2017 Mitsubishi Outlander GT + Farm Hopping in NJ

PhotoGrid_1508284718389.jpg

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope everyone is having a great start to their week.  It was a really brisk morning this morning when I was up and out at 5am.. out first of the season where you see your breath when you speak and I don’t like it! 39º is what tree car read,  and it didn’t warm up much throughout the day either.

As I wind down for the night and am settles in to begin this post,  I thought the title would fit perfectly.  Before kids, weekend’s were occasionally for “bar hopping”, now it’s only right that they’ve been formally replaced with what I call “Farm hopping” haha!

What is farm hopping you might ask. Think about it.. there are so many to choose from locally,  why only pick one? Is there some rule? I mean,  there are ones that are totally FREE to go and enjoy the festivities,  so why not?

Lucky for me I got to sport around in the all new 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S and since it is a V6 but eco friendly engine, it was super fun to take these trips.

1507240341380.jpg

My favorite thing about getting to spend time in different vehicle models is seeing jyst how different they really are.  Although many standard features are the same from model to model,  there are some that just stand out (And some for a bad reason too).

This particular model was a Quartz brown exterior,  personally I love this color on any car. It just seems so high end and ritzy and I feel really fancy driving around in it. The interior was pretty nice too, tan and black,  although i would prefer a lighter tan as this is a bit on the yellow side (although I guess it’s good for young children because you cannot see the crumbs my boys have already spilled in it or “other” things that may happen that may be yellow in color…)

20171005_173504.jpg

The thing I missed the most during the week with this car has too accrual be TWO things.  My remote start for my 5am early mornings and the keyless entry that allows me to lock my keys in the car when I go into the gym. I’ll tell you though first hand, this model will not let you lock the keys in the car 😀🤣 and it’s a good thing because i would’ve done it twice out of habit. It tells at you and promptly unlocks the doors right after you hit lock.

The most unique feature that helped us on our trips was the huge trunk capacity for such a small crossover suv. My youngest is now 5 but we still bring a stroller,  mainly to hold jackets and bags that I’m too lazy to carry and to avoid lockers that I’m too cheap to pay for.  Ok, it’s also to carry tired kids after a long day of fun back to the car.

20171008_161007.jpg

I did find it very unique but also a bit odd and concerning that the back seats EJECT fot you to get anyone into the third row or to fold the second row down for extra trunk space.  It did run through my mind for a split second that this could happen if my children were to accidently pull the lever on the side or the head rest although I’d like to believe there is some sort of safety feature regarding weight on the seat that prevents this.  I didn’t want to test this out with my children in the seats lol although they probably would enjoyed it on hind-sight, so if you know the answer,  please feel free to comment below because it’s really interesting…

This particular model also didn’t come with built in navigation, so that wasn’t very fun having to old-school it and use my cell phone on the center cup holder navigating me to our first destination of the weekend,  Turhune Orchards.

Don’t let the name fool you,  it isn’t only an orchard although they have a lovely apple supply of trees to pick fresh apples from,  and FREE apples put in giant boxes throughout the farm to feast on (I assumed they were washed 🤔) and the we’re really really yummy!

PhotoGrid_1508292385921.jpg

Parking was easy because they navigate you in,  however it was crowded as ever since it was the first day of their “annual fall festival”. They take both cash and cards at the entry and it does cost a hefty $12 per person which I though was a bit much for what they offer, however once inside,  almost everything is included without an extra charge with the exception of pony rides,  pumpkins, and of course food.

They have a couple of food tents and the food was just OK and not really great in my opinion. They have chicken,  pulled pork,  and some various soups and salads but nothing really geared towards children,  especially my picky eater.  My favorite thing was the apple cider donuts and I ate more then I should have on my excersize diet that I’m currently on.

My kids really enjoyed the pumpkin painting, and pumpkins under 5lbs were just a few dollars and the painting was free. The corn maze was simple and cute,  and my 5 year old son and gid daughter proudly led us all through it without a problem.

The hay ride was short, but takes you around the beautiful fruit orchards and compared to may others I’ve been on,  it was a nice smooth comfortable ride.

They did have animals to see,  but I didn’t see very many.  If you want to fork up the extra dough on top of the entry fee, you can do a pony ride for the kids which is cute.

Would I go back? I’d have to say probably.  It’s a nice open family friendly space and had some nice activities for all. I wish they would lower their prices a bit for entry though, but the included activities make it worth it. Also,  they do have wine tasting which is always a bonus😉.

Check out more as well as their activities calendar at:

http://terhuneorchards.com

330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton NJ

Hours:

Farm Store

Mon-Fri 9am-7pm

Sat & Sun 9am-6pm

Winery Tasting Room

Fri, Sat & Sun 12pm-6pm
Bottles available in farm store daily

 

Next up on my list is Snyders Farm. This is an amazing place for young children. It will cost you $8 CASH ONLY per person to get in,  parking is simple,  and you must take the hay ride over to the farm area. We first visited this farm last year during a birthday party for my god daughter and we had a blast.  I wanted to see what it was like as a regular visitor,  and it didn’t disappoint. The activities are geared towards all ages, and it is a big enough farm that it doesn’t feel over crowded and the kids can run around safely.

They have a small animal farm with just a few goats,  many hay climbing sections, and my favorite,  the giant hay slide. We must have gone on this thing a dozen times and ir doesn’t get old.  Each time is just as fun as the last. It reminds me of the giant slides at amusement parks that you get into the potato sack and slide on down.  Only this,  you slide directing into a giant tub of corn! Yes, it will get in your shoes and everywhere else.

On the topic of shoes,  it rained while we were there and yes it did get muddy so don’t wear any nice shoes here.

More activities to highlight is the daily  surprise where captain America shoots CANDY to the kids from the sky out of a real CANNON, and no kid leaves without candy.  It is such a fun, unexpected treat for newcomers and it is so fun to watch all of the kids screaming with excitement.

20170930_145638.jpg

That’s not all that is shot at Snyder farm.  You can pay ($3 for corn, $5 for pumpkins) too shoot corn or pumpkins at cars! This was so fun for us all.

Screenshot_20171017-215203.png

The only downfall of this place is, #1 I cannot figure out where to actually do pumpkin picking or apple picking,  and #2, lack of food options! They only had one food truck when we were there and it was a seafood focused truck wick is odd to be the only option,  in october, at a kids fall festive area.. but i have to say,  their Chicken tenders and fries although expensive,  were really good. This place is tree opidumy of fall activities (besides pumpkin and apples).

The best part is that NOTHING (except food and any picking) is an extra charge once inside,  so this is definitely the best value.

Would I visit again? Absolutely! Hopefully next year on a less muddy day.

Check out more at;

Www.Snyders-farm.com

586 S Middlebush Rd, Somerset, NJ 08873
SEASONAL HOURS
Fall Festival
Weekends Only 11am – 6pm
Strawberry Season
Saturday & Sundays Only 9am – 4pm
Blueberry Season
Saturday & Sundays Only 9am – 4pm
Roadside Stand
Monday thru Sunday 11am – 6pm

 

Last on my list is Ort Farm. This is FREE to get in,  parking is simple too although a very crowded lot and you should be prepared to walk a little bit.

Without an entry fee, it really can’t be beat.  Free fun for all,  however if you want to do the routine stuff like hayride and pumpkin picking,  your gonna have to pay up.  The $1 per person hayride takes you to the pumpkin patch which is really huge.  Each pumpkin is .59 cents a lb which isn’t bad.  We got an 8 pounder and paid just $4 and change, while my cousins picked out a giant sized 25lb pumpkin for their little ones first Halloween. The pumpkins are in really great shape and many perfect ones to choose from preclipped, or that you can rip right off of the vine.

At check out they have amazing homemade salted caramel chocolate fudge,  and Apple cider donuts that I may or may not have consumed…

They have the hands down most unique  activity of all here though… MONSTER TRUCK rides.  A “hayride” like ride on REAL monster trucks.  Amazing! We didn’t do this because of timing and the line was super long,  so I am not sure of the cost but we watched them and they looked and sounded awesome.

We did however check out all of the animals which the had quite a few including chickens,  ducks,  pigs, goats, an adorable baby calf and some cool bulls.

20171015_133908.jpg

Across the street from this section was their corn maze.  This is the BEST corn maze I have ever been in.  I seriously couldn’t find my way out, even when using the provided map, aside from a 5, 8, and 9 year old leading the way… so I feel it was worth the $6 a person they charge to get into the maze. Apparently they do corn maze at night too and everyone gets a flashlight. I am too much of a chicken for that, but if you like the dark, I suggest you check that out because you WILL get lost in there.

20171015_152537

We didn’t eat any real food there due to time,  so I am not sure of the cost or if it is any good,  but I definitely smelled hot dogs and hamburgers and they did smell AMAZING.

20171015_144259.jpg

Would I go back? Yes! If you don’t feel like spending money but want fall activities,  this is the place to just soak in all the fall feelings.

Check out more info at;

Www.ortfarms.com

25 Bartley Rd, Long Valley, NJ 07853

Activity Hours: Weekdays 12-6 (Hayrides/Maze/Animals/Play Area)

Weekends 10-5 (Hayrides/Maze/Animals
/
Train Rides/Cannon/ Monster Truck)

 

Overall,  we have enjoyed all three farms and had fun “Farm Hopping”. And thanks to the Mitsubishi Outlander, we got to there and back safely!

Gifts that do good with the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF)

During my visit to the NY Toy Fair this year, I came across the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) booth and I was amazed at what they’re doing yo help families with special needs children all over.

They have many “gifts and that do good” to choose from like storybooks, stuffed animals, and joke books for kids written by kids. Even more fun is that your child can “donate” their own joke to possibly be featured in a future issue of ‘Little Book, Big Laughs”.

Check out all items they have available at UHCCF.org. ALL proceeds go directly towards families in need!20170315_201430.png

The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides medical grants to help children gain access to health-related services not covered, or not fully covered, by their family’s commercial health insurance plan.

Families can receive up to $5,000 annually per child ($10,000 lifetime maximum per child), and do not need to have insurance through UnitedHealthcare to be eligible.

UHCCF was founded in 1999. Since 2007, UHCCF has awarded 13,000 grants valued at $35M to children and their families across the United States. UHCCF’s funding is provided by contributions from individuals, corporations and UnitedHealth Group employees.

Philosophy

The Foundation embraces and supports the concept of facilitating access to health-related services that have the potential to significantly enhance either the clinical condition or the quality of life of the child and that are not fully covered by the available commercial health insurance plan. The Foundation provides financial assistance toward the family’s share of the cost of medical services.

20170315_20052820170315_20060520170315_200525

The Piki Piki Bike

20170223_193848

This past week I had the opportunity to visit the 2017 NY Toy Fair in Manhattan. I loved seeing all of the new toys out for kids off all ages, especially the toys that I know my boys will love.

20170223_194225.jpg

One toy that caught my eye was The Piki Piki Bike. The number one reason is because in a world of bye age technology, and everything so complicated and gagetized, it is so simple. You just unbox it, and go. No instructions needed.

20170223_194123.jpg

I’m excited I was able to take one home from the show to review for you all and with such perfect weather this week, we rushed out of the house to give it a try.

20170223_193946.jpg

My 4 year old isn’t quite getting the concept of tricycle pedals when he is on flat ground, and cannot seem to propell himself forward enough to keep up during our walks, so this was amazing for him to be able to ride along side his brother who was using his scooter. It’s such a simple ride on motorcycle, you “flintstone it” with your feet and the front wheel you steer with your hands using the handle bars.

Here is what the creator of the bike has to say!

Growing up in South Africa, we played on our Piki Piki bikes all the time.

(Piki Piki is a Swahili word for “motorcycle.”)

When we came to the United States with two toddlers of our own, we couldn’t find anything like our favorite toy back home, so we decided to start making our own Piki Piki bikes right here in the USA.

Lightweight and durable, the Piki Piki Bike is the perfect first bike for smaller children who are not yet ready for tricycles, pedal bikes, or heavier balance bikes.

Our patented, three wheel design makes Piki Piki stable and easy to ride, giving toddlers (and bigger kids) a fun way to build coordination and confidence at the same time.

Plus, with Piki Piki bikes, there’s no assembly required. Just open the box and let the adventures begin!

I couldn’t agree more at the ease of this bike. It teaches the child coordination by allowing them to steer while pushing themselves forward. It’s like the big red cozy coupe we all know and love, but in motor cycle form!

We did not have a chance to put the decals on it yet since we literally ripped it out of the box and went, but we’ll be putting them on it soon so that we get the real feel.

It comes in 3 different colors, blue (as shown), red, and pink. They retail for $69.95 and can be purchased right now on Amazon with free shipping!

Features

  • FOR AGES 18 MONTHS AND UP – Perfect for both toddlers and bigger kids who are always looking for their next adventure.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT – Just 5.5 lbs/2.5kg, making it easy for toddlers to maneuver, and even easier for parents to carry.
  • NO ASSEMBLY, INSTRUCTION, OR BATTERIES REQUIRED – Just open the box and your little one will be ready to ride!
  • EASY TO STEER – The Piki Piki Bike steers like a regular bike, building confidence and coordination at the same time.
  • DURABLE – High quality construction from high impact plastic means the Piki Piki is built to last. Weight limit: up to 70 lbs/32 kg.

Continuous adult supervision required. Maximum weight is 70lbs.

Manufacturer recommends child wears age appropriate safety helmet with chinstrap securely buckled.

This bike was created by a husband and wife… Parents just like you and I. I love supporting smaller businesses and  especially when the product is such a home run! Help spread the word!

 

Have you tried this bike? If so, let me know what you think!

20170223_193425.jpg

*I received this product in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Jack & Jill Gift Set Giveaway!

1485099574919

These gift sets from jackandjillkids.com are extremely adorable and perfect for a baby shower gift or even a first birthday gift! Dental care is so important and it’s something that new parents rarely think about, I mean, a baby doesn’t hand any teeth so it doesn’t matter right? Wrong! Early gum care and dental care is so important, so let this kit be a reminder to new parents and start them in the right direction.

This kit isn’t only for infants though, it is great for toddlers too! They’ll love to rinse with their adorable purple hippo cup and best of all of is BPA free!

My boys are no strangers to dental care. We maintain our 6 month cleanings and make sure to take care of any issues right away. I learn so much from asking questions at the dentist especially when it comes to my kids. Did you know that children shouldn’t have more then 6oz of juice in a day? Water is best!

Semi-annual cleanings can prevent future problems in you’re child’s teeth on the future. Even a decaying baby tooth can effect the tooth bulb booking below the gum line. Think of decay as a rash, it will go onto anything else it touches, like neighboring teeth as well. It’s best to get rid of that risk by either removing or filling the decaying tooth before other problems arise.

20170122_101117

I am giving away one complete Hippo gift set ($36.99 value!), contents below;

Hippo Gift Kit
JnJ Hippo Rinse/Storage Cup, JnJ Natural Toothpaste Organic Blackcurrant Flavour, JnJ Bio Toothbrush Hippo, JnJ Silicone Baby Tooth Brush and JnJ Sleepover Bag

Its got everything they need to have a great time brushing, and a neat and tidy bathroom.

Consists of:
Jack N Jill Hippo Rinse/Storage Cup
Jack N Jill Natural Toothpaste Organic Blackcurrant Flavour
Jack N Jill Bio Toothbrush Hippo
Jack N Jill Silicone Baby Tooth Brush
Jack N Jill Sleepover Bag

20170122_110042

You can view the other kits and purchase one yourself at Jack and Jill Kids.

*Disclaimer: I was provided product for this review. All opinions are my own.

Fright Fest 2016

Let me start off by saying that this is NOT a sponsored post. I have no affiliation with Six Flags and this is just my own experiences that I want to share with you.

First off, before I even start, go get a season pass to six flags! Right now, it’s the best deal I’ve ever seen so I had to scoop them up for my family of 4. But you have to be quick because you MUST ACTIVATE the passes before Oct 31st, just 9 more days, to get the deal.

It’s only $6 a month (auto-pay) per person for minimum of 12 months, for a COMBO GOLD pass that includes the rest of this year free including Fright Fest and Holiday in the park, Free Parking, and Hurricane Harbor for next year. That is only $72 per person for the whole YEAR and a one day ticket is $72 if you were to go just 1 day,so even if you only go one time the entire year (which is not very likely), then it already paid for itself! That’s why I think it is so worth it. They do shows throughout the year, bring a friend free of discounted, and so many other deals.

During the end of the year, starting October, they’re only open Friday’s after 5:30pm and then on Sat and Sun all day. If you go during the weekends, you can spend the whole morning there and enjoy the fall and Halloween decor without and spooks or scares. Once the sun sets though, it’s a whole other story.

So should you bring your young kids to fright fest? I say go for it. My boys had a great time despite the scary zombies roaming around. My 8 year old absolutely LOVED the zombies. I on the other hand tried my best not to make eye contact and used the kids as a shield LOL! I get creeped out with that stuff… It did make it easier having the kids with me because they didn’t bother us as much.1477141950851

My 4 year old didn’t mind the first time we went, I don’t think he noticed the zombies as much. The 2nd time, he was more aware of them and what was going on and he cried for a bit to go home. He kept looking over his shoulder and I felt so bad, but then I had a genius idea! I told him to switch jackets with his brother, and that it was so big on him, it was like a “blanket” and the zombies would think he was just a big blanket. It worked! He started to forget about it eventually and enjoyed himself the rest of the night.

I love carnivals, and theme parks, so of course I love Six Flags Great Adventure. I wish it was a little closer since it’s about an hour drive, but so was Sesame Place which we had a blast this past Summer and went a lot with our season passes there. It’s good to switch it up, so next Summer we’ll have these passes for the theme and water park at great adventure. Did I mention, if you love Pokemon Go, then you will be excited to know that there are many Pokemon hanging out here 🙂

My favorite thing is seeing my boys enjoying themselves on the rides. They have a bunch of rides for young kids and a large area with stands and arcades. They really wound up having a great time despite the initial fear of the zombies.

GET YOUR PASSES SOON! You must go BEFORE 10/31 to activate the pass to get the Combo Deal even if you buy the passes, it will not be combo unless it’s activated before then.

 

The First Ever Human Milk Bank in NY

Yesterday, Sept 21 2016 marked the opening of the first ever human milk bank in NY. This is such a wonderful thing! What an amazing way to help save infant’s in need. Read below for the press release.

20160922_150014.png

Via nymilkbank.org

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, NY – September 21, 2016 – The nonprofit New York Milk Bank (NYMB) today announced its grand opening as the first and only comprehensive, community-based milk bank dedicated to serving New York State. The opening ceremony was held at the NYMB’s new facility in Westchester County, NY, where it will process donated breast milk and coordinate distribution of pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) to feed babies in need, particularly premature and sick infants.

 

“We are thrilled to be able to help address the critical need for accessible, affordable donor breast milk in New York and beyond,” said Julie Bouchet-Horwitz, Founder and Executive Director of the NYMB, and a board-certified lactation consultant and family nurse practitioner. “Research shows human milk provides the best nutrition for babies and protects against numerous life-threatening infections, especially in vulnerable preterm infants. Establishing The New York Milk Bank has been a true labor of love for our team, and we are committed to improving the health and survival of babies in need by providing safe PDHM when their own mother’s milk is not available.”

 

Approximately one in 10 babies is born prematurely. These infants often face significant health challenges and are at particular risk of developing the serious intestinal disease necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which may be fatal.Feeding premature babies exclusively with human breast milk can dramatically reduce the risk, so it is crucial that hospitals have a dependable, affordable supply of PDHM.

 

New York State will need an estimated 200,000 ounces of PDHM per year just to meet the needs of the smallest premature infants. Until the opening of NYMB, milk donated by mothers in New York has been sent to milk banks in other states for processing and distribution.

 

“My daughter was born prematurely at 24 weeks and needed donor milk for months after her birth. I saw firsthand how beneficial breast milk can be for babies struggling to survive, and know how scary it is, as a parent, not to have milk readily available,” said Theresa McCaffrey, of Hastings-On-Hudson, whose daughter is now two years old. “When Ceci was born we had to ship milk in from Massachusetts because there wasn’t a milk bank in New York State. The New York Milk Bank is providing an important service to our community, and I’m happy that New York families have such a strong advocate when it comes to the health of our babies.”

 

Already, more than 20 hospitals in New York are using donor milk. The NYMB is working with others to ensure donor milk is available to all infants in need across the state. Mothers who have been screened by the NYMB can donate milk at one of the 17 depots in New York accepting donations – from Buffalo to New York City – with more opening in the coming months. Mothers may also ship their frozen milk directly to the NYMB.

 

“We are incredibly thankful for the generosity of mothers who donate their extra breast milk to help save the lives of premature, low birth weight and sick infants,” said Roseanne Motti, Manager of the NYMB. “They are part of a centuries-old tradition of donating milk to help infants in need, and provide an essential benefit that has been validated time and again by the medical community.”

 

The NYMB is licensed by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) to ensure safety. To learn more about the NYMB or find out how you can become a donor or a recipient of breast milk, visitwww.NYMilkBank.org.

 

About The New York Milk Bank 

The New York Milk Bank, Inc. (NYMB) is the first and only comprehensive, community-based donor human milk bank in New York State, based in Westchester County, NY. It is a 501(c)3 nonprofit milk bank and a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). The NYMB is committed to improving the health and survival of infants in need by providing safe pasteurized donor human milk when their own mother’s milk is not available in sufficient quantities. It was started by a volunteer group of lactation experts including physicians, nurses, and lactation professionals and is licensed by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). To learn more, visit www.NYMilkBank.org.

 

About Pasteurized Donor Human Milk (PDHM)

Research shows that human milk provides the best nutrition for all babies and is especially critical for premature infants, who face significant health challenges. When a mother’s own milk is unavailable, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that preterm infants receive pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM). The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) was founded in 1985 to establish standards for North American milk banks, and there are currently 25 HMBANA banks in North America with five more in development. Donors to HMBANA-accredited milk banks undergo a thorough screening process, including verbal and written questionnaires, a blood test for HIV and other infectious diseases, and medical clearance from the donor’s and baby’s health providers. Donated milk is then pasteurized to destroy bacteria and viruses and tested to ensure safety. Donor human milk is species-specific, and, once appropriately pasteurized, is safe for vulnerable infants.

 

Halloween Dirt Pudding

1474239026082

Looking for an easy, go to dessert that the kids and adults will both love? Look no further! Dirt Pudding is super easy and quick to make and can be made in small cups or a large bowl.

Simple ingredients make this a perfect Halloween dessert.

20160918_182853

Chocolate instant pudding, Cool whip, oreos, and gummy worms.

That’s it!

20160918_182911

Mix and cool the pudding per directions. Add in 2 heaping spoonfuls of cool whip and fold it in with a spatula or a spoon.

20160918_183139

Add in gummy worms and put into small clear cups or a bowl. Top with crushed Oreo cookie crumbs (remove the icing) and let chill in the refrigerator for an hour.

20160918_183352

20160918_183847

fb_img_1474240034481

It tastes like chocolate ice cream and it’s so fun to eat even if you’re an adult.

Enjoy!