As any new homeowner will tell you… the list of “projects’ around the house is never ending. Since moving to our new house, 6 months ago, up here in the suburbs of New York City, Matt and I have a running list of things we need to work on around the property. Everything from our kitchen remodel, basement wall paint, sprucing up of the laundry area, a veggie garden and even a new façade for the front of the house sits on this list patiently awaiting to get done.
Moving to a new community and not knowing anyone, we have been depending on recommendations from local parenting groups and neighbors. Our lawn person was a recommendation and has worked out really nicely, our oil company was a recommendation, babysitter, preschools, doctors and even the all-important drycleaner was recommended by a neighbor.
While these are everyday needs and things have worked out well for us, something like the kitchen remodel requires some background info and much more insight.
This is where Angie’s List comes in. I recently attended an event hosted by Angie’s List in NYC and sat down with Angie… yes THE Angie of Angie’s List and in between chatting about food and tweens… I got the scoop on what Angie’s List is up to these days.
First of all – Angie’s List is now FREE to join!
Angie’s List is a list of recommendations for pretty much everything! For example – our kitchen remodel. I can choose a contractor off Angie’s List – I get reviews and details on the type of the work this person does, how efficient, helpful and quality of their work. I choose the contractor that fits my needs. But wait… there’s more, with the new Silver and Gold Angie’s List membership tiers, I will be GUARANTEED a job well done. So if something goes wrong… Angie’s List will fix it for me. Can you believe that! It’s pretty amazing when you think about the intensity of a kitchen remodel – floors, cabinets, electric, plumbing… and the work is guaranteed.
Angie’s List has lots of new changes and these have all come about from customer feedback. The most exciting new addition is the membership tiers. Angie’s List has three tiers of memberships –
- GREEN: free-of-charge access to companies in more than 700 service categories; nationwide access to more than 10 million verified consumer reviews; and monthly digital form of the company’s magazine. Benefits planned to be added to the Green membership tier this year include a project pricing guide, project scheduling and project financing.
- SILVER: includes all green features plus fair price guarantee and service quality guarantee, exclusive discounts, chat and email customer support, a bimonthly print version of the magazine for $24.99 a year.
- GOLD: includes all green and silver features plus complaint resolution process, customer support via phone and access to exclusive eCommerce savings for $99.99 a year. Benefits planned to be added to the Gold tier in the future include handy chat, a home emergency service line and instant hiring.
Be sure Visit angieslist.com for more information. #AngieHeartsHome
*This post is sponsored by Angie’s List. All opinions are my own*
Dear friday… you know you are my favorite right All those other days.. they are just little weekly obstacles to get to you. But here we are… Friday!I love my weekends and we are always out and about exploring and roaming around trying to find trouble. This weekend there are a ton of great things to do and I figured I would share a few things on our agenda.
- Hamilton – The epic musical that is sold out until next century has a significant show this evening. Tonight is Lin Manuel Miranda’s last show. So you know it’s going to be E PI C ! Good luck getting tickets. But if you don’t have tickets you could always stand outside the theatre after or before the show to catch glimpses of the cast.
Hudson Valley Balloon Festival– * Updated* – We tried to go to the festival on Friday evening and it was a bust. There were no food trucks, the balloons were not set up all day and they never launched due to weather but never made an official announcement. Maybe this isn’t a good year to go* We are heading up the Hudson Valley this weekend for this grandiose balloon festival. We often see hot air balloons floating high above and the kids get so excited that we decided to go this year. There is a ton of info about this festival so just swing by the site to check it out. Balloon launches are at 6pm every evening and 6am on Saturday and Sunday as well. I’ll see you there.
- Brooklyn Flea/Smorgasburg – This is a summertime MUST in NYC. Located on the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn, this flea market is a total scene! You can spend a whole afternoon looking at all sorts of interesting odds and ends while munching on yummies from award-winning food trucks. Fashion, food, fun and kid friendly!
- John Jay Homestead Farmers Market – Take a Saturday drive up north of Manhattan to the John Jay Homestead Farmers Market. This amazing market is open 9am – 1m with a special scavenger hunt for kids. Local resident Martha Stewart has been known to ride up on her horse to pick up a few provisions. After the Farmers Market – stay in Westchester County for lunch at any number of great restaurants. I’ll suggest a few if you want. If you have kids – head to Muscoot Farm down the road to see the little piglets!
- The Amazing Max Live – This is the most wonderful magic show with a very entertaining magician. Lily and I saw The Amazing Max years ago when she was about 6 and I can’t wait to take Thomas on Sunday to see this show. Please swing by the site to see show dates… or I’ll see you Sunday!
Summer is a time to hit a great big REFRESH button. The kids are out of school, we have summer Friday half days at work, people are on vacation and relaxed and things are just chill. When September hits… it’s game time. Fall season brings the activities in full overdrive – back to school, holiday parties, deadlines, end of the year recaps, new years… and you know how the rest goes… until summer again. So take time off this summer to do a full clean and purge of your stuff. Get rid of it, clean, and hit the REFRESH button. If you are like us… kids, work, life, adventure, giant beast… you need some help! And hiring someone to help you clean and stay on top of things is a great option for many busy families like ours. I’ve got some great cleaning tips for New York City apartment dwellers to fit your lifestyle!
I’ve partnered with Busy Bee Cleaning Service to bring you some expert tips. Busy Bee offers commercial cleaning as well as residential cleaning services. All their employees have had extensive background checks and are trained to fit your exact needs. This service is specific to NYC residents and businesses.
This post is sponsored by Busy Bee Cleaning Service.
Sure we all clean our bathroom, but how often do you de-calcify your shower head? I didn’t even know that was a thing! You clean your kitchen, but how often do you scrub those cabinets?Your small apartment can get overwhelmed with stuff easily… Busy Bee Cleaning Service can help.
You may not think anyone cares as long as the place is tidy, but those little details can make the difference between looking like you live in a small, cramped space and presenting your guests with a hip urban hideaway. Here are a few tips to help you tackle cleaning like a boss.
First, the checklist:
Summer time cleaning is the perfect time to take on tasks you just forget about when you’re just trying to tidy up and get your dishes done. Here are some of the tasks you should be thinking about with apartment cleaning:
Invest in great cleaning products.
While you’re doing your day to day cleaning you can get by with that knock-off, ubiquitous lemon cleaner. But right now you’re cleaning, so go all-out. Go ahead and replace those old sponges, rags, and scrubbers. Get a new broom and dustpan. Pick up some tools you might have fun using.
Then, get really good, high-quality, powerful cleaning solutions that smell nice. This will mean your entire apartment gains a pleasant scent that you’ll really enjoy. You can also make these yourself, if you’re so inclined: baking soda, lemon, and vinegar are all extremely powerful cleaning solutions in their own right.
In fact, it’s a good idea to do a really deep clean once per season. “Spring cleaning” brings images of opening all the windows and airing out your home while you break out the rug beater, but that’s not the reality for most NYC apartment dwellers.
You don’t have to do it all at once.
Tempted to just give up and watch some Netflix after reading the checklist above? Getting overwhelmed is normal, but you don’t have to give in.
Instead, there’s nothing wrong with spreading out your cleaning tasks over the course of a week or two. Assign yourself one or two tasks each day. Monday could be the day you go around scrubbing all your faucets and cleaning all your cabinets. Tuesday you could take on your microwave, stove, and dishwasher. By chunking it down into smaller tasks you’re a lot more likely to get the job done.
Declutter, declutter, declutter.
This is a wonderful time to get rid of stuff you just don’t need. Sell it, give it away, or throw it away, but don’t keep it. The more you have the harder it is to organize a smaller space. Even Martha Stewart would struggle to keep four closet’s worth of items organized within a single closet.
Mindfully choose the things that you will live with every single day. As a bonus, this task makes it a lot easier to keep your home clean during the year, too.
Freshen up the décor.
This is part motivation and part cleaning task. If your décor is boring and bland then this is the perfect time to step up your game. Get a new couch cover. Pick up some bright new throw pillows. Get rid of those mismatched old lamps and update your apartment’s look by buying a new set of decorative lamps that really speak to your personality.
You don’t have to go overboard here. Few people have the budget to simply give themselves a full, show-room ready apartment overhaul in a single month. However, even a few small changes can make you feel a lot more comfortable in your living space.
Get help if you have to!
We’re all busy, and most people aren’t trained cleaning professionals. If you know you’d rather have a root canal than engage in any kind of spring cleaning activity, then you have an alternative. Get a quote for a quarterly cleaning service and find a company who will come in and take care of those deep cleans for you. Save up for them if you have to. Getting help is a great way to treat yourself.
Swing by BUSY BEE to learn more and get your apartment clean and shiny!
This post is sponsored by Busy Bee. All opinions are mine. Thanks so much for swinging by and checking out my sponsors. Happy Summer!
This is a sponsored post. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my sponsors. I’m partnering with @ReadyRefresh for the Fear of Running Out campaign. #ad
After living in New York for over a decade, I’ll always be a Florida gal at heart. Growing up in on the Gulf Coast of Florida our summers were full of long days at the beach, band camp, and evenings with friends. Oh yea… and prepping for hurricane season. We’ve been through some pretty intense hurricanes and anyone from Florida will tell you… you gotta just batten down the hatches and ride out the storm. Besides the essentials – gas, food, safety… one thing you must have is water. We would fill up the bath tubs, large pot and whatever else we could with water. We would also stock up on bottled water and keep it stored away.
There is a Fear Of Running Out (FORO) !
Since moving to New York, we have had a couple hurricane scares and water was the first thing we stocked up on. There is a Fear of Running Out (FORO) of water in emergency situations and we usually have a stash of water bottles or gallon jugs stored away ‘just in case’. During the summer months, I spoil the kids a bit and we often times indulge in some flavored sodas or those amazing limeade drinks. Lily has been freezing them and mixing up various flavors for yummy semi- homemade popsicles. During the school year I have a pretty strict sugar rule around here. We try to keep it down to the very minimum so juices and extra sugars a no go! Did you know that replacing a single 12-ounce, 140 calorie sugar sweetened beverage with water each day for a year can cut more than 50,000 calories from one’s diet.
Summers around here are busy. Our door is always open and our home is filled with friends and neighbors. The bottled waters and sparkling waters just fly out the door and I am constantly having to restock! So i have partnered with ReadyRefresh℠ by Nestlé® to share with you their new offerings to help families never have FORO! #nomoreFORO
ReadyRefresh℠ by Nestlé® believes that your hydration should never hinge on the inconvenience of restocking your bottled water supply. Having your favorite bottled water on hand, without hassle, keeps you in control of what you drink, and when. Because when you’re thirsty, you should get to drink your beverage of choice—not fall victim to Fear of Running Out. With ReadyRefresh never suffer from the Fear of Running Out again. The ReadyRefresh mission is simple: make it easy for you and your family to live a healthier life. With just a few clicks, or a few taps on your mobile device, through ReadyRefresh,com, you’ll quickly customize your order for thirst-quenching beverages delivered right to your door.
Check out this super cute video featuring one of my friends and her sweet sweet family!
FORO ( fear of running out) is a real thing. Do you know how many times I have panicked when i’ve run out of toilet paper or paper towels or milk… or water!
A few facts:
- More than half of all surveyed (52%) experience FORO at least once a week.
- 69% of those surveyed experience feelings such as stress, anxiety and worry when household items start to run low.
- 69% of survey respondents run low on everyday household items at least once a week.
- According to survey respondents, bottled water is the beverage of choice in homes (36%), workplaces (46%), and at school (36%).
- Nearly half of all full-time working parents (46%) surveyed say they ration or replace everyday household items with a less desirable alternative at least once per week, in order to avoid running out completely.
- According to the survey, when running low on household items, food (67%), toilet paper (51%) and bottled water (43%) are the most likely to be restocked first – ahead of items like milk (20%) and diapers (7%).
- Of those surveyed, three out of four (75%) working parents would buy more household items in bulk if it was more convenient.
- According to the survey, more than half of full-time working parents (55%) say that daily errands keep them from spending quality time with friends and family.
What about you? Do you have FORO? I would love to hear your stories.
We had a great 4 day weekend that really kicked off the summer.
and rootbeer floats… we can’t forget the rootbeer floats!
Thomas caught his first frog. Lily, of course, lead this expedition.
This post brought to you by Breyers Ice Cream. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The New York Mom.
What better way to celebrate the last day of school than a bowl of ice cream! And that’s just what we did last week. After Lily’s moving up ceremony from 5th grade we headed over to Madison Square Park for some ice cream and fun with the popular ice cream brand, Breyers! Madison Square Park is one of my favorite parks in NYC. It’s not full of tourists, you have Shake Shack right there, Fishes Eddy’s across the street, benches that wind throughout the park and no shortage of people watching.
Breyers is celebrating 150 years of ice cream goodness and we were invited to partner with the brand and help celebrate. I’m not an adventurous ice cream eater so I stuck with the classic Vanilla which was good because Breyers Natural Vanilla is America’s #1 Vanilla Ice cream. You can taste the fresh cream, milk and sugar.
To celebrate the 150th birthday, Breyers introduced a new ice cream variety. Aptly named – Breyers Ice Cream cake. This was the kids favorite because it features Breyers Chocolate Ice Cream and loads of chocolatey crunchies, sandwiched between Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream
The event in Madison Square Park was packed with celebs and ice cream lovers lined up to walk through the massive Ice Cream Container to learn about Breyers and how the ice cream is made. The line for ice cream, walking through the mini museum and photo opp was wrapped all the way around the park. People wanted some cold ice cream on a hot summers day!
A bowl of creamy vanilla bean ice cream is a staple in this house. That vanilla ice cream with the flecks of bean, late nights sitting at the kitchen counter catching up on the day or summertime family reunions with lots of soft ice cream melting slowly by the potluck outdoor BBQ party. There is a bit of nostalgia included with Vanilla Ice Cream don’t you think?
Lily and Thomas have discovered root beer floats. Summer classic right! Simply add a couple scoops of Breyers vanilla ice cream into a tall cup, pour some root beer to cover the ice cream. Add a straw and done! So yum. Make sure the root beer is caffeine free… we made that mistake once and had bouncing kids all over the house. Not a good look.
You can find Breyers Ice Cream at your local grocery store.
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. The vanilla that goes into Breyers products is 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified,and comes from sustainable vanilla farms in Madagascar.
- Mr.Clean – This stuff cleans everything and handles the toughest floors and walls. We dilute it down according to directions to clean hardwood floors.
- Febreeze – I have a massive giant smelly dog. Febrile helps get rid of dog smell, kid smell and helps freshen up the home.
- Crest Toothpaste – Always have extras especially when you are expecting guests.
- Charmin– We run out of toilet paper all the time. I usually have a secret emergency stash at the very top of my linen closet just so we don;t have to freak out when we have guests. A dinner guest once asked – what can I bring- and I responded.. toilet paper! after realizing we were totally out and had a group of 8 people coming over. Lesson learned. hide a secret stash of TP always.
- Bounty Papertowels – Honestly, this is my life line. I have a roll of Bounty Papertowels in the cars, in the bathrooms, in my pool bag… everywhere!
- Magic Eraser – It’s magic. Every single stain on walls, floors anything… this eraser gets rid of it all. With 2 kids and a drooly dog… I use a Magic Eraser everyday.
- Cascade– For shiny, no streak dishes, Cascade is my go to. I have been using this since the beginning of time and my dishes turn out shiny and clean overtime.
- Tide Laundry Detergent – With two kids in sports and running to the pool and beach everyday, we get dirty. Tide Laundry Detergent gets the job done.
- Duracell – Extra batteries are always a must. Whether it’s a sudden power outage or a favorite toy that didn’t come with batteries… a pack of Duracell’s are a must.
- Swiffer – dusting is not my favorite but swimmer makes it easier and gets to all the hard to reach places.
You are now ready to host your friends family and whoever comes over for a visit. You can totally #AvoidtheOops with this list of must-haves.
We are in summer mode over here. The kids are out of school and the lazy summer days have begun. Lily has a sleepaway camp later in the summer, Thomas starts a local town camp next month but for this week we are winging it!
I’ve decided not to put Lily in an all summer camp this summer. I want her to just hang, get bored, to have unstructured days, to find her own entertainment, and to hang out with the neighborhood kids.
We moved to this community for this very reason. Lily walks to the town pool, downtown, rides bikes all over the neighborhood with friends, eats popsicles in the afternoon and builds fairy houses with Thomas. It’s that old school – non programmed- summer days of old.
We’ve been having lazy brunches in town and long strolls through our neighborhood saying hi to the chickens and pig and goats.
If you know us , you know that we don’t sit still for long and we have a whole list of summer trips and day trips and quick jaunts all around the tri-state and I can’t wait to share this with you. New York has just so very much to offer and there is never a shortage of engaging activities for kids… I’m talking about hikes, museums, towns to wander through, flea markets, balloon festivals…etc.
Summer 2016 we are ready!
Happy First Day of Summer!
The summer fairies are out and we’ve already spent a good chunk of the morning looking for them. Our yard is full of gorgeous dragon flies and you know fairies ride on dragon flies.
Last year at this time we were packing up to move and then spent 2 months in hotels while we awaited the closing of our house.
The move has been great. The kids are happy, Lily has blossomed and we have seen that inquisitive amazing Lily that we had lost for a couple of years due to crappy ( and yes i say this with a straight face and finger pointed) school in Long Island.
Summer in our new neighborhood has been great. The neighborhood kids have found our house to be the one with popsicles, soccer games, fire pits, snow cones a giant beast that kisses everyone and no shortage of imaginary fun.
Thomas has found his “fairy tree’. It sorta looks like the that tree from Game of Thrones right! He has been playing under the moss lined tree hoping to catch a fairy.
Of course Lily is too cool for fairies now… but she plays along really nicely.
Jonah has come face to face with deer, bunnies and who knows what else back in our woods. Did you now there are bears and coyotes roaming our neighborhood! So cool… scary but so cool!
Last week a neighbor put out a FB alert saying that someones lost husky was sleeping on her back deck… climbed up the stairs to sleep on the back deck right near the kitchen door. The dog was so huge she did now want to disturb it. She took a picture and posted it on the FB page and … it was a COYOTE! yikes!
I’ve planted flowers all over the yard in random places for a little pop of color here and there and then i forget to water them so my sad floral project is slowly dying Thank goodness for our awesome lawn guy who just shakes his head and tries to breathe some life back to my flowers.
Happy summer everyone… i’m thankful for these everyday blessing like flowers and fairies and summer time fun!