A Million and Counting, with Duane Reade!

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It’s not everyday you get to join your favorite NYC drugstore and celebrate them hitting over 1 million twitter followers! But I was more than thrilled to join Duane Reade, Duane Reade VIP bloggers, and even many of you on twitter to party and celebrate Duane Reade hitting a history making 1 million followers on twitter!

Prior to the #DR1MM celebration I headed down to Duane Reade’s 40 Wall Street location where I was prepped to party by having an amazing manicure, and later having my hair done.

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I decided I wanted to go for The NYC Talon colors (black and hot pink) and my manicurist – who was amazing by the way – not only did a flawless job on my nails, but also assured me that if I came back to visit her she could help me rehab my yellowing nails. “You paint your nails a lot” she pointed out, “make sure you’re using a basecoat”. I haven’t used a basecoat in ages, I know, I’m incorrigible. “Come back, and I’ll help you make your nails white again.” I plan to.

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My amazing manicurist! She was sooo nice!

The polish I chose were OPI’s Charged Up Cherry for the tips, and Black Onyx. Also, if you’re in NYC definitely consider going to one of Duane Reade’s Nail Bar’s to get your nails done – my manicurist informed me that they can do any number of styles or designs, including – my favorite – matte nails.

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I also had my hair done by Koni Bennet (@glassofclass on twitter) at Duane Reade’s in-house salon, who did an amazing job with my hair! I absolutely love the curls! I still can’t believe that NY’ers can walk into a Duane Reade with a messy do and walk out with hair like this. Amazing. It’s that kind of service that makes me not surprised (though really happy) that Duane Reade has hit 1 million – and counting – twitter followers.

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In between dining on Duane Reade’s in-house brand DeLish sushi, and fruit smoothies, and rubbing elbows with Duane Reade executives and Duane Reade’s own PR/Digital Communications Manager, Calvin Peters, I also twitter partied with many of you – who joined us for a evening of celebration! Some of you who tweeted with us at our party even won some pretty amazing gift cards!

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It was so cool seeing all your tweets on the the jumbo screen while at the event – and I loved sharing them with you too! Thank you for joining us!

While not all of you have had the opportunity to meander through NYC streets and waltz into a local Duane Reade, many of you pointed out that the things that have made Duane Reade so popular, is a combination of stellar service, great products, and dependability. I couldn’t agree more.

I’m so happy to be a Duane Reade blogger and definitely am looking forward to Duane Reade’s next celebration – here’s to looking forward to two million! ;)

A #MC #PricelessNY Date Night with Dad at Dizzy’s!

MasterCard Priceless Experiences

Last Friday night I had the dubious honor of accompanying my lovely dad to the infamous Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center (it’s technically in Time Warner Center – which if you follow me on instagram, you’ll know I’m in there all the time). Thanks to MasterCard’s Priceless Entertainment Experiences we were truly in for a Priceless experience!

My dad is the reason that I love jazz so much, he used to – and still does – play jazz music all the time. I was listening to Blue Note CD’s since I was in pigtails. So I was so pleased to be able to go on a father-daughter date with him to Dizzy’s via MasterCard’s Priceless Entertainment Experiences.

Exclusive to MasterCard holders, MasterCard’s Priceless Entertainment Experiences gives you access to exclusive opportunities and events taking place in Priceless Cities. For instance, our Priceless New York Experience included prime table seating for two, music cover charge for two, a flute of proseco, and MasterCard mints. Lucky for us, MasterCard also treated all guests present as a MasterCard New York Experience guest with dinner as well! Check out more MasterCard New York Experiences here!

Priceless NY Menu

It is suggested that you arrive a little early to get better seating. We grabbed a couple of excellent seats along the room, where servers offered us drinks and hors d’oeuvres of fried Mac n’ Cheese and Chicken Satay.

Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola and MasterCard

Blackened Salmon at Dizzy's

For dinner I had the Blackened Salmon, while dad went for Mamie’s Fried Chicken. It was all so delicious, but even more breathtaking was watching the sun set over views of the city, including Central Park. The deep notes of jazz thrumming in my ear, fine dining on my plate, gorgeous view, I don’t think I ever felt more like a New Yorker. My dad loved it, it was a really special evening and one we’ll both never forget.

We ended our evening on a sweet note, to see our whole experience click here!

We ended our evening on a sweet note, to see our whole experience click here!

Priceless New York Experience's

I’ve always dreamed of going to really amazing quintessential New York City places like Dizzy’s, and I love that as a MasterCard holder I can have access to all of these awesome experiences – and all at amazing prices! If you’re a resident New Yorker, or just passing through, you’ll want to check out MasterCard’s Priceless New York Experiences – where you can choose from shopping, dining, and even entertainment experiences only open to MasterCard holders! Also, be sure to sign up for notification’s via email – so you’ll never miss the opportunity to have the experience of a lifetime!

Wendy Williams & Tavern 29 Event Recap!

A couple weeks ago I was invited by The Moms to join them for a light brunch at Tavern 29 with well known talk show host and celebrity Wendy Williams. There really is nothing like being on a rooftop in Manhattan, and Tavern 29′s rooftop space rates as one of my favorites!

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Bloggers and other media personalities gathered to talk shop with Wendy about her newly released book – Ask Wendy, Straight Up Advice for All the Drama in Your Life. Wendy was more than gracious and of course, completely candid!

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Before she took a few Q & A’s, Wendy doled out experienced based advice about cheating husbands and backstabbing girlfriends. Speaking from her own experience, Wendy’s advice came across as heartfelt and full of good intentions – providing a mature and serious, as well as honest outlook to life’s everyday drama. Of course, chatting with Wendy also meant lots of laughs!

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Afterwards Wendy had a book signing, stopping to talk with some guests with personal questions of their own, and taking pictures.

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I had a blast, the food was awesome! And I definitely plan on returning to Tavern 29 – I’d love to have a look around the lower levels and see what other yummy options they have to offer! With a perfect breeze and exposed brick walls, Tavern 29 would make an ideal event space, I’m even seriously considering doing my parents anniversary party or an upcoming graduation party there.

Fending Off Cavities with Colgate Total® Advanced Pro-Shield™ Mouthwash

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When I was a little girl I hated having to brush my teeth. For me it was just another thing to keep me from playing outside or with my toys. To make brushing my teeth more fun my mom used to buy me special kid-friendly mouthwash. Nowadays I’m all about dental health, and bright pink mouthwash just isn’t going to cut it. Having clean teeth, a clean mouth, and healthy gums is as much a part of my look now as pigtails and pink scrunchies were back then.

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So this Sunday I headed to Walgreens in Times Square to find a mouthwash that I’ve heard would be right up my alley- the new Colgate Total® Advanced Pro-Shield™ Mouthwash! Colgate Total® Advanced Pro-Shield™ Mouthwash works to provide my teeth with 12 hours of antibacterial protection (even after eating and drinking), helps reduce dental nastiness like plaque and gingivitis, and kills 99% of bacteria on contact.

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I loved shopping in the Walgreens in Times Square- they really pull out all the decorative stops- it’s very NYC! I really loved this wall with good-bye’s in different languages. Very cool, I think. To check out Walgreens in Times Square and see the rest of my shopping trip, click here!

I had a little bit of a hard time finding the Colgate Total® Advanced Pro-Shield™ Mouthwash- but spotted it in one of those stock boxes in the middle of the aisle. Look’s like they hadn’t had the chance to put them on the shelf, but I’m glad I spotted it – I’m so excited to try it!

Colgate Total® Advanced Pro-Shield™ Mouthwash

What’s really cool is that in less than a weeks time Colgate will be holding their own ‘A Wish For A Swish’ event! On June 25th in Times Square here in NYC Colgate will actually attempt to break the Guinness World Records® record for the “Most people using mouthwash simultaneously”! Pretty cool, huh? There are already ads on the jumbo screens in Times Square!

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It get’s even better – for every participant who attends Colgate will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish®! So if you’re in the area definitely consider joining Colgate – as well as actress and TV host Stacy Keibler – at ‘A Wish For A Swish’ – it’s for a great cause, just show up in Times Square at 10:30am on June 25th. Plus, Colgate will also be celebrating the launch of Colgate Total® Advanced Pro-Shield™ Mouthwash – the same mouthwash I picked up on Sunday!

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If you can’t make it or aren’t anywhere near NYC but still want to help out, just upload a pic of you smiling after using Colgate Total® Mouthwash and Colgate will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish® – up to $60,000 until July 1st.

Make sure to follow Colgate on facebook here, and find out more about ‘A Wish For A Swish’ by clicking here!

Hot & Cold with Arm & Hammer!

Almost a year ago I took an English class where my professor insisted that we visit at least half a dozen galleries (along with the High Line) in Chelsea. So two weeks ago, when I was invited to a brand event I was more than intrigued, and certainly more than willing to venture back into Chelsea. Who knew the home of all those art galleries was also host to amazing event spaces?

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So on a Wednesday evening I joined Arm & Hammer at one of the coolest (or should I say hottest) events that I’ve been too. The Glass Houses in Chelsea’s minimalist exterior hardly suggest the amazing event space hidden upstairs – which is where this event was held. To celebrate Arm & Hammer’s Sensitive line of toothpaste the space was designed with a “hot” side and a “cold” side – which was reflected in the lighting, food, decor, and even the hot and cold hand massages offered on either side of the room.

Sensitive2Comfy couches and a super-cool fire – yes please!

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Sensitive1Hot hand massages! SO cool (but not really – you know what I mean)!

Having spent the day running around, I was all too eager to have a hot hand massage. I have to admit, I’ve had hand massages before, but never a hot one and it was something I’d do again in a New York minute – it was so relaxing!

IMG_1045The view from the cold side – the setup was awesome!

After my massage I meandered over to the cold side of the room and had a chance to try out Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co. Located down in Union Square, Chloe’s makes their soft serve fruit from only three ingredients – fruit, water, and “a touch of sugar”. I tried the blood orange with shredded coconut – it was so yummy, you wouldn’t believe it was made with only three ingredients!

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I had the best time ever, and met so many amazing people – I wish I could relive that night all over again – or at least my hand massage, lol! Since it’s been two weeks since the event I’ve been testing the Whitening version of Arm & Hammer’s Sensitive line – and not only has my teeth looked whiter, but they also feel ridiculously clean and even stronger. Also, I just visited my dentist and he gave me an “A+” on my teeth and gum health – so I’ll definitely be sticking to A&H’s Sensitive line.

Oh, before I forget Arm & Hammer is running a really cool sweepstakes where you can win a culinary adventure in my most favorite city – New York City! I have to say, I might be a little biased (y’know because this is after all, the NYC Talon), but this is one pretty darn great sweepstakes, lol! To enter to win click here, or just click the image below – and good luck!

*I was invited to attend this event. No compensation was provided and all opinions presented here belong to The NYC Talon and are not influenced in any way. For more information, please visit the PR tab at the top of this page, thank you!

#WorldsLargestBakeSale with Sandra Lee hits NYC! #cbias

Content Disclosure

This past Wednesday I headed out to support No Kid Hungry and the Food Bank of New York City at Sandra Lee’s (Food Network) World’s Largest Bake Sale! The bake sale was being held in Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central, and featured a slew of celebrity guests as well as about 30 of NYC’s finest restaurants and confectioneries  I knew it was going to be a hit, but I was totally unprepared for the crowds of people waiting to get their hands on some treats!

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The lined looked pretty daunting, but as in NYC, things moved surprisingly fast. You had to get stamped to get in, and every item being sold was $5 each – with proceeds going to the No Kid Hungry campaign and the Food Bank of NYC.

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Fat Witch Brownies and Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar were present!

You guys know I’m already a massive fan of Fat Witch brownies, so I was more than eager to get my hands on some. For $5 Fat Witch had a stack of three mini brownies wrapped prettily up in cellophane and ribbon.

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I also got my hands on both a passion fruit cupcake and a champagne cupcake – it was super crowded so I was thankful for the spill-proof packaging.

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My favorite purchase was probably the caramel s’more tartlette from River Cafe – it was so pretty, totally worth every penny, and tasted so good! I feel like this event was not just a great cause, but it also was such great publicity for all the restaurants involved – I’ve discovered so many great places, and am determined to at least take my mom to the The River Cafe!

Worlds Largest Bake Sale New York City

Many of my family members have altruistic professions, and my mom brought me up believing that you absolutely must give back. I love to volunteer and donate regularly – so helping to support a worthwhile cause like that of No Kid Hungry and the Food Bank of New York City – which is to combat childhood hunger – was a no-brainer, especially when all I had to do to show my support was to purchase loads of sweet treats, lol!

At the Worlds Largest Bake Sale I ended up spending $45 on everything from cupcakes to macarons and brownies. While that may seem like a small contribution, $5 is equivalent to 50 meals, and in a country where an estimated 16 million children go to bed hungry every night – even our smallest efforts can make a difference.

I loved how many fellow NY’ers turned up to support No Kid Hungry, now you can show your support too! From now until May 31st, Kmart will donate $1.00 to Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry (up to $10,000) every time you spread the word on Facebook and Twitter, or share a Sandra Lee recipe card with friends and family.

To find out more about how Kmart and Shop Your Way are supporting the Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry, check out the links below:

*I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Kmart and Shop Your Way for Sandra Lee’s World’s Largest Bake Sale.  #WorldsLargestBakeSale #cbias #SocialFabric

Zyrtec Combats Allergy Face at the Macy’s Flower Show!

As a blogger, you occasionally get to do really fun things. Well a couple weeks ago I joined Zyrtec at Macy’s flower show where I learned a few tips and tricks on dealing with my allergies and I had an awesome and incredibly informative make-over!

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I suffer from THE WORST allergies, I mean I have to start taking an antihistamine before the weather even gets warm. If I don’t I usually get itchy eyes, and itchy throat, a cough, some sneezing  maybe popping in my ears from inflamed sinuses, and eventually my really bad allergies will turn into a full blown illness. So to avoid this I usually stick to using Zyrtec.

But even with Zyrtec on board I can get what is commonly known as “Allergy Face” – which is when your face shows the classic signs of combating allergies. Signs like redness around your nose, bags under your eyes, maybe even red or watery eyes, and even a swollen face. If you have allergies, then you know what I mean! Well, at the Macy’s flower show beauty expert Rebekah George gave me a few pointers at keeping Allergy Face at bay:

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It all starts in the bag – if the makeup you’ve got in your beauty bag has been in use for a year or longer it’s time to toss it. Clean out your makeup bag using the one-two-three rule. Keep blush no more than one year, mascara for about two months, and check your lipstick for discoloration every three months. I know I’ve been guilty of holding on to makeup for waaaayyyy longer than a year.

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Take advantage of the big bold brow trend – my makeup artist, whose name I have shamefully forgotten (sorry!) went for the bold arched brow look to distract from my puffy watery eyes and I cannot believe how good I looked, lol! I’m serious, I’ve always been afraid of big bold brows (and looking like Groucho Marx) and I never believed that they’d actually look good on me. But I can honestly say I’ve never seen my brows look so good, and they were great when combined with strategic placing of concealer, highlighter, and bronzer – you couldn’t even recognize that I was a former “Allergy Face” poster girl!

For more information on Allergy Face and how to combat it, click here!

Thanks to Rebekah for some awesome tips, my Benefit makeup artist and her envy-worthy skills, and Zyrtec for showing me how to combat Allergy Face!

*Disclaimer: I was not compensated to attend this event, opinions presented here belong to The NYC Talon and are not influenced in any manner.

Steve Novak Previews McDonald’s New Premium McWrap!

Last week I was lucky enough to join Steve Novak and McDonald’s as they previewed McDonald’s newest creation – the premium McWrap!

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Lots of press at the 2nd floor’s First Taste event

At McDonald’s 14th Street location Thursday March 28th, press, New York Knick Steve Novak, musical talent, and locals gathered to celebrate the launch of the premium McWrap.

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The Premium McWrap is like the Snack Wrap’s older, bulkier brother. Filled with chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce, the Premium McWrap comes in Sweet Chili Chicken, Chicken & Bacon, or Chicken & Ranch.

  • Sweet Chili Chicken McWrap: sweet chili sauce, creamy garlic sauce, and sliced cucumbers
  • Chicken & Bacon McWrap: creamy garlic sauce, bacon, cheddar jack cheese, and tomato
  • Chicken & Ranch McWrap: ranch sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, cheddar jack cheese, sliced cucumbers, and tomato

New York Knick Forward Steve Novak seemed to be a big fan, he signed basketballs, took pictures, and even helped make his own McWrap!

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Steve Novak being interviewed by Bruce Beck

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Steve Novak and Denise of Boyz Rule Our World joking about her height – or lack thereof ;)

After answering questions and doing interviews, Steve joined the “Sweet Chili Chill Out Lounge” on the ground floor and helped judge a rap competition to fin NYC’s freshest MC – with a cash prize for the winner!

I tried out a grilled chicken and bacon McWrap – which was really flavorful and full of juicy chicken. I was really impressed with the size and packaging of the McWrap – it’s actually really convenient for on the go eating, and also mess free!

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Choose between crunchy or grilled chicken and pick up one of McDonald’s freshest creations – the McWrap!

Getting Chatty with Ted Allen after The View! #TedAllenG2K

This year has already started off with a bang for me! I recently was invited to attend a live taping of The View, and afterwards had a chance to chat with Food Network star and host of hit TV show Chopped – Ted Allen!

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My ticket, pretty cool, huh? ;)

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The show was co-hosted by Kadee Strickland (Private Practice)

Look! It’s Kerry Washington (Scandal)!

It was so crazy and interesting to see how everything came together behind the scenes of the show. Because the show is live the set and props department have to be on their toes, moving the set around, hauling couches, and even a whole piano! The girls were so cool the whole time, not seeming to notice as props and makeup people buzzed around them.

The part of the show I liked the most was the Unilever cooking segment with Ted Allen, Sherri, and a special guest – who was actually an audience member who was selected to be featured on the show to commemorate “The Year of the Viewer”. They made a quick, easy, and healthier (thanks to I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter!) version of Jalapeño Corn Bread- check it out here!

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I also loved the performance by Andrea Bocelli and music producer Tom Ford – my grandma is such a big fan of Andrea Bocelli, I couldn’t wait to call her up and brag about seeing him perform live!

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After the show my friend Cinny (from Whirlwind of Surprises) and I had a chance to chat with Ted, and take a couple more pictures. Ted was so genuinely nice and took the time to answer all of our questions.

One of the best things about being a Food Network star, according to Ted, is that whenever he has a cooking question he can always call up one of the other Food Network stars and ask them what to do! How cool is that?! I would totally take advantage of that if I were him – I can see myself in the middle of making an delectable eggplant parm and speed dialing Giada de Laurentis, “Giada, dear, how much mozz-ah-rell-ah is too much? And do you mind if I drop by the set of your show tomorrow, I’d love your opinion on this new olive oil blend I’ve been making at home?”

See, wouldn’t that be awesome?! Ted also revealed one of his favorite food is mustard (well, more of a condiment) – I’m a mustard connoisseur myself, so I can totally relate. The weirdest thing he’s ever seen on Chopped? Whole chicken in a can from Swanson. How long does it take to pull together a cookbook? Four and a half months, followed by over a week of chefs and food photographers destroying his kitchen to remake the recipes and properly photograph them.

Ted has partnered up with I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter and created a number of yummy recipes, to check them all out click here!

* I attended a live taping of The View. All opinions presented here belong to The NYC Talon, and are not influenced in any way.

TIA Toy Fair NYC 2013 Recap: Part 1!

So a couple of weeks ago I attended TIA’s annual NYC Toy Fair. For those of you that don’t know what Toy Fair is (no worries, I wasn’t aware of what it was until this year), every year the Toy Industry Association holds an industry and press only Toy Fair in NYC. This year there were over 30,000 people walking up and down Jacob Javits center – where the Fair was held. Generally, the fair largely caters to the business side of things – so giant retailers meet up with Toy Companies and manufacturers to wheel and deal in the background and bring the hottest toys to your local stores. I attended as press – which was pretty awesome because we did get our own press center and had access to showroom tours and things like that. Anyways, here’s what I saw at Toy Fair 2013!

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Elf on a Shelf Makes a Reappearance – Pressman Toys has a lot of board games coming out. After watching Elf on a Shelf take over Pinterest this past holiday season I can definitely see an audience for the Naughty or Nice Board Game and the Musical Elf on the Shelf Hide and Seek game.

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The Hobbit Board Game is one game that I, as a massive Hobbit & LOTR fan, am ridiculously excited about. In fact, anything Hobbit or LOTR related that I saw at Toy Fair is something I am ridiculously excited for.

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The New Girl, Hello Kitty, The Smurfs, Skylanders, The Trash Pack, and Dork Diaries were also present at the Pressman booth.

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Look at how big the Fair was, this was just ONE booth!

Westminster had some pretty awesome toys out, a personal favorite was this Bacon Bits pig and iCube puzzle cube.

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Look- a Smurf!

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Scanimalz had this GIANT Panda Scanimal perched precariously on the corner of their showroom – it was so adorable, I wish I could have taken him home with me!

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Wonder Forge had loads of awesome toys, a lot of them were geared towards younger kids, but my favorite item at their booth was their Konexi game. Konexi is a game for the whole family, and how you play it is that you build words using letters while attaching them to eachother – if you make it fall you lose. If Jenga and Scrabble had a love child, this would be it!

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I loved Monkeez and Goof Ballz – these plushy toys are not only absolutely adorable but also altruistic, Monkeez Makes a Difference donates a portion of the wholesale cost of your Monkeez to one of three charities of your choice when you register your Monkeez on their online interactive website (for kids!).

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I also met with Crayola, which I was super excited about – they have the coolest products coming out, I wasn’t able to take any pictures but here’s a sneak peak that they posted on their Facebook wall recently:

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So that’s it for Part 1 of my Toy Fair recap – let me know what you think? See any toys you’d like to get your hands on???