Gender Reveal – and the baby is a…

It’s time to reveal the gender of this new bundle of baby! We’ve been trying to find the perfect way to share the news and didn’t quite seem to vibe with any of the ideas that we found. But when we figured it out… it was perfect! Here is our super creative – spur of the moment – gender reveal!

Lily wanted us to make a big deal out of the gender reveal. When she found out that Thomas was a boy, the nurse who was administrating the sonogram just told us in a casual way. She was not impressed. A gender reveal needs to be a big thing, she said.

We didn’t want to do the traditional pink and blue – gender specific thing.  Thomas’ favorite color is pink while Lily’s is blue. The princess/pirate reveal couldn’t work because Thomas loves dressing up like a princess all the time and we didn’t want to define those gender lines. After searching through Pinterest and asking our friends for suggestions… we had nothing.

Matt and I had known the gender for a good 48 hours and hadn’t figure out how to tell the kids… with the pressure of an exciting reveal as requested by the tween… we were all out of ideas! On a whim while running errands at Target… we had an ah-ha moment! We decided to rearrange the letters in their craft section to reveal the big news.

This was the best idea ever!!

Lily was impressed. It was exactly the big Gender Reveal moment she was looking for.

Pure surprise!

The baby is…. a GIRL!!!

The future is Female y’all!

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Best Places for Apple Picking Near New York City

Best Apple Picking In New York

It’s Fall Y’all! Fall is quite possibly THE most beautiful season in the Northeast. Sure we love our summers but the fall with the leaves, and the chill in the air and the apple cider and the cinnamon donuts and the craft fairs and … the silence you have in the home when the kids are back in school! You can see how this is easily my favorite season. To kick off the season, I’m excited to share the Best Places for Apple Picking Near New York City.

Every year we go apple picking several times a season. Living in Northern Westchester, there is no shortage of apple picking orchards all around us. Thomas and I love to go on the weekdays when it’s quite and take our time through the trees, picking the best apples. We make apple pies, apple crumbles, apple juice and simply eat everything we pick pretty fast.

Best Apple Picking In New York

There are lots of lists about the best places to go  so I’m narrowing down mine to a few faves. I have lots of tips and tricks to make your apple picking experience instagram worthy and a memorable fall activity.

Tips:

  1. Plan ahead. Traffic can get pretty intense. Come early in the morning or late in the afternoon for ideal crowd control that 10am time slot is the most coveted which makes the traffic and the orchard insane.
  2. Bring CASH money! Most farms have tons for the kids to do. Hay rides, corn maze, pumpkin toss and of course provisions for the adults – beer, hard cider, and wine is usually served too. There are farm stands with pies, local honey and donuts. So come prepared with some cash!
  3. If you can swing it, go on a weekday. The weekends at most farms within an hour driving distance from NYC can get crazy with lines for everything from hayrides, beer, cider, donuts and even the orchards are overcrowded. Many times the farms will run out of food and booze after you have spent 30 mins in line.
  4. Wear comfy shoes…I know you are all about that instagram feed… but heels in an orchard are just silly. Get your Hunter boots on, some skinny jeans, a cute plaid top, fall hat and done! Comfy and cute.
  5. Call the farm before you to go to see what the apple situation is. Last season there was a shortage and by mid October there was nothing left.
  6. If you know your apples, call the farm to see which varieties are growing right now. To me, an apple is an apple so as long as they are on a tree and tasty, we are good.
  7. Most of these farms have ‘harvest festivals’. Call or swing by their websites to get the info. Most, if not all of these, are run by local families so calling is always better than website info.

Best Apple Picking In New York

Our Favorite Apple Picking Farms:

Westchester County – This is the county that sits directly above Manhattan… it’s the “other” borough. There are a few farms down county but I live in Northern Westchester and these are about a quick 10 minute drive for us.

FISHKILL FARMS Fishkill Farm Road, Hopewell JCT, NY 12533 (845) 897-4377

This is our absolute favorite farm!!  We gather up some friends and head up multiple times a year for all the berry picking, apple picking and even just walks around the farm. There are animals, a farm stand and much more.

OUTHOUSE ORCHARDS 139 Hardscrabble Road, Croton Falls (914) 277-3188

This farm is about an hour north of NYC and gets really really REALLLLLY busy on the weekends. They have a ton of activities for all ages with long lines for everything. It’s very popular with “city folk” because of the proximity. On weekdays it’s a great. no crowds but also no activities.

HARVEST MOON FARM AND ORCHARD 130 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem (914) 485-1210 

Harvest Moon is down the road from Outhouse. Same vibe. Super busy with gorgeous rolling hills and amazing views of the orchards. Check their website for evening live music and firepits.

WILKENS FRUIT AND FIR FARM 1335 White Hill Road, Yorktown Heights (914) 245-5111 

This is a smaller farm but also popular with the NYC crowd. There is always lots to do with a farm stand for lots of yummy fall treats.

 

Apple Picking in N

Take a Drive! 

While the places I mentioned earlier in this post are about an hour’s drive north of Manhattan. I HIGHLY recommend going even further up past Westchester County. This gives you a serious dose of the gorgeous scenery that the Hudson Valley holds and the crowds are not nearly as nutty as the farms closer to the city. These two are our faves and if you go on a Saturday, often times there are local craft fairs and antique markets.

KELDER’S FARM 5755 Rt 209 Kerhonkson, NY 12446 (845) 626-7137

There is a giant gnome that’s kinda silly fun and there is SOOO much to do for the kids. Goats, ducks, candied apples… and more.

BARTON ORCHARDS 63 Apple Tree Ln Poughquag, NY 12570

Another favorite. Gorgeous drive, lots to do and when the leaves are turning it is spectacular. Check their schedule for the Hot Air Balloon fest!

Our family loves to go toward HUDSON, NY and explore some of the smaller farms there. Take a drive up to Red Hook and Rhinebeck and stop at any of the farms along the way.

Happy Fall Y’all!!

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Lucky and Me – Giveaway

Lucky and Me GiveawayI am pretty particular about the fabrics the kids wear. These fabrics are touching their skin, their stinky-sweaty bodies and I just worry about how this is effecting their pores, skin, and overall health. We switched to all cotton long time ago, when Lily was around 5 years old and with Thomas we continue to use mostly cotton clothing. This is especially important when it comes to bedtime wear  and underwear.

Lucky and Me - Giveaway

I’m working with Lucky and Me to give away a fab $75 shopping spree to one lucky reader. We recently discovered Lucky and Me and absolutely love it. All products are made from a super soft organic cotton or cotton blend. We have the cotton tees, briefs and boxers and really love the quality. They only get softer when washed! Lucky and Me has both girls and boys underwear in all styles and colors.

Are you ready for a shopping spree?? Let’s do it.

To enter to win – You must follow the rafflecopter link to enter. Contest ends at 12AM on Saturday 9/16.

Leave only ONE comment on this blog post AND swing by my FB page – New York Mom. 

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. We really do love cotton underwear!! and looove this new brand we discovered. Thanks for stopping by and hearing about the brands who sponsor The New York Mom. 

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Hurricane Stories

Florida Hurricane
Florida Hurricane
I grew up in Florida from the age of 12 until I went to college. I also came back often while in college and we go back every single year for summer and Christmas to see our family.
The Florida panhandle boasts gorgeous white sandy beaches, relaxed life and a kindness from the locals you only find in the south.
I went to school in Tampa and my life existed within the perimeter of the University of South Florida Dance and Theatre Department. My roommate and I woke up to an alligator on our front step one morning… making us late to our 8am ballet class. Traffic stopped on the interstate because of a massive bull alligator chillin on the 4 lane highway and hurricanes were part of our seasonal everyday.
Floridians take and don’t take hurricanes seriously. Kinda like the gators… there are there… everywhere… you just work around them.
I’m worried about my mom, grandma and in-laws in Florida. There are safely tucked away in the Florida Panhandle… a place that I like to refer to as… every hurricane comes right for them!
Have you ever stood in the middle of the ‘eye’ of the hurricane? It’s pretty spectacular. Around all this chaos of heavy screaming winds, sideways rain and darkness comes the pure bright blue calm of the eye of the storm. It’s beautiful. Or how about those moments before the storm starts and every single thing is absolutely S T I L L eerie and stunning. The ‘calm before the storm’ is what they call it.
Florida Hurricane
  • When I was in high school my anatomy teacher would skip school on days before the hurricane so he could go surfing. It was almost as if this was written into his contract. Surf Days are a must. We would go out and watch the surfers tackle some pretty massive waves. 
  • One hurricane we lost power for nine days and my mom had a wooden DIY dollhouse kit sitting untouched so we spent hours by candle light building this house and gluing wooden shingles one by one. We painted it blue and white and it was our amazing project during the dark evenings that followed the hurricane.
  • After one particular hurricane, the roads were destroyed. The roads were just eaten up by the gulf water and you just couldn’t get across from one town to another.  The military was patrolling with tanks and large impressive vehicle to make sure that everyone had food and water and were safe. We had night curfews. Matt somehow sneakily drove across town to see me. That sweet teenage love makes ya do silly things! 
  • We actually drove to Key West during a big tropical storm once. Just to ‘see what it was like‘. Not smart but we were young and fearless. Have you been to the keys? They are a string of islands completely out there in the middle of the ocean. All the islands are small and at the mercy of the water and wind. It was very exciting to experience a tropical storm in Key West, everything shook, everything moved, the winds howled and the next morning trees were down…but the people continued like it was just another day. Pie stands were open, the chickens ran all over the island like nothing happened. Cats came over to ask for food and the big cruise ships docked like any other day.
  • While in college, in Tampa, we would sit on our balcony of our apartment and literally watch the hurricanes roll in. Our neighbors and friends would come over and we would cook all the food we had – ahem.. microwave the frozen food we had… and have these great hurricane parties. Without a care in the world.
These were hurricanes… they came through multiple times a season, they turned into tropical storms or not, we celebrated them and moved on with our lives.
Florida Hurricane
I know people are partying it up in Florida today, you’ve seen the images from the Keys. They are going to ride this storm out. I even know people who are out on the water catching those ‘massive waves’. But Hurricane Irma seems so very intense and I worry about my fellow Floridians. Oh Florida… this might be the big one! Be safe. Check in with us!
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