Swim Class Fail

The new york mom

So swim class for Thomas is not working out as I imagined.

He loves the water but for swim class, he’s not interested. His coaches are super sweet and one of the coaches – Charles- has totally taken a liking for Thomas, But this MOTO of mine prefers to go to the deep end with me and ballroom dance to me singing – i could have danced all night – from My Fair Lady.

He’s a lovah not a fightah ! nor a Swimmah! 

The New York Mom

Last week he started jumping. So his latest has been jumping into the water. Only problem is that he can’t jump , so he sorta face plants in the water but I hold him and make him jump. and he thinks he’s jumping. Charles – his coach – is very supportive and claps his hands and encourages the face plant style jump into the water!

I almost forgot to mention… he is in love with my friend who brings her daughter to swim class and will sit next to her and gently touch her shoulder and say who knows what to her. If I ask him to kick for her, his little legs work overtime to impress my friend… my mom friend!

But all that said, we are sticking with swim class because it gets us up in the morning and has us out of our PJ’s! Summer days are sometimes lazy around here, so having some place to be is always a good thing for all of our sanity!

The New York Mom

 

Happy Summer everyone… it’s almost over! And it was soooooo good this year!

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American Girl Samantha Doll – Be Forever – Giveaway

The New York MomThe highly anticipated wait is over! American Girl is releasing… from the archives… one of their most popular dolls …Samantha Parkington!  Samantha is one of American Girl’s original dolls and has been in the archives since 2008. She totally sold out the year they announced she was being put away for a bit. So imagine how exciting this release is for fans.

On August 28, American Girl is releasing a newly enhanced historical line called Be Forever.

To celebrate the Be Forever launch American Girl is releasing Samantha Parkington!

Be Forever debuts with 8 characters, each with new historically accurate stories, attire and accessories. Additionally a ” choose your own adventure” style book will accompany these dolls. These books are really great as they take the reader into everyday scenarios from the era pertaining to the doll. Lily has been pouring over these books for days. It’s a win!

The New York Mom

We were sent Samantha last week for review. Lily was over the moon when she realized that she has one of the very FIRST dolls…before they are even available in stores!

We have a very personal connection to Samantha. We lived in a sweet town in Northern Westchester  called Mount Kisco, NY for about 10 years. There in Mount Kisco is where Samantha Parkington’s story is told. The house where the character lives still stands to this day and has always been one of my favorite houses in town.The New York MomLily has always hoped that she would someday get the Samantha Doll and take her to visit ‘ her’ house.

Over the weekend, we did just that. I hope you enjoy these pictures of Samantha’s House as much as we loved visiting. ( people actually live in this house so please don’t go trespassing!)  In the books – Samantha lives in Mount Bedford ,which is exactly where we were! Lily was over the moon. We love the American Girl books because of the history lesson which is snuck in there but to stand in front of the house and really be part of it was pretty special.

The New York Mom

The Be Forever line and Samantha Parkington will be available instores and online on August 28.

Alright so now for the good stuff! We’re giving away a SAMANTHA PARKINGTON doll!! Yes!!!

There are 2 ways to enter:

1- Share this post via FB or Twitter or both with this info: Samantha is back!! Hope to win an American Girl Samantha Doll from @thenewyorkmom #beforever #NYMgiveaway http://ow.ly/AMj3J 

2- INSTAGRAM – Head over to Instagram and repost this image and follow thenewyorkmom! You can also find this image on my feed —>  thenewyorkmom

Contest ends – Tuesday September 2nd at Midnight Eastern Time. US only. 

WE HAVE A WINNER!!! VALARIE J YOU WIN! An email is in your FB message folder!  PLease reply back ASAP. Thanks everyone for entering this contest… more coming soon!

The New York Mom

 

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Tween Style File – H&M

The New York Mom

This week’s Tween Style File is brought to you by H&M. We loooove H&M. The clothes are really fun and on trend without that massive price tag. Whether it’s Thomas or Lily- Never a trip to H&M happens without a purchase.

The New York Mom

The New York Mom

The New York Mom

The New York Mom

Lily is wearing – A cotton print dress $.4.95, Jean Jacket from Forever21 for $20, Faux Birks from Old Navy $14.

 

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Where Is My Village?

It Takes a Village to Raise A Child.

An african proverb + a book authored by Hillary Clinton + a mantra among parental units.

But where is MY village.

Now, before you get defensive, please remember that this post is solely MY point of view. It’s MY personal experience and I do not… as a parent to a baby and a tween … i DO NOT have the time to research all ends of this argument.

This is a crazy, pressure-paced world in 2014 and navigating all the madness of parenting is scary, exhausting, confusing and lonely.

So here goes… Where Is My Village?

The New York Mom

I was at our town pool recently. This is a hub of ‘mom with kids’ activity. I always end up “meeting” a mom at the pool. We have amazing conversations. we connect, we laugh, we tell stories, we share toys with our kids…and then we leave.

Back to our homes in the afternoon.

I always wonder… are other moms sitting at home in their primary-color-filled-playrooms, overflowing with toys… lonely?

Are you in your home with  your babe playing dollies or choo choo, following a daily routine, all alone?

I have NEVER in my life borrowed “sugar from a neighbor”.

Are those days over? I never experienced those days.

This village which people speak of, this village where I myself grew up..might be an urban legend because I have never come across this culture as a parent.

We have now lived in our new neighborhood for 2 years and I STILL don’t know my neighbors. It’s not from a lack of trying. I am always outside with the kids eager to hang on to any morsel of conversation that anyone is willing to throw my way. But nothing. One of our neighbors drops off yummy tomatoes and veggies from his garden, he even hands them to us over the fence. But last week I found out that he has been a grandfather for 15 months! Another neighbor has a daughter who is Lily’s best friend but we don’t know them – the parents – at all. Yet another neighbor has boys who are Lily’s age and are always playing outside but never takes the time to stop and say hello to me when I am outside with the kids. Our church family is great… but saved for  Sundays, not social otherwise.

I yearn for MY village! In an attempt to find my village I joined a mom group. I love it! It’s actually my lifeline most weeks. From the over 60+ members I have made ONE connection…after a whole year of being a part of the group.

When we first moved to our new community I was so hopeful. we had our local coffee shop, Tuesday music on the green, a gorgeous town park to walk through, town pool, soccer… all of it. But it seems like a short-lived mirage.

We live in a really old house which used to have a front porch. Probably a proud glorious friendly front porch which has now been enclosed and made into a light filled indoor space. The alternatives are back decks, with privacy which keep us inside our own world and not engaging with our neighbors.

Growing up in India and also in Florida – the village was there. In highschool i felt like everywhere I went, i had one of my moms friends there either working or coordinating or doing something at any given location. My school life was integrated with our neighborhood so neighbors picked up kids, borrowed sugar, had house parties, kept an eye on all the kids and built them self a village.

I don’t have a village and it’s not from lack of trying. I have tried… I have tried for 2 years and it seems as if everyone around us has settled into a rhythm and routine over time and new people in the neighborhood like me have no room.

So I ask, Is there any sense of a village in the year 2014?

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Dinner and a Broadway show with my fave gal – American Girl Summer

*This post is sponsored by American Girl*

Recently Lily and I had a date! I treated her to a broadway show and dinner at the American Girl Cafe in NYC. We went to see Aladdin on Broadway and then waltzed over to 5th avenue to the American Girl Store to have a fancy schmancy dinner. What A Treat!!!

IMG_7183 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe caught the train into Manhattan, wearing matching clothes of course! Lily noticed that we matched right away and didn’t seem to mind at all. She said SHE looked like a colleger because she was wearing what I was. ( i am waaay older than a colleger so it was an awesome compliment).

We walked from Penn Station to the Aladdin theatre in Times Square and she loved the hustle and bustle of the big city. Since we live in NY we don’t go to midtown… always downtown, so being with the crowds of tourisits and crazy characters coming after you is always exciting for Lily.

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Aladdin was magical, awesome, fun , funny and a true treat for the visual sense. A review of the show is coming up in a separate post. Go see live theatre. There is truly nothing like it. Your senses, your mind, your body… your creative spark are all restored when you see live theatre.

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Lily loooved Aladdin. She loved the flying carpet, she loved the genie, she loves the glitter costumes. All of it. I loved seeing the look on her face – totally engaged, engrossed in the moment – during the ENTIRE 2hour show!

After the show we had an hour to kill so we did a little bit of shopping before dinner. Shopping is a must when you are on 5th ave on a date with your fave gal.

Dinner at the American Girl Cafe is magical. The kids … and parents… are made to feel so very special. When you walk into the cafe, you are personally greeted by a friendly staff member who then escorts you to your table. If you have a doll, a high chair for the doll is provided. If you don’t have your doll with you, you can borrow any one of the american girl dolls or bitty babies. An appetizer, pink lemonade, yummy entree and fancy dessert all come out like clock work. Never missing a beat. Lily was certainly the star, the staff make the kids feel like they are the most important and special people in the room. The whole experience is a MUST if you have an American Girl fan.

Our adventure was through the American Girl Summer activities which American Girl Stores offer in all major cities. We picked Aladdin and Dinner and hope to go back for the Ballet and Dinner.  These packages are priced very reasonably considering the value and are a really great deal even if you aren’t part of the American Girl world. Read about our HARBOR CRUISE with American Girl. 

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Summer is not yet over, so you can certainly get in on these fab deals.

As for me… My date with my sweet Lily was absolutely magical!

 * This post is sponsored by American Girl. All opinions are my own. Thanks a ton for swinging by and hearing about my sponsors* 

 

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H&M Home Store

You guys!!! The H&M home department on 5th avenue is amazing!

H&M Home H&M home

So here is the scoop… H&M home was launched online a while back and now you can find it in select stores… the 5Th ave flagship being the mothership! It’s pretty awesome and everything you would expect from HM Home.

And don’t forget to check out the kids home stuff on the kids floor! I want it all!

Head over to MOMGONESTYLE for full coverage!

 

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Summer Don’t End!

The New York MomWe have 3 weeks before school starts again and this sweet pea of mine is heading off to the 4th grade. I love having her home for the summer. We schedule a blend of sleep away camp and family get aways with day trips and endless craft projects and I miss that when she is in school. This summer was our first with Thomas being active and running around and it was very different. He kept both of us on our toes with his ninja escaping methods but we caught him every time. Lily is such a gem with him. He asks her for candy all the time or asks her to ‘please’ turn on the choo-choo on the tv or computer. And there have been endless sing-alongs to “let it go”.

I’ve loved every single moment.

Summer don’t end!

 

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Schoola – 20 days of school | part 2

The New York Mom

I was in the Marching Band in High School. This was my entire life for my teen years. My social, emotional and educational life were all intertwined in marching band. Anyone who is in a marching band will know that the hours and hours and endless weekends of rehearsal are just the icing on the cake. Kids in Marching band are taught life lessons in discipline, art, perseverance and hard knocks … without even knowing it.  It look back on those years fondly and only wish Lily and Thomas can be part of such a program in the future. While there is no marching band in elementary school, there is a school orchestra and Lily is a proud member. She is loving her trumpet lessons and her concert last year was pretty impressive when you consider the little rehearsal time these kids get.

Arts are an essential part of learning and I am thrilled that Lily has these opportunities at her school.

Earlier this month I had shared the incredible creative efforts SCHOOLA is working on this back to school season and thought I would swing by for a second gentle reminder about this great program.

Schoola is an online consignment store  which sells only  brand name kids clothes. A portion of the proceeds goes to schools in need and I’ve chosen KIPP Academy and their music program. 

Here’s how this works. Simply shop for back to school stuff at SCHOOLA and money will go right to KIPP ELEMENTARY.

  • For every transaction made from Schoola, Schoola will donate $1 to the KIPP Academy.
  • For every person who requests a donation bag, Schoola will donate $1 to the KIPP Academy.
  • For every clothing donation made from Schoola and when you fill out your school information ( a school you’d like to support), $2 of every $5 made will go back to the school that you support.

Follow this link so we can help KIPP Academy! —> SCHOOLA

It’s going to take so little to make such a big difference!!!

This post is brought to you by Schoola, the best place to buy discounted kids clothes all while give back to schools in need. Click here to learn more about Schoola. Click here to see what people are saying.

 

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Top 20 Baby Gear Items With TTPMbaby

Hey you guys… mama has a new gig! I’m heading up the BABY department over at TTPM.com

And here is my very first article. TOP 20 PRODUCTS TO HELP YOUR GET READY FOR BABY!!!

My top 20 items of the moment. I see every possible baby product on the market and these are my top 20 right now. I’ve taken price, quality, design, functionality, easy of assembly and of course whimsy into consideration. We have pretty much every single of these products in our home and use it daily.

Jump over to… TTPMbaby.. for the complete article!

Hope this is helpful and please swing by www.ttpm.com and say hi!!!

TTPMbaby

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Make Something Monday – Seashell Art

We just got back from a week on Shelter Island and that means one thing… a whole lotta sea shells!

I decided to make a sweet monogram piece of art for our back stairwell with all the gorgeous shells I found. This is a great way to create a tangible memory of your beautiful beachy vacation. It’s also a wonderful way to get the kids involved in a family project. I did this alone… because mama needed some ‘me’ time! 

This easy craft can take on any form you want. You can spell words out, make a design, color the shells and then glue them onto the canvas… whatever your creative mind chooses.

Seashell DIYMake Something Monday

Alright let’s get started.

You need:

  • A canvas – we always buy ours at Michaels Arts and Crafts when they are on super sale, so there is never a shortage of canvas in this house.
  • Shells you collected at your beach,
  • Modpodge – or any sort of super glue.
  • *** i decided to add color at the last-minute*** pick any acrylic paint you like.
  • Foam brush. Foam brushes are cheap and again stock up on them at Michaels when they have the 25 for $1 sale.

SeaShell DIY

Step 1: Figure out your design. and “map’ it out on the canvas just to give you an idea of how many shells you need and to balance it all out.

Step 2: Paint your canvas. Feel free to add a second coat to get a richer color.

Step 3: After the paint is dry, just lay your design on the canvas and move the shells around to where you want on the canvas, Using modpodge or any glue, glue your shells onto the canvas.

Done! A gorgeous work of art which will also help you remember your fab beach vacation!

I hope you take time this week to MAKE SOMETHING!!! Art is good for the soul mamas!

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