Happy Everything!

Happy Happy Everything you guys! I have been absolutely blissfully missing these past few days. It’s truly refreshing to just check out of all online shenanigans for a few days. We’ve been enjoying Christmas with our family in Florida. Eating mama’s biryani, pork curry and lot of tasty South Indian food. Matt and I have also stopped over at our local Oyster pub for our $6.95 per dozen oysters fix. These Appalachicola bay Oysters are somethign else!

Lily and Thomas have been showered with what seems to be never ending gifts and the love that surrounds them is truly such a blessing. We’re busy spending long lazy days with our families, eating, laughing and just being… offline.

2013 started out with  new life in our home. Thom was such a peanut and Lily was only 7! These days, our one year old Thom is walking all around the house and Lilypie is 8…going on “i know it all”. Our lives have just zipped by so very fast this past year but all along the way we made sure to stop, enjoy a nice glass of wine, collect some seashells, eat lots of oysters and have big belly laughs! I am blessed to have this sweet family of mine. And all the people who surround us everyday!

I do hope that you, dear reader, are able to take some time to go hug on your sweet ones who surround you everyday!

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Christmas Gift List – 5 Favorite Specialty Toys

For all you last-minute lads and lasses, like me, I have picked 5 of my most fave toys for this gifting season.

Christmas is 5 days away and if you have not found that special something for your littles then don’t fear. I got ya covered. These are 5 of my favorite specialty toys. So instead of ordering online… just stop by your local small business mom and pop kids toy store and pick up these gems!

All these exist in our home and are loved and used everyday. Also the quality is superb and there is no battery in sight!

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TEGU Magnetic blocks. These come in various sets in colors and quantity and are awesome! and they are magnetic!
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Kickboard Mini Micro 3 in 1 scooter. $114 Grows with your kid!
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My Puzzle tis of thee – all wooden. fun and educational! $69
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Thames and Kosmos Physics set. $50 There are a whole variety of science kits in this line and all are really great with instructions to engage the 8+ ages. Lily loves these!
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Schylling Musical Hand Bells – These are such fun! Lily loves these. An instruction booklet is included with a handful of songs you can play. $35

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in the details

Tonight I found out that one of my friends from my dancing days has stage 4 cancer and was expected to live for 6 months… 12 months ago.

Today is his birthday.

He’s alive and sick and very much dying. but very much living!

He writes a beautiful blog where he has been tracking his cancer treatments. I’m not going to “out” my friend nor am I going to share his blog with you. It’s his story and it’s beautiful and his photos are stunning and his blog a true gem much like him. His love for photography and brilliance of choreography and just love for the details of life is very alive in his writing and imagery.

I’ve spent the better part of 2 hours reading and going through his blog this evening.

God is in the details. Have you heard that phrase. Someone said that to me once and I just kinda smiled and nodded. Tonight this phrase is on the very forefront of my mind.

I complain about my daily life a lot… like a whole lot. While I love this life of mine, I sometimes get sucked into some sort of all day everyday pity party that i just can’t to seem to leave. It’s easy to throw pity parties when one is home with a young baby all day…most days.

But I feel changed since reading my friends blog. He has that sort of effect on people. When we danced together, I had a similar awakening in my art because of concepts and ideas he introduced.  And today… years later…I am once again touched and moved by his story and his words. So no complaints. I am going to celebrate the everyday… the details.

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God my friends… is in the details. Not in the big flashy moments… but in the quiet simple moments. The everyday moments, the daily grind moments and most certainly in unexpected moments.

Fare thee well my dear dear friend. Hope you live out your days just exactly the way you want to… riding your bike very fast!

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2 little monkeys jumping on the bed.

We’ve been so stir crazy in this house lately. Between Thomas being sick and the weather hitting below freezing almost everyday. This winter has been brutal…and it’s only early December!

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So what’s a monkey to do when she’s stir crazy! Jump on the bed of course!

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Thom is a quick learner and was up and trying his very best to join in the jumping fun.  These bitter cold days have sort of been fun… we have been spending time snuggled up in bed or reading books in the afternoons and of course spending endless hours in our PJ’s.

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I think we should all spend time jumping on beds don’t you! Every time we go on vacation and stay in a hotel room, the first thing we do is JUMP ON THE BED!!! all of us!

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I love having Lily and Thom is matching clothes. With Lily being an 8-year-old, these matchy matchy days are numbered. I have to squeeze it all in!

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We got our matching Pj’s at Polarn O. Pyret. The fabrics are so soft and the designs are super simple but classic.

I was invited to head over to their store in Tribeca last month for a media shop. Oh what fun! I picked out a pair of moccasins for Thomas, a couple pair of pants, tops, and striped PJ’s. While there are prints and sweaters and all sorts of options, I picked the classic P.O.P. stripes. Seeing these pics makes me want to be part of the matchy party! I shoulda picked up a pair for myself! 

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You can also visit POLARN o PYRET online. They are always having fab deals!

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for swinging by and supporting my sponsors*

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Week in pics as seen through my Iphone 5s

Ok this Elf on the Shelf business is intense! I’m not sure we are going to do this with the MOTO. What do you think? Are you Team Elf?20131215-232144.jpg

Thomas has been sick all week. He woke up crying at 1:30AM on Wednesday with a fever of 103. YIKES! buuut this apparently is not a biggie and the Dr. did not seem to be worried. He still has a nasty cold and we just need to get the humidifiers up and poppin! 20131215-232211.jpg

Finally asleep. This has also been a week of NO SLEEP! I wake up exhausted everyday!20131215-232238.jpg

We had our first giant snow storm of the winter. I looove snow storms! Thomas… sick and all… went out in the snow to experience his first! and he loved it. Also this Stanley flask is no joke… it’s the size of my sweet moto!! 20131215-232256.jpg

We had a big ole grown up meeting with the principal and both of Lily’s teachers. It’s a tough thing when your kid is getting bullied in school. I’m going to write about this. It’s (bullying) a really important subject that needs a whole lot more attention than it’s getting. 20131215-232317.jpg

uh huh- we TRIED to make a gingerbread house…but Lily ate most of it before we could assemble it. so…..

We love the Trader Joes gingerbread house. It’s a Hansel and Gretel Gingerbread House. With a witch, Hansel and Gretel and everything! 20131215-232341.jpg

NYC in the snow storm as seen through the windows of the LIRR. Gorgeous. 20131215-232357.jpg

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Baby’s First Birthday

So we made it through the first 12 months of this sweet man’s life… and he’s still alive and kickin!

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To celebrate, we invited a few of our sweet friends and their littles to come eat some yummy cake and have some drinks and spend an afternoon with us.

Thomas’s birthday party was DIY all the way. Lily and I made many of the decorative elements, like the cupcakes and sprinkles with gold glitter on top. Our DIY glitter fringe photo booth was a huge hit! and overall it was home-made… just like I like it.

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Lily and i are going to do a few DIY posts in the coming days to share how we made everything. I could craft all day! Maybe one day when I’m old and grey…i’ll bring out my glitter collection and glitter up my walking stick!

Our party was themed as a – Gentleman’s Bowtie Party- It was really cute to see all these little kiddies in their bowties! 

On Thomas’s actual birthday we kept it just between us. Lily picked out the menu for the evening. Gingerbread-man pasta with red sauce and a salad. It was a sweet evening, We reminissed about the night he was born and how we were all nervous and how much fun she had staying with my brother and running around the hospital with Aunt Becky and Dita.

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Lily was thrilled when Thom ” came out”, she took on her most important role… a big sister. Our sweet family of four is so perfect and cute that at times I just can’t believe it’s all real. Keeping up with Lily and Thomas and Jonah is such fun… exhausting and we are always late to everything…but fun.

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Happy Birthday my sweet little man -man Thomas you little gundu baby! Here’s to a whole lifetime of cupcakes with gold sprinkles and lots of adventures with your sweet sister!

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Holiday Gift Guide for Kids 2013

Alright… here we go folks. The mama – jama gift list for you and your littles. I mean these toys are handpicked by me with the utmost of thought behind play, creativity, longevity and education for your child. This is one of many gift lists coming out this year. These are some of the MUST HAVE toys for 2013.

I work in the toy review business with THE most premiere company for toy reviews and testing. So please head over to Time To Play Mag to check out thousands of reviews on baby gear and toys and books. Because of my job, I have hundreds of toys come through my desk each week. For this reason… I am in the know… ya know.

So here goes.

1. Kidoozie Funtime Tractor – $37.99 –

Kidoozie-Kidoozie-Funtime-TractorThis is SUCH a charming toy. Push the tractor chimney and the tractor moves forward. Thom has LOOOVED this toy. It also plays songs and all the animals make noises. Plus I like the quality of this toy. It’s rugged and will last you a while. The plastic is the good kind!

2. Calico Critters – Luxury Townhouse – $89.95

Calico CrittersI love these critters and this luxury townhouse has it all. The lights actually turn off and on, one of the panels can be moved to create a whole new room. It’s so charming with cute details. the critters are sold separately.

3.Barbie – Pony Train and Ride Horse Playset – $50

Holiday_Gift_Guide_kids alright… this is SUPER cool. This is an interactive doll and horse set where the horse walks, bows and stops on Barbie command. her hand movements make all these things happen. SOO cool!

4.Maxim Ever Earth Workbench $26.99 –

Holiday_Gift_Guide_kidsThis wooden set is really cute for all those little tinkers in your world. Thomas has loved this and sometimes i even find Lily banging around on it! The wooden pieces really function..except the saw..because then you will have a fingerless kids and what not. I love this toy!

5. Dora the Explorer – Sizzling Surprises Kitchen. $59.99

Holiday_Gift_Guide_kidsSuper cute, sturdy kitchen that sizzles and talks in both english and spanish. It’s cute for that Dora fan. And pretty sturdy compared to previous Dora kitchens.

6. Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Crawl Around Car – $50

Holiday_Gift_Guide_kidsThomas just can’t get enough of this car! It’s so cute especially for little kids with tiny little chubby legs and big round bellies like my sweet man-man. Thomas loves to open the door and get inside the car or just climb in head first. It’s plays sounds and has a shape sorter and a horn and ignition key that makes a rrrr sound. Super cute and you will get a lot of play for your little one. Thomas started playing with this at 9 months.

7. Bravo Sports Pulse electric scooter -$125

Holiday_Gift_Guide_kidsThis is on Lily’s MUST HAVE list this Christmas. I love this scooter. It charges into your electric socket and has a 45 minute charge, also really easy to manuever and goes pretty fast when you twist the handle. You’re going to make one kid very happy with this sweet ride. I recommend for ages 8 and above. with a helmet!

8. Hess Toy Truck and Tractor -$27.99

Holiday_Gift_Guide_kidsThis toy is a classic. Generations of kids are gifted with the newest Hess Truck each year and it’s a whole collectible thing. This year the Hess truck is a flatbed with a tractor on board. The tractor makes sounds and moves forward and backwards.

* All of these toys were sent to me for purposes of this guide. I have more gift guides coming up so keep it right here! All opinions are my own.*

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Little Luxuries

My sweet little Thomas is sick today. He’s a bit clammy and warm and his teeth are hurting him. After taking Lily to school this morning, I came home and snuggled up back in bed with him and he fell asleep right on my belly.

His little body is so uncomfortable that when I put him down in his bed he immediately wakes and cries. So I’ve decided to say – forget the day- and here i am  in bed with him for as long as it takes. It’s humbly to think that to my sweet little Thomas, I’m the only one who can calm his ailing body by letting him lay on my chest.

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AS I was thumbing through my online bookmarks, I came across this beautiful and touching article about the over 22,000 homeless children in NYC. This number is staggering and it’s only KIDS… not the parents or the numerous others.

If you have a moment to read today, please read this article. INVISIBLE CHILD. it will move you to tears and make you really grateful for all your luxuries. There are so many children – like this article stated- who have no place to live and no oxygen to breathe. And that poor baby who is being kept warm by a hairdryer…It’s heartbreaking.

Makes me want to run out and help… but how! We help through our church but I feel like I need to find a more direct way to get involved.

My sweet Thom, sick on this bitterly cold day in New York… has all the warmth, comfort and care he could possibly need. I am so thankful to have this life of mine and feel blessed that my sweet children don’t have to worry about meals and warmth and basic comforts. and that i can be home and just lay here in bed with soothing my sick baby.

Count your blessings… I count mine everyday.

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8 things about me

You know how this whole thing is going around on crackbook where you ‘like’ someones status and then they give you a number and then you have to expose things about you … as many as the number.

So instead of blasting this out to my poor unwitting “friends” on crackbook, i figured I would share this with you… dear unwitting reader.

I was given the number 8.

Here goes:

  1. I don’t like chocolate or anything sweet. I opt for the cheese platter and a nice glass of port for dessert.
  2. I loooove cheese and mushrooms. That mushroom wall at EATALY is my dream come true!
  3. I danced for Britney Spears, BackStreet Boys and Justin Timberlake… back in the day! Yet these days. no one cares. . I also had a really amazing successful dane company and we did amazing things and changed peoples perspectives on art and dance and social concepts. So it’s almost as if all that hard work in my dance life was for nothing
  4. I am not at all afraid of heights and love anything that has to do with heights – roller coasters, trapeze, silks, harness…everything except bungee jumping. Because my dance – kinesiology- training thinks bungee jumping is a sin!
  5. As much as I love my sweet babies, I miss my dance life more than I can put into words. It’s like I mourn my ‘other’ self most days. I’m trying desperately to be that person again but am very afraid that, that girl is long gone. waaaa ( violin playing)
  6. I’m a sucker for fairy tales and vampire lore.
  7. I don’t like celebrities. I spent many years working at a job where I ‘babysat’ celebrities and hid their dirty wacky secrets from the gossip mags and it made me realize that most celebs are the worst kind of people. I quit my job by saying… my soul needed to be happy.
  8. I look at everything as a choreographed dance to a lovely symphony! I once created a whole 25 minute piece on traffic patterns at Astor Place in the east Village here in NYC. I set this piece on many college dance departments!

And scene. Now you know!

—> here is a quick snippet of one of my most fave pieces I choreographed!

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one.

Guess who turned one today!!! I’m trying to write a post but it’s so sappy and weepy and I just can’t edit!

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One year ago… this sweet man was born into our lives. A year later I just can’t imagine our lives without him. I can’t imagine Lily not being a big sister. She is his protector and guardian and has already taken to teaching him all sorts of fun amazing things… like eating icing and jumping on the bed. Her kisses are magical and Thomas just lights up when he so much as hears her voice. His little body hops off the floor as he kicks his legs and wiggles in excitement at the mere sound of Lily’s voice. Almost every single day Lily comes home from school..singing. I can hear her outside the house and so can Thom. She tickles him to no end and when she stops he looks at her and in his own baby language… asks for more. The giggles are the sweetest sounds this earth could ever capture.

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I can’t imagine Jonah not having someone to play with all day. Thomas crawls all over his giant furry body and gives him hugs or uses him as him own personal gym… and my sweet Jonah sits there and lets him do whatever he wants. Thomas shares his toys with Jonah… but Jonah… not so much.

baby first yearThese two were linked from the very beginning and their relationship continues to build every moment. A dog and his boy… there’s nothing better.

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I love watching Matt with Thomas. I love watching Matt with Lily. But holding this baby and caring for him through all the midnight crying and diapers… Matt is a nurturer and Thom, Lily and I are most blessed to have him take care of us the way he does. Thom, like Lily, is a daddy’s boy. he recognizes the sound of Matt’s feet coming up the stairs and immediately goes into an excitement tizzy. When he sees Matt… he all but leaps out of my arms to give his daddy a huge hug. Lily does the same. Thom has Matt’s calm demeanor. My friend  said – I see you in his face but I see matt in his eyes and his thoughts. I think this is pretty accurate. Thomas, like Matt, is a thinker. He sits back and observes everything and then… just goes for it. No trial and error… just does it right the first try.20131204-175709.jpg

from his aunts and uncles, grandparents and great-grandmother who surround him and pray for him all the time… this little man is blessed.

In Lily’s words – ‘I’m glad YOU are the one who came out Thomas”.

Happy Birthday my sweet MOTO. This world is better with you in it!

* apologies for the typos and spelling errors. this is the umteenth draft and it’s the least sappy and weepy.* 

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