April 20, 2013—Happy Earth Day! Rye, NY the town of the first plastic bag ban in Westchester County New York is holding a family friendly celebration this weekend. From 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (Rain date April 21) close to a dozen local organizations will provide fun activities designed to promote awareness of and showcase the natural beauty found in Rye’s waterfront community.
The Updated Dwellable Travel App Revolutionizes Family Travel
Tech-Mommy: Revolutionary Dwellable App: Easy Family Travel
What makes the travel App revolutionary is the ability to see the dates the rental is available and send emails to the owner without even leaving the App so you can plan multiple trips or options. You can book a family vacation with only a few simple clicks. What a time saver! With our busy lives, the less time it takes to book a vacation the more time we have for fun! The App suits our needs even more now with its cross-country coverage and listing of over 80,000 properties. This availability is critical with our family traditions of hitting every major ski resort (25 so far) and every baseball park in North America (so far 17).
The Verizon Nokia Lumia 822 Windows Phone has become our best friend. As crazy busy soccer moms trying to balance it all, the amazing features of the phone allow us to manage everyday life and keep it simple.
Our smart phone “command center” helps us find our way through the chaos of three children and their often overwhelming schedules. It even keeps our 7-year-old occupied with her own Kids corner area–her personal section of games and Apps that we as parents feel comfortable approving. She can even watch a movie on Netflix which bought us peace and quiet during our recent road trip to the Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans.
However, the most fantastic feature of this phone is its durability. Not only has it been tossed around by our boys while they argue over the best Nokia music, but it has survived the family laundry cycle. The phone recently endured both the washer and dryer in a high school soccer sweatshirt.
We had loaned the phone to our teen during an away soccer game on a rainy night since his phone was not properly charged. When he arrived home after the mud wrestling, we were too busy cleaning up the trail he left in the kitchen as he disrobed on his way to the laundry room that we forgot to collect the phone. So of course, we were thorough as usual making sure everything went into the laundry right away.
The next morning after two hours of panic, we finally discovered the phone when we unloaded the dryer. To our amazement, we discovered our phone could still call, text and tweet! Unfortunately, our daughter’s sweatshirt did not survive the crayons left in her pocket. Note to self: always check pockets no matter how messy the clothes.
Now, if only the incredible Nokia Lumia 822 Windows Phone could get our children to put their clean clothes away!
Suzanna Keith received the Nokia Windows Lumia 822 from Verizon Wireless for review: all opinions expressed here are her own.
- Family Friendly Apps for the Super Bowl 47
- Living A Mobile LIfe with The Verizon Nokia Windows Phone
What makes Beaver Creek famous
What an extraordinary family ski vacation Beaver Creek in Colorado can be! However, be sure to save your pennies because it is pricey. However, our family felt the expense was worth the amazing accommodations, conditions, views, service and daily free chocolate chip cookies at day’s end.
With its luxury and easy access, the resort has often been called the sister of Deer Valley. Skiing with children can be a tremendous amount of work but Beaver Creek does everything it can to make it convenient and fun for families. The escalator to the hill is sure revolutionary in ski resort design. This is “not exactly roughing it” as the Beaver Creek motto demonstrates. We can’t wait to visit the resort again.
Lift tickets, Ski Rentals and Ski lessons:
- Save 20% if you buy your lift tickets on-line seven days in advance but they will still be around $100 a day. The resort will ship plastic lift cards to your home so your family can climb right on the lift when you arrive. The liftties can scan the passes through your clothes so you don’t have to disrobe in the lift line (great for kids!)
- The lift tickets also work for 4 other Colorado resorts: Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin
- For ski rentals, plan on spending about $50 a day for adults and $29 for kids. Save 20% if you order the ski rentals on-line. The rental companies also offer the great perk of free delivery to your lodging. This benefit is so helpful and really saves on time and stress. However, if you have your own skis, it is cheaper to bring them out if your family can manage the hassle and the baggage fees
- Parking is a bit tough if you are not staying on the hill. The Westin hotel in Avon has its own lift or you can park in the village parking and take the Gondola. Or you can park by Bachelor Gulch and take the bus to the lift.
- Friends highly recommend the ski school and if you need you can park in the Ford Hall garage in the village for 2 hours for free while you drop off the kids
Lodging & dining:
- Park Hyatt: is beautiful and conveniently located next to the ice skating rink and has a great spa Allegria
- The Ritz: you need the big bucks, but go there for a drink
- VBRO or Dwellable.com are great options for rentals
- Our family loved the Dusty Boot for dinner
- Other friends recommend Blue Moose Pizza, Beano’s Cabin, Toscanini and Vin in Avon. 4 Eagle Ranch in Wolcott makes for lifetime memories.
The Ritz at Bachelor’s Gulch
- A two flight escalator brings skiers from the village to the lift
- Olympic Gold Medalist Lindsey Von offers ski camps for young girls
- Every day at 3pm the staff hands out fresh-baked cookies near the Centennial Express and McCoys
- Free hot cocoa in the morning at the top of Centennial Express
Ways to save cash:
- Check out the kids fly free promo from Beaver Creek & American Airlines
- Eat breakfast at the condo and pack your lunch from Walmart or Citimarket in Avon. Store your lunch in the lockers in the Ford Hall on the 2nd level or at Batchelor Gulf. Trade off easy home cooked meals with nights on the town
- Save your air miles and consider a credit card with air or hotel miles
- Try to hit a Costco or big box store before your leave for hand and feet warmers
- Sports Authority in Avon has affordable ski stuff if you forget anything
Quick packing Tips:
- Try to pack 2-3 days before the trip so you have time to review the items several times. Lay out items in a pile for each person: long underwear, ski jacket, pants, neck warmers, hat, helmet, gloves, ski socks and boots. Pack extra socks & gloves
- Be sure to take time to pack for Mom. We always forget something key: contact solution, medicines, phone chargers, a watch or gloves
- Pack a swimsuit just in case you get a pool or hot tub invite
Did we miss anything in our family ski trip review of Beaver Creek? Let us know your thoughts! Let it snow because the resorts need fresh powder!
- Beaver Creek Family Vacation Part 1 (midwestmountainess.com)
- Family Ski Trips.com: Skiing Colorado
Have you found any Revolutionary Fitness Apps to help us busy moms get our youthful figures back? Are you listening to all the Social Media Marketing on how new Fitness Apps can help you meet your weight loss goals?
Our favorite App is the Calorie Counter & Fitness Tracker by MyFitnessPal. What makes this free App revolutionary is how it offers the largest food database of any calorie-counting App. The Tracker measures your daily calorie intake and exercise routine to make sure you manage your goals. Best of all, the App allows you to set up a support system with friends so you are never dieting alone.
Our hubbies invited us to a contest to get into shape. The App has become such an obsession that we had to reinforce the rule of “no electronics at the dinner table” rule with each other.
Great news is that even Consumer Reports has given my Fitness Pal rave reviews. We love it because once you have entered your food intake and exercise for the day, the App tells you what weight level you can achieve in 5 weeks. It even tells you if you are dieting at unhealthy levels. Finding out what our real calorie intake has been eye-opening. We have learned that so far we are only on track to maintain our weight. Guess we need to stop sampling our children’s dinner every night! Would someone please invent an App to help us with this one!
- Best DIY diet? MyFitnessPal, says Consumer Reports (todayhealth.today.com)
- Using MyFitnessPal App For a Healthier Lifestyle (imnotthenanny.com)
- Apps for Staying in Shape by Paul O’Reilly on The Verizon Insider Blog
- Tech Insights: Help for New Year’s “Get in Shape” Resolutions (revolutionarymarketingideas.com)
Family Ski fun at Berkshire East
For the New Year, we promised some helpful travel insights from a marketing mom. Our plan is to write a weekly column. Since we are in the middle of winter, we will write about our ski trips across the country. We would love to hear about your experiences and how you mapped out your family vacations.
One of our favorite places to ski in the New York City/Tri-state area is Berkshire East in Charlemont, MA. A family owned mountain, Berkshire East is the perfect mountain for teaching children how to ski. All trails are easily accessible from the main chair lift so parents can closely monitor teens and little guys in ski school. The hill offers something for everyone from fun moguls through the trees, to black diamond runs, to a snow board terrain park. If your children want to try skiing competitively, they have one of the best racing programs on the East Coast with many alums selected for the US Ski team. Most important of all, snow making provides decent coverage for most of the season.
Lift tickets, rentals and ski school:
- You can make a day trip since only 2-3 hours from NYC/Westchester
- Lift Tickets are around $58 for the day and lift lines are very short
- Junior and student ticket are very reasonable and almost half the price of Vermont
- The day care center is super accessible and cost-effective. We have used the daycare for over five years and love the staff
- Highly recommend the ski school programs and private lessons. Kathy Kilhart is an outstanding instructor
- The rental shop provides basic equipment for beginner and intermediate skiers
Lodging & Dining:
- Zoar: inexpensive rooms but stark and some shared bathrooms
- The Warfield house Inn: basic with a fun pub restaurant
- Vacation Rentals By Owner: sometimes has options
- Unfortunately, no 3-4 star accommodations or a ski-in & out options
- Some of the standard family hotel chains are in Greenfield MA
- Avery’s Grocery Store in Charlemont: has absolutely everything you could need and an amazing meat and deli department
- Gypsy Apple: 4 star New York City cuisine
- Mohawk Park: a diner in the middle of a camp ground that provides excellent fare
- The Shelburne Falls Wine Merchant: has the perfect selection for connoisseurs
Unique Features & Attractions:
- GreenPower: A large windmill turbine helps to power the resort–revolutionary!
- Tubing: fun when you need a break from skiing
- Night Skiing: on Friday and Saturday nights but you better bundle up
- Zip Line: amazing views during the off-season
- Shelburne Falls, MA: A wonderful artist enclave full of interesting shops is only 15 minutes away. Our favorite night out is Candlestick bowling at Shelburne Falls Bowling (has a bar and the owners are super nice) followed by a pie at Buckland Pizza
- The Clark Art Museum: in Williamstown, MA: one of the most extraordinary collections of impressionist paintings including Renoir, Monet & Degas
- Mass Moca: a super hip modern art museum with wonderful programs for all ages
You should be able to click on the links above to plan your trip on-line. When you do your travel planning, what tech tools and Apps are your favorites? We keep lists of what to pack on Pinterest and our smartphones and often use Apps to check the snow conditions. Let us know what you think of Berkshire East and if we left out any of its wonderful features! Let it Snow!
Other resources and blogs:
Holiday traditions are things we all remember for a lifetime. Now that we are moms, we often rely on our childhood memories of fun family events to create special occasions for our own families. The memories of the holidays long ago still warm our hearts especially times with grandparents and family members who gone to a better place.
We usually kick off our big Holiday traditions with Thanksgiving. The Texas grandparents come for the big feast. We start cooking on Wednesday so we have time for special traditions on Thanksgiving morning. Almost every year we take our children to help set up the holiday meal at a local food pantry. After the set up, we go by the local zoo for a wonderful three-hour-tour. We get home just in time to pop in the turkey (or in Texas– deep fry the turkey) for an early afternoon seating. Setting the table has become really fun since we now make favor bags for each of the children that they can’t open until dinner time. We incorporated this tradition from a friend who developed it as a way to teach her children patience and to keep the table talk merry.
The following day we take down our thanksgiving crafts (we decorate for every holiday with the children’s school crafts) and put up the Christmas decorations. We sing Christmas carols and drink hot cocoa while decorating with the grandparents. We also set up one of our most extraordinary traditions: the Christmas countdown. The children write-up a list of their 25 favorite ways to celebrate Christmas and then cut them up into fun little slips which are placed into a Christmas hot cocoa mug. Every morning the children take turns picking out a slip for a fun event that we do as a family to help us count down the days until the big event. Some of the festive ideas are: making Christmas smoothies, preparing christmas for a needy family, baking christmas cookies and Canadian butter tarts, telling holiday jokes by a fire and family dance night to Christmas tunes.
Now putting on our marketing hats, these holiday tradition are a great opportunity for Brands to brainstorm on new traditions and innovations. We recently saw a wonderful promotion where Reynolds Wrap built a contest around holiday baking. However, Brands have to walk a fine line by not starting the events too early or making it over the top because many moms believe Christmas has become way too commercial. This is why we love our simple, easy but extraordinary holiday traditions.
What are some of your favorites? We would love to hear.
- A great blog with fun things to do in NYC this season: 3rd Annual Holiday Blog
- TODAY anchors share their favorite holiday memories (allday.today.com)
As we begin to reflect this week on all we have to be thankful for, our prayers and thoughts are with those whose lives are deeply affected by #Hurricane Sandy. Thank goodness normalcy has almost returned to the East Coast, however, many in the tri-state area are still suffering.
A group of extraordinary moms from Rye, NY are organizing supplies, food and donations with a new organization called “Moms with Heart & Food” which provides mobile meals to storm affected areas. This group was started by a group of cool NYC moms. Check out their site for more details.
A new, permanent Disaster Recovery Center has been set up on Staten Island as a one-stop site for residents and businesses in need of immediate and long-term assistance in the aftermath of the hurricane. The team plans to set up at the Recovery Center and help serve the food, aid children in decorating their own cookies and cupcakes for dessert, and organize craft projects for the kids.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Just $5 will cover the cost of a meal for one person. $25 will feed a family of 5 a hot, delicious meal. Every dollar makes a difference and no amount is too small! See the link and information below to make a donation. Be sure to click on “no perk just a contribution” and in the comment step type in “Smiles for Staten Island” in the public comment area. The team is running their campaign thru Saturday so act now!
Last April #WWEmoms had a fantastic time at WWE Wrestlemania 2012 in Miami, FL as you can see from our video above. From FAN AXXESS to the Hall of Fame Ceremony to the Main event, WWE staged fantastic family friendly entertainment. Not only, did we enjoy watching the Rock win the big match, but also, we loved watching all the fellow moms enjoy the event with their whole families.
So as you can imagine, we are very excited about Wrestlemania 29 in New Jersesy at MetLife Stadium April 7, 2013. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday, November 10th at 10am ET, but the #WWEMoms have a special chance to buy the best seats FIRST! You can buy them on ticketmaster.com today until tomorrow Friday, November 9th at 11:59pm by using the presale password WWEMOMS.
So grab tickets for the whole gang while you can. Attending Wrestlemania will be a family outing that will create life long special memories. WWE’s support of our troops, the Make a Wish Foundation, and the wonderful be A STAR anti-bullying campaign provides a great example for our children to see how important it is to always try to make a difference in the world. We truly appreciate that WWE creates incredible teaching moments for discussion with our boys.
Mark your calendar for the next #WWEMoms twitter party on Monday, November 19th at 1:00pm ET where we will discuss further details of upcoming WWE events. Join us!
Suzanna Keith receives compensation from the WWE for certain promotionalcampaigns. The above opinions are her own.
We don’t often give direct product endorsements, but occasionally we find a brand that is truly extraordinary in both its product offerings and its customer service. Verizon is a brand that we salute.
With back to school coming fast and furiously, Verizon wireless and their service offerings have made life so easy. The Share Everything plan made our teen’s smartphone so much more affordable and easy to manage. We are so pleased with the service that we are even contemplating getting a smartphone for our tween. Our whole family is so much more productive because Share Everything can power up to ten devices including tablets for minimal cost.
Meanwhile, Verizon makes us mobile everywhere. Working in social media and blogging requires constant Internet access to put out last-minute fires. Verizon now offers it hotspot technology for free. Verizon hotspot has saved our lives many times by delivering the Internet to our computers and tablets through our very own cell phones. Wow, how technology has revolutionized our world. Plus, why pay for Internet service when traveling when you can power up on your own!
On top of delivering next generation tech solutions, Verizon provides excellent customer service. The phone tech support team is very sharp and solved our concerns incredibly rapidly. (500% better than the 5+ hours we used to spend on the phone with Blackberry). They did a great job guiding us on how to set up the parental controls on how much data usage our teen can have. As you can imagine, our teen blew through half our allocation in one weekend. On-going, Verizon is going to closely monitor our data usage to make sure we selected the right budget for our family.
After the phone conversation, Verizon began emailing us about training to better manage our technology. Verizon provides great in-store classes. We attended one last week in the local Spring, TX store and gained all sorts of great tech tips. The trainer had a wonderful sense of humor along with infinite patience since the class level ranged from novice to almost expert.
While attending the wonderful training class, we also noticed the Hopeline display prominently located in the store. Hopeline offers phones and support to victims of domestic violence. Verizon’s support of such a worthy cause is another reason why we will be loyal customers. This cause is dear to our hearts since friends from all walks of life have been victims.
In summary, we can’t rave enough about how Verizon makes our family’s life easier, more mobile and incredibly productive. We are truly happy to have found a company who puts the consumer and their needs first.