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Classy gift ideas from Lindt

 

New York Lindt Chocolate

The holidays are upon us. Many people are scrambling to find the perfect gift for that someone special on their holiday gift list. Other people are looking for gifts for other important people in their life such as your favorite hairdresser, mailman, child’s teacher, neighbor and co-worker.

Sometimes it’s hard to buy gifts for those people (hairdresser, mailman, teacher…) because you don’t really know what kinds of things they like or don’t like.

Chocolate is always a nice gifts option (make sure the recipient is not allergic to chocolate). Personally I always enjoy a box of gourmet chocolates. It’s a nice gift and its something I can share with my family.

Chocolate also makes a nice hostess gift. If you are planning on attending any holiday (or New Years) parties this holiday season don’t forget to pick up a gift for your lovely hosts.

Lindt has a wonderful collection of chocolate truffles that come packaged in such a way that makes them ideal for gift giving without having to wrap them.

The special collection is known as the Lindt New York City Collection. The new collection features an assortment of gifts in packaging adorned with the iconic sights of New York. The collection is available at Lindt Chocolate Shops in Manhattan (692 5th Avenue and 665 5th Avenue) and includes four different pieces at various price points so you are sure to find something to suit your budget.

All of the packages are travel and luggage-friendly too so you can take them home with you as a sweet memory of your time spent in the city.

New Yorkers can stock up on these beautiful sets to give as gifts and even keep a few on hand to serve to holiday guests.

Lindt New York Chocolate

The available sets include;

New York 75 Count LINDOR Gift Bag: Guests can create their own assortment of more than 20 varieties of LINDOR truffles in this elegant paper gift bag, designed with the New York skyline and a snap top closure for travel ease (SRP: $25).

New York Novelty Gift Box: Filled with assorted Milk, White and Dark LINDOR truffles, this festive box has a clear window to showcase the beautifully wrapped LINDOR truffles (SRP: $12).

New York LINDOR Gift Box: Give the gift of LINDOR with this customizable brown and gold box filled with 30 irresistibly smooth LINDOR truffles in assorted flavors. A clear window on the box lid allows a personal message or business card to be customized to any recipient. (SRP: $22).

New York Swiss Luxury Selection: A sophisticated collection of elegant European-style pralines are adorned with the silhouette of New York City against a stunning blue backdrop (SRP: $18).

I am fortunate to try out all four gift sets.

We gave the New York LINDOR Gift Box (the one in brown) as a gift. We wrote “Happy Birthday” and the recipient’s name on a piece of paper and slipped it into the window. We didn’t have to wrap it. She loved it! Plus the box is well made. It can be re-purposed to house jewelry, photos or knick knacks.

The 75 Count LINDOR Gift Bag is HUGE! It’s much bigger then it appears in the photo. There are 75 truffles in the bag. That is more than enough to offer to holiday guests or bring it into work to share with your co-workers. I am going to give the bag of truffles to my co-workers so that they can all enjoy some.

If you purchase the 75 count gift bag in the store, or online, you can choose your flavors.

Lindt

I LOVE the box of New York Swiss Luxury pralines. Oh my! They are SO good and very rich and flavorful. As much as I wanted to eat all of them, just one is more than satisfying.

I love the box (and bag) design. It’s a perfect representation of this big, beautiful city of ours.

 

The packaging looks wonderful “as is”. I would never think to wrap any of these.

Each box/package is filled with a nice assortment so you are sure to find  your personal favorites. I happen to like ALL the truffle flavors.

I have seen the New York City collection sold on the Lindt website (LindtUSA.com). Currently the 75 piece gift bag is on sale – buy 3 get 2 FREE! That’s 375 Lindt truffles! That would be a great deal if you are hosting a party or even an office party.

For more information about these and other Lindt products, or to find a location near you, visit LindtUSA.com. You can also check out the brand on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Lindt Logo

Kimberly

*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

 

 

 

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Celebrate the holiday season in New York City with the Radio City Rockettes

 

NYC Christmas

 

I love the holiday season. I love everything about it – the sights, sounds, music, spending time with family and friends and watching holiday programming on television.

It’s great to watch holiday movies and holiday specials on television, however it’s even better to watch holiday entertainment in person.

My family and I have been talking about going into New York City to see the Christmas Tree this year. A childhood friend of mine was talking about bringing her kids to see the tree. They have never seen the tree before. We were hoping to maybe meet up with them, or just go down on our own.

Last weekend my family and I were blessed with an incredible opportunity – tickets to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!

It’s interesting that this opportunity came up. We don’t have much this Christmas (compliments of our cars constantly needing repairs – ugh!), and our kids are getting older. Our daughter will be off to college this time next year. For these reasons I wanted to do something as a family that was holiday related. Going to see the Christmas Spectacular was my number one idea. I thought maybe we could go see the show, have dinner at a nearby restaurant go and see the tree in Rockefeller Center, walk up and down 5th Avenue to see the holiday displays, zip down to Macy’s and swing over to Times Square before heading home. I figured this would give our family plenty of wonderful memories. Sadly, as I mentioned before, multiple trips to the mechanic and a few other things pretty much squashed that idea.

Then a Christmas “miracle” happened. I was given the opportunity to see the Christmas Spectacular with my family and have a “meet and greet” with some of the Rockettes. To say I was overjoyed is an understatement.

We happily headed down to New York City. Thankfully the weather was nice that day.

RCCS 1

Prior to the show we were escorted upstairs to party room up on the 5th floor at Radio City. Who knew there was a 5th floor.

The man behind Radio City, Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel wanted his own apartment at Radio City for him and his family. A exclusive suit was built on the 5th floor just for him. The Roxy Suite is outfitted with 20 foot high domed ceilings covered in REAL gold, walls made out of cherrywood, art deco elements and an intimate round dining area.

Mr. Rothafel never moved into the suite. These days Roxy suite is used to host Radio City performers and VIP people like Sir Elton John and Paul McCartney.

I tried to get some photos but my camera was being very “moody” that day. The flash decided to work when it wanted to.

Our hosts had plenty of fresh fruits, pastries, bagels and beverages available for us. They also decorated the room with adorable holiday decorations.

Decoration

Food 1

Food 2

The families invited to this special event were also fortunate to have a “meet and greet” with some of the Rockettes as well as hear from a tour guide who gave us some background information about the Roxy Suite.

The dining area is round, as is the table. Even the furniture is round including the side boards along the wall. I’m assuming they were custom made that way.

The reason why the dining area is round is that is provides good sound and that everyone can see everyone else in the room. I think that is an ingenious idea.

There is also a book (under glass) in the room with signatures of people who have stopped by the Roxy Suite including Mariah Carey, Bono and many others. I tried to get a photo but it didn’t come out good enough.

My family and I also had a chance to have our pictures taken with some of the Rockettes. Too bad our son didn’t smile and both of my kids were still cold (it was cold outside) and didn’t take off their jackets. I wish they did. The picture would have turned out better.

Rockettes

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It’s wonderful to have these special memories.

Five years ago we went on a behind the scenes tour of Radio City Music Hall (there are tours available to the public). We went during the summer (August 2009). It’s fun to see how much my kids have grown over the years since then.

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Soon it was time to leave the beautiful Roxy Suite and head downstairs to see the show.

There is a lot to see in the theaters’s lobby. If you go I hope you’ll take some time to check out the beautiful architecture and the jaw dropping chandelier that hangs high in the center of the lobby.

Radio City

 

There are plenty of souvenirs and snacks available both on the main lobby and downstairs.

It was almost show time so the lobby was packed. We quickly found our seats and prepared to be amazed and entertained.

The theater was packed. There were people of all ages seated around us.

What I love about the Christmas Spectacular is that young and old will find something about the show that resonates with them. Little ones go crazy when Santa appears on stage (not not-so-little kids too). Others might find the Nativity scene especially moving and powerful. I know I do.

As soon as the orchestra started to play holiday music the crowd cheered. The show was about to begin.

Social

 

Our “host” for the evening was Santa. He was around for most of the vignettes and introduced some of the scenes we were about to enjoy.

If you have never seen the Rockettes perform you are in for a treat. They are so in tune with each other and their precision is spot on. It blows my mind how they can do that. Not one of them is ever out of step.

I tried to think of which was my favorite scene from the show. It’s next to impossible to narrow it down to just one. I loved the entire show, but several of the scenes stood out a lot to me.

There was one part where giant snowflakes zoomed through the air. I think they must have been remote controlled (like drones) because they returned to their starting spots when the scene was over. It was pretty cool!

Snowflakes

The Nativity is breathtaking with the angel flying in the sky the parade of travelers heading off to Jerusalem to see the newborn king. There are even REAL camels and sheep on stage.

Another scene I truly love is when the Rockettes travel around popular spots in New York City on a bus, even stopping by Central Park where the audience gets to watch a couple skate on real ice right there on the stage.

One of my favorite holiday related story is the Nutcracker. I loved it when the performers danced to a few songs from Tchaikovsky’s music.

One of the audience favorite scenes was when the Rockettes performed as the wooden soldiers. There were a lot of “oohs” and “ahhs” from the audience.

There is also a 3D element to the show. In the very beginning Santa takes the audience on a sleigh ride with him into New York City. Each person is given 3D glasses to enjoy this segment. It’s fun to see things coming at you like presents and geese.

I cannot rave about the Christmas Spectacular enough. Young and old alike can delight in this experience. And it’s truly that – an experience. You just don’t sit there and watch performers. You are immersed into the entire show. You feel like you are a part of it. I loved it. My family loved it too. My teenage daughter even said she got a little teary when Santa first appeared on stage. Awww… that was sweet.

After the show we headed over to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree. Sadly we couldn’t see it because it was surrounded by scaffolding. I guess we’ll just have to go back to the city a few weeks from now to see it again.

Tree

My husband was able to get a piece of the tree for me (from the trimmings – he was given a piece from a man who was working at the site).

Gift

Fancy dinners are fun. Jewelry is beautiful. Flowers are pretty. For me a true romantic gesture is asking the worker at Rockefeller Center for a piece of the Christmas tree. Awww… I love my husband. He’s the best. He knows what makes my heart smile. I don’t need things to make me happy – just happy memories. And seeing the Radio City Christmas Spectacular today and spending time with my family is truly a very happy memory, one that I will never, ever forget.

If you live in the New York City area, or are planning a trip there, there are still tickets available for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.RadioCityChristmas.com. You can also check out the Christmas Spectacular on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Have you seen the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City?

What is your favorite thing to see and do in New York City – or a city near you?

Selfie with my sweetie

Kimberly

*I received free tickets to the show. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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What is it like to live and work in NY? Find out with #NYTough (giveaway ends 10/28/14)

 

Manhattan as seen from the Hudson River.

Manhattan as seen from the Hudson River.

I am a “country bumpkin” at heart. I would rather live in a place where deer and cows (or horses) roam freely in my yard rather than city buses and taxi cabs. But that is just me. I know plenty of people who couldn’t see themselves living anywhere other than a big city including one of the biggest cities of them all – New York City.

I think maybe if I was young an single I would enjoy living in the city for a few years, just to get the full New York City experience. New York City is a very exciting place. In fact my mom, before she passed away, talked about getting an apartment in the city so she could spend some time there since the kids were all grown. My mom loved to travel and experience new things. She once took a trip to China for a couple of weeks – by herself! She just decided one day she wanted to go to China and up and left for a couple of weeks.

Our son is looking forward to moving to New York City when he graduates fro high school. Sadly I don’t think he fully comprehends how expensive living in New York City is (he wants to move to Manhattan).

P&G Brands – Febreze, Head & Shoulders, Bounty, Dawn, Tide and Secret – have come together to showcase the struggles that many New Yorkers face on a daily basis and how tough they are to handle it all. The campaign is called #NYTough and it provides New Yorkers with a break from the challenges they deal with on a daily basis with brands that are tough enough to help them live and thrive in the “Big Apple”.

Manhattan as seen over the Hudson River on a helicopter.

Manhattan as seen over the Hudson River on a helicopter.

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Brooklyn Bridge under construction

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Queens, NY as seen from Roosevelt Island

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Manhattan (left), Roosevelt Island (right) and I believe that is Queens or the Bronx in the background.

The #NYTough campaign has a series of video interviews hosted by local comedian Michael Che. The videos highlight what is means to be “New York Tough” and invited New Yorkers to share their unique stories.

“I grew up on the lower east side of Manhattan and over the past thirty years, I’ve seen just how tough the city can be,” stated comedian Che. “I jumped at the chance to help share some comic relief with the community through the #NYTough campaign because comedy about New York has always been a part of my routine. It’s been a wild experience getting to interview such a diverse group of people, from taxi drivers and dog walkers to starving artists and retirees, about their own New York tough stories.”

New York City is such a diverse city. There are five boroughs and many different neighborhoods. My family grew up in Brooklyn (except me and my sister) and my husband’s family is from the Bronx. It’s amazing how in NYC you can turn the corner and find yourself in an entirely different neighborhood. We’ve heard so many stories about life in the big city.

My family visits the city often. I don’t know how people deal with all that traffic. Just a minor “fender bender” on the West Side Highway (or Harlem River Drive) can cause backups that go for miles and last for hours. Just the other day going into the city there was traffic on the West Side Highway – bumper to bumper – and we were at a complete standstill. For what should have taken 45 minutes to get to (location) took over an hour and a half – twice as much time.

Manhattan Street

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Random side walk vendor with a bubble machine.

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People EVERYWHERE in Times Square

Even the inner streets of Manhattan can be a driver’s worst nightmare. I don’t know how people navigate those streets. When you toss in people who refuse to obey the street signs (“jaywalkers”), double parked vehicles, truck deliveries and on-going construction – it’s insane!

The noise in some areas of the city can be so loud too. How do you sleep with all that noise going on around you? I go bonkers if there is a cricket in our home let alone listening to people talking, cars honking, sirens and other miscellaneous sounds.

If you don’t like crowds New York City is not the place for you. There are plenty of quiet neighborhoods but when you enter the more “touristy” parts of the city, or the business locations, you can barely move on the sidewalks because there are so many people.

You also have to be rich to live in the city, in my opinion. We once ate at a restaurant and ordered two cheeseburgers, one hamburger and a chef salad plus four sodas and it came to OVER $120! We eat at the same restaurant closer to where we live and would spend half that amount on the same meal.

A few weeks ago we were in the city and spent $12 on two hot dogs, $6 on two bottles of water and $8 on two pretzels. Yikes!

Don’t get e wrong. We love the city. It’s an amazing place. It’s a “one of a kind” place. To me there is no other city like New York City. It’s packed with so much culture, entertainment, education, history and so much more. Yeah, $4 for a pretzel might seem like a lot but when  you are strolling through beautiful Central Park while enjoying that pretzel the price doesn’t matter. Yes, the construction is a nusance, but when you see the end result you know why it was necessary. What the city did to rebuilt after 911 is amazing. We saw “ground zero” a couple of years after 911 and it was nothing but a giant hole in the ground. Now there are amazing buildings and a beautiful memorial and museum.

Central Park.

Central Park.

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Only in New York will you see unique people like this in Central Park.

A guy offering free hugs in Times Square.

A guy offering free hugs in Times Square.

Take a trip to the “Top of the Rock” (the top of Rockefeller Center) and you’ll be in awe of just how beautiful this great big city is.

I want to give kudos to those who live and work in the city and for being so #NYTough. I also totally “get” why they call New York City home.

You can check out the first video in the series fro #NYTough here – “Man of the Streets” videos. Here is one of the videos for your entertainment.

 

I would also like to encourage readers to check out Buzzfeed for more interesting content – Buzzfeed.com/NYTough.

To see what others are saying about this unique campaign please check out the hashtag #NYTough on social media.

Do you live or work in New York City? Have you ever spent any time in any of New York City’s boroughs or neighborhoods? Feel free to share your experiences.

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911 Memorial Fountain

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Statue of Liberty as seen from the Hudson River.

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New York City as seen from the “Top of the Rock”.

I have a prize package to give to a lucky reader that contains products from the P&G brands participating in the #NYTough campaign. The prize package consists of;

  • One (1) Crest Complete Whitening with Scope
  • One (1) Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant
  • One (1) Bounty paper towels
  • One (1) Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Shampoo
  • One (1) Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Conditioner
  • One (1) Tide Pods
  • One (1) Febreze Heavy Duty
  • One (1) Dawn Platinum Power Clean

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on October 28, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this giveaway and/or if you have any stories you’d like to share about living and/or working in NYC (in case you live in the area).

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received some free P&G products in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Enroll today in the Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinics

 

Teen Driver

Do you have a teen driver in your family?

Our 17 year old finally took the plunge and got her learners permit. Now we’re just saving up to get her driving lessons. My husband and I both don’t think we have the patience or the “know how” to teach our daughter how to drive. We also feel like she would do better with a non-family member. We think she’s more likely to focus better. We’re also afraid that we might miss telling her important things. It’s best to  leave it to the “experts”.

I worry about my daughter driving. I don’t think she’ll be a bad driver, I just worry about the other little things she can’t control – like other drivers. Her safety is our #1 priority.

I remember when I first learned to drive. I think I was super paranoid at first. Then once I knew what I was doing I admit I showed off to my friends a bit and had a bit of a “lead foot”. In hindsight I was really foolish and if I could go back in time I would have taken safety much more seriously.

One safety tip that I learned that really came in handy was what to do if you are being followed.

When I was in my early 20’s I dated a guy who lived 6 hours away from where I lived. We would take turns driving back and forth to visit each other every other weekend. It was a long drive and many times the road was desolate. I was literally driving in the middle of no where. If I broke down I’d be in serious trouble. This was back in the day before there were cellphones.

Teen Driver 2

I would leave after work on Friday evening and leave to come home Sunday evening. I usually got back home around midnight.

On one of my trips back home there was a suspicious car behind me. I don’t know why the car stood out to me but it did. I suddenly felt very nervous.

I got off at one of the exists and the other car followed. Then I made my way back on to the main road and the car was right behind me again.

Then I remembered what my parents told me – if I am being followed I need to pull into a public place, or better yet, a Police station. Since I was unfamiliar with my surroundings I didn’t know where a Police station was. So I kept driving until I came across an exit where I knew there were stores and restaurants. I pulled my car into a restaurant parking lot (in a well lit area) and remained in my car with the door locked. I saw the car that was following me pass by. A few minutes later I saw it pass by again.

I waited a bit longer until I didn’t see the car, then I moved my car to another parking lot near by that was also well lit in hopes that if the driver came back they would see that my car was not there anymore and drive away.

After several minutes I felt confident that the driver was gone and I headed right back on the main road again and got out of there as quickly as I could. It was a very scary and dangerous situation.

I have told this story to my kids over and over again so that they know to do the same thing  if they are in a similar situation. Thankfully we have cellphones available to use these days so they can call 911 for help.

There is so much to teach teen drivers about safety. Toyota wants to help keep kids safe too. That is why they created the Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinics. You can sign up for the clinic at a local Toyota dealership.

Here is more details about the Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic.

This FREE 2.5 hour non-driving interactive session provides both pre-driver and new-driver teens, as well as their parents, a beyond basics approach to road safety. It includes car care tips, coaching techniques and other practical tools in a safe, non-sales environment. Families participate in hands-on activities in class and around the car to promote safe-driving behavior.
This interactive clinic will cover topics such as:

  • Defensive driving “universal truths” and best practices
  • Understanding your vehicle’s performance dynamics
  • Dangerous driving distractions and how to avoid them
  • Car operations, safety features and basic maintenance fundamentals
  • Communication and coaching tips for parents and teens
  • Mutual driving agreements for pre-driver/new-driver teens and their parents

I really like what these clinics have to offer. I was never taught car care tips when I was a teen driver. I’m in my mid-40’s and I still don’t know how to change a flat tire!

I also like that they teach defensive driving. I think that is super important for teens (and adults!) to know.

Best of all these important clinics are FREE! I really appreciate Toyota offering this to consumers. You don’t need to own a Toyota to participate either.

Currently I only have locations in the New York and New Jersey area.

  • 9/20: Liberty Toyota Burlington, NJ
  • 9/21: Holman Toyota Mount Laurel, NJ
  • 10/04: Gault Toyota Endicott, NY
  • 10/05: Lia Toyota of Colonie Schenectady, NY
  • 10/11: DCH Toyota City Mamaroneck, NY
  • 10/12: DCH Freehold Toyota Freehold, NJ
  • 10/18: Millennium Toyota Hempstead, NY
  • 10/19: Penn Toyota Greenvale, NY
  • 10/25: Autoland Toyota Springfield, NJ
  • 10/26: Bay Ridge Toyota Brooklyn, NY

I’m not sure if they are adding other dates or other states. I hope they will. I think everyone should have the opportunity to take one of these special clinics.

If you would like more information, or to attend on of the events, please RSVP here.

You can follow Toyota on Twitter (@Toyota) and the official hashtag for this event is #TeenDrive365.

What do you think about what Toyota is doing to keep teen drivers safe on the road?

Do you plan on attending one of these events?

Feel free to share your thoughts or personal stories about teen driving.

Car Keys

Kimberly

This post was written as part of my association with TeenDrive365 and the Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic. For more information on the Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic, please visit http://ly/1nfUJ0e

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Looking for something fun to do Fourth of July weekend?

LDFJB_PR2_web

Are you and your family going to be in the New York City area on the fourth of July weekend? Or do you happen to live in the tri-state area? If so, and you are looking for something fun to do, why not pay a visit to the Bronx Zoo?

My family and I love visiting the zoo. We go there almost every year. My favorite time to visit is the fall when it’s cooler and the leaves are changing. “Boo at the Zoo” is also fun too.

This Fourth of July weekend the Bronx Zoo will be welcoming special guests – Latin Grammy Award-winning trio Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band for a special East Coast appearance.

If you are not familiar with Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, here is a little more information about them.

This Fourth of July weekend, join Latin Grammy Award-winning trio Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band for a special East Coast appearance at the Bronx Zoo. This popular children’s band features indie music sounds that are rooted in their whimsical and child-friendly imaginations. The all-star group recently made live appearances on CNN, Sprout, and Univision and is coming straight off a nationwide tour. This husband and wife duo, Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, has been named ‘THE face of kindie music’ by the Washington Post, ‘SUPERSTARS’ by Red Tricycle, ‘The Rolling Stones of Kids Music’ by the Style Network, and PEOPLE Magazine called their album “The #1 COOLEST kids music!” Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band lights up the stage with their many #1 Sirius XM Kids Place Live hits. Iconic brand Coca-Cola chose their song “Falling” as their national summer campaign anthem, playing it on television and in movie theaters everywhere. Get ready for a hip-shaking, head-bopping, dance party explosion of indie fresh pop rock beats! Join us for the interactive show. Based on their award-winning recordings, it includes a range of themes aimed at exploring all of the wonder and joy in a young person’s life.

The band is award winning too!

Latin Grammy Winner: Best Children’s Album — ¡Fantastico!

Multiple Parents Choice Gold Awards

Winner National Parenting Publication (NAPPA) Gold Awards

#1 Song of the Year — ‘Thingamajig’ from Lishy Lou and Lucky Too

#1 Cool Kid’s Album — People Magazine

Best Live Kids Band — Cooper and Kid

#1 Guest of the Year — Sprout TV (PBS) Chica Show

The band will be performing at Grizzly Corner at the Bronx Zoo on July 4th, 5th and 6th. The shows are scheduled for 12:30, 2:00 and 3:30 each day. All performances are 30 minutes long which are ideal for younger children.

If you would like more information about the band’s Bronx Zoo appearance please visit the Bronx Zoo’s Events Calendar.

Don’t forget to check out all the cool dinosaur exhibits around the zoo too. The Dinosaur Safari ride is fun. You can check out my review here – Take a Ride on the Prehistoric Side at the Bronx Zoo.

For more information about the Bronx Zoo please visit www.BronxZoo.com.

Bronx-Zoo-Dinosaur-Safari-Summer-20131

Kimberly

*I have partnered with the Bronx Zoo to bring you this information. Although I’ll be receiving free passes the opinions expressed are entirely my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Härth Restaurant Review – Located at the Westchester Hilton in Rye Book, NY

 

Harth Restaurant Logo

Nestled in the lobby of the Westchester Hilton in Rye Brook, New York is a hidden gem. The restaurant is called Härth. Until I ate there while staying at the hotel I have never heard of Härth before. Now that I have had the opportunity to experience the amazing cuisine my husband and I plan on going back again. It’s only about a half hour drive from our home and well worth the trip.

We stayed at the Westchester Hilton. If you would like to check out my review you can find it here – Enjoy a stay at the Westchester Hilton in Rye Brook, NY. 

Härth Restaurant at the Weschester Hilton is very much a gourmet restaurant. I wouldn’t recommend taking children with you. I didn’t see any “kid-friendly” meals on the menu, unless they do have one that we did not see.

My husband and I were seated near the windows which was nice because we were able to enjoy the nice view. Too bad it was raining most of the time. Our view overlooked the outdoor seating and the hotel’s swimming pool.

Our waiter was named Angel and he was more than happy to tend to our needs and make recommendations from the menu. I had a hard time narrowing down what I wanted to eat. My husband is more of a burgers and hot dogs kind of guy. He’s not into gourmet meals so he had a harder time figuring out what to eat. I ended up ordering the salmon and my husband ordered a chicken dish.

Oil Olive & Vinegar, Butter & Bacon Jam to enjoy with our rolls.

Olive Oil & Vinegar, Butter & Bacon Jam to enjoy with our rolls.

While our meals were being prepared we were served rolls and an assortment of toppings to enjoy with our rolls – Olive oil, butter and something truly unique – Bacon Jam. I have never seen or heard of Bacon Jam before. When I think “jam” I think of fruit spreads. The idea of a bacon fruit spread sounded odd, but there isn’t any fruit in this jam. It’s just bacon, onions and a few other ingredients. My husband and I loved it. We even raved about how much we enjoyed it to Angel.

Best ice tea I have ever had.

Best ice tea I have ever had.

To drink I ordered unsweetened ice tea and my husband ordered soda. I know this might sound silly, but the unsweetened ice tea had to be one of the best I have ever had. You could tell from the very first sip that it was freshly made. I would love to know what kind of tea they used. I love ice tea and I drink it often, but this ice tea was by far the best I have ever had.

The food at Härth is prepared by Chef Rafael Velazquez. He was kind enough to send out a special pita bread for my husband and I to enjoy. Looking at it you would think it was an ordinary pita bread. It’s not. I don’t know how he made it or what he did to it but it was incredibly delicious.

Warm Pita Bread - Oh so good!

Warm Pita Bread – Oh so good!

I tried to re-create the pita bread at home, thinking it was just butter with some garlic salt sprinkled on top. It’s not. My creation didn’t even come close.

As an appetizer my husband and I ordered a house salad. It was presented in a very nice way on a long, triangle plate with a decorative drizzle of dressing on the side.

Salad

Salad

My husband and I always joke about gourmet meals and how they tend to be small serving sizes. They seem small but the reality is they are the servings sizes we should all eat. Most people tend to eat way more than a serving size so when served an actual serving size of something it seems small.

I had ordered the salmon for dinner. It came with Lobster ravioli, confit tomatoes and a sweet onion cream sauce. Oh my! It was amazing. The salmon was perfectly cooked. It was big and juicy. The meat easily flaked off. It even had a bit of a crisp outer part.

My salmon dinner with lobster ravioli and sweet onion cream sauce.

My salmon dinner with lobster ravioli and sweet onion cream sauce.

The sweet onion cream sauce (the cream colored sauce on the side) was DELICIOUS! I wish I had more of it. I wish they bottled it. I would buy some. It would go great on fish, chicken and vegetables.

I loved the lobster ravioli. It was filled with nice bite size chunks of lobster. I don’t normally order lobster, even though I love it. It tends to be pricey. Having the lobster ravioli was nice indulgence.

My husband's chicken dinner. The chicken was cooked under a brick and the meal came with fingerling potatoes and kale.

My husband’s chicken dinner. The chicken was cooked under a brick and the meal came with fingerling potatoes and kale.

My husband had a chicken dish. I am sorry that I didn’t write down the exact name for it. It was chicken that was cooked with a brick on top of it to really get that cooked/smoked flavor into the meat. It came with fingerling potatoes and I believe Kale. I don’t recall what the sauce was. I do know that my husband devoured everything on his place and said delectable.

While we were savoring our scrumptious meal the restaurant’s manager came over to say “hello”. She also had two jars of Chef Velazquez’s bacon jam to give to us because she heard how much we loved it. That was very nice of her and we appreciated the gesture.

Later on in the evening Chef Velazquez also came out to introduce himself to us. That was really nice.

A jar of bacon jam that we can enjoy at home. YUMMY!

A jar of bacon jam that we can enjoy at home. YUMMY!

After dinner we were treated to dessert. I saw something on the menu that looked interesting. It was a strawberry and marshmallow “S’more” made on a flat bread. Our waiter Angel said it was made with a flat bread covered in a layer of Nutella, topped with toasted marshmallows, cinnamon sugar and fresh strawberries and finished off with a drizzle of chocolate. It sounded way too good to pass up so I ordered that. My husband orders a chocolate ganache cake with a berry compote.

Gaunache cake. Not seen is the berry compote and freshly made whip cream.

Ganache cake. Not seen is the berry compote and freshly made whip cream.

I didn’t realize that my dessert was best suited for more than one person. It was HUGE! My husband had two slices and was full but didn’t want his chocolate ganache cake to go to waste so he ate that too. Oh boy was his belly full after that.

I’m grateful that our room had a mini fridge. We were able to take home our left over dessert to share with our children the next day.

I also had a cup of coffee with dessert. Restaurant coffees can be “hit or miss”. Sometimes it’s good, other times it’s more like cruddy diner coffee. The coffee from Härth was exquisite. I consider myself a “coffee snob” and I fell head over heels for this delicious coffee. It wasn’t just a one time thing either. We had the breakfast buffet the next morning and the coffee was just as delicious as it was with dinner.

S'mores dessert made with Nutella, roasted marshmallows, fresh strawberries, cinnamon sugar and chocolate drizzle.

S’mores dessert made with Nutella, roasted marshmallows, fresh strawberries, cinnamon sugar and chocolate drizzle.

We enjoyed the breakfast buffet the next morning at Härth. The buffet had everything you would expect – eggs, french toast, pastries, home fries, sausage, bacon, fresh juice and more. And of course a great cup of coffee.

When we left the restaurant after dinner we were stuffed. We couldn’t eat another morsel. We had a full and very satisfying meal.

When we arrived back at our room I went straight to the bathroom (I had an eyelash in my eye and I wanted to get it out). When I came out of the bathroom my husband was standing by the window and he said “I think this surprise was meant for you”. I asked him “What surprise?“. He moved to reveal a table with a chocolate cake on it with the words “Happy Birthday” on it as well as plates, forks, a knife to cut the cake, glasses of water with ice and two huge glass bottles of Voss water.

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me!

This is what the cake looked like on the inside. YUMMY!!!!

This is what the cake looked like on the inside. YUMMY!!!!

We went back down to the restaurant to see if they had a box we could put the cake in (there was no way we could eat another bite). THANKFULLY they still had the box the cake came in. We enjoyed it the next day with our children. It was so good!

The cake is still a mystery, but I do have my suspicions as to where it came from. :-)

My husband and I don’t normally eat at fancy restaurants, but we are going to make the exception when it comes to Härth. We plan on eating there again in the near future. There are a few more menu items we’d like to try and we must have the strawberry and marshmallow S’mores dessert again. It was so good!

Härth is open to the public. You do not need to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy a meal at the restaurant.

Härth is open seven days a week. From Monday through Saturday it’s open from 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM. On Sunday it’s opened from 6:30 AM to 1:00 PM.

Breakfast is served from 6:30 – 10:30

Lunch is served from 11:00 – 2:00

Dinner is available from 5:00 – 10:00

Here are the various menus in case you would like to check them out.

Härth Breakfast Menu (PDF)

Härth Lunch Menu (PDF)

Härth Dinner Menu (PDF)

If you you are interested in experiencing Härth yourself you can always Book a table in advance or simply show up when it’s convenient for you. 

Härth also has a lounge where you can enjoy cocktails seven days a week from 4:00 PM – 12:00 Monday through Thursday and Sunday and from 4:00 – 2:00 AM Friday and Saturday. 

The restaurant is located at 699 Westchester Avenue in Rye Brook, New York 10573 in the lobby of the Westchester Hilton. 

You can check out Chef Rafael Velazquez too.

Chef Velazquez seated outside of Harth at the Westchester Hilton. PHOTO SOURCE: Chef Velazquez's Facebook page.

Chef Velazquez seated outside of Harth at the Westchester Hilton. PHOTO SOURCE: Chef Velazquez’s Facebook page.

Kimberly

*I received complimentary meals in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. This post also contains and affiliate link. 

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