New York is a Winter Wonderland…

The New York MomWe had the most magical snowstorm over the weekend. Winter storm Jonah stopped by to drop off mounds and mounds of white powder and we loved every moment of it!

The New York MomWhile New York City is nothing but slush puddles and gross snow mountains… here in the burbs…the ground is still covered in a blanket of glistening snow while shiny icicles hang from the edges of the house.

It’s amazing how a bit of snow makes us come to a complete halt. It literally takes a force of nature for us humans to slow down and enjoy our lives.

The trains weren’t running, power was out, schools have been cancelled and it snowed for over 24 hours straight. The kids spent most of their time outside in this wintry wonderland. Jonah, our snow mountain dog, of course was in his element. Finally after a winter that has been in the 50’s and 60’s we have snow!

The New York Mom

Lily has had enough of my – I’m never in any pictures –  complaints and got behind the camera to snap a few pictures dancing in the snow.

Yes I’m in shorts…in the snow… i know! But honestly when it snows.. the temps are not that bad… it’s only in the mid 30’s ya know. and I had some intense snow boots and had a super thin insulated winter zip up hoodie on… so I was good. my shorts were totally fine! I can’t stand wearing all the winter clothing… ugh! Just thinking about all those layers makes me feel claustrophobic!

The kids however were totally bundled up… head to toe. Do as I say not as I do. The New York MomDSC_0198
I hope you ran out and played in the snow!! I can’t wait for more snow days!

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Valentines Day D.I.Y.

Valentines DIY

I’m sharing a super cute Valentines Day DIY over on PROVISIONS MAG . SO head on over to get the full scoop. Valentines DIYLily and I made the cutest valentines day crafts over the last few snow days. These turned out sooo much better than I ever anticipated. A little glue and paint and glitter makes it all better!

Valentines DIYLily didn’t get any of the ” battlefield love” phrasing references and made her own version… cuteness!

The new york mom DIYHead on over to PROVISIONS MAG for the full -how to- guide.

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Family Travel – Weekend in Newport, Rhode Island

The New York MomMatt has been out-of-town for work so much lately that we feel we never get to see him. So instead of staying home and tackling some of our home reno projects, we decided to pack up the kids, grabbed an overnight bag and headed north to Newport Rhode Island for the weekend. It’s a quick 2.5 hour drive from our house and we pass through quaint New England towns and outlets stores… it was a win. Anyone with kids will tell you that you MUST find a hotel with a pool and so we did. Seems like everyone else had the same idea because the hotel was PACKED with kids and the pool was super busy every time we went.

Our family loves to travel and weekend trips are our favorite sort of traveling. They are quick, hardly any packing needed but the trip is the perfect amount of “getaway” for us. Newport is cold in the winter and the night we arrived they were hit with a bit of a snow storm. It was beautiful and we walked in the snow to dinner which the kids thought was the coolest thing ever.

We dined at the Brick Alley Pub and Restaurant which was OK. I would not recommend going there. ( keeping it real people because it has great marks on Yelp and we fell for it)

The service was awful, food was mediocre, my Lobster roll while overflowing with lobster was drowning in mayo so you barely tasted the lobster.  We were in a pinch and it was ok. The kids didn’t catch on to any of this and had a fun time. So it wasn’t a total loss!

The next morning we braved the freezing winds to take a short… very short walk on the cliffs to enjoy the mansions. These homes are spectacular. The sheer size and detail to even the gates and stonework is noteworthy.

For lunch we stopped by the Midtown Oyster Bar.

Highly recommend this restaurant! Service was super friendly, food was fresh and stylized. We had the smoked fish platter, fried oyster burger with Gruyère cheese, a soup and the Bermuda Fish Chowder. The funky scene with the modern feel was perfect for a cold winter day. The raw bar looked amazing and there is a deck upstairs which i’m sure offer some pretty gorgeous views of the harbor. definitely revisiting this spot in the summer.

That’s basically what we did. The kids spent a lot of time swimming in the hotel pool, Matt and I took turns relaxing, we ate great seafood and explored the town and had a leisurely drive back home including a stop at the Williams Sonoma outlet store to pick up kitchen gadgets that we didn’t need but are so cool!

I hope you get to escape sometimes. It’s so important. We didn’t spend a lot of money. We booked our hotel through Expedia and got a great rate at a hotel located near the shops and restaurants and just winged it from there. A little yelp, a little getting lost on the scenic drive and lots of seafood! We have to go back when the weather warms up because I am a cold weather wimp!

Have a great weekend everyone… here’s to wanderlust!

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Home Renovation – Kitchen Inspiration

We bought a house… in an amazing neighborhood… but it’s kinda old… and needs some updates. So i’m gonna put my – wanna be HGTV host – hat on (actually would be a dream of mine to be a HGTV host) and start tearing down some walls and painting some ceilings and talking about pipes and plumbing, screws and drill bits and even go salvage some barnyard wood! I hope to have a series of posts about our renovation as we get started and get going. First up on our Home Renovation – Kitchen Inspiration.

Home Reno Here We Go!

While some projects need a contractor like the kitchen and tearing down a wall in the basement and potentially a deck expansion… there are lots of little projects throughout the house that I am looking forward to tackling myself.

I have soooooo many questions for you all. So please would you chime in and add your expertise!

The biggest and most expensive project is our kitchen. We want to tear the wall down and make it an open concept kitchen with white cabinets, subway tile backsplash and white and grey quartz, granite, or marble. Trying to weigh all the pros and cons. Probably not marble since it chips and stains easily. I know that white kitchens are on trend right now but I’ve always loved white kitchens. There is a great spot in New York City in the LES called Schillers Liqour Bar. It used to be a staple for us back in the day. You feel like you’ve stepped into a Parisian cafe when you walk in there. I’ve always been inspired by their decor and hope to get this kitchen reflecting some of that style.

I’ve been pinning like crazy… of course… and have found no shortage of all white/subway tile/grey and white granite counter tops. yeesh! but still it’s going to be my white kitchen!

Image via - Cup Of Joe
Image via – Cup Of Joe

I’m loving the open shelving but is it practical? Do you have open shelving? does it get cluttered? do you have to dust often? do things fall on your head when you grab for stuff? tell me please!

Image Via: Decoholic
Image Via: Decoholic

And then i want to know if we should do a butcher block island. Have you done this? I love the look of a massive butcher block top island with seating on one side. Is this hard to clean? your thoughts?

Image via - Lonny Magazine
Image via – Lonny Magazine

This layout is basically what our kitchen will end up looking like. minus the gorgeous windows because we have double door going out to the deck. I love it. don’t you. I don’t like the pendant lights in this design and I think we want something a bit more simple and almost farmhousey… we’ll see.

So excited! Do you have any tips, ideas, nightmare kitchen reno stories to share? Let’s chat!

Image via - Home Bunch
Image via – Home Bunch
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Dr. Martin Luther King Story Told by a 5YO

Lily shared this years ago when she was 5. She came home from school that day and couldn’t believe the story she was told. Even when she was a young 5 year old her ‘change maker’ heart was working overtime.

It’s a very significant day in the history of this country. And given the clown show of a political candidate we have spewing hatred right now… the message of MLK is even more important to remember these days.

 

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Colorful Cold Weather Must Haves.

Colorful Cold -Weather Must Haves

Who said that winter clothing has to be dark and gloomy? I’m sharing a few of my favorite Colorful Cold Weather Must Haves. While I do admit to my share of olive-green and black coats and boots, I also have some cheery colors to wake up the cold days of the season. A pop of color here and there not only cheers you up but also adds a bit of flare to your sad winter wardrobe! Who says fashion takes a break in the winter…not I! Let’s give our Winter fashion some color! These first three months of the year are pretty brutal here in New York with temps dropping down to the single digits and once you add the wind chill to this, it’s coooooold. While layering seems to be the best way to tackle the temps, a few good cold weather pieces are always a good idea. Each of these picks are tried and true to keep your face from turning blue! ( droppin rhymes) .

 

1.

Under Armour beanie cap
$22 – nordstrom.com
2.

3.

FRR red leather glove
furhatworld.com
4.

5.

 

This is NOT a sponsored post but I was sent several of these products for editorial review. 

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A Dog and His Boy #beastandmoto

I keep getting asked to post more photos of Jonah and Thomas and I am so flattered! They seem to have their own fan base from far and wide! I want to keep to my organic photo philosophy and try to never ‘stage’ photos. I just capture these moments as they happen. All with my iPhone right in the moment. So the photos are grainy and there is clutter in the background and the lighting is off… but it’s real! A dog and his boy!

Follow me on Instagram to get all the pics!  #beastandmoto



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Travel Guide: 5 Things to Do in The Catskills

These cold days of winter don’t have to freeze your wanderlust kids! Being in the New York City metro area, there is no shortage of day trips, weekend jaunts, and self guided retreat getaways. Our family loves to explore. We are adventurers and even though we don’t always have the time to head off to far off exotic locations, we have discovered lots to do within a 5 hour radius of NYC.

This post is sponsored by the Catskill Mountain Foundation. Thanks for stopping by and keeping up with our adventures and also hearing about our sponsors. 

About 2.5 hours north of Manhattan you will find the glorious Catskills. The Catskill region of New York State boasts hiking trails for days, views where the heavens meet the earth, sunsets, art, handmade goods and food. The culinary selection alone warrants a trip up to the mountains. There is plenty to do in this region and kids will love exploring the untouched nature while adults will just enjoy the quiet and coziness of the towns. With winding roads, charming quaint towns, waterfalls, and the stillness of nightfall… a weekend in the Catskills is a must any time of the year.

5 Things to do in the Catskills:

  1. New York Zipline Adventures–  An afternoon zip lining through the treetops high above the catskills sounds like the best adventure and whether you are a seasoned zipliner  or beginner there is something for everyone here. We had a great 2 hours zipping from treetops and down the mountain.

 2. Right in the heart of Tannersville among the colorful Victorian lined shop fronts is the Orpheum Film & Performing Arts Center. This state of the art performance center has a performance season to rival that in NYC. From modern dance to theatre and even the first ever Nutcracker with area students, this arts center is the root of this bustling charming town.

3. The town of Woodstock, NY has artists making their one of a kind wares, toy stores, restaurants and a picturesque downtown. Great for restaurants and lazy strolls, Woodstock is a must on your weekend adventure.

 

The New York Mom

4. Deer Mountain Inn – Nothing is missing in the Catskills and that includes a luxurious retreat. The Deer Mountain Inn is a 6 room lodge with 2 additional cottages on the grounds. This gorgeous Inn doesn’t miss a beat. As you walk in the door to the Inn you are immediately transported by the decor and scents that welcome you. The staff and grounds are all perfectly maintained to give guests a true sense of escape. Dinner at the Inn is a must, from cozy fireplaces to the decadent menu, this is a true foodie spot when in the Catskills.

5. We can’t mention the Catskills without the Hiking. There are waterfalls, climbs, flat trails, and something for every level. My favorite is the Kaaterskill Falls. Simply stunning!

I hope you found this travel guide to the Catskills helpful and hopefully it inspired you to explore the New York Region!

Thanks to the Catskill Mountain Foundation for sponsoring this trip. 

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Back to School with The Kissing Hand

Thomas started a new school today and now that he’s 3 he goes to the ‘preschool’ program. The monkey is most nervous and anxious for him and read him – the kissing hand – tonight. It’s the same book we read to her before the first day of school every year! It’s a great book for calming those back to school anxieties.

 

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, is a book about Chester the Raccoon who is nervous about his first day of school. Him mama plants a kiss in the palm of his hand and says, ‘ overtime you get sad put your palm against your cheek and think mommy loves you, mommy loves you.”

It’s the sweetest and before Thomas headed off to school this morning… Lily gave him a sweet kissing hand reminder.

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The New York Mom

Hi… we’re back from a long break for the holidays with our families – parents, grandparents, brothers, in-laws, cousins and puppy dogs!

Our life has been running on a pretty fantastic rhythm lately. We have settled into a great house in a great town, we have a lit of fun  renovations coming up, we have friends, family, health, laughter and we are good. The kids are happy and inspired. Matt is inspired and challenged at his job and I am surrounded by creative, encouraging people around every corner.

As we make our way into 2016, I’m not making any resolutions for this new year. I’m done with those.

Besides I’m not really good at keeping resolutions anyway.

Have you ever kept a resolution ever… have you even made it past the first week? eeks!

I haven’t… so this year… I am taking all the pressure off the expected stamp of failure and just not making a resolution.

I am however… the plot twist… I am making lots of short-term small goals for myself… small-short-term goals that will add up to a pretty productive year.

Things like –

– Reading books to Lily, who is now 10 and about to turn 11 and i totally take bed time for granted with her and focus all the energy into getting Thomas settled and she heads off to bed alone. Her teacher always reminds me… and all the parents of 5th graders… “remember, they are only 10! “. Still very much kids.

– I am going to slow down and take it easy. I’m saying NO to gigs and opportunities that come my way often and focusing on just a couple big projects for this year.

– I want to cook more. Yes me… gasp… believe it. I’m going to figure out how to cook and may even use my fancy mandolin or egg poacher I bought on sale from Williams Sonoma!

That’s it. Small simple, everyday, short-term goals that [ will hopefully ] add up to great big things.

What about you? What’s new for you in 2016? Hope its full of magic, adventure and laughs! The New York Mom

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