A Look Inside The NYC Dumpling Festival 2016

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Over the weekend, we were among the dumpling enthusiasts who brought our appetites to NYC’s Lower East Side to celebrate all things dumpling at the 13th Annual Chef One Dumpling Festival in Sarah D. Roosevelt Park.

With a fitting theme of “There’s a Chef in Everyone,” the festivities included NYC Borough based food stations serving up truly tasty varieties of dumplings such as Kung Pao Chicken, Pork & Kimchi, Kale & Vegetable, Buffalo Chicken, Edamame and even a new seasonal Pumpkin flavor.

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In addition to the grub – attendees snapped photos with the one-and-only Dumpling Mama mascot, commemorated the fun in a cool gif-making photo booth, joined in dumpling-making classes, and watched along with wide-eyed wonder at the many talented performances.

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From traditional Lion dancing to a group of tap dancers and more, the festival brought a great mix of entertainment.  While I’ll contest that the musical performance by string based trio Yut and the Hot Four – was the act to see, my eight-year-old was most impressed with the fire dancers’ flame-waving choreography.

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Of course, we can’t forget the competitive eaters who joined in the Dumpling Eating Contest. Although I couldn’t fully stomach watching this portion – this contest always draws an attentive (and massive!) crowd, with winner’s taking home hefty-checks for their face-stuffing accomplishments.  Would you believe the female division’s winner scarfed down 115 dumplings in two minutes time?!

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The prize sharing continued, and the excitement was palpable as raffles were drawn for prizes including a pair of Delta Air Lines tickets and a Year’s Supply of Chef One Dumplings.

Although the lines were long due to the festival’s gaining popularity,  the social media team was on it – offering free samples and more to those who took to Twitter to grumble.

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My favorite part was getting to see the festival’s continued dedication to feeding food-insecure New Yorkers. With all proceeds benefiting The Food Bank for New York City – joining in the festival is always pure dumpling-indulgent goodness to feel good about. Best of all, they welcome volunteers! Stay connected to Chef One to find out about partnering with The Food Bank NYC at next year’s festival.

Dumpling-Fest

And for all our friends who missed out on #dumplingfest2016, Chef One hasn’t forgotten about you! Check out the below video to master dumpling making in your kitchen and stay tuned for details on next year’s Dumpling Festival.  You bet we’ll be there!

This is a sponsored post. Opinions, as always, are my own.

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All About The 2016 Dumpling Festival in NYC

Dumpling fans rejoice!  The 6th Annual Dumpling Festival is coming back to NYC, this Saturday, September 24th and you bet we’ll be hightailing it to Sara D. Roosevelt Park (noon-5pm), again this year, to catch all the action and chomp away at delicious dumplings made fresh in Chef One’s Brooklyn-based location.

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With a fitting theme of “There is a Chef in Everyone” -a $20 ticket will get you four tastings of dumplings with varieties including Kung Pao Chicken, Pork & Kimchi, Kale & Vegetable, Buffalo Chicken, Edamame and more. Tickets will also provide an entry into the raffle drawing for airfare from Delta Air Lines and a Year’s Supply of Chef One Dumplings.

DSC_0660Dumling Festival Dancer

Hosted by Youtubers Mike Chen and Dan Chen of Strictly Dumpling and Double Chen – the event will also hold the 13th Annual Dumpling Eating Contest moderated by ESPN sports announcer Larry Hardesty.

KobayashiThe 2015 record holder,Takeru Kobayashi, consumed 93 dumpings in 2 minutes time.

Stop by to catch incredible performances, snap a photo with “Dumpling Mama”  join in a dumpling making class (kids welcome!), and so much more!

Dumpling Mascot

Best of all, this is a feast to feel good about! Proceeds from the event help support our city’s food-insecure population with 100% of proceeds donated to The Food Bank for NYC.

Follow the buzz on social media with #Dumplingfest2016 and stay connected to all of Chef One’s Dumpling goodness on Facebook.

This is a sponsored post. Opinions, as always are my own. Image number one via Chef One. 

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DIY, Design and More: Join Us at HGTV Magazine’s 3rd Annual Blogger Block Party

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Calling all design-lovers, DIYers, makers and more! HGTV Magazine is hosting their 3rd Annual Blogger Block Party, here in NYC on August 22nd, and this full-day event is set to engage a coveted influential audience of designers, lifestyle bloggers and style savvy consumers who turn to HGTV magazine for all things creative.

With live demos and access to highly talented creatives, last year’s event was incredibly impressive, drawing over 500 attendees and generating over 5 million social impressions!  Check out the line-up of dedicated speakers below, including Emily Henderson, Genevieve Gorder, Sherry & John Petersik of Young House Love, Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte and Emily Bidwell from Etsy.

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HGTV Magazine Blogger Block Party || August 22, 2016, 12-8pm || 404 Studios || 404 10th Avenue, NYC

Make sure to RSVP here. I look forward to seeing you at the event and please note that it’s open to ages 18+, so grab a sitter if needed to fully enjoy a day of design inspiration!

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This is a sponsored post.

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And They All Screamed For Ice Cream

This post brought to you by Breyers Ice Cream. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Marino Bambinos.

In many ways, familiar tastes and scents have the ability to transport us back to times in our lives that connect us to the people and places ingrained in our memories.  During my childhood, we didn’t have a lot of treats in our home, but if I was lucky, the freezer had a carton of ice cream. It was always Breyers Natural Vanilla, and without fail, my father would sprinkle the perfectly round scoop with wheat germ before serving it to us.  These memories built on hot summer days with an unexpected scoop of ice cream very much shape how I approach summer with my own kids.  With the final day of school upon us, we’ll have plenty of time for spontaneous fun, with this mom saying “YES!” to ice cream.

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With a great reason to ring in the official start to summer, we hightailed it to Madison Square Park to join in a giant birthday party celebrating the 150th birthday of Breyers Ice Cream – the makers of America’s No.1 Vanilla ice cream.  Did you know that the vanilla that goes into Breyers products is 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified, and comes from sustainable vanilla farms in Madagascar?

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We spotted the green and white balloons before we even entered the park and arrived to a gargantuan Breyers ice cream carton with a walk-through interior displaying the history of the iconic ice cream brand.  And the best part?  Free ice cream for all!

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My little boy is a strictly vanilla guy, but the big girl was determined to sample Breyers new ice cream variety: Breyers Ice Cream Cake comprised of Breyers Chocolate Ice Cream with loads of chocolatey crunchies, sandwiched between Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream.  I get cravings, just thinking about it!  After the kids inhaled their ice cream we relaxed at a table and had fun people-watching the wide spectrum of New Yorkers who came out to join in the fun.  There were classrooms of school children, co-workers on lunch breaks and families – sporting green birthday caps, enjoying tons of free ice cream and snapping away at the fun photo booth.

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In addition to the free ice cream, Breyers enlisted the help of Girls star Allison Williams, Grammy winning singer, songwriter and actress Kelly Rowland, and Jane the Virgin/ Broadway’s Chicago star Jaime Camil.  The trio led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to the brand – culminating in stands of streamers, confetti and glitter exploding out of the life-size carton rimmed birthday candles.  As the crowd fan-girled over the celebrities, the stars caught it all on snapchat and joined in the ice-cream eating fun.

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Cheers to ice cream on hot summer days! Wishing you all the best of the season.

Breyers only uses milk and cream from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones.  *Suppliers of other ingredients such as cookies, candies and; sauces may not be able to make this pledge.  The FDA states that no significant difference has been shown between dairy derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST treated. 

Thank you for your continued support of sponsored content on Marino Bambinos.

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NY 529 Direct College Savings Plan: The Smart Way To Save For Your Child’s Education

Our children, our truest markers of ticking time, have a way of reminding us just how fleeting these precious moments of childhood are. It was just yesterday that I wrote this birthday letter for my son – but then I blinked and a few more years passed.   And all of the sudden, while making memories in what feels like a beautiful and chaotic mess, the days somehow slip into years.

I know this truth, as the mother of an eight and now six-year-old.

Yesterday:

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And also, just yesterday:

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How is that possible?

My kids have big dreams.  Our oldest has her sights set on being an inventor (who will create a teleportation device), a scientist, and an artist.  While the little guy dreams of being a chemist (the kind who mixes colorful potions) – and a LEGO builder too.  Like all parents, we want our kid’s ultimate career dreams to come to fruition – but in the midst of the financial responsibilities that come with adulthood it can be concerning to think about paying for our children’s college education when many colleges currently charge more than $60,000 per year.  What will the cost of college be in 10 to 15 years?

That’s why it’s crucial for parents like us to save for two college educations in the most efficient way possible – with a NY 529 Direct College Savings Plan for each child.  I jumped at the opportunity to meet with the plan’s financial team along with NY’s First Deputy Comptroller Pete Grannis, at an intimate event at the Intrepid Museum, hosted by Momtrends Media.

When choosing a 529 plan to use towards your child’s two-or-four year university, accredited vocational school, or postgraduate program along with supplies and accepted expenses (computers, room and board, etc.) – it’s important to find out if your state offers tax deductions for 529 contributions.  While states including New Jersey do not, New York 529 plans offer tax benefits.

  • 529 account funds can be used in any state – they are not limited to the state sponsoring the 529 plan.
  • Account contribution limits for 529 plans are generally high – from $200,000 to $300,000 or more, depending on the state.  The Direct Plan, accommodates contributions up to $370,000 on behalf of one beneficiary.  This amount includes all New York-sponsored 529 savings accounts held for the same beneficiary. Also, most institutions only count 6 percent of the total 529 funds as usable when determining financial aid eligibility.  In comparison, 20 percent of traditional savings account are factored into the financial aid eligibility process.
  • Many people can open a 529 account with as little as $25!  Including, not only parents but other relatives and friends – as long as U.S. citizenship or resident alien status is established.  The account owner selects the beneficiary, investments and how the funds will be used.  If you’re a New York State taxpayer, you can also benefit from the state tax deduction.
  • In lieu of toys that will be long forgotten, family and friends can contribute to kids 529 accounts creating a lasting gift that will grow over time.

To learn more about these powerful savings vehicles where earnings grow federally tax-deferred and where qualified withdrawals are tax-free – visit www.nysaves.org.  For Financial AID information visit www.hesc.ny.gov.

This is a sponsored post.  Opinions as always, are my own.

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EQXMOMS: A Look Inside Our Equinox Event

It’s hard to find an excuse to skip the gym with an Equinox membership. Over the summer months, I frequented their upper-east and upper-west side locations. Both super luxe, cutting-edge clubs are extraordinary in size, amenities, and quality.  Beginning with their Equifit fitness analysis, to getting my butt-kicked by petite powerhouse trainer Heesun Kim.  All while my kids enjoyed Equinox classes of their own.  Equinox’s commitment to accommodating families while helping children thrive via their For Kids Only Programming is one of the things we love about their wellness model.

When I had the opportunity to co-host an event for NYC influencers  – along with my friend Ellen of Baby Meets City, we couldn’t wait to share our Equinox experiences alongside the sprawling club offering with a solid group of parenting, lifestyle, beauty bloggers, and business owners.

EQXMoms Equinox Blogger Event

Inside the upper-east-side location, our #EQXMoms event began with a trip to the kids club.  We dropped the kiddos off while the adults toured the multiple rooms designed just for kids.  From a top-notch pre-school to specialized For Kids Only programming, Equinox offers so many great programs for tots and big-kids alike.  My own adored the play clinics specialized tennis lessons, and I loved watching their budding-confidence soar.  During our event, the dedicated kids’ staff lead the children through glittery art crafts, creative play, a kids yoga class and freeze-dance party ending in the kids club disco room. Our pint-size guests had a taste of the caliber of kids programming available at Equinox.  Under the care of upbeat, engaging and enthusiastic staff – the little ones didn’t want their private party to end!

Equinox Kids Babysitting Preschool play clinics classesFor Kids Only Equinox For Kids Only Equinox Yoga Private EventEquinox Kids Dance

A true treat for the women came in the form of a yoga class lead by our dynamic instructor Patricia Pinto. There’s power in doing something good for yourself while surrounded by strong, supportive females.

yoga classes Equinox

 

Aligned with our wellness theme, we were so excited to send attendees home with membership trials, several great goodies from Equinox and additional brand partners.

Equinox blogger event

Equinox’s fridges stocked with chilled eucalyptus-infused towels on every floor are a true post-workout treat – and we love that Herban Essentials allowed guests to leave with the gift of essential oils.  I have a personal obsession with their pure essential oil towelettes, and always have them tucked in my wallet.  Herban Essentials make essential oils on-the-go simple; without having to deal with the hassle of mixing or carrying actual oils. Event attendees were all able to experience the pure, fresh and purifying towelettes available in essences of orange, lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, and peppermint.

Herban Essentials

Rodan  + Fields covered skincare with samples of their transformation products with proven results.  We even had a consultant on hand, who has been able to build a thriving career with R+F and leave her corporate job to spend more time with her two young children.

Roden +Fields Skincare

Healthy snacking came in the form of Crispy Green – 100% natural freeze-dried fruit snacks.  Perfect for both kids and adults, since fruit is the only ingredient.  The delicious taste comes from the fruit only, without added sugar, preservatives or artificial ingredients. All seven flavors are delicious!

Crispy Green Healthy Natural Fruit Snacks

Lastly, guest were encouraged to continue with their yoga practice, with the gift of yoga mats by active-wear maker Zobha – we’re big fans of their work-out-wear collection that make looking stylish and put-together a breeze.

Zobha activewearEquinox blogger event

Special thanks to everyone who came out to make this uplifting afternoon so positive!

This is a sponsored post. Opinions as always are my own.

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