Spooky Halloween Tradition: The Headless Horseman

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

On the banks of the Hudson River, is a quaint little town called Sleepy Hollow, formerly known as North Tarrytown. Housed here is the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, one of the most historic cemeteries in New York. Maybe even in the Northeast. The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is a large property with rolling hills with a rushing Pocantico River racing through.

This is the final resting place of New York royalty such as Elizabeth Arden, Brooke Astor, Andrew Carnegie, Walter P. Chrysler, and the Hemsley’s. Leona Hemsley is famous for leaving millions of dollars to her pets when she passed away. While the rich and famous did not spare a penny on their lavish tombs – The Hemsleys have an impressive massive tomb with 4 stunning stained glass windows of the Manhattan skyline, our reason for visiting is the much more humble graves that surround the original Old Dutch Church.

Every year, since Lily was about 7, we have made it our annual tradition to go to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery for our spooky Halloween fix. I think it was in 1st grade that Lily was reading some of Washington Irving’s books and when we realized the wealth of secret – not so secret-history that lived… or had died... just a few miles away, we had to visit.

Washing Irving, author of some of our favorite books – Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – lived in Sleepy Hollow. This town was originally known as North Tarrytown and was only recently changed to Sleepy Hollow as an ode to the famous story.

But that’s not all. Did you know that Washington Irving himself is buried at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetary? And it gets even better… He found the names of his characters from the graves that surrounded the Old Dutch Church. Ichabod Crane… found his grave. Katherine… she’s there too.

The story of Rip Van Winkle was inspired by the Town of Irvington with its steep hill down to the train station and Hudson River.

The story goes that the Headless Horseman to this day roams the grounds of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery looking for his … head. There is also the legendary bridge that he can’t cross. (not the original).

Lily loves this tradition and while we have taken Thomas the past few years, he doesn’t quite remember.

This year was just like any, gorgeous fall weekend, stunning colorful firey leaves all over the grounds. We parked right in the cemetery. Insider tip: enter through the north entrance and park in the cemetery so you avoid the crowds through the south entrance. It’s a beautiful walk through the cemetery grounds with draping trees, stairs, hills and stunning views. We like reading the descriptions on the graves. Some of the graves were just stunning and ornate and others much more simple. Nevertheless, it’s beautiful.

We made our way down the hill to the Old Dutch Church to find Ichabod and Katherine and walk through the oldest graves on the property. On the way, we stopped by Washington Irving’s grave and collected leaves for our collection.

While I was nose deep in reading tombstones, Matt gave me a nudge… and there he was!!! THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN!

Of course, we had hyped this whole thing up with the kids. And talked to them about how the Headless Horseman roams the cemetery and that he is always looking for new souls to take and heads to attach onto his headless body and if any of us ever see him… the emergency plan is to RUN to the nearest body of water – the Pocantico river that flows through the cemetery – because the Headless Horseman can’t cross water.

So here we are… the Headless Horseman and there is Thomas… RUN!!!!!

It was all in good fun. He ended up petting the horse and wasn’t too afraid after all.

The cemetery also has a Beerfest and cider and baked goodies and food so we stayed and filled our bellies before heading off to the next fall adventure.

What a treat! The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery should be a MUST for your Haloween Spooky Fun. There are no jumpy castles or face painting… thank goodness… but just pure cultural references and amazing views and some old history about this country.

Happy Halloween everyone. And if you are ever in Sleepy Hollow… remember RUN for the water if you find yourself face to face with the Headless Horseman.

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Parenting: The Fog Years

Parenting: The Fog Years

Life somedays is hard. Actually, life for the past few years has been hard. An older friend, who I absolutely love and has been my parenting mentor for years, referred to these years as the ‘fog years’. These are the years when the kids are young and need you for everything. For parents who have chosen to stay home with the kids or work from home or work part-time like I do… these years are brutal.

I’m not making comparisons between working and stay-at-home parents but I must say this. I do get jealous when Matt gets dressed up and heads out the door for a full 8-10 hour work day. I am jealous that he is being creative, using his mind for things that don’t involve negotiating with a 4YO or practicing mindful patience at every moment with a tween, math homework or making sure the kids don’t get hit by a car, eat poison, fall down the stairs or stick their head in an oven to see if they fit.

I’ve been a bit sick the last few days and the option of stopping has not been there. So through the migraines and nausea and the utter exhaustion, and growing a baby, I have to navigate a loud house, feeding dragons, driving to cross country meets, math homework, and bedtime horror!

Am I enjoying my kids? Sure I am. I love them with every fiber of my being… but there are days… many days where I would trade them for a massage, hot bath or moment of silence. I know there will come a day when I will miss these crazy years but I really need to complain right now. I really need to wallow in my first world problems.

This stage I’m in – 2 kids – a preschooler and a tween – is a mentally, emotionally, physically and wild stage of life. There is never a moment that is dull, true. But there is never a moment where anything stops either.

Last night after a long exciting, fulfilling weekend the kids were finally in bed around 9 pm. I then had to tidy up the house – for no other reason but to get myself ready for the week ahead. If I woke up to an overly messy home It really messes with my already unorganized mind. So after straightening up the kitchen, dining room, playroom, living room, hallway, bathroom, and actually folding and putting away my clothes on my bed. I settled into about 2 hours of work. Bed by 1 am… good times.

But I can’t sleep because guilt takes over my thoughts. Was I mean to the kids today? Did I yell too much? Did I let them watch too much TV just so I could escape to the bathroom and hold my exhausted body and mind and cry for 20 minutes? Was I fair? The house is a mess. How is this messy home affecting my child’s focus every day? What’s for breakfast the next morning, That teacher email was kinda judgy… what did that mean? Did I spend enough one on one time with both kids? Thomas is easy to spend one on one time with because he cuddles up and kisses all day. Lily is a tween… I’ll leave it there. I have to constantly make an effort to spend meaningful time with her that goes beyond the mother/daughter parenting dynamic. The guilt of everyday things creeps up too. Should I go back to work fulltime? Am I working too much? Am I not doing enough to plan holiday events or summer family plans. The laundry has piled up again, the bedroom is messy again. Who’s paying attention to the dog? Am I reaching out to friends and family often enough?

My body isn’t my own these days either. Heck, my life isn’t my own. Who am I? My daily life most days solely consists of feeding the kids, making sure they are dressed, homework, dodging meltdowns, track, soccer, gymnastics, playdates, feeding, feeding, feeding, and bedtime madness. There is an overload of demands. My kids want something every single second of the day. I’m in negotiating mode from before sunrise to after sunset! They are always talking to me, touching me, needing something!

I have stopped volunteering for things. I am not the class parent, I’m not hosting book club next month, not having a holiday party, not helping at church, I am shutting it down for a bit so I can regroup and catch my breath and not feel so crazed.

Every night when it’s time for bed, it’s like a new concept for the kids. As if we haven’t done this bed thing every single day for their entire lives. Bedtime?! What?! NOOOOO?!

It’s the fog years, right? I am feeling really anxious about our third child. I’m stressing out about the toll this is going to take on me and how much I will change. I used to be this fun person with so much life to offer and these days I feel as if I am just trying to stay afloat in a rapid river that’s constantly trying to take me down. I have lost interest in small things like crafting, shopping or discovering new music. My sole goal these days seems to be entertaining and enriching the lives of these dragons. Even if I like something in a store, my immediate thought is… who is going to clean this?

I desperately just need one day of pampering. Just one day. Make me some food that I want to eat, a hot bath in a super clean shiny bathroom, I want to light a candle that smells like Anthropologie… I actually just want to move into Anthropologie. Have you ever seen a kid in there? No…never…it’s bliss.

I am thankful for my friends who are going through this with me. Because my misery loves company and that’s the truth! I’m not alone. This is not my sole plight. This is the plight of all parents who are the primary stay-at-homers. This is the daily struggle. The endless giving without getting anything back in return.

Matt makes dinner in the slow cooker a lot. He also does the laundry a lot. He also works a lot and travels. I’m not without a partner in parenting who is very involved. This is the life we choose and we love it and most days it’s pretty awesome.

But when it’s bad… it feels really bad. We are not alone parents… these fog years… they are just that!

 

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Pregnancy – Surviving Your First Trimester

Tips to survive your first trimester of pregnancyPregnancy – Surviving Your First Trimester. It’s not always a smooth ride during pregnancy and surviving the first trimester. My first pregnancy was pretty easy. I was so lucky. I was still dancing for various projects all over New York City and was always moving. This really helped my body stay in shape and strong and my core was supported by these dance muscles which in turn made me have a lot more energy and feel great.This time around, it’s quite different. I haven’t moved with that professional dancer intensity, since having Thomas and my body has …softened a bit.

The second pregnancy, your body remembers… like the “north” … the body remembers. and even before we realized we were pregnant.. this amazing body of mine was already settling into the 9 months of growth. My belly popped around 18ish weeks and there were a lot more symptoms that tagged along this time around.

My first trimester was a bit rough. Not Princess Kate rough… but pretty rough. I couldn’t sleep, I started having pregnancy migraines, restless legs, and nausea. This summer while in Florida with our family, there were many nights that I just couldn’t sleep. Tossing and turning all night from discomfort.

While most of these symptoms cannot be avoided, you can do small things to help ease the discomfort.

Tips to survive your first trimester of pregnancy

To survive the first trimester of pregnancy you can try to:

  1. Drink tons of water. I would cut up limes and lemons and add to my water. It’s easier to drink with a little flavor but the sour flavors of the limes and lemons really helped soothe my nausea.
  2. Get a maternity pillow or any pillow and place it between your legs. This is crucial. I sleep with a million pillows all around.
  3. Try sleeping at an angle. Laying flat was a bit of a challenge for me just because of nausea and discomfort so again, I piled up pillows all around me to stay slightly at an angle when sleeping.
  4. Ginger biscuits! I could not stand the smell fo ginger tea but ginger biscuits were my saving grace! The crunchy kids because I also didn’t want to eat too much. So small bites of these biscuits always helped.
  5. Find your support system. I am so fortunate to have an amazing husband who is always making sure I’m comfortable and fed and feeling ok. The kids have been brushing my hair or putting lotion on my belly or legs which is also so soothing. My friends have been really wonderful by checking in, offering advice and lending an ear. You need a support system throughout your pregnancy. You need people around you who will just listen to your woes about your body aches and be sympathetic. This is so important. It’s always nice to have people who are willing to listen to what you are going through but so much more while pregnant. Those emotional pregnancy hormones don’t mess around!

The New York Mom

That’s all I have! Yaa! for this sweet preggy babe! Please share your preggy tips with me!

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Halloween DIY craft – Día de Muertos themed painted skulls

It’s halloween and while we have painted and glittered our share of pumpkins, Lily and I decided to do a little something different this season.

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We picked up cardboard skulls from Michaels Arts and Crafts and glittered a few but also gave some the Día de Muertos treatment. Día de Muertos. or Day of the Dead is a mexican holiday which is observered on Nov 1st and is a celebration of family and freinds who have died.

This is also celebrated in other cultures but I love the colors and design and kitchy factor that comes with Día de Muertos.

This is a super simple Halloween craft for kids and adults, while also being educational. So let’s get to it.

You will need:

  • Cardboard Skulls
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint brushes especailly tiny detailed bristles brushes
  • Glitter paint
  • Martha Stewart Liquid Gilding in gold

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DIY_Halloween.JPGSteps:

  1. Give your cardboard skull a full coat of paint. You can give it a double coat if you need.
  2. Start your detailed painting. I looked at images related to Día de Muertos and took inspiration and went for it.
  3. Martha Stewarts Liquid Gilding in Gold is one of my most fave paints ever! It gives a really shiny gold-like color and blings up your skull.
  4. After you have finished painting your skull, let it dry and then add a coat of the glitter paint on top of everything. The new York Mom.JPG

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The New York Mom.JPGSince this is acrylic paint, everything dries really quickly. like in minutes.

Done! That’s it!

These are super easy to make and the end result is really impressive don’t ya think!

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Enjoy! and be sure to share your painted skulls with me.

 

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10 Pregnancy Must Haves

10 Pregnancy Must Haves
You are pregnant! Now what? I’m sharing my top 10 Pregnancy Must-Haves to help with a comfortable 9 months!
Your body is about to go through some pretty amazing changes and some of those changes are not so comfortable. I’m in my 19 week right now and things are slightly meh. My pregnant belly popped last week and since then I’ve been having a tough time fitting into some clothes, mostly pants, and I’ve started having these crazy migraines.
Did you have pregnancy migraines? I have never had migraines and started having them at about week 12.Between these migraines that can last for hours, nausea, the discomfort, the ‘nothing fits me blues’ and getting some sleep… it’s tough to navigate everyday life with kids and your changing body.
Here are a few of my absolute must-haves that have been really helping me get through the days comfortably.
Now, while I do act like a know it all… I probably don’t know it all and I am certainly not a doctor. So please talk to your OB if you have any concerns or questions about your body. I’m not an expert, I only play one online!  
10 Pregnancy Must Haves

Maternity Tank Top – Everything is expanding over here. Including my chest. No really your ribcage literally opens up and expands. So a comfortable tank is my go to these days. I like a little bit of spandex support without feeling too held in… if you know what I mean.
Basq Facial Cleanser – I love this super gentle cleanser for use while pregnant. This can be used anytime but I love that it’s perfect for sensitive hormonal skin like I have now! Basq offers lots of great products like body butter and belly creams that you can choose to add to your beauty routine.

Sleep Eye Patch – A sleep mask has been helping me get some rest lately. Especially when I am having pounding migraines.

 Prenatal Gummy Vitamins – Take care of your bodies mama and also that sweet baby in your belly. Prenatal gummies are a must!

Pregnancy Pillow – I’ve given my pregnancy pillow a name that’s how much I love it. You MUST get this. As your tummy gets bigger you will really appreciate the support when you lay on your side. I also get leg cramps and having this pillow between my legs while I sleep helps soo much!
Poise MicrolinersI know! Things are getting real mama. I love the super thin Poise Microliners for um… unexpected leaks. No joke. While there are many gorgeous goddess like pregnant mamas gracing our Instagram feed, the truth is all those gals are quite possibly fighting leakage too. This is super discreet and they work!

Mexican Coke – Ok, so here is a weird one… but hear me out. My doctor recommended I drink caffeine to help tackle my pregnancy migraines. While I do love drinking coffee… currently can’t stand the smell of it. So I’ve been turning to Mexican Coke for my caffeine fix while having migraines. You have to chug this down. no sipping. Let that caffeine run through your system! Mexican Coke exported to the US is made from real cane sugar as opposed to American coke which is made of High-fructose Corn Syrup. You must get the Mexican Coke sold in the US which is made with cane sugar.
Bio Oil – My favorite oil for everyday use. This is an amazing oil that helps with stretch marks, scars and helps improve aging skin and uneven skin tone. A little goes a long way and you will use this long after you have your baby.

Maternity Underwear – Yea, so get ready for your underwear not fit. Yes, that totally happens. Special maternity underwear sits right below the belly. So comfortable.

Drink bottle – Stay Hydrated! And do it with a pretty bottle. Mama’s you MUST drink water all day. I mix some fresh cut limes with my water and sip sip sip.

 This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. 

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LEGO Ninjago City Adventure in Westchester – Review

LEGOLAND Ninjago

Calling all NINJAS! The much anticipated LEGO Ninjago movie is finally out in theatres and I have one very excited ninja ready to go! To celebrate the film, we headed to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester to experience their new attraction and get a sneak peek of the new LEGO Ninjago City Adventure in Westchester!

LEGOLAND Ninjago

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester has an amazing new attraction – LEGO® Ninjago City Adventure. We headed over on Saturday to check out all the excitement and it did not disappoint. Legoland Westchester is exciting, to begin with, but now with a Ninjago theme, my little Green Ninja was over the moon.

LEGOLAND NinjagoThe new attraction has lots of cool exhibits that we loved. We loved the LEGO 4D film, decoding the secret language of Ninjago with Ninjago characters and even meeting Kai, The Red Ninja of Fire.

LEGOLAND Ninjago

But our favorite was The LEGO® Ninjago City Adventure which is a two story 2300 square foot play area modeled after the Temple of Airjitzu that the kids absolutely loved. In true Ninja training style, the kids loved finding their way through the maze and working on their ninja abilities.

LEGOLAND Ninjago

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester is definitely a not-to-be-missed destination. LEGOLAND is at Ridge Hill shopping center which has a ton of amazing stores and restaurants. The kids love being at LEGOLAND and Matt and I take turns shopping through – Lord and Taylor, H&M, REI, TJ MAXX, Sur La Table, Uniqlo and the super swank new Brooks Brothers Flatiron store!

LEGOLAND Ninjago

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester is in Yonkers, NY and open daily. But be sure to get your tickets in advance if you can because it does get pretty busy. Swing by LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester for all the details.

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Gender Reveal – and the baby is a…

It’s time to reveal the gender of this new bundle of baby! We’ve been trying to find the perfect way to share the news and didn’t quite seem to vibe with any of the ideas that we found. But when we figured it out… it was perfect! Here is our super creative – spur of the moment – gender reveal!

Lily wanted us to make a big deal out of the gender reveal. When she found out that Thomas was a boy, the nurse who was administrating the sonogram just told us in a casual way. She was not impressed. A gender reveal needs to be a big thing, she said.

We didn’t want to do the traditional pink and blue – gender specific thing.  Thomas’ favorite color is pink while Lily’s is blue. The princess/pirate reveal couldn’t work because Thomas loves dressing up like a princess all the time and we didn’t want to define those gender lines. After searching through Pinterest and asking our friends for suggestions… we had nothing.

Matt and I had known the gender for a good 48 hours and hadn’t figure out how to tell the kids… with the pressure of an exciting reveal as requested by the tween… we were all out of ideas! On a whim while running errands at Target… we had an ah-ha moment! We decided to rearrange the letters in their craft section to reveal the big news.

This was the best idea ever!!

Lily was impressed. It was exactly the big Gender Reveal moment she was looking for.

Pure surprise!

The baby is…. a GIRL!!!

The future is Female y’all!

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Best Places for Apple Picking Near New York City

It’s Fall Y’all! Fall is quite possibly THE most beautiful season in the Northeast. Sure we love our summers but the fall with the leaves, and the chill in the air and the apple cider and the cinnamon donuts and the craft fairs and … the silence you have in the home when the kids are back in school! You can see how this is easily my favorite season. To kick off the season, I’m excited to share the Best Places for Apple Picking Near New York City.

Every year we go apple picking several times a season. Living in Northern Westchester, there is no shortage of apple picking orchards all around us. Thomas and I love to go on the weekdays when it’s quite and take our time through the trees, picking the best apples. We make apple pies, apple crumbles, apple juice and simply eat everything we pick pretty fast.

Best Apple Picking In New York

There are lots of lists about the best places to go  so I’m narrowing down mine to a few faves. I have lots of tips and tricks to make your apple picking experience instagram worthy and a memorable fall activity.

Tips:

  1. Plan ahead. Traffic can get pretty intense. Come early in the morning or late in the afternoon for ideal crowd control that 10am time slot is the most coveted which makes the traffic and the orchard insane.
  2. Bring CASH money! Most farms have tons for the kids to do. Hay rides, corn maze, pumpkin toss and of course provisions for the adults – beer, hard cider, and wine is usually served too. There are farm stands with pies, local honey and donuts. So come prepared with some cash!
  3. If you can swing it, go on a weekday. The weekends at most farms within an hour driving distance from NYC can get crazy with lines for everything from hayrides, beer, cider, donuts and even the orchards are overcrowded. Many times the farms will run out of food and booze after you have spent 30 mins in line.
  4. Wear comfy shoes…I know you are all about that instagram feed… but heels in an orchard are just silly. Get your Hunter boots on, some skinny jeans, a cute plaid top, fall hat and done! Comfy and cute.
  5. Call the farm before you to go to see what the apple situation is. Last season there was a shortage and by mid October there was nothing left.
  6. If you know your apples, call the farm to see which varieties are growing right now. To me, an apple is an apple so as long as they are on a tree and tasty, we are good.
  7. Most of these farms have ‘harvest festivals’. Call or swing by their websites to get the info. Most, if not all of these, are run by local families so calling is always better than website info.

Best Apple Picking In New York

Our Favorite Apple Picking Farms:

Westchester County – This is the county that sits directly above Manhattan… it’s the “other” borough. There are a few farms down county but I live in Northern Westchester and these are about a quick 10 minute drive for us.

FISHKILL FARMSFishkill Farm Road, Hopewell JCT, NY 12533 (845) 897-4377

This is our absolute favorite farm!!  We gather up some friends and head up multiple times a year for all the berry picking, apple picking and even just walks around the farm. There are animals, a farm stand and much more.

OUTHOUSE ORCHARDS 139 Hardscrabble Road, Croton Falls (914) 277-3188

This farm is about an hour north of NYC and gets really really REALLLLLY busy on the weekends. They have a ton of activities for all ages with long lines for everything. It’s very popular with “city folk” because of the proximity. On weekdays it’s a great. no crowds but also no activities.

HARVEST MOON FARM AND ORCHARD 130 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem (914) 485-1210 

Harvest Moon is down the road from Outhouse. Same vibe. Super busy with gorgeous rolling hills and amazing views of the orchards. Check their website for evening live music and firepits.

WILKENS FRUIT AND FIR FARM1335 White Hill Road, Yorktown Heights (914) 245-5111 

This is a smaller farm but also popular with the NYC crowd. There is always lots to do with a farm stand for lots of yummy fall treats.

Apple Picking in N

Take a Drive! 

While the places I mentioned earlier in this post are about an hour’s drive north of Manhattan. I HIGHLY recommend going even further up past Westchester County. This gives you a serious dose of the gorgeous scenery that the Hudson Valley holds and the crowds are not nearly as nutty as the farms closer to the city. These two are our faves and if you go on a Saturday, often times there are local craft fairs and antique markets.

KELDER’S FARM5755 Rt 209 Kerhonkson, NY 12446 (845) 626-7137

There is a giant gnome that’s kinda silly fun and there is SOOO much to do for the kids. Goats, ducks, candied apples… and more.

BARTON ORCHARDS63 Apple Tree Ln Poughquag, NY 12570

Another favorite. Gorgeous drive, lots to do and when the leaves are turning it is spectacular. Check their schedule for the Hot Air Balloon fest!

Our family loves to go toward HUDSON, NY and explore some of the smaller farms there. Take a drive up to Red Hook and Rhinebeck and stop at any of the farms along the way.

Happy Fall Y’all!!

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Lucky and Me – Giveaway

Lucky and Me GiveawayI am pretty particular about the fabrics the kids wear. These fabrics are touching their skin, their stinky-sweaty bodies and I just worry about how this is effecting their pores, skin, and overall health. We switched to all cotton long time ago, when Lily was around 5 years old and with Thomas we continue to use mostly cotton clothing. This is especially important when it comes to bedtime wear  and underwear.

Lucky and Me - Giveaway

I’m working with Lucky and Me to give away a fab $75 shopping spree to one lucky reader. We recently discovered Lucky and Me and absolutely love it. All products are made from a super soft organic cotton or cotton blend. We have the cotton tees, briefs and boxers and really love the quality. They only get softer when washed! Lucky and Me has both girls and boys underwear in all styles and colors.

Are you ready for a shopping spree?? Let’s do it.

To enter to win – You must follow the rafflecopter link to enter. Contest ends at 12AM on Saturday 9/16.

Leave only ONE comment on this blog post AND swing by my FB page – New York Mom. 

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. We really do love cotton underwear!! and looove this new brand we discovered. Thanks for stopping by and hearing about the brands who sponsor The New York Mom. 

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Hurricane Stories

Florida Hurricane
Florida Hurricane
I grew up in Florida from the age of 12 until I went to college. I also came back often while in college and we go back every single year for summer and Christmas to see our family.
The Florida panhandle boasts gorgeous white sandy beaches, relaxed life and a kindness from the locals you only find in the south.
I went to school in Tampa and my life existed within the perimeter of the University of South Florida Dance and Theatre Department. My roommate and I woke up to an alligator on our front step one morning… making us late to our 8am ballet class. Traffic stopped on the interstate because of a massive bull alligator chillin on the 4 lane highway and hurricanes were part of our seasonal everyday.
Floridians take and don’t take hurricanes seriously. Kinda like the gators… there are there… everywhere… you just work around them.
I’m worried about my mom, grandma and in-laws in Florida. There are safely tucked away in the Florida Panhandle… a place that I like to refer to as… every hurricane comes right for them!
Have you ever stood in the middle of the ‘eye’ of the hurricane? It’s pretty spectacular. Around all this chaos of heavy screaming winds, sideways rain and darkness comes the pure bright blue calm of the eye of the storm. It’s beautiful. Or how about those moments before the storm starts and every single thing is absolutely S T I L L eerie and stunning. The ‘calm before the storm’ is what they call it.
Florida Hurricane
  • When I was in high school my anatomy teacher would skip school on days before the hurricane so he could go surfing. It was almost as if this was written into his contract. Surf Days are a must. We would go out and watch the surfers tackle some pretty massive waves. 
  • One hurricane we lost power for nine days and my mom had a wooden DIY dollhouse kit sitting untouched so we spent hours by candle light building this house and gluing wooden shingles one by one. We painted it blue and white and it was our amazing project during the dark evenings that followed the hurricane.
  • After one particular hurricane, the roads were destroyed. The roads were just eaten up by the gulf water and you just couldn’t get across from one town to another.  The military was patrolling with tanks and large impressive vehicle to make sure that everyone had food and water and were safe. We had night curfews. Matt somehow sneakily drove across town to see me. That sweet teenage love makes ya do silly things! 
  • We actually drove to Key West during a big tropical storm once. Just to ‘see what it was like‘. Not smart but we were young and fearless. Have you been to the keys? They are a string of islands completely out there in the middle of the ocean. All the islands are small and at the mercy of the water and wind. It was very exciting to experience a tropical storm in Key West, everything shook, everything moved, the winds howled and the next morning trees were down…but the people continued like it was just another day. Pie stands were open, the chickens ran all over the island like nothing happened. Cats came over to ask for food and the big cruise ships docked like any other day.
  • While in college, in Tampa, we would sit on our balcony of our apartment and literally watch the hurricanes roll in. Our neighbors and friends would come over and we would cook all the food we had – ahem.. microwave the frozen food we had… and have these great hurricane parties. Without a care in the world.
These were hurricanes… they came through multiple times a season, they turned into tropical storms or not, we celebrated them and moved on with our lives.
Florida Hurricane
I know people are partying it up in Florida today, you’ve seen the images from the Keys. They are going to ride this storm out. I even know people who are out on the water catching those ‘massive waves’. But Hurricane Irma seems so very intense and I worry about my fellow Floridians. Oh Florida… this might be the big one! Be safe. Check in with us!
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