Photo Series ~ Making Friends at The Zoo

New York Mom
Family Travel Bronx Zoo
Don’t grow up!

This past weekend we went to the Bronx Zoo, like we do most weeks, and Thomas fed the animals like he always does… but this time… he actually got into it, and instead of throwing the food at the goats he held his hand out and let the goats slurp the food up from his tiny chubby hand.

Here’s a quick photo series to capture this FIRST! #22months

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Feeding Goats
I’m surprised he didn’t have his little chubby hand chomped off!

 * This post is not sponsored. Images have no filter or edits on them and were taken with my iphone5s * 

 

 

 

 

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Family Travel ~ Glamping with Firelight Camps

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Last weekend we headed up to New York’s gorgeous Finger Lake region for a little camping. ..ahem… glamping!

You know just us and nature, in a tent, with a king sized bed for Matt and i and a Full sized bed for Thomas and Lily, down comforters, fire pit, bocce ball… you know… glamping!

So glamping… for those of you who are ‘ pitch your own tent’ purists… is glamorous camping = glam-ping.

So if you are up for a family adventure within the tri-state… i’ve got one for you!

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We headed up to Firelight Camps, founded by Food Network star Emma Frisch and her husband Robert in Ithaca, NY.  It took us about 3 hours to get there which was perfectly fine because the drive up the Hudson Valley was absolutely stunning. The mountains were on FIE-YAH  with the changing of the leaves.

Our evening started out with a Wine Tasting Hour, which lasted a little over an hour 😉

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A warm cozy fire, hammocks, lazy couches all made way for a beautiful night under the stars. Our tent, which really is a tent, just reinforced and had a deck and other amenities, reminded me of one of those magic tents which pop up from time to time in the Harry POtter movies. You know when Hermoine, Ron and Harry all are travelling everywhere to track down Lord Voldemort and have to find the holcruxes… i digress.

The tent was like from a story book.

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The lack of electricity in the tents was pretty magical. After all this IS …you know… camping. This lack of techy distractions allowed all of us to truly stop everything and just be with each other and laugh and tell scary stories. The pitch back cold evening was spent chatting  and playing games in remote control LED flickering candle-light and little lanterns.  Lily brought her dolls and played with them while Matt and I sat on the back deck and watched the stars.

There are tons of hiking trails right off your campsite, daily hiking tours like edible walks are all coordinated through the very helpful staff.

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While your tent does not have a restroom, there is a very clean, spa like communal restroom, bath, lounge, sauna a quick walk from your tent. Lily loved walking in the pitch dark with her lantern , just to go to the bathroom. The main lounge area with the fire pit, bar, hammocks…etc is open 24 hours. A complimentary organic breakfast is served every morning in the communal lounge. Of course we had breakfast in our PJ’s!

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A few things to note: While you do feel like you are out in the woods, you can still hear the car on the highway or roads nearby. This was a bit distracting when we were trying to just enjoy the quite and the crickets. While we didn’t have heaters in our tents, there are heaters in tents. We loooved being chilly but were totally fine when we were under the big down comforters.

We really enjoyed our experience at Firelight Camps. Rates start at $155 a night which is very reasonable for the whole experience. Imagine a couples get away, girls weekend or just a family recharge trip.

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Swing by FIRELIGHTS CAMPS for more deets.

* A press accommodation was offered for purposes of this review. All opinions are my own*

 

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Why is Your Child Watching Breaking Bad Anyway

The latest outrage in the parental world has been set off after a mother in Florida came across a Breaking Bad character doll at Toys r Us. This doll was holding his character appropriate prop… a bag of meth.

Gasp!

Breaking Bad
This image was grabbed from Barnes and Noble .com where the doll is now being sold.

Sit down for a second, and let’s have a talk about dolls.

I don’t find anything wrong with a major toy retailer carrying this character doll; it isn’t meant for kids and it’s not a big deal.

Doesn’t Toys R Us also sell “Mature Rated” Video Games which are behind lock and key. So why are we even discussing this silly plastic toy!

And more to the point… Why is your child watching Breaking Bad anyway?

And if you child is not watching Breaking Bad, did you throw a fit in the aisles of Toys r Us—right there between the Barbies and the Legos—to point out that the little thing he’s carrying isn’t his lunch… but a bag of meth?

And then did you proceed to explain what a bag of meth was to your young child who is or isn’t watching Breaking Bad?

Did you get all that?

I was at Target yesterday and came across a Game Of Thrones figure.

No meth bag, but Tyrion Lannister did have some sharp weapons of destruction. I grabbed the toy and excitedly showed it to my 9YO. She looked at it, shrugged and we moved on. See, my 9YO is not watching Game of Thrones, so this figure meant nothing to her. But to me, an obsessed fan of the show, this action figure would be a pretty cool gift in my stocking this year.

You see, toys are not just for kids, toys are for everyone and I think it’s the parents’ responsibility to censor this stuff in their homes. We parents make these decisions—like not watching a meth show with your kids—and so a Breaking Bad character doll holding a bag of meth is the least of our problems. I could hop onto my soapbox for hours but I think you get it.

Just so I wasn’t alone in opinion I called up my friend and toy industry expert, Chris Bryne from TTPM.com – a leading toy review website. Chris is the author of Toy Time – a history of toys,  and knows the toy industry like no other. I wanted to see what his thoughts were on this whole debacle. Chris: “These figures have been on the market for more than two years, so it’s a little late to suddenly be upset about this. They are sold in very small quantities and are clearly marked for older consumers. They are not, and never have been, intended for children.

He goes to talk to about the wild cult-like purchasing network of these dolls online – “They are completely sold out, and they are now being sold by third-party vendors for many multiples of their original price. From a business standpoint, I would say that this has backfired. Fans of the series—who are the target audience for these products—are now snapping them. Because they never knew they existed before.” (Meanwhile, Toys R Us has since taken this toy off the shelves.)

So tell me folks… where do you stand on this?

Do you think the whole outrage was silly or is there something I’m missing in my point of view?

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Lands’ End – Women’s Spring Preview

We’re previewing Women’s Spring 2015 with Lands’ End! Yep … winter is not even here yet and the fashion world has moved on to next spring.

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Lands’ End Spring 2015 is bringing the floral back in a new way. There are lots of floral and print mixing, simple classic lines and basics which have been upgraded with a slight modern flare.

 

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TheNewYorkMom.JPGI am not one for floral print, My small frame and short stature make me look like a walking meadow when I have on a full floral garb. But i do like the way Lands’ End has mixed striped shorts with floral cardis and popped collar blazers with casual shorts. The mix of high and low within the brand makes it much more accessible and wearable.

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I like the mix of classic and modern, high and low, casual and dressy. Lands’ End makes pieces which can be worn through the years and that’s a great win for the wallet and your wardrobe! TheNewYorkMom

Lands End Preview Spring

I am loving the outdoor/fitness line from Lands End. The colors, seams and cuts of these pieces are generous without losing the style factor. They have pieces for swim, hike, running… all things outdoors.

The New York Mompink thread project – From totes and towels to cardigans and shirts – through October 31, 2014, when you apply one of six pink thread icons on any Lands’ End item that can be embroidered,75% of the $6.00 embroidery application fee will be donated to Breastcancer.orgThe new York Mom

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The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

 

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One of the most popular fall events here in the tri state is the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze up in Westchester County. This is an annual sold out event where tickets sell out within days for the 28 days of the Blaze.

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This year Verizon gifted us with tickets and we were thrilled. For the 10 years the Blaze has been blazing… we have never gotten our act together to attend. Before I tell you more…  i want to take a moment to brag. The Blaze was started by my friend Michael Natiello who is also the creative director.  This man is a genius I tell ya. not only that.. he’s got some mad pumpkin skills!

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The Great Jack O Lantern Blaze is a walking event where spectators walk through a whole garden of amazing themes made entirely out of pumpkins… and lights… you need lights to light the pumpkins. Although there were a pretty substantial amount of pumpkins with real candles and fire and all of it. It’s incredibly impressive and you almost forget that these structures like dinosaurs, and bridges and snakes and witches are created out of carved pumpkins. IMG_2528.JPG

The Blaze celebrates 10 years this year! Happy Birthday!

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The Blaze boasts over 10,000 live pumpkins.. and who know how many craft pumpkins. Michael and his team start working on the non live carving in june and everyday during the blaze there is a team of 15 – 20 people who are replacing the rotted ones.

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While there were just waaay too many scenes to capture, I did want to share a few of my faves. I looooved the Sleepy Hollow bridge with the carvings of Washington Irving and his characters.

IMG_2520.JPGLily loved the fairies… yep fairies and pixies galore!

All these images were taken with my trusty iphone5s – which is my life line. * This post is sponsored by Verizon* 

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I don’t know if there are any tickets left to the Blaze but if there are… snatch em up! And thanks to our sponsor VERIZON for this fab experience. I have been a Verizon customer for a decade! and the service has never let me down. The New York Mom

 

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Creation Clebration with Fiskars and Champions For Kids

*This post is sponsored by Fiskars*

 

There is no shortage of crafting supplies in this home. Also there is never a lack of unfinished craft projects lying around the house. Lily and I have some sort of art project happening almost everyday and on the weekends when friends come over to visit… they get in on the action as well.

This past weekend we had our friends over with a special cause in mind. We hosted a Creation Celebration to support  sponsored by Fiskars. Each person was asked to bring their own crafting supplies to donate to a local teacher or organization. We choose our church. After an afternoon of crafting, we gathered up our crayons and coloring books and scissors and glue and dropped them off at our church’s sunday school. We choose our local church to donate art supplies to because they have great youth programs for the kids and crafts are a big part of these programs.

If you have visited this blog even more than once you know that the arts and arts education and arts anything overflow through our veins. The importance of arts and just sitting and drawing, singing, dancing .. .glittering … anything is valuable beyond measure. Let the kids create!!!

We all know Fiskars for their fab scissors for kids which are the #1 teacher recommended brand; Ninety-six percent of teachers recommending a scissors brand on their school supply lists recommend Fiskars. Founded in Finland in 1649, Fiskars turns 365 years old in 2014! How awesome! Fiskars kids scissors have an antimicrobial handle protection inhibits the growth of bacterial odors and helps prevent product deterioration and accommodates right- and left-handed users. 

To find our more about how to get involved with Champions for Kids and the Creation Celebration with Fiskars follow this link —> http://championsforkids.org/fiskars

 

“I participated in this program on behalf of Champions for Kids, Fiskars and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.”

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Off fishing!

This poor blog hasn’t seen any sort of love for a week! Yikes! I’ve been out fishing!
Not really.
We’ve been running on FULL since school started back in September.
4th grade is proving to be quite busy and the homework is driving me nuts! Our weekends are filled with fall adventures, pumpkins, apples, and just long drives up the Hudson valley to see the foliage.
Thomas is 2 months away from his 2nd birthday! This is so sad and so exciting and I don’t know how to feel about it all. I remember when lily was that age and it’s the sweetest time! The terrible twos are not so terrible… When you compare it to the terrible 9’s !
Ah this life of mine is happening faster than I would like! I wish time would just stop for a few days so I could love on these babies a bit more. IMG_1919.JPG

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Jumping into Fall with Bogs Footwear + Giveaway!

The New York Mom * This post is sponsored by BOGS Footwear. Stick around until the end for a fab giveaway* 

Bogs Footwear
SHOES: BOGSfootwear – JEGGINGS: Joes Jeans – WHITE TEE: Target – PLAID: Madewell – HAIR: Hotmess!

The New York Mom

The New York Mom

Fall is here y’all! October has to be my most favorite month of the entire year! The leaves are turning, the air has a cool crispness to it, pumpkins are out on porches, apple cider, pumpkin pie.. boots! Boots and scarfs and sweaters oh my! I love fall.

Over the weekend we headed up the Hudson Valley to pick apples, drink cider, eat donuts and just take in the gorgeous sunny day!

The New York Mom

We always head up to Outhouse Orchards or Harvest Moon. And this year it was sorta disappointing. No apples to be picked, the lines for the cider and donuts was so long that we skipped it and the whole farm was a total mess of jumpy castles and consumerism. So we skipped the farmstand and all the madness and just headed up to the orchards to play. ( some of these photos are from a pumpkin patch we visited to find our perfect pumpkin!)The New York Mom

Lily and her monkey ways…climbed every single tree she saw.. which being in an orchard… she climbed a ton of trees. Thomas would just walk under the apple trees and pick up apples which had fallen and take a bite out of them. He also played in the dirt and collected lots of stones. Which is one his #1 pastimes these days. Lily used to be a “stone hunter” one upon a time so it only makes sense that her younger brother has taken up the family collection! The New York Mom  The New York Mom The New York Mom

Fall just wakes me up. I guess every changing of the season is a new birth is sorts and that newness is not lost on me. I love Fall though. I love the smell, the lazy days, the hot drinks. We leave our windows open all season and bundle up late into the night with our hot toddy’s while watching some BBC show. The BBC shows are good for the fall season as well. *just a tip*

The New York Mom

I’m thrilled to tell you about my latest collaboration with BogsFootwear. The kids and I have been outfitted with pieces from their fall line up and we love them. The kid shoes have bright colors for that childhood whimsy, classic colors are included as well for dapper dudes like Thomas. The women’s shoes are a mix of fashion and function and SUCH a better option than clunky goloshes. So babies, toddler, tweens, teens. women and men can all find what they need at BOGS.

The Bogs fall boots are water repellant and snow proof. That’s pretty awesome because they are not clunky like other boots and hug the foot just right so you won’t slip and slide in the snow with your socks and boots on. But mainly… the sleep lines. I have the pearl tall boots which are waterproof leather… yep you read that right! and love these tan jems!

The New York Mom

We have loved our BOGS so very much that I am offering one lucky reader a $100 giftcard toward a pair of shoes. Go check em out… and get your winter boots asap!

How to enter do one or all. You can enter once a day! Use #NYMGiveawayBOGS

  • Leave a comment on this post.
  • Head over to Instagram and regram the contest image and follow other steps.
  • Repost this post on your social outlets saying – Win a $100 giftcard for BOGS Footwear from TheNewYorkMom.com #NYMGiveawayBOGS
  • Contest ends – October 15, midnight eastern time. US only.  CONTEST OVER!

Congrats to Kristi – from twitter!!

*This post is sponsored by BOGS FOOTWEAR*  

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16 Must-Have Baby Gear Trends From ABC Kids Expo

Last month I headed off to Las Vegas – on behalf of TTPM.com – for the annual ABC Kids Expo, which provides its thousands of attendees—from businesses large and small to journalists, bloggers, and trendsetters—a sneak peek at what are sure to be some of the hottest trends and products coming to baby next year.

The event was massive and covered two HUGE floors of the Las Vegas Convention Center. I went to nearly every single booth and chatted up nearly every single vendor to hand pick my favorite finds for the show.

TTPM Baby

This year, strollers seemed to take the cake for new gear in the spotlight. And while these wheeled vehicles dominated the floor, there were other products that caught our attention at this year’s show. I have narrowed the thousands down to a fiercely curated 16 items to look out for in 2015.

Head over to TTPM to get the full scoop! It’s goood!

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