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Why This Family Loves Our Samsung Family Hub

Samsung Family Hub

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Since I bought my house 6 years ago I have done one to two projects every year around the house and little by little we’re finally making it our own. One of the first things we bought upon moving in were new appliances. The thought of using someone else’s appliances kind of skeeved us out…plus they were pretty beat up. We bought a base model stainless steel refrigerator, stove & dishwasher. The fridge we purchased didn’t have any features except a water/ice maker. Yeah, from the start it was definitely an upgrade from the pre-existing fridge, but I can’t tell you how bummed I am that we wasted our money on this basic unreliable fridge. The ice maker broke in the 3rd year and the drawers started falling apart shortly after. Plus, after we had finally gotten to redoing our kitchen, we wished we had went with a better looking model because our new kitchen looked amazing but the appliances just didn’t have that same wow factor!

So, when I got the opportunity to get my hands on the new Samsung Family Hub Smart Refrigerator I was ecstatic! The first thing you notice when you see this fridge is the 21.5″ touchscreen. It definitely has to be one my (and the rest of my family’s) favorite features…not just because of how cool it looks, but because of all the features it now brings into your home. When I walk into my kitchen, the Family Hub is one of the first things that grabs my attention. To be honest, even though this fridge has more cubic feet than my last fridge, when I first opened it I thought it was going to be too small for me. I think the fact that there is a separate drawer (called the Flex Zone) makes the size seem a little deceptive. However, I was completely wrong about the size. The way the fridge is set up allowing you to be able to customize the shelves and drawers really helps you keep everything inside the fridge organized and creates even more space! Honestly…it’s definitely helped to eliminate those “babe, where’s the mayo” moments LOL. Not only does my Samsung Family Hub have a water and ice dispenser, but it also comes with a built-in water pitcher that you can set to auto refill when you put it back in it’s spot! The pitcher also has a flavor infuser built in, which I love. Give me ice cold cucumber-flavored water any hot summer day!

So this might be a little weird and out of the ordinary, but what I use our Family Hub the most for (besides keeping my food cold & organized) is for my workouts. Yes, my workouts! I usually go to the gym for about a half hour and work on a specific body part while I’m there, but then when I get home, after I play with Nate for a little, I always do an at-home WOD (workout of the day). Using the Family Hub’s wifi enabled touchscreen, I go to the Pinterest app and search for workouts. I then create a to-do list with my workout. This way I’m able to save it for another day and I’m able to cross off the exercises as they’re completed. I used to have a drawer full of papers with all of my workout lists, but it’s safe to say I’ve since thrown those out. This is much more efficient for sure! I then go to one of the many music apps to stream some music to get me pumped, like iHeartRADIO.

One of my other favorite features is the Shopping List app. This is an all-around family favorite! I hate going to the supermarket and hate wasting an hour or two with the whole process in general, so anything that can help speed it up is a win. Once you download the hub’s shopping list app on your phone, it all gets synced up. This allows you to create a shopping list which will then show up on the hub, my phone, and my wife’s phone. When anyone edits the list it will update across all devices! Now when you’re doing your shopping, as you grab what you need, you can cross it off the list and it will cross off on everyone’s list. It’s amazing! This way we can split up the shopping and really cut our time in half. No more screaming across the store, “babe, grab bananas”, or “did you get the milk?!” LOL. If I’m at the supermarket alone, while my wife’s at home, she just adds new grocery items she remembers to the hub app and it will pop up on my phone. We really love it!

The app will also take things like strawberries and let you know that in 2 days they are going to go bad. These little reminders are super cool because in the past we’ve definitely wasted way too much fruit in this house, but since the hub have become a lot more aware of our fridge items. Did I mention I can also see inside my fridge from the outside? If I’m at the store and can’t remember if I’m low on mike, I can just view the inside of my fridge on my phone and check. My family hub has 3 interior cameras that takes a photo every-time I close the door and keeps me up to date!

There are seriously so many cool features to my Samsung Family Hub, that I could go on and on, but another one of my faves is the Memos app. I hate waking up so early to go to work and leaving my family without getting a chance to talk or say goodbye in the morning before I leave. So I love that I can quickly type them a cute note that will show right on the fridge’s screen. It might just say “I love you” or “Sorry, I’m busy, but I’ll call you later” or silly things, but just knowing I was able to drop them a line for them to know I’m thinking about them makes me feel better and they love getting my surprise notes throughout the day!

We seriously love our Samsung Family Hub and little by little are incorporating more and more features into our everyday routines. Besides keeping us all connected and making some of our tasks a lot easier, overall we just feel more organized. And in this house with all the running around we do, between work, blog projects, events, everyday commitments & activities and just life in general, feeling more organized and connected definitely helps keep you feeling on task and able to get things done a lot quicker!

 

Family Reviews Style Travel

Our Mini Getaway with Oyster Bay

Oyster Bay

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Father’s Day is a special day for me. Having lost my father at a young age, it means a lot to be able to do the things I wish I could do with my father, with my son. Not to mention, what’s better than getting to spend the full day with my family, and getting to do whatever I choose for us to do. As Nate would say, “It’s your day, Daddy!”. I love hearing him call me daddy. Even though he’s almost 6 already, hearing his little voice say “daddy” will never get old, and still touches me the way it did when he said it for the very first time. I’m a mush for this kid!

Honestly, for me, what I love doing most is pretty simple – it’s really just being able to have a day, with no distractions, and getting to enjoy my little family. We decided to do a little local getaway, to make it feel like we were on a true vacation, and to get us away from the house distractions. Instead of heading to the city like we normally do, my wife booked us a room at The Time Hotel in Nyack, NY. Nyack is a cute little town right by the Hudson River, and has this really cool modern-style hotel (The Time) just blocks from the town. As soon as we got there, I had already forgotten we were just 45 minutes from home and immediately felt like we were miles away from reality.

I started my day by getting an awesome snuggle sesh with Nate in the morning and wifey started me off right and quickly got me a glass of Merlot from Oyster Bay. Despite wanting to keep it simple for Father’s Day, it’s still always nice to kick it up a notch, by adding in a nice bottle of wine to elevate the occasion just a tad bit more! Now don’t judge me, but when I’m on a vacation, whether it be for a day, weekend, or week, I usually enjoy a drink or two throughout the day. I mean who doesn’t? Now I’m not talking about spring break style drinking LOL, but just a few glasses throughout my day to keep me relaxed and as a constant reminder that it’s a special day!

After my snuggle sesh, we went straight to the pool! While loungin’ we ordered some pool-side snacks to go with our Oyster Bay. The Merlot paired so nicely with our maple honey smoked bacon slabs (drizzled with a balsamic glaze) and our honey drizzled goat cheese crostinis. Nate loved the bacon (but I guess who doesn’t love bacon) and I’m always a sucker for some crostini. Just having these sides paired with our glasses of merlot, in such a chic pool setting, really just made our pool time feel that much more special. I got to play with Nate in the pool and he got to show off by showing us how far he can swim. It’s so cute, because he’s becoming such a little fish when it comes to the water and is always pushing himself to see if he can swim from one end of the pool to the other. He impresses me every day! Shockingly he also actually let me and Sarina just lay and relax for a little…and that never happens! LOL Thanks Nate!

After getting dressed up and ready to head out for dinner, we got to enjoy a pre-dinner glass of wine while we checked out some of the cool art in the lobby and caught up on some sports on the T.V. in the lounge. This hotel had some really cool artwork and a lot of different design elements that made it fun to explore around. We just kind of kept a slow pace, taking in the hotel decor, strolling through the lobby, and sipping our Oyster Bay.

After dinner we head back to our room, and you guessed it, more snuggling was had, and Nate and I had our usual jumping on the bed session. I don’t know how all this sounds to an outsider, but to me, it really is all about the little things, and it was the perfect weekend. Playing in the pool with my boy, relaxing with a glass of Oyster Bay with my wife, exploring a new place or town with the family, catching a glimpse of sports on the T.V. together, and overall just taking it slow and enjoying each other….it’s these little things, with no work or home distractions, that really makes it feel special for me. I truly enjoy relaxing days like this that make me appreciate life. Thanks for my little Father’s Day getaway fam!

Family Reviews Style Travel

The Royal West Indies Resort @ Turks

BlueCollarPrep

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At this point it’s no secret, my family loves the Caribbean! Almost all of our vacations consist of visiting a beautiful beach, on a beautiful island, surrounded by that beautiful blue water. I have wanted to visit Turks and Caicos for years now, but I was waiting for Nate to get a little older so he could enjoy some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean. We finally decided we would plan our trip, and we’d just have to go again once Nate learned to swim. Little did we know…Nate actually learned to swim AND hold his breath under water, the week right before our trip. Perfect timing Nate! We partnered up with the Royal West Indies to share our first Turks & Caicos experience, while staying at their beautiful resort. The resort is only 15 minutes from the airport, which is perfect, since it’ a 4 hour plane ride from NY, and we didn’t want to spend any more time in a car. Although! We did stop at the island’s very popular, Sweet T’s, fried chicken spot on the way to the resort. When I tell you the chicken was good, I mean it was good! It’s one of the local’s fave spots, so make sure you stop by after you land! It’s been awhile since we stayed at a bigger resort, and the grounds at theΒ Royal West Indies were just beautiful…they had the best landscaping and picturesque gardens. It was a great blend of green trees, cactus, palms, and colorful flowers. It was the perfect scenery for all of my photos πŸ™‚ They had 3 pools: a huge pool, with an adorable kiddie pool attached (Nate’s fave!) and a bridge crossing over it to take you to their Pelican Bay Restaurant, and then 2 smaller sized pools in the quiet area – for those of your traveling kid-free and looking for a quieter scene. There was also a hot tub in the quiet area, and it was perfect for the wifie and I to get some mommy & daddy time, after Nate was in bed. My mother-in-law came on the trip with us, so it’s nice when my wife and I can get some adult time in. πŸ™‚ The fact that the main pool had an attached shallow kid’s section for Nate and an underwater bench along most of the pool made Nate absolutely love it and helped him get the confidence to really expand his swimming skills. Now don’t be scared off! The resort is kid-friendly, but there was definitely not an abundance of them. During our time there I think I only saw 1 other kid in the pool. The craziest kid there was probably Nate (LOL). The pool was a stone throw away from the bar, which was perfect for us to grab our pina coladas and a bite to eat, because Nate literally never wanted to get out of the pool. The restaurant has some great choices and variety, but my favorite was the breakfast dish of grits and beef hash. I was told this dish is what the locals eat and it was soooo good. I actually ate it every morning. I’m a huge fan of grits and if it’s on the menu I’m ordering it. The pool-side bar also had happy hour from 5-7 so we always made sure we were in the pool at that time (LOL). I honestly can’t tell you how many pina coladas I drank, but they don’t get any better than how they make them here. Great, now I’m craving one right now! All of the pools are open 24hrs…which we all loved. Night life for us is pretty mellow these days, so it’s fun to be able to make a cocktail and head to the pool late at night with Nate, to extend our night and really maximize our vacay days. The room was a pretty standard size and included a bed (or 2), flat screen TV, and a small kitchenette with the basics, like a mini fridge and coffee maker. Our room had a balcony with a partial view of the ocean and pool and it was nice waking up and seeing both. The resort had bicycle’s you could use, as well as mini catamarans. The beach was of course beautiful. They had chairs and umbrellas you could use and it was only a very short and pretty walk from the pool. Though there wasn’t any reefs directly in front of the hotel beach, you can take a 15 minute walk down the beach to a small and very cool reef where we were able to snorkel from the shore. On the way, you can stop by Flamingo Cafe and grab a bite and cocktail right on Grace Bay Beach. We didn’t get to go scuba diving on this trip, but we definitely will on our next trip back – which hopefully will be soon! We did take a snorkeling excursion with Caicos Adventures. We stopped at 3 different reefs and I was blown away by the reef and variety & abundance of sea life. I never seen so many different types of coral. We saw so many different fish, lobster, and even some eels. Do however, beware of drinking too much of the complimentary rum punch like I did, because you are guaranteed to need a nap after (LOL). I think me and a fellow snorkeler must have drank a gallon! If you don’t feel like shelling out the $115 pp to take an excursion you can easily take a ride to one of the many snorkel spots off the shore. We went to the Coral Gardens Reef, which was literally 20 ft right off the beach. We went 3ft in and immediately almost stepped on a sting ray. This reef was perfect for Nate to get a first taste of snorkeling. I could not believe how good he did! He didn’t use a snorkel but he would hold on to me and swim around holding his breath underwater for about 20 seconds, and would just keep on pointing out all the fish he saw. The whole trip he kept saying he wanted to see a turtle and we finally were snorkeling around the reef and came up to 2 huge turtles lying on the ocean floor. He got to watch them swim up and take a breath above the water, and they were only about 3 feet away from us, so we all got a great close-up view! Snorkeling with Nate will truly be an unforgettable memory. I have never had so much fun and been more proud of my little man. Between the pool, the beach, snorkeling, and all of the pina coladas and rum punch, you really work up an appetite. There were so many restaurants to eat at but my favorite 2 would definitely have to be Cocovan and Mango Reef.Β Cocovan was a cool air-stream converted into a taco truck. They had the best tacos I have ever eaten! The Korean Beef and the Duck were my favorite. Oh and did I mention they have churros and ice cream for dessert. Sooooo amazingly yummy. Mango Reef was right by the water and was lit up with all these neon lights. They even had some neon lights in the water. The ambiance really made it feel like you were on vacation! As I’m writing this, it’s making me want to go back already. We all had an amazing time at the beautiful Royal West Indies. I know every vacation is going to be one for the books, but this one had a few firsts for Nate, so I’m always going to remember that this was the one where he really learned to swim and finally got to experience the magical sea turtles with his mommy and daddy. Thank you Royal West Indies for such an amazing trip! If anyone is looking to visit Turks & Caicos, definitely check this resort out. It was in the perfect location, had gorgeous grounds, really fun pools, is right on Grace Bay Beach, and has the best pina coladas! πŸ™‚ We will definitely be back!