An Easter Brunch Cruise Around Manhattan

Hornblower The New York Mom

We did something a bit out of the box for easter this year and it was the best thing ever! We went on a cruise around New York City. No matter what time of the year this is a great activity for kids in New York City or just a bucket list item for anyone visiting New York City.

Hornblower The New York Mom

Our family is spread out throughout the country with the main fort being in Florida where our parents and grandparents live. My sister-in-law lives in Brooklyn which can feel like a different state sometimes! Matt usually cooks a great big feast for Easter brunch and we spend the whole day flying kites and riding bikes and planting flowers. This year we didn’t have any family visit us for Easter so Matt and I decided to take an Easter brunch cruise around New York City. Let me just start by saying, this was the BEST IDEA EVER! If you have young kids, an easter cruise with Hornblower Cruises is pretty perfect.

Hornblower The New York Mom
The obvious… no cleaning, cooking, wrangling of children nothing… just show up, have a great time, dance, eat and take in the most incredible views. After church we headed over for our Brunch. It was a quick drive down the west side highway and on Sunday’s there is hardly any traffic.

Hornblower The New York Mom

Upon arriving we were greeted by the Easter Bunny… this was a dancing, skipping, very happy Easter Bunny. Thomas was over the moon. He could not believe that we were about to get on  big boat with THE Easter Bunny.

Our table was set with everything we needed including a chilled bottle of champagne!

Hornblower The New York Mom

Hornblower The New York Mom

The food buffet was great – with a variety of food for everyone. Meats, fish, veggies, pasta, carving station, kid friendly food. A massive dessert table with a chocolate fountain seemed to be the hit. After eating, we headed up to the top of the boat to take in the views. Stunning. If you have never been on a cruise around Manhattan you are missing out. It’s romantic, it’s beautiful and you’ll never have access to these views unless you are in the water.

Hornblower The New York Mom

 

Hornblower The New York Mom

New York CityNew York CityBut wait there is so much more… a live jazz band was playing the entire 2 hours and the floor was packed with little kids and adults dancing! And then…

and then…

Hornblower The New York Mom
The EASTER BUNNY! After the cutest easter egg hunt – on the boat – the Easter Bunny came around and said hi to all the kids and adults and danced and took pictures and had the best time.

Hornblower The New York Mom
The Hornblower stops right in front of the Statue of Liberty for about 15 minutes and the views of this and the photo opps are amazing we didn’t make it out in time because the EggHunt had just ended and the kids were busy counting the loot. Priorities ya know!

Hornblower The New York Mom

Hornblower The New York Mom

Hornblower The New York Mom

Overall, this was a great experience. We would absolutely do this again… even with family visiting. The kids loved it, Matt and I didn’t have to worry about anything and the kids both napped on our  45 minute drive back home.

The staff on the Hornblower was the sweetest and catered to the kids and played along with the Bunny. The Bunny by the way was the real deal… and we snapped the best picture for easter!

Hornblower The New York Mom

Hornblower Cruises operate all year-long and I HIGHLY recommend their cruises for visitors this summer. What an amazing way to end your trip to New York – a dinner or brunch cruise around the greatest city in the world with dancing and champs and great food. It’s such a great time! They also have private charters and all sorts of bundles. Swing by HORNBLOWER CRUISE for more.

*This post is sponsored by Hornblower Cruises. All opinions are mine, we really had a great time* 

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13 Rose Gold Gifts for Mother’s Day

Everything's coming up roses this Mother's Day!

Everything’s coming up roses this May! Rose Gold is having a total moment right now… did you know you could get a rose gold crock pot… it’s sold out everywhere.. but how cool.

Rose Gold can be mixed up with pretty much anything, it’s a subtle metallic that plays nice with all your jewelry and closet must haves. In the home, rose gold adds a bit of fresh glam and is a modern alternative for gold or silver. So this Mothers Day… give your mama roses… Rose Gold…es..s.

  1. Marc by Marc Jacobs rose gold watch can do no wrong… this is the perfect accessory for going casual or dressy. www.LordandTaylor.com
  2. The ZUO forecast ceiling lamp from HOME DEPOT is an easy way to switch up your home decor. HOMEDEPOT.COM
  3.  This Rose Gold Bling Jewelry chevron ring can be bought in multiples and stacked.   BLUEFLY.COM
  4.  You don’t sweat .. you shimmer. So you totally need the S’well metallic collection stainless steel water bottle in rose gold! NORDSTROM.COM
  5.  Treesje Asymmetry Clutch is perfect for an evening out with your honey! BLUEFLY.COM
  6. Work on your fitness in style with the Tori Burch fitbit bracelet. www.saksfifthavenue.com
  7.  Even your work life line is in on the action with the brand spankin new MacBook from Apple. Fashion … meet function!  APPLE.COM
  8.   Lets bring back sparkly bobby pins with the Henri Bendel Petal Crystal Bobby Pin Set. HENRIBENDEL.COM
  9.  Alex and Ani friendship bracelet in rosegold… for our mama friends! ALEXANDANI.COM
  10.  These strappy sandals are perfect for the summer months, throw on a dress and sun hat and you are ready to go. BILLABONG.COM
  11. Even the nails have it! Nars nails polish in pastorale rose gold. SEPHORA.COM
  12. Revlon pro collection curling iron in Rose Gold. I mean… why not! JCPENNEY.COM
  13.   Rose Gold slip-on. why yes! Dress up a simple pair of jeans and tee with this flash set of kicks. STEVEMADDEN.com
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Spring Cleaning in 4 weeks – Week 4

Spring Cleaning

Last week for spring cleaning kids! I am so glad to get this over with aren’t you. I’m not one for cleaning like this. We do Saturday cleans and then when the mood strikes we might do deep cleans of garages, attics and basements. How about you? How is this challenge coming along?

But here we are the last week. yay!

Day 22: change the sheets on all the beds, flip all the mattresses.  I might even buy new pillows.

Day 23: Beat your rugs… yes that’s a thing. You take the rugs out back and give them a good beating. Best way to do it is to hang it off a railing and take a broom and start hitting the rug. All the dust and yucky things just fall off.

Day24: Wash curtains and drapes throughout the house.

Day 25: Clean out the ceiling fans, dust them or wipe the blades down.

Day 26: Clean under the beds. All the beds in the house even the kids. Clean out all that clutter that hangs out under the bed.

Day 27: Clean out your garage. You might need to make this a weekend project depending on the size of your garage and how much stuff you have.

Day 28: deep clean your trusty vacuum that has been through it all!!!

Bonus Day: Buy fresh flowers for all the rooms!!

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Our Neighbor Hillary Clinton – All Politics are Local

#HRC2016
photo credit: Francesca Hagadus

When the future POTUS and her husband elected to move to northern Westchester County after leaving the most famous residence in the world, there was great satisfaction in knowing that the Clintons chose to live in the same community we did.  Of course, this campaign has proven that Hillary’s Chappaqua address is a home away from home before she returns to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. As a New Yorker, Hillary Clinton has served as our senator and the nation’s Secretary of State; she has also worshiped in her local church , and chewed the fat in her local deli. Her generosity has shown her supporting the local food pantry and teaching civics at the local high school.  There’s no debating… Hillary Rodham Clinton is my neighbor, and I approve this message.

#HRC2016
photo credit: Chad David Kraus
#HRC2016
photo credit : Lori Gowen Morton
#HRC2016
photo credit: Chad David Kraus

New Yorkers love the Clintons and this morning for the New York primaries… the town of Chappaqua came out to show some love for our neighbor!

My neighbor Hillary Clinton!

 

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5 Mother’s Day Gifts

Mothers Day Gifts
Mother’s Day will be here before you know it. So I’m starting my gift guides early this year. HINT HINT!! Here are some of my hand picked pieces for the mamas!
one// katespade watch in this mint green is perfect for spring and summer.
two// these Alexis Bittar rough cut crystal earrings are a statement piece while also being really subtle.
three// a coal flap clutch from Nordstrom is perfect for busy gals on the go.
four// function meets art in this gold Jonathan Adler Muse D’Or candle. Who needs anything else for the coffee table when you have this stunnah.
five// i am obsessed with Amrita Singh and her gorgeous collection of Indian themed jewels. I also love an arm full of bracelets so it’s a win!
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Spring Cleaning in 4 weeks – Week 3

Spring Cleaning

It’s week 3 of our 4-week Spring Cleaning Challenge. We are half way there!

Can we just check in for a hot second and talk about how I am totally behind on my spring cleaning. Well actually not so behind I guess. We had a dinner party last week and that pretty much forced us to clean the house like big time. Also… how is that kitchen doing from week one and what about that stack of paperwork on the counter… happy to report that mine is … umm… manageable! But onward and upward spring cleaning troops!

Here is our week 3 cleaning schedule.

Day 15 –Wash bath mats and shower curtain. Switch out the liner and buy new bath mats if you need to. I usually just throw my bath mats away every couple of years.

Day 16 – Clean out your car.

Day 17-  Clean out your fireplace. If you don’t have a fireplace… it’s your lucky day… hang out!

Day 18 – Wash the floors. All your floors. a good steam clean.

Day 19 – Clean the floor boards I just use a washcloth with warm water and wipe down all the floor boards for a quick spruce up.

Day 20 – Clean half the windows in your home. Inside and outside.

Day 21 – Clean the other half of the windows. Inside and outside.

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Spring Cleaning in 4 Weeks – Week 2

Hey kiddies. So how was week one? I have to admit my kitchen blew right back up after the clean. I mean… these kids are cramping my spring cleaning style!

But we keep moving forward… week 2. It’s easier this week I promise.

Ok so this is a general, dusting, moping, switching out of things or the season. So let’s go!

Spring Cleaning in  4 weeks

Day 8 – Wipe all the light-switch plates. All over the house. Some warm water and vinegar should do the trick.

Day 9 – Wash the doors. Vinegar is not too good on wood doors so I would go with a wood cleaner for this one. Sometimes just warm water in a bucket and a dishcloth work.

Day 10 – Wash your windows and mirrors.

Day 11 – Clean the Bathroom. Sink, toilet, bathtub, floor… all of it. Clean all your bathrooms. I do this when the kids are out of the house so I can use all my heavy-duty chemical sprays. Sometimes you need the big guns ya know!

Day 12 – Dust the whole house. Yep… the entire house. On top of the piano, the cabinets, ceiling fans, dresser tables… all of it.

Day 13– Move the furniture and vacuum the house. Under couches, beds, dressers. get it done.

Day 14 – Plant some flowers! Yay. This is part of spring cleaning too… I guess. but take a day off to plant flowers!

 

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How to clean with Vinegar and Water

It’s day 4 of our Spring Cleaning plan and as promised here is the vinegar and water cleaning solution I mentioned in my post about cleaning your kitchen.I don’t by any means want to give you the impression that I clean with vinegar and water exclusively… but it is my everyday go to. For bathroom cleanup… a little lysol and bleach never hurt anyone!

Vinegar and Water solutions are amazing for cleaning pretty much anything. It’s also safe and eco-friendly.  There are a few things you cannot clean with vinegar and I’ll mention those later. My go-to is equal parts warm water and vinegar, I have this in a spray bottle or in a bowl and use a little dish rag to wipe things down.

unsplash

But let’s get specific shall we, this week we are working on the kitchen so lets focus on vinegar + water solution for kitchens.

  • Drains: Simply pour vinegar down your drains… about 2 – 3 cups…let it sit for a bit… like 30 minutes and then run your tap on cold to flush it out.
  • Dishwasher: Lets disinfect and clean the interior of the machine. I usually place a small bowl filled with vinegar on the bottom rack of the dishwasher and run it on empty cycle. But i have heard that you can pour about  ½ cup vinegar into the reservoir and run an empty cycle. Your call.
  • Coffeemaker: We have a Keurig and this works really well to clean out all those parts that you never see. I like to pour equal parts vinegar and water into the water chamber and hit the ‘brew’ button.This makes a bubbling noise and all kinds of funny things seem to be happening in the Keurig.  Don’t drain it but let it sit for about 30 mins.  After it sits, turn the brew back on to heat up the water and run the cycles until all the liquid is drained. Then fill the water chamber with ONLY water, brew and run again to cleanse out the solution.
  • Floors: Kitchen floors get so gross and we have wood floors, so we don’t use vinegar – because it strips the wood. But if you don’t have wood floors, then add 1/4 cup vinegar to a small bucket of warm water. use a rag to clean the floors.
  • Glassware: Cleaning your wine glasses to be shiny and spotless can be such a challenge but your trusty friend vinegar comes to the rescue. Add 1 cup of vinegar to your sink that’s filled with warm water. Shiny glasses!

Things you should NOT clean with vinegar!

  • Marble and Granite countertops
  • Hardwood Floors
  • Stone Floors
  •  Iron

Have fun with your spring cleaning! Get some tunes cranked up and go for it! Follow along on our Spring Cleaning plan! 

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Screening of The Little Prince at Jacob Burns Film Center

Lily and I attended a very special sneak- peak screening of the new film The Little Prince. This gorgeous stop motion animation film is inspired by the ever popular children’s book – The Little Prince.

Academy Award Wining Direct Mark Osbourne… a local neighbor up here in the burbs… takes us into a very relatable story but one with a lot of magic. The film was screened for a very special event at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY

The Little Prince is a story of a girl and her single mother. The mother works hard to provide the very best for the child – buying a house in the best school district, scheduling and over scheduling the child so she’s exposed to every single academic experience… all the while.. forgetting about the fun and color and emotion of life. A neighbor.. the Aviator… introduces the child to the world of the Little Prince.

This film is pure art work. From the ideas presented in visual and emotional capacity to the beautiful music and message of the film. It’s a MUST SEE.

I can’t even truly being to express the imagery and the emotion this film exudes… so I’ve attached the trailer for you to view.

This film sticks to you and inspires you and for kids… it opens up a new creative pathway and thinking outside the ‘scheduled’ box. This is a somber film, with a few humorous moments to break it up. It’s thought-provoking and the imagery is just stunning. The film opens with the narrator telling us a story of the first drawing he made as a child. _ it was of a boa constrictor eating an Elephant. Elephant was in the long narrow belly of the Boa and when the narrator presents this image to a class of his peers… they think it’s a hat. This film encourages us to look outside the box… or rather live our entire lives outside the box. Actually get rid of the box entirely! It’s a great reminder to stay forever young… and as a parent… to keep reminding our children that childhood is for creating and creativity and freedom and magic.

Before the screening we met Mark Osbourne and he chatted about the process and had a few of the original clay structures used for the film. Fun Fact : Director Mark Osbourne’s son is the voice of the Little prince in the film. His son was helping out when the film was being created and they loved it so much that they kept him in!

The Little prince runs 108 minutes and is rated PG.

After the screening we walked across the street to the Jacob Burns Media lab for an afternoon of crafting movie making, and digital creativity. The media Lab has some amazing digital creative programs for kids of all ages. Lily’s fave has always been the claymation station.

Swing by JACOB BURNS FILM CENTER to learn all about their amazing film schedule and Media Arts Lab.

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Spring Cleaning in 4 Weeks – Week One.

Photo Via Unsplash

It’s springtime and I am busy opening windows, decluttering and changing out the seasons. ( P.S. – don’t mind the snowstorm happening outside the window!) I’m all about spring cleaning and find this yearly cleanse so very important to my personal space. So I’ve created a great new Spring Cleaning Plan for us all to follow along… if you want to. which you should because it would be fun to do it together!

It’s a 4 week plan… so all of April, and each week we focus on one main part of the house. I’ll give you a week by week plan 7 days at a time.  Now, it’s kinda intense but when MAY gets here you will be soon ready for springtime! Look ahead!

If you plan on posting your progress or want to brag about your cleaning achievements, then please post pics on the NEW YORK MOM Facebook Page and use hashtag #TNYMspringcleaning … let’s go.

WEEK ONE: the heart of the home – KITCHEN ( dun dun duuuun)

  • day 1 – Clean out and scrub down your fridge. ignore the piles of paperwork or the dishes… clean out the fridge. stay on task.
  • day 2 – Pantry – toss out the expired food. No one is judging you, just throw it away for the love of your family. Wipe down your pantry while you are at it. Ignore that pile of paperwork, on the countertop, staring at you.
  • day 3 – Clean your kitchen sink – clean around the faucet, clean out the dish soap holder, maybe switch out the nasty sponge or dish brush and clean out under the sink. Yes the place where ‘Mr. Yuck’ lives, clean it out. Wipe it down, throw away all those extra glass vases. keep like 3. Side eye to paper clutter on the countertop.
  • day 4 – Clean the microwave, oven and dishwasher. and a toaster oven if you have it. I clean everything with vinegar and water but there are tons of ways to clean your appliances just do a quick search. ( I’ll post something about how to clean this when we get to-day 4) Stop staring at me counter top clutter, your turn is coming up soon.
  • day 5- Clean out your garbage can in the kitchen, Wash it out, wipe it clean, spray some disinfectant… get that thing clean. Also wipe down your kitchen walls especially the area around the stove. I do the hot water, vinegar treatment but look up other ways if you’d rather.
  • day 6- almost done kids. That pile of clutter! finally! yaaay. tackle that stuff. go through that pile of paper, random office supply object or whatever and find a home for everything or throw it away. Do you really need all those office pens? no… not at all.While you are tackling paper clutter take a little look over at that fridge… let’s try to clean up those school memo’s art projects, spelling tests…etc.
  • day 7 – Kitchen floors and countertops. Move everything off the countertops and give it a good hot water and vinegar scrub down. wipe it all clean and shiny and place only the things you need back. Everything else… like that quesadilla maker can be stored in a cabinet.

That’s it you guys. 7 days. we can do it. I’m doing this with you. so let’s go!

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