5 New Must Have Baby Products

Oh Baby! We are gearing up for … baby gear! While I’m planning on overdoing it with gear this time around… this is our third after all… I still love looking at baby gear and testing it and seeing what’s going on in the space. Baby gear is continuously evolving and I wanted to share 5 New Must-Have Baby Products.

Just in the short 4 years since Thomas was a baby, there have been big differences and changes in the baby gear world. From tech led products to high design, baby gear is reflecting the needs and wants of savvy fashion-forward parents. While there are so many new things coming up on the market every month, I wanted to share a few of my faves that have come across my desk recently.

I’ve seen and tested probably every baby product on the market and it definitely takes a bit to get me excited about something new! These products are not only practical but design worthy to fit your cool digs! So here we go… a few of my favorites I’m obsessing over right now. Here is my list of 5 New Must-Have Baby Products

The POP Doodle & Co Pacifiers. These are amazing 100% silicone pacifiers where the nipple pops back into itself bubble. I love these candy-colored pacifiers, the super soft silicone and of course the practical clean detail!

5 Brand New Must-Have Baby Products

GB Pockit Stroller. YOU GUYS!!! This stroller can fit in your bag!! YES! This is not a new product, I actually saw it about 2 years ago and it was amazing then. I just want to put this on your radar because it’s the PERFECT stroller for when you travel. Did I mention it fits in your bag! 5 Brand New Must-Have Baby Products

Huggs Contour Baby Carrier. This is a new design for baby carriers which is pretty spot on. This carrier comes with a booster seat attached so baby can feel totally supported and there is some weight taken off the parents back. 5 Brand New Must-Have Baby Products

Snoo Smart Sleeper. I WANT this! The SNOO is the future of baby gear. It’s all techy and motion censored and basically sleep trains your baby without all the fuss and crying! A few details that I love about this baby bed are that there is a swaddle built into this bed so baby is securely placed on her back and stays there, swings or jiggles to soothe baby because it’s motion sensored so knows when baby is restless. and it even plays the right sound – white noise, rain…etc – to rock baby back to sleep. on top of all these features, this is a work of furniture design art. I love this simple design, classic bassinet look. Coveting this over here! 5 Brand New Must-Have Baby Products

Summer Infant My Bath Seat. This is brilliant! SUction cups attach this to the walls of your bathtub so your baby is secure in this high back seat for bath time. This is great for splashing around in the bath and it gives parents enough space to give a baby a good wash. Have you tried to bath a baby… suuuper slippery, this helps. This is NOT to be used with infants. I would recommend this for babies who can sit up unassisted and up. 5 Brand New Must-Have Baby Products

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links*

 

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Narwhal Themed Nursery for Baby

Narhwal Themed Nursery for Baby
Narhwal Themed Nursery for Baby

And the big nursery theme is… NARWHALS! Well technically the baby doesn’t have a full room as a nursery just yet, she will be sharing our room but her corner space nursery will be Narwhal themed! I’m sharing some of my favorite picks for a Narwhal Themed Nursery for Baby.

Each of our kids just naturally found their way into their spirit animals and they have all been pretty spot on. Lily is a dragonfly/butterfly, Thomas is an elephant and this sweet new babe will be a narwhal. The Unicorn of the sea!

We’re trying to get everything ready for baby and just picking up a few minimalist decor pieces to help decorate her space. Some of our faves are listed and you can find them all on my Amazon Influencer Shop!

Novogratz Collection wool rug I am in love with anything and everything Novogratz! This husband and wife team not only creates amazing living spaces but their line of home goods reflects such fun and life and whimsy!

White Faux Taxidermy gold wall art Must – have! perfect for hanging little baby bows or bonnets!

Babyletto Modo 3-in-1 Convertible Crib I love this modern sleek look. It’s clean and the grey is the perfect neutral.

Sea Urchin Studio ABC Wall Art for Kids I love the graphics and the colors on this print! Perfect for setting the theme for our Narwhal nursery.

 Vintage Style Narwhal Silhouette Baby Bodysuits Long-Sleeve Seriously love this vintage style onesie for baby. I love that it’s gender neutral. I secretly want a tee in my size!

Narwhal ship jigsaw puzzle Another fab find. This wooden puzzle is perfect to have as something to put together on snow and rainy days or display!

Spike Purple Narwhal A little soft toy friend for baby. This sweet Narwhal plush is perfect!

Cotton Swaddle Narwhal They even make Narwhal themed swaddles you guys! How very cute.

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links* 

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Pregnancy – Tips for Surviving Your Second Trimester

Pregnancy - Surviving Your Second Trimester

So here we are the second trimester! The Second Trimester of Pregnancy is defined as week 14 – week 27. Like I mentioned in my previous post – Pregnancy – Surviving the First Trimester, Your body is like the North …. it remembers. ( always geeking out on Game of Thrones ) You might have already popped out more than you did with your first pregnancy. And these symptoms you are having are different the second and third time around. I’m sharing some of my tips for Pregnancy – Tips for Surviving Your Second Trimester

Pregnancy - Surviving Your Second Trimester

I’ve been extremely exhausted and have to take an afternoon nap or my bedtime gets pushed to 8:30 pm which basically is the kid’s bedtime and I get no time to myself or any work done. My legs have been cramping throughout my pregnancy and have only been getting worse as the weeks roll on. I’ve also been pretty emotional and if you are feeling this way, speak to your doctor or lean on your friends if you are not getting your emotional needs met by your family.

Pregnancy - Surviving Your Second Trimester

Here are a few tips to help you Survive your Second Trimester of Pregnancy.

  1. Drink lots of water. Yes, I said this for the first trimester but you have to keep it going for the second and third. The water really helps with muscle cramps and comfort.  I have had a hard time drinking regular water so I’ve been making lime water – cut up a lime and squeeze into a water glass.
  2. Purchase a belly band to support your growing belly. Some days I feel like my belly is going to fall out from under me and a belly band really comes in handy.
  3. Up your calcium intake. I can’t stand the taste or smell of milk but I love yogurt. I’ve been having Trader Joes Vanilla Greek Yogurt with a Gluten-free Vanilla, Blueberry, and almond granola. It’s my go to all the time.
  4. Eat small meals throughout the day. I feel like there is just no space in my belly for food, but I’m hungry all the time. My go-to meal has been – Tomatoes, red onions, and anchovies with a little bit of oil and salt. I don’t get any fresh breath awards but all my cravings and hunger needs have been met.
  5. Get a massage.  I have YET to do this. A prenatal massage or even reflexology can make a huge difference in the way you feel, your mood, and your overall comfort level.
  6. Start creating your maternity wardrobe. I’ve been having a hard time finding maternity clothes that fit my style and fit my frame, so with the exception of a couple maternity pieces, i’ve been costing on regular clothing and it’s saved me some money for sure!  LEggings and sweaters and long sweaters have been my go to this season. Don’t go overboard with spending too much on a full wardrobe, just grab a couple key pieces and take it easy!
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Favorite Small Stores for Small Business Saturday

Today is Small Business Saturday! This is a fantastic initiative by American Express to support your indie retailers. Whether it’s at stores that line your local towns or online maker shops, I encourage you to shop small today and support your local communities. I’m sharing my Favorite Small Stores for Small Business Saturday.

If you are unable to get out to go shopping at your local shops today, I have made a list of some of my favorite shops online. The best part is that I know these owners personally and love their creative energy, their beautiful product, and their business ethics.

Please shop small today and as often as you can!

Yellow Oak Studio Nualls, the owner of Yellow Oak Studio, made us a set of hand-painted nursery room prints themed around New York City. we love these cute prints! I met Nualla a few years ago and have loved her artwork ever since. You can grab cards, framed prints and so much more. All handmade in New York.

Madame Mathilde Jen Niles is a friend and a busy mom of three who makes stunning jewelry pieces that dress up any occasion. These pieces are made from vintage pieces, rhinestones, gemstones and antique chandelier crystals. You can get 30% off today by using code GIVETHANKS.

PiccoliniNYC I could not love Alex and her little store in Manhattan more. This is one of my most favorite stores and now with online offerings, it’s accessible to everyone. Our favorite pieces are Alex’s original design with a special take on the classic I Love NY logo. This store is a MUST for all the coolest kids and parents! Use code THANKFUL for 20% off this weekend.

OldNewHouse – After online success and a cult following, Melissa and her husband recently opened their flagship store in our small town here in the suburbs of NYC. Since the opening, there has been a constant stream of shoppers, fans, and locals who frequent this cute store for vintage finds. While they started out in authentic vintage rugs, their store now carries rare finds for kids decor, home office, gifts, furniture and so much more. Their online store has tons of goodies ready for the taking!

Brooklynn Roese  Celebrating the creative essence of childhood and life is Brooklynn Roese designs. These gorgeous clothes for moms, kids, and baby do not shy away from color or creative design.

Edwards Shoes Edward starting making shoes a few years ago and has quickly become a favorite among shoe enthusiasts. His handmade shoes use materials made in the US and are all handcrafted by him. Clients get a hands-on experience with custom-made shoes that fit their specific feet.

FancySchmancyBaby – For the baby born with high couture in their blood, my neighbor and friend makes the cutest clothes. Lauren upcycles T-shirts into rompers and makes her own designs for the little. Her kids are always dressed in the cutest prints, rompers, and pants that don’t sacrifice comfort for fashion!

 

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Hottest Toys for Holiday 2017

IT’S HERE! THE NEW YORK MOM’S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2017 – TOYS! Hottest Toys for Holiday 2017

I have compiled my favorite toys that the kids have been playing with for months… some since February and they still have life in them. These are our hand-picked toys that we absolutely love. The quality is great, the educational and fun factor is high and the prices are for every budget. So sit back, and start tackling that Holiday List. I’m updating this list daily so please check back often for more additions. I have included my Amazon Affiliate Link so you can easily access the Black Friday Deals on Amazon!

If you are like me, you have yet to start your holiday shopping. Not to worry the big Black Friday shop is a couple days away and I’m sure your kids are busy circling their favorite must-haves from all the store catalogs.

As you know I have been working as toy and baby gear expert for the past 5 years and know my fair share about this market. I know which toys are worth the money and which ones are duds and marketing gimmicks!  So this year, I’ve made it super simple for you by making a full list of must-have toys. Each and every one of these toys have been tested by me and the kids… and yes, most of these are in the house and some we have had since February! So after much testing and reviewing and playing with these toys I’m sharing my favorite toys for all ages for Holiday 2017!

There are building blocks and STEM toys, dolls and Hotwheels, Crafty things and even stuff for tweens and teens. I’ll be adding to the list as I go so be sure to swing back to check for updates.

My curated Tween/Teen Guide is coming up because as any parent of this age group will tell you… it’s a different beast of toys and tech gadgets!

Shop the list —> Hottest Toys for Holiday 2017!

Happy Shopping all!

 

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Pregnancy – Surviving Your First Trimester

Tips to survive your first trimester of pregnancyPregnancy – Surviving Your First Trimester. It’s not always a smooth ride during pregnancy and surviving the first trimester. My first pregnancy was pretty easy. I was so lucky. I was still dancing for various projects all over New York City and was always moving. This really helped my body stay in shape and strong and my core was supported by these dance muscles which in turn made me have a lot more energy and feel great.This time around, it’s quite different. I haven’t moved with that professional dancer intensity, since having Thomas and my body has …softened a bit.

The second pregnancy, your body remembers… like the “north” … the body remembers. and even before we realized we were pregnant.. this amazing body of mine was already settling into the 9 months of growth. My belly popped around 18ish weeks and there were a lot more symptoms that tagged along this time around.

My first trimester was a bit rough. Not Princess Kate rough… but pretty rough. I couldn’t sleep, I started having pregnancy migraines, restless legs, and nausea. This summer while in Florida with our family, there were many nights that I just couldn’t sleep. Tossing and turning all night from discomfort.

While most of these symptoms cannot be avoided, you can do small things to help ease the discomfort.

Tips to survive your first trimester of pregnancy

To survive the first trimester of pregnancy you can try to:

  1. Drink tons of water. I would cut up limes and lemons and add to my water. It’s easier to drink with a little flavor but the sour flavors of the limes and lemons really helped soothe my nausea.
  2. Get a maternity pillow or any pillow and place it between your legs. This is crucial. I sleep with a million pillows all around.
  3. Try sleeping at an angle. Laying flat was a bit of a challenge for me just because of nausea and discomfort so again, I piled up pillows all around me to stay slightly at an angle when sleeping.
  4. Ginger biscuits! I could not stand the smell fo ginger tea but ginger biscuits were my saving grace! The crunchy kids because I also didn’t want to eat too much. So small bites of these biscuits always helped.
  5. Find your support system. I am so fortunate to have an amazing husband who is always making sure I’m comfortable and fed and feeling ok. The kids have been brushing my hair or putting lotion on my belly or legs which is also so soothing. My friends have been really wonderful by checking in, offering advice and lending an ear. You need a support system throughout your pregnancy. You need people around you who will just listen to your woes about your body aches and be sympathetic. This is so important. It’s always nice to have people who are willing to listen to what you are going through but so much more while pregnant. Those emotional pregnancy hormones don’t mess around!

The New York Mom

That’s all I have! Yaa! for this sweet preggy babe! Please share your preggy tips with me!

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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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OMG the Hot Moms at the Town Pool!

The New York Mom

Summer is nearly here and there is nothing more terrifying than the town pool. Our town pool opens in exactly 5 days!!! and I have not done one single thing to get this body prepped for what awaits me at the pool every. single. day.

Hot moms!

Hot Nanny’s!

Hot AuPairs!

Pool season with preschoolers is not fun! Last year, thank the heavens, I did not have to wear my swimsuit once at the pool. Thomas was too young to go to the big pool and had no interest, so I just wore cute pool side cover ups and sat in the shade in the kiddie pool. Chillin! But this year! I have to “park’ my gear at the kiddie pool and then take him across the lawn to the big pool because he wants to swim in the big pool this year.

And here is where my problem lies.

The walk from the kiddie pool, past the gate that confines the kiddies in the kiddie pool, across the lawn – past the hot moms, nannies, aupairs… is the worst walk!

My only goal is to jump into the big pool as fast as I can without making a scene and then usher Thomas into the pool into my arms with my un-summer body safely under water! Great plan right?

Wrong. inevitably, I will run into a neighbor hot mom who wants to stand in the open air and chat about whatever she wants to chat about without even thinking for one second that I might be having an internal freak out right now standing practically naked in front of the entire town.

Thankfully Thomas will pry me away and I’ll be safe in the pool.  This is going to last 5 minutes because the water in the town pool is cold and he doesn’t like it and I am soaking wet and cold but now have to drag my soaked body out of the pool to walk back to the kiddie pool.

… past the hot moms, hot nannies, and hot aupairs.

That’s it. That’s all I have for you today. OMG the Hot Moms at the town pool!!

 

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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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