Category Archives: Weekend Recap

Getting Cozy With New Starbucks Hot Cocoa K-Cups!

This post was sponsored by Starbucks as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received compensation and complimentary products to facilitate my review.

Getting Cozy With Starbucks Hot Cocoa K-Cups

Is there anything better in Winter than snuggling up on your couch with a comfy blanket and a mug of something warm and delicious?  I think not.  Lately, Mother Nature has been confused about which way she is going with the weather in New York.  One day it is Sunny and 55 degrees and another it is freezing and snowing.  For some reason, most of those cold snowy days are happening on the weekends.  I am not complaining though because that means I get to cuddle up with Taylor and our kitties.

Starbucks Hot Cocoa K-Cups #HotCocoa #IC

 You may have seen last week on Insta that I was the lucky recipient of a Cozy Collection from Starbucks and I must say that it really took this weekend’s vegetation up a notch!  T and I have been binge-watching Survivor on Hulu and we are totally obsessed with it.  The addition of the Cozy Collection’s contents were the icing on the cake! 

Starbucks® Cozy Collection
This collection includes:

  • A special blanket, perfect for snuggling, cuddling or snoozing
  • A mug to fill with cocoa for a tasty, cozy treat
  • Starbucks® Classic and Salted Carmel K-Cup® pods, made with real cocoa
  • Marshmallows and shortbreads to put the finishing touches on your cocoa
  • $5 Starbucks Card and exclusive offer on Starbucks® Hot Cocoa K Cup® pods

You can enter to win one of your very own here and trust me you want to because the blanket inside is everything.    

Starbucks K-Cups

Starbucks K-Cups Cozy Collection #HotCocoa #IC

This package came to me at precisely the right time since I recently bought a new Keurig Mini!  Before this I had been solely using an Espresso machine and I missed having a “regular” coffee maker so I could enjoy a cup of drip coffee when the mood struck me.  The Mini is so compact and cute that I figured it would be worth the loss of counter space.  

Starbucks Cozy Collection K-Cup #HotCocoa

I never anticipated also using it for hot cocoa at the time of it’s purchase but Starbucks changed that with their new K-Cups.  These things are total game-changers!  Now, I can pop in a pod and Taylor and I can enjoy decadent cocoa with the push of a button! 

Starbucks Cozy Collection K-Cup #HotCocoa

My Cozy Collection came with samples of both of their new flavors, Classic and Salted Caramel.  They are made with real cocoa and non-fat milk and they taste totally luxurious!  

To be honest, I have not had hot cocoa in years.  The thought of it brought back memories of instant powder that you mix in with hot water.  The powder would never fully dissolve so there would be weird lumps floating around your drink.  

Starbucks K-Cups are the exact opposite of that.  They produce cocoa that smooth, creamy and rich.  Plus, it is extremely easy to make.

Starbucks Cozy Collection K-Cup #HotCocoa

Taylor and I loved them so much that we have already ordered more of the classic Hot Cocoa.  There are a few weeks of Winter left and we want to be prepared for more cozy weekends in.

Starbucks K-Cups Hot Cocoa

Goosebumps Movie Review


Goosebumps and R.L. Stine hold a special place in my heart.  Mr. Stine’s Fear Street series was one of my favorites as a young adult.  It was just the right amount of scary.  The books made me feel grown up and they were frightening but not the kind of terrifying that still scares me to this very day (like Pennywise from Stephen King’s It).  I actually met him a few years ago at Book Con and I thought it was the coolest thing ever!

RL Stein

Taylor is also a HUGE Goosebumps fan.  She loves the shows and the books.  I cant tell you how happy I am when I see her reading them.  Seeing your child enjoy something that you also loved as a kid is so special.  I suppose it must be similar to being a star quarterback in high school and then having a child that also plays and wears your jersey number.  (I would not know that from personal experience though because I am not at all athletically inclined.)

Anyway, I was SUPER excited last week when I received an invitation to attend a screening of the new Goosebumps movie!  T and I have been seeing the trailers on television and were dying to go check it out.

We brought along my bestie and her daughter and met up with Shaniqua from Brown Media Mama and her adorable son, DJ.

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Not long after we sat down I almost started choking on my Junior Mints because in walked Jack Black, R.L. Stein, Rob Letterman, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush and Ryan Lee!  (I got major cool points for this one, so thank you Sony!)  

They talked about making the movie and Jack Black was his usual hilarious self.  He gave advice to the kids and suggested that if they get scared they should remember to plug their ears.  He said that when most people are frightened just close their eyes but it is totally ineffective because they can still hear what is happening.  Thankfully, the kids didn’t have to have to do that during the screening.

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Here is a description of the plot taken from Wikipedia:

“After moving into a small town, a teenage boy named Zach (Dylan Minnette) meets Hannah (Odeya Rush), his new neighbor. Hannah’s father, R. L. Stine (Jack Black), writes the Goosebumps stories and keeps all theghosts and monsters in the series locked up in his manuscripts like Slappy the Living Dummy, the Abominable Snowman, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, the Giant Mantises, and the living lawn gnomes. Zach and his friend Champ (Ryan Lee) unintentionally open one of Stine’s books, leading to the release of every ghost and monster from the manuscripts. Now Zach, Hannah and Stine team up in order to put the monsters and Ghosts back where they came from before they overrun the town and harm people.”

The movie was perfect.  I was afraid that it would be a letdown that would tarnish the memory of my favorite childhood author but it was exactly what I had hoped for.  Afterwards we got to speak with him briefly and take a photo.  It was a great evening and I highly recommend the movie!  My daughter (age 10) and my friend’s daughter (age 8) both loved it and neither were overly scared or had nightmares. 


Weekending on a Tuesday

Hello my loves!  Things are a little crazy and disorganized around these parts lately so please bear with me.  Some of you may recall my post last week about my split and part of that is that we are selling our house.  The last few months have been about cleaning it up and getting it nice and polished in order to go on the market.  We listed it last Tuesday and from Thursday to Saturday I had 13 showings!  People were in and out.  It was kind of nuts.  Then, on Saturday night I got a text from my broker that I had received a solid, perfect offer.  We accepted it this morning.  I have been so super stressed out lately worrying about the possibility that we would have to carry our current mortgage and my ex’s apartment simultaneously and it terrified me.  We will still have to do that for a few months but at least now I know there is an end in sight and I feel so LUCKY that this is one less thing on my plate.  Now that things are getting situated I can hopefully return to blogging on a more regular basis.  I miss you guys!

I know I am late for a weekending post but here is a little peek at what I have been up to these last few days…

I spent Saturday doing showing after showing at the house and as soon as the last person left I jumped in the car and went over to B’s new place in Astoria!  It is gorgeous and I had such a fun time.  Her friends are super nice and I got try the most delicious potatos (with bacon!!!).  B, please give us the recipe!  I also got to meet M’s little guy and he is THE cutest thing ever!

On Sunday I had a girl’s day with Taylor.  We decided to be NYC tourists and I loved every minute of it.  We began our journey with a ride on the Staten Island ferry where I purchased my very first selfie stick for $5.  I don’t know why I have been avoiding this trend.  They are so much fun!  We used ours all day.

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We went to see Matilda on Broadway and it was AMAZING.  I highly recommend it!  It was extra special for me because this was the book that I first fell in love with as a child.  It is responsible for my love of reading to this day.

Next we went to Toys R Us in Times Square and took a ride on the giant ferris wheel.  Fun fact, you do not get to pick which car you ride in.  They assign you to the next one that comes up.  The last time I took Taylor there she was four and we were given the Mega Bloks car.  She wanted the Barbie car (or at least the My Little Pony car) and she cried the ENTIRE time.  (Her face in the below photo cracks me up.)  


Things have changed tremendously in the last six years.  To begin, my child no longer cares which car we ride in.  Another notable difference is that they will not take photos of you on the ride anymore and if you whip out your newly-purchased selfie stick, they threaten to confiscate it.  THE NERVE!

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Next on the agenda was a trip to Ninja.  It is a theme restaurant downtown.  I DO NOT recommend it.  While the ambiance was pretty cool, (all the waiters are dressed like ninjas and it set to look like you are eating in a dungeon) the food was disgusting and WAY overpriced.  I spent $120 on one appetizer that Taylor and I shared, a kid’s meal for her and a burger for myself.  I drank a water (so no alcohol was included on that tab) and Taylor had one lemonade.  I wouldn’t mind it being expensive if it were good but it was gross (and this is coming from a girl that likes Chuck E. Cheese pizza).  There also was no cool choreographed fighting like I thought there would be.

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Dont let the smile fool ya, we were not loving Ninja.

Okay, well I hope you all had a nice weekend!  Swing by tomorrow for a fun giveaway!  xo

4th Anniversary Staycation

221892_2033799891414_700277_n Four years ago I finally became Mrs. Bannon after a seven year long engagement.  My hubby and I are not very traditional.  We had our daughter, got engaged, bought our house and THEN got married over the span of a decade or so.  Personally, I think all that matters is that we got everything accomplished in the end.  I also love that T was able to be there for our wedding.  If I got the opportunity to go back and do it over I would not change a thing.  

We decided to celebrate with a little staycation last weekend.  I booked a room at the Empire Hotel for Saturday night.  It was beautifully decorated but INCREDIBLY loud.  I am a very light sleeper so it was not a great fit for me and I would never return.  It was aesthetically pleasing though.  I was pretty obsessed with this chair:

The Empire Hotel NYC

The Empire Hotel NYC

The view from our room was gorgeous and we were able to look right out at Lincoln Center.

The Empire Hotel NYC

After checking in and changing we walked over to Columbus Circle (where we took our wedding pictures) and then to Serafina for dinner.   We adore Serafina and we had a dinner in their private wine room following our ceremony in 2011 so it has a lot of sentimental value for us.  We eat there every year for our anniversary.

(BTW, thank you all so much for the opinions on black or nude heels with my dress.  I wound up going with black heels, tights and jewelry.  It was a little chilly out so it worked perfectly.  I wish I had a better picture to show you.  My Samsung Galaxy S5 takes the most awful low light shots and I forgot my DSLR at home.  This selfie is the best one I had and it looks like I took it with a 1998 flip phone.  Grrrrrrrrr.)


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 As we were walking we spotted a hope sign and ran over to take a picture.  One of my favorite wedding photos is of our family in front of a love sign (that we just happened to stumble upon that day) so this felt kismet.

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Next, we went to see Jersey Boys on Broadway.  It has been on our list of things to do forever.  It was great and I got to drink champagne out of a sippy cup (which is always a good time).  I must say that my hubby is not usually a fan of musicals and he loved this one.  It is about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  The music was fabulous and we danced in our seats the whole time.

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  We are old so after Jersey Boys we opted to go back to our room at the Empire.  Unfortunately, the line for their rooftop club formed on the sidewalk right outside our window and stayed there until 3 am!  We listened to people screaming, laughing and talking all night.  It was the WORST.  (I should also note that I told the front desk clerk at check-in that I am a light sleeper and requested a quiet room.  She assured me room 125 would be perfect.  Lies.  That made me even more angry about the noise.)  Also,  the next morning around 6 am there was a March of Dimes walk that started setting up.  By 8 am there was a gentleman with a microphone encouraging the crowd to make as much noise as possible.  I wanted to cause him bodily injury.

At that point any hope of ordering room service and luxuriating in bed was long gone, so we walked over to Norma’s at Le Parker Meridian.  We had seen this restaurant recommended on a few different Food Network shows but never got the opportunity to go.  Let me just admit it…Billy and I can be food snobs.  We are in NYC and there are so many options and so many fabulous restaurants that we are not easily impressed but Norma’s just blew us away.  It was LITERALLY the best breakfast I have ever had.  I definitely plan to return there with Taylor very soon!  I cant stop thinking about it!

All in all we had a pretty fun weekend.  It was nice to get to spend some time alone.  I think that is so important in a relationship although I missed Taylor and Jeter terribly and thought about begging Billy to go home in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep.

Weekending {+ A GIVEAWAY!}

Good morning!  I hope you all had a great weekend!  I am linking up with Biana today for Weekending.  Let’s just jump right in…
The weather on Saturday was AMAZZZZZZING!  It was nearly 80 degrees and I got to wear a new maxi dress!  I feel like the awful Winter weather may FINALLY be behind us.
 I started Saturday by having  brunch with a girlfriend.  We have been trying to meet up at least once a month and this was our second time.  I feel like it is so rejuvenating to spend time with friends and talk over some yummy food.  We sat there for a good two and a half hours.  Great times.  Also, my food was fab!  Check out this deliciousness…
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After brunch, I took this cute face to a gymnastics birthday party.  (Someone is entering the tween zone and not wanting their Mom to take photos of them, so said Mother is forced to whip out their phone and snap one like a ninja.)
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After that we went home and barbequed for the first time this season and ate outside!  Yay for dining al fresco!
Sunday I slept in and then realized that the Lily Pulitzer for Target was going on.  I hopped in the car with the help of Taylor (my trusty shopping assistant) and hightailed it over there.  BTW – Does anyone else park like this or am I the only crazy one?  Bwahaha!  I cant stand the thought of someone’s car door striking my baby so I leave it in outer space.  I also convince myself that it is good exercise.
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Once inside we realized that pretty much everything good had been snatched up (including all women’s clothing).  However, I did manage to snag these beautiful headbands, a bathing suit for T and a few dresses for my friend’s baby (so it wasn’t a total loss).
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Afterwards we went to lunch to celebrate my nephew’s birthday and then I went to get my nails done and my hair blown out.  Sunday grooming is my fave.  I have never heard of this brand of polish before but I am OBSESSED with their colors!  I got the pink on the far right (in the gel version) and it looks gorgeous on.
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Afterwards I brought home some sushi and we ended the night watching Big Bang reruns.  All in all a wonderful weekend.
To start this week off right I am teaming up with some of my blogger besties to bring you the chance to win a $200 gift card to Lululemon!  
You can enter below for  chance to win!  Good luck!  xo