Little Messes, Big Lives

Glitter glue marks are all over my freshly cleaned bathroom faucets. I look in the tub and there are little globs of slime, putty or whatever other science project is going on. In the kitchen there is Kinetic Sand all over the floor by the toy kitchen. Paint splatter adorns the side of the wall in another corner and something odd is growing on the kitchen window sill… could be a crystal, a borax project or a fairy garden with fungus. The little space between our kitchen cabinets and the floor plays host to dinosaurs, hot wheels and a myriad of tiny toys, I almost trip on a skateboard as I try to head out the door, the family room is cluttered with an unfinished puzzle, paper boats, Lego set that might get done soon, trains, marble runs and homemade putty or slime. Under the sheets of my bed, at any given moment, lives a dinosaur, a toy rat or a choo choo that “needs his mommy’.

This is our messy life.

In a particular moment of clarity – rare, very rare moment of clarity, I realized that these little messes all over the house are actually great big signs of a life well lived.

I get really teary when I think about the kids growing up. I love them being who they are right now in this time and space and I love how they interact with me, each other and the world around them. I love that every single one of our bathrooms is a fully functioning science lab with something growing, bubbling or waiting to hatch at all times. I love the neon pink glitter Kinetic Sand all over the kitchen floor because that was actually the food being made for the mermaids or some such tale.

I love it.

Yes, there are days where these messes only add to the clutter in my mind, the stress of raising a toddler and a tween, the fog of the life you are in when raising young kids, being in jobs where you are not valued for your worth… and it’s part of the daily never-ending routine of this messy life. Yes, I have those days. But then within the moments of clarity, I realize that my little messes are really signs of big lives being lived out loud.

These messes are short-lived. I am not looking forward to the days without science experiments in my bathroom, without putty and slime bowls on every surface, and days where conversations with dinosaurs are not a priority.

Hold em tight you guys… it really does go by too fast.

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A S.T.E.A.M. Play Space at The Westchester Mall

The long-awaited play space at the Westchester Mall has finally opened! and just in time for the winter months.

Thomas and I headed to the mall to run a few errands and pick up a christmas suit for him and lo and behold… the play space was open! This is part of the new Connect and Play – tech lounge and play center that really brings the classic mall play space into the tech world. There are comfy couches and charging stations all around and the play space is nothing short of an interactive science and art center!

This Play space is not like other mall play spaces. It’s almost like a mini children’s museum with a full S.T.E.A.M. focus. There are 4 primary activity centers featuring – art, engineering, music, and a tile table. A STEAM jr, space for babies and toddlers is blocked off to keep the crawlers and early walkers contained and safe.

Thomas and I were there on a weekday morning and it was really quiet and clean. I am curious to see what this space will look when it’s used. While I felt that the space was pretty cool with the STEAM focus, Thomas wanted to just run around and there really isn’t any space to just run. Additionally the Tile Table is pretty small and there were 3 kids at the table when we were there and that was at capacity, the digital art easels filled up too and Thomas had to wait for his turn but it took some of the play out of the experience. I know my toddler and he wants to tumble and run and there isn’t much for that. But there is a lot of interesting interactive play and he loved the engineering corner.

Thomas and I are looking forward to spending some time at this play space this winter. Bonus for me… there is an Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Potterbarn, Apple Store, Sur La Table and so much more at the Westchester!

The fancy new food court is slated to open Aril2017… I can’t wait! Seems like this is a new concept for mall food courts and play spaces. I’m looking forward to seeing all the changes.

The Westchester Mall is in White Plains, NY and a quick train ride or drive north of Manhattan.

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Celebrating This Perfectly Messy Life with Bounty

 

Life with kids is messy… and Bounty is here to help clean up those little messes.

Life is messy and life with kids is messier. Remember those early days when the little dragons were sweet cherubs sent from the gods up above to enrich your life in ways you could never imagine. Remember how you looked at them and their sweet faces, thinking “you are the best thing ever”. Their gross spit ups or diaper blowouts… disgusting as they were can be described as a cute mess to non kid having friends. When flinging spaghetti across the room was a picture perfect moment, well those moments still happen just not as cute the third, fourth, millionth time….

We only celebrate the first messes. And while parenting is messy… would we ever have it any other way? Not me. I’m perfectly happy with my perfectly messy life.

I’m working with Bounty to talk about the little messes of life. With Bounty Paper Towels, parents can enjoy these moments while the Quicker Picker Upper does the work.

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I spent an evening with Mother and Author Kristin Cavalleri and chatted toddler messes. She shared a few of her tips.

Tips for Avoiding Messy Mealtime Madness.

  • Stop Playing Fetch – don’t pick up everything as kids throw them on the floor, clean up at the end of the meal with Bounty Paper Towels.
  • Practice Patience with Utensils – try sticky foods that will be easier to be scooped up by utensils – Oatmeal and yogurt are two faves.
  • Peace of Mind Placemats – Clean up will be so much easier with makeshift placemats made from bounty paper towels
  • Set a Good Example – Eat Healthy and exhibit positive eating habits for the kids.
  • Avoid High Chair Messes – Place a paper towel in your child lap this way all the run away food gets caught in the bounty paper towel and it’s a simple clean up when done eating.
  • Have Them Help You – encourage kids to help clean up so they learn to tidy up early on!

This post is sponsored by Bounty. Thanks for stopping by and checking out The New York Mom and learning a bit more about the sponsors.

 

 

 

 

 

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Snacking on the Go with Earth’s Best

 

The New York Mom Moms-Night-out

Our mornings around here are hectic. We are up before the sun is up, Lily is on a bus at 6:45AM, Thomas is in school a coupe times a week at 9am, I catch a 7:18Am train to NYC, Matt’s out to door… it’s non stop.

I have a few go-to foods that make the weekly snack and lunch round.  Earth’s Best has been on the rotation for Thomas, they have a great selection of organic snacks for babies and toddlers. Recently Earth’s Best launched a line of yummy snack foods for older kids. A granola bar or a fruit cup for after school or before soccer practice makes all the difference in the world.

The kids have loved the Mini Cookies and the fruit pouches. These are SUCH yummy treats that can be just tossed in your bag or left in the car for snacking anytime of your hectic day.

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*This is a sponsored post, all opinions are mine*

 

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Moms Night Out with Parents Magazine, Momtrends and More

 

There is always an article floating around about how – Moms can have it all. Apparently we can have a full-time job, be an entrepreneur, have kids, husband, house, dog, travel, vacations, date nights, birthday parties and make pinterestable party favors for the entire preschool class. All without falling apart! Well, I call B.S.

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I never believed that song and dance for one second and seems like I was in great company.

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I met the editor of Meredith Publications’ – Dana Points – last week. Dana heads up Parents, Fit Pregnancy, Family Fun, and Parents Latina. You know all the parenting mags and Dana calls B.S. too. Parents Mag says – there is no magical “having it all”. You can’t have it all…and that’s OK.

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This Moms Night Out event was hosted by Nicole Feliciano of MomTrends and Meredith Publications. Tucked into an event space in Soho with stunning views of downtown, the evening included endless chatter, meeting NYC bloggers, connecting with friends and of course hearing about some great brands that help around the house.

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Clorox had a crafting station that had us customizing our own Clorox wipes containers. I always have Clorox on hand around the house. A quick wipe down of kitchen countertops, bathrooms and even take them to go when I travel with the kids.

The New York Mom Moms-Night-out

Quaker Oats asked us what we would do if we had an extra hour in the morning… while most answers ranged from yoga, meditate, drink coffee alone… i went for the truth… SLEEP. I would sleep for that extra hour!

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Quaker Overnight Oats gave us tips for a quick, easy and delish morning breakfast for busy mornings. Lily’s bus picks her up at 6:45AM… She is up at 6am… we are eating breakfast as we run out the door. Quaker Oats has lots of great ways to get a fast breakfast in for those hectic mornings.

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I love having scented oil diffusers throughout the house and when cleaning, I love lighting a candle to give the house a calming smell. Scents are healing and we use lavender a lot. Lavender helps calm the restless mind and also helps soothe anxiety. Glad kitchen bags with odor shield and Febreeze had us mix up our own scented lotions. I made a soothing lavender for Lily.

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The New York Mom

Philips Avent encouraged us to make little gift bags for new moms in our lives. Pacifiers and bottles were neatly tied up in boxed with bows for perfect gifting.

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Earths Best has lots of first foods for baby and now they are making snackable take-alongs for big kids as well. More on this later… but I loved seeing all the new offerings from one of our favorite kids snack brands.

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*This is a sponsored post, all opinions are mine*

photo credit: MOMTRENDS

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Best Halloween Costumes for Baby

It’s Halloween time! What are your kids dressing up as this season?

Thomas is going as Nemo… his best friend is going as a Shark. ( fish are friends not food)

Halloween allows itself for cute baby pictures and while the classic pumpkin is a parenting favorite, I have rounded up a few other themes that you might love.

  • The whole family can go as a “Finding Dory’ theme – Baby can be Nemo, mom is Dory and Dad is Shark! So cute!!!
  • To channel your inner ‘Khaleesi’… your baby can dress like a dragon! you know… Mother of Dragons and all! ( because Game of Thrones imitates life)
  • There’s always a sweet handmade knitted costume… a shy sweet baby lion maybe?

Where can you get these costumes you ask?

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I recently wrote a piece about Best Baby Hallowen Costumes for 2016 and I thought I would share. Find the article —> here!

BOO to you!

 

 

 

 

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What’s the Best Brand of Diaper?

One of the most time consuming, expensive, ongoing and smelly purchases you have with your baby is … DIAPERS. Parents can spend a small fortune on diapers and with all the brands out there, it’s really hard to narrow down the choices. So what IS the best diaper for baby?

The New York Mom

We tried a few brands of diapers with Thomas before settling down on Target’s Up and Up brand. We loved the diapers, the simple polka dots were cute and the diaper did well for us. All the way from newborn through the pull ups.

While we are out of the diaper stages these days, I do still work in the baby and parenting industry and keeping up with the latest of everything is sorta my job.

Recently, the company I work with, TTPM.com conducted their own massive Diaper Challenge. I recruited a few of my friends with infants to help us out with this project.

So basically… this was a 30 day challenge where we put 10 of the most popular brands of diapers to the test. They went bum – to bum! We tested over 5000 diapers in a 30 day period. My sister in Law, my neighbor, my friend, a colleague.. I really pulled people from my everyday life to help with this project.

Diapers were rated on absorbency, odor,  fit/flexibility, comfort and overall performance. This was such an undertaking by TTPM but it has proven to be a great resource for new parents out there.

In the end HUGGIES  Little Snugglers won the whole thing. We do really like the Huggies Brand and it was no surprise they won.

Our personal fave is still Target’s Up and Up. They work really well, just as good as Huggies and cost less than the name brands. This post is not sponsored, I just want to share my personal brand favorite which works just as well as the name brand and is cheaper. savin you some dollar dollar bills y’all! 

You can see by the chart where some diapers stood out more than others.

TTPM DIAPER CHALLENGE

With Thomas we tried eco – friendly diapering. We did cloth diapers ONCE… i mean have you SEEN what comes out of their tiny bums! Not a good look for reusability. TTPM.com did test eco brands and Seventh Generation was the Eco brand that stood out.

What do you look for in a diaper? Is an eco brand important to you? Did you cloth diaper? I would love to know your thoughts.

Make sure you swing by TTPM.com and the TTPM DIAPER CHALLENGE for all the details including comments from the participants.

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5 New Baby Products for The Modern Parent

5 New Baby Products for the Modern Parent
Baby gear seems to be an ever revolving door with new gadgets and designs to help parents out. Even in the three short years since I’ve had Thomas, the baby gear industry has just exploded with some really amazing upgrades, fresh designs, and new brands raising the ‘cool factor” bar. From an infant car seat that magically turns into a stroller, to a Keurig style baby formula dispenser and even… now get this… a stroller that fits in your hand bag, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites baby pieces on the market today. Here are 5 New Baby Products for The Modern Parent.
CYBEX cloud Q
CYBEX – The Cybex Cloud Q is the first car seat to completely lay flat. Of course this happens only when outside the car.  This instant carry cot is great to keep baby sleeping in a flat position all while still strapped into the car seat! Baby Breeza
BABY BREZZA – The Formula Pro from Baby Brezza measures, dispenses and mixes powdered baby formula to the perfect temperature. Perfect for sleep deprived parents. It’s almost like a Keurig for baby formula! It holds about 50 ounces of water and you can choose to make 2,4,6,8, or 10 ounces for your sweet babe.

 

Baby Bjorn Bouncer Mini

Baby Bjorn has the new Bouncer Mini and I love it! This is a new modern take on the classic Baby Bjorn bouncer that still allows baby to self bounce and is an ergonomic fit for your babe. The mini however has a gorgeous new watercolor theme with light silver/grey, ice pink and darker grey covers. The structure of the bouncers comes in black or white frames. I love this clean new look from Baby Bjorn.

DoonaA car seat and stroller in one. Why yes! The Doona is a hot new product that eliminates the need for that transition stroller during the first few months of baby. This rear facing infant car seat easily transforms into a stroller without even disturbing baby for a second. We love it. It’s narrow enough to fit through airplane isles which makes it great for travel too.

GB Pockit Stroller

And the best for last. I am so excited about the GB Pockit stroller that fits right into your bag. No really, it fits in a large handbag and opens up to a full travel stroller.  It’s the world’s most compact fold stroller and even in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Happy Baby gear shopping everyone. Feel free to drop me a line with any questions you have about baby gear!

 

* disclaimer* – this is not a sponsored post or an ad. But I have tested and reviewed each one of these products and give them the thumbs up.

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A day at the Bronx Zoo

One of our most favorite things to do is go to the Bronx Zoo. When Lily was little, i used to spend many many MANY days there with our group of friends just wandering around and chatting with the animals and playing in their amazing Childrens Zoo or Butterfly Garden. Now that the weather has finally warmed up, Thomas and I have a standing date on Tuesday at the Bronx Zoo.

The Bronx Zoo always has something exciting happening, but last week it was particularly busy!

As in the animals were getting busy! It is that time of the year and all the animals were busy doing their natural mating dances.

The goats, giraffes, geese and the peacocks. The peacocks were by far the most frisky. And even tried to come after my sweet moto. Who was scared away by the pomp and circumstance of this ritual.

We love the zoo and take full advantage of it while the kids are young. When Lily started kindergarten and was in school full time, we hardly went. So i’m taking full advantage of the zoo pass – gifted to us by grandma- and it’s our weekly stop!

Thomas has his rounds while at the zoo –

  • The monorail
  • The bug carousel
  • The butterfly garden
  • The 4D RIO experience

and … we have to roar at the lions!

Hope you make it to the Bronx Zoo this season. It’s really such a blast

*this post is not sponsored. we just love the zoo.*

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5 things Moms really really want this Mother’s Day.

at the risk of losing every single one of my followers and getting a scolding from my mom…

i’m writing this “come to jesus” type piece about what Moms really really want this Mother’s Day and every Mother’s Day until the end of time. because as much as we love a bottomless brunch or a “my mom is the best” coffee mug… sometimes ya gotta dig a little deeper to give mama what she really wants.

massages and jewels are great… but lets skip the niceties and get to it shall we.

Best Mom Ever

I’m writing this at 1AM with one child in my bed on my right taking up “my side of the bed. The other child under my armpit which is fine because his head makes the ideal arm rest and a giant beast under my feet to offer some skeletal alignment while I type. 

Moms really REALLY want:

  1. a whole day to themselves to just sleep and watch Netflix and order chinese food that they don’t have to share and just stay in bed with no noise except the hum of the television and whatever binge watching madness goes on.
  2. a clean house. like a spotless house -like the kitchen is stunning with no dishes,counter has no stuck on cucumber peels… nothing… just out of a magazine, the bedroom is totally clean with not a single lonely strewn garment in sight, clean sheets and clutter free dresser,  the bathroom is clear of bathtoys, dirty clothes, no toothpaste spots on the walls, a nice smelling candle… and maybe a bubbling hot bath. without kids!Basically I want to be able to walk through my home without stepping on legos, choppiness, spilled yogurt…etc.
  3. a new closet full of brand new clothes! because your mom clothes have run their course and there are really only so many scarves you can wear to cover up that stain.
  4. the laundry is DONE… completely done. not a single garment in the laundry shoot or laundry basket. everything neatly in drawers or hangers… done.
  5. a dinner with my husband. last year Matt did this whole thing where we went to brunch to one of my fave swank restaurants. not even half way through – Thomas started throwing all the ceramic dishes across the room, then he moved on to the cutlery, then he started screaming… because brunch time is not toddler time. Lily was not having any of this either and Matt spent most of the meal outside with Thomas while I stayed inside scarfing down my brunch and chugging my mimosa with a 10-year-old who was negotiating screen time, candy and whatever else.

here’s what… i need time alone to truly enjoy Mother’s Day because guess what… i spend everyday with my little dragons!  and cleaning them up and throwing a bow tie on them does not make them any less dragony. i will also see them – the NEXT DAY…. and the day after, the day after…and. the. day. after.!  you get my drift. and besides they DONT EVEN KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS… so any day … everyday is Mother’s Day to them!

on Mothers Day… i would like a day off. total day off. i want a day to sleep, i want to watch TV, i want to write, i want to think, i want an uninterrupted shower and i want to be alone.

i know what you are saying… “how dare you say you want to spend the day without your cherubs, your angels that have been bestowed upon you by the lord god herself… a good mom would never want to spend a day that’s meant to honor her and say I Want To Be Alone.”

Well let me remind you… that after the good lord our God created the world… on the 7th day… she rested!! I too need to rest! Mother’s day is my 7th day!

It’s ok to want a day to yourself… it really is. It does not make you any less of a mother… it might make you a better mother because you get to hit the ‘ refresh’ button. and since this is the one time of the year we are gifted with something… why not ask for what you really want!

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