you meet a lot of assholes that I can't stand who are really wealthy. You give me a garbage man and a rich asshole, I'm gonna go have a beer with the garbage man." -Schirripa P. 61.

I love this guy! I want to hang out with Steve Schirripa.

That quote sums up the beauty of this book. It's direct, it's honest and it's fun. And you need to read it.

Want to win a copy of Big Daddy's Rules? Enter below! Winner will be announced 6/1/13

**Update: Back by popular demand, now I will pick two winners! Contest ends 6/16!

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Wordless Wednesday - Adventures in Babysitting With Alex

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Should Be Every Day

I have a tough time with holidays. Mother's Day is a Hallmark holiday. It's a holiday where you are obligated to go out and get your mom some flowers, or a card, or a gift certificate to get a massage or whatever. That's all well and good, but seriously...why do we need one day to celebrate our mothers?

Mother's day should be every day.

Your mother carried you in her uterus for nine months. That's a long time! She endured the joys and the not so fun times of pregnancy all so that you could enter this world.

If you were adopted, your mother nurtured you and continues to do so every day.

My other issue with Mothers Day, is that when you have your own kids, it gets complicated. What do you do? You have to appreciate your mother, and then somehow make time for yourself to be adored. It gets messy and complicated and someone ends up feeling resentful.

Not to mention, what if your mother passed away? Mother's Day might be a tough day for you.

I could go on.

But I'm gonna say this:

Supreme gratitude to all the dynamic, wonderful mothers! You don't need one day to show you that you're amazing. Because let's face it, mother's are super heros. We rock.

I hope that you can enjoy yourself today. This year, I've made some plans to make sure I have a kick ass Mother's Day, because I deserve it!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Winner of The Listen to Your Mother Giveaway

The winner for a pair of tickets to see Listen to Your Mother is...

Etophia Lane!

Come on down! You won tickets so see LTYM at Symphony Space on Sunday 5/12/13 at 5pm :-D

Enjoy Listen to Your Mother at Symphony Space, my homegirl! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm Not a Blog Rock Star

I've been writing this blog since 2009.

I started it as a way to document my son's life, and then my daughter's life, and of course my life. Then it evolved into something else.

I started doing product reviews. I began actively soliciting companies to send me things to try out and giveaway, because (after all) I am Liz Fader's daughter. My mom is a super Jewish mother and she's also a former public relations executive.

Since 2009, I've connected with some incredible people over the internet.

One of them being the amazing Holly Rosen Fink of Culture Mom Media. I have to give a shout out to her because she's given me countless opportunities to shine. Mad love coming your way, Holly.

Where am I going with this?

I'm a real person. I don't post dolled up instragram pictures of myself. Yeah, I'm totally guilty of taking the occasional selfie, because I'm a lady. But look, my hair is messy in the morning and I require coffee before anyone speaks to me at 6:00am.

This is the internet. The internet is full of fancy attractive bloggers who do fancy things.

I'm not one of those people. 

Sure I love to write. Yes, I would love to make money doing it. But I'm not a fancy person. 

I am a person filled with imperfections and I'm proud of them. I'm also good at some things and I'm proud of those things too. 

That's why, when my mom suggested I go to BlogHer I got scared. 

There are so many "successful bloggers"who attend that conference. 

It's scary to meet new people. Although, once I get into the groove of talking to strangers, I kind of get off on that shit. It's fun to deal with new energies and I love reading people. 

However, I still wonder

Will they think I'm weird?
Will they think I'm funny? I'm pretty fucking funny. But will they realize it?

I go back and forth like the Clash song says:
"Should I stay or should I go?"

If I do go, let's hope there won't be "trouble."

But if I stay will it be double?

I'm not a blog rock star. But I am a real fucking person. Maybe BlogHer is ready for that?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Listen To Your Mother- Win Tickets to The Show!

Listen to Your Mother is a show that gives mothers a forum to share their unique stories. But it gets even better that that; LTYM is now giving Mother's Day a microphone! On May 12, 2013 at 5pm, the mamas are ready to tell you all about their lives at Symphony Space.

For the record, I  love my mom. She's a bad ass. I try my best to listen to her.

Featuring former Editor in Chief of Redbook Magazine (now the editor of Blogher.com), comedian Jamie Fernandez, author of the soon to be released "momoir" Lost In Suburbia, Tracy Beckermen and many more dynamic maternal figures.

Listen to Your Mother began as a single show in Madison, Wisconsin and has since evolved into a national movement, uniting mothers across the United States.

Guess what y'all? Now's your chance to:

You could even take your mom to see the show!

Enter below to win a pair of tickets to see Listen to To Your Mother at Symphony space on May 12, 2013 at 5pm!

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Good luck!!! Contest ends May 8th!

Winner will be selected by random.org

**Thank you to Holly Rosen Fink of Culture Mom Media for allowing me the opportunity to run this contest! :-D xo S. 

Ari Reviews Ghostbusters

If you haven't already seen this, you should watch it. Ari reviews Ghostbusters.