Celebrating One Month with a Giveaway!

Best NYC soda, beverages, Disney, food allergies, Giveaway, mom, New Blog, New York City, NYC, soda, soda fountain

Thank you NYC Soda Girl Readers – you’ve supported me and we’ve made it to ONE MONTH!! I’ve loved sharing my NYC soda stories with you!

You’ve heard how I’m often tired and rushed…but yet somehow preplanning for the holidays (follow up-someone has purchased that necklace off my wish list-hooray!)…have a bit of a Disney obsession…appreciate exceptional wait staff service a lot…am a devoted allergy mamma…and so much more!

To say thanks for following me, I’m having a giveaway contest! The only 5 cup rating I’ve given so far has gone to a Hillstone restaurant, so the prize is a $20 gift card to Hillstone Restaurants! That will easily cover a delicious spinach dip and a soda (don’t forget to ask for a chilled glass!)

Here’s how to enter:

Simply comment below, saying “Enter me!”

Want more chances to win?… You got it!

For a second chance, “like” NYC SODA GIRL on Facebook and then comment here a second time “I liked you!” (If you already like NYC SODA GIRL on Facebook you can still enter this second chance by commenting “I liked you!”)

For a third chance, “Share” a NYC SODA GIRL Facebook post on your Facebook timeline (public so it can be verified) and then comment here for a third time “I shared you!”

You may enter from today, Wednesday, October 21, 2015 through Saturday, October 24, 2015 at 10pm EST. I will announce the winner, selected at random, on Sunday, October 25, 2015.

Good luck everyone- and thanks again for reading NYC Soda Girl!

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NYC Allergy Mamma

Best NYC soda, beverages, food allergies, Halloween, mom, New York City, NYC, Pumpkin Picking, Uncategorized

Last weekend was quite the “Allergy Mamma” experience. I had the joy of seeing kids get together to support food allergy kids and then later we had a complete restaurant fail.

teal

A Teal Pumpkin? What is that? Well, I’ll happily tell you 🙂

The Teal Pumpkin Project is a way to help kids with life threatening food allergies (1 in 13 kids have them) be safe and enjoy Halloween.  The idea is, instead of offering just candy at Halloween you can also have a stash of non-food treats available for kids with food allergies. They’ll know you have them available because you have a teal pumpkin (and maybe a little sign too) out on display.   This year I’ll have 156 Piece Mega Halloween Toy Novelty Assortment; 12 Halloween Ducks, 12 Halloween Pencils, 12 Halloween Sticker Sheets; 48 Halloween Erasers; 72 Halloween Glitter Tattoos!! and 8″ LumiStick Brand Glowsticks Glow Stick Bracelets Mixed Colors (Tube of 100) available, plus candy. Don’t worry non-food allergy friends, no one is trying to take candy out of Halloween, The Teal Pumpkin Project just wants to help more kids be able to safely participate in the holiday just like “all the other kids”.

When visiting Hank’s Pumpkintown (you can read about it here) we bought a bunch of extra mini pumpkins and got together with friends to paint them teal! We went to the Food Allergy Research & Education website and downloaded these coloring pages and signs for the kids to work on too.  You can check out their website and get the downloads too at: DOWNLOADS

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Here are the finished products!

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Still working on what to write with the black glitter paint on the tombstone ;)
Still working on what to write with the black glitter paint on the tombstone 😉

The kids used these materials to paint their mini pumpkins (you can click each material and order from amazon.com if you’re interested):
Crayola Turquoise Washable Paint  mixed with Crayola Green Washable Paint

ALEX Toys Artist Studio 15 Colorful Brushes

Teal Glitter

And for the “Crafty” pieces, I used these materials (or similar ones) so that hopefully we can use the pumpkin and sign year after year:

Halloween Decoration Tombstone

The Plump Pumpkin Keepsake

Teal Acrylic Paint

White Nylon Brushes

Black Glitter 3d Paint

I have to keep in mind how great it is that so many people are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, because this next part of our weekend sadly seems to be the norm.

We went to a family lunch at Antonio’s Trattoria. As soon as we sat down the waiter came over. I explained to him that our child has life threatening allergies to peanuts, tree nuts and sesame, so while we brought safe food for him to eat, we would like to know if those allergens are in the food we want to order.  If so we would order something else. We also asked that while handling his beverage (water cup and straw) please be sure no one who was handling those allergens touches his cup without washing their hands first or putting on fresh gloves.

The waiter assures me that they don’t serve anything with those ingredients.  I could have just left it at that, but it was an Italian Restaurant and my experience is that they usually have sesame present. So I asked about the sesame specifically again, he said “No – oh except for all the hero rolls.”   – Oh.

Then at that exact moment I happen to look around and notice this:

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Yes, you are correct- those are 6 TUBS of Nutella – a chocolate hazelnut spread.  So I point to them and ask “What about that?”

He tells me that “those just sit there.”

“So you don’t cook with them?”

“Well, we have a Nutella pizza.”

Right. So basically when I first tell him about my child’s LIFE THREATENING allergies, he says they don’t even have those items in the restaurant. Thankfully I kept asking. I have no problem bringing food for my child so that he’s safe everywhere he goes. I do not expect restaurants to stop serving the things they want to serve – but please be knowledgeable about what you’re selling and about the severity of food allergies!

Besides the scary interaction I had with the waiter, I simply can’t recommend this restaurant. The highlight of the meal for me was the bread basket and olive oil. For my entrée I ordered the gnocchi caprese.

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When it arrived my kids asked me what kind of soup I ordered. Umm, I didn’t order soup. I ordered a simple pasta dish and  instead received an inedible vat of slop. The soda was a watered down Diet Pepsi.  My husband had pumpkin rice balls for an appetizer which he said were delicious, but beyond that one dish I say AVOID this place if you happen to be in the Bronx!

Oh what a weekend!

NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

Antonio’s Trattoria

2370 Belmont Ave., Bronx, NY

Fountain Diet Pepsi

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My Macy’s: Soda, Pan and Promotions!

Best NYC soda, Giveaway, mom, New York City, NYC, soda, Uncategorized

One of things I love about living in the city is that “THEE MACY’S”…like Thanksgiving Day Parade Macy’s…”Miracle on 34th St.” Macy’s, is MY Macy’s.

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Today I went there to pick up a shirt and a birthday present for my sister.  I quickly found a shirt I think I like…I’ll keep the tags on until I’m sure I’m going to wear it. Then I went to the children’s floor because I always give it a quick walk through in case something jumps out at me.

Well, no piece of clothing jumped out at me, but the entire floor had music blaring and mobs of people – something BIG was going on.  That something BIG was a Ralph Lauren promotion of the movie PAN that opened this weekend.

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Oh my goodness! There were tables of craft projects, temporary tattoos being applied, photo ops with this guy available:

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AND….photo ops with a star of the movie, Levi Miller! What a cute kid! I didn’t take any pictures of him because he was always posing with another child and I didn’t want to invade their privacy. I was able to get one of those pirate hats you can see two photos above.  I’m going to save it for Halloween and let my son with food allergies trade me some of his candy for it.

I passed by Levi & the bear on my way to the McDonald’s on that floor.  I waited behind 2 people and finally ordered my Diet Coke, only to ONCE AGAIN, be told they have no soda.  WHAT IS GOING ON MCDONALD’S??? This makes twice this week that I have visited one of your restaurants and waited in line only to be told that there isn’t any soda I want. For the love of all goodness- POST A SIGN and STOP WASTING MY TIME!!!!

Thankfully there is an Auntie Anne’s on the children’s floor and they were able to provide me with a decent Diet Coke – Thank you Auntie Anne’s!

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I started down the never ending maze of escalators from the 7th floor and noticed a Clinique display that looked awesome.  They had this cute Clinique Pretty Wow, Pretty Now 7 piece kit with bag.

I thought my sister would like it so I grabbed it and went to pay for it. Turns out it’s Clinique Bonus Time through October 25, 2015 and so I got a 7 piece gift set with my purchase – SCORE! Thanks Sis for having a birthday this time of year!

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As you can see, it’s always an eventful time at “MY MACY’S”.

NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

McDonald’s

151 West 34th St., NYC – 7th Floor

Large Diet Coke with ice, $I wouldn’t know

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Auntie Anne’s

151 West 34th St., NYC – 7th Floor

Large Diet Coke with ice, $TBA

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Drive-Thru Highs and Lows

Best NYC soda, beverages, Disney, Drive-Thru, Hamptons, mom, New York City, NYC, soda, soda fountain

Being a city girl I don’t often have the chance to experience the convenience that is the drive-thru.  About 5 years back a nearby McDonald’s had a walk up window which I LOVED.  Pushing a double stroller into a store, especially those stores that have a second set of doors is basically impossible.  Plus, waiting in line at a fast food restaurant with this ginormous tandem double stroller is a nightmare.  Please, of course I do it, but that walk up window really was a game changer for a while. Sadly it never seems to be staffed anymore.  “My God” you must be thinking, “how much fast food do you eat that this is an issue?”  I don’t eat it a lot, but I do need my fountain soda and I will battle a lunch crowd just for that large sparkling cup of goodness.

This weekend we took a trip out to Long Island. After an hour in the car, it was time for a soda. We pulled into a McDonald’s and got in the drive-thru line. There were about 3 cars in front of us, not too bad.  Finally it was our turn, so my husband (who was driving) lowered the window and ordered me a large Diet Coke. Now first everyone needs to get over the fact that, YES, I did and have done before and will do again, wait on a drive-thru line JUST to get a soda. I admit to it and I own it. Now back to the story. Husband Dear orders and right after is when my good fortune turned.  After thinking about it, the next minute or 2 played out exactly like the 5 stages of grief (please note that I am not dismissing real grief that people experience, I was just really surprised that what happened really did match!)

I hear some kind of garbled noise across the seat and my husband turns to me and tells me they are out of Diet Coke and would I like a Dr. Pepper?

Denial: “What? No? Ask them again?” Husband obliges and I hear the man tell him that there is no Diet Coke and the line is broken. Would I like something else? Unsweetened Iced Tea is close.

Anger: Are you kidding me – unsweetened iced tea is close – no it isn’t! Who told them to say that? Do they not know we’ve been in the car for an hour? That we waited in this line ONLY for a Diet Coke? Why the heck isn’t there a sign on the menu board alerting everyone to the fact that there’s no Diet Coke? What kind of operation are they running here? Ok- I didn’t say those things – I did leaned over my husband so that now I could be speaking directly to the voice box. “How are you out of Diet Coke?!” I yelled.

Bargaining: “Well is it going to be fixed soon? If we wait will it be running soon?” – No.

Depression: I sank back in my seat and we pulled out of the line. Husband offered to stop at the nearest place we saw. I told him not to bother. Whatever. It didn’t matter. I’m not gonna hold us up even longer by trying somewhere else. They probably won’t have Diet Coke either.

Acceptance: Thankfully my family always snaps me back. Kids were singing along to our Disney CDs, we only had a half hour left to our trip, I could manage.  All would be ok – plus I’d have something to write about, right?

We had a great weekend, which included some awesome pumpkin picking. I’ll elaborate on all that another time soon.  On our trip home, I didn’t want to chance it with that horrible McDonald’s, so we pulled into a Burger King after only 20 minutes on the road home.  I know it’s ridiculous, but I was slightly worried…would they not have Diet Coke too?…or worse, would they hand it to me and it be AWFUL?!?!  Thank the powers that be-Burger King did not disappoint.  It wasn’t really a noteworthy soda, but it did the job and I would go there again.  Phew, glad we ended out trip on a good soda note – thanks BK!

BK

NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

McDonald’s

560 County Rd 111, Manorville, NY

Large Diet Coke with ice, $I wouldn’t know

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Burger King

71 County Road 39, Southampton, NY

Large Diet Coke with ice, $2.29

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If you’re interested, these are the Disney CDs that keep us sane on long drives:

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Waiter Appreciation

Best NYC soda, beverages, mom, New York City, NYC, soda, soda fountain, Uncategorized

Yesterday we had quite a morning. I woke up more tired than usual, and for some reason everything ached. I mean, even my teeth ached – what is that?! After getting the kids dressed and fed, I checked the weather, it said 70 degrees, with the “real feel” at 75 degrees. That brightened my mood.  The crazy insta-cold spell we just experienced here in NYC had gone away for a minute. I put on a springy/summery dress and thought I was all set.

The morning flew by. The kids each had a 15 minute piano lesson and then our cleaning professional (aka Our Savior) came and next thing you knew it was time for school…but oh yeah, we didn’t eat lunch yet-oops. Through all of this, I began shivering. I became convinced that it was actually still freezing outside. So during the 4 hours from when I woke up until the time we left the apartment, I started adding clothes.  When I finally realized what I looked like, there was just no time to change my outfit…so yes, my dear NYC Soda Girl Readers, I left my home in this get-up:

tired outfit

 

 

We raced towards school but first stopped for a quick lunch nearby.  I can only imagine what the staff thought of me. My crazy outfit, my face in a perma scrunch because I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open and because of my teeth aching and my expression of “Help Me” as I looked into the hostesses eyes… The 4 of us quickly sat and ordered and I downed my first diet soda.  To be completely fair to this establishment I will not review it today, as I was too tired and stressed to really pay attention to the drink…but I do want to give a shout out to the waiter. When he passed by and I asked for my next diet soda, adding “it’s just that kind of day”…he came back with these:

double soda

THANK YOU DEAR MAN, THANK YOU! There is nothing worse than being stressed, then finishing your drink and needing another with no waiter in site…I now wouldn’t need to worry. I think that brought my stress down a bit – it’s the little things, you know? Oh- and we miraculously made it school only 2 minutes late – other students were still filing in through the door – phew!

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