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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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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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, 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.


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. 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 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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First Candle Gala with Regal Lager

This blog allows me many opportunities that I would never have access to if not for this platform. And while some perks are extravagant and come in the form of press trips or meeting some interesting people, once in the while something truly meaningful comes my way that makes me stop and think about the bigger picture.

Last friday I attended the very formal, First Candle Gala in NYC. First Candle is an amazing non-Profit organization that helps families all over the world by ensuring safe pregnancies and infant life. I really want to tell you about the great work this organization is doing because it’s so very valuable.

First Candle is an organization that works hard to educate caretakers, parents, and day care workers about proper infant care to ensure that babies are given the best possible chance to reach their first birthday and birthdays beyond.

I attended as a guest of the baby gear company – Regal Lager. It was such an honor to be part of this very important and touching evening that raised funds to further spread this important message.

I spend my professional life as a writer, commentator and expert in the parenting and baby gear areas. Attending this  important gala was very special to me as a contributor to this topic in the online space.

Allison Jacobsen, the founder of Safety Mom, was the host for the evening and shared her touching story of how she lost her baby to SIDS in 1997. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is very real and Allison took her devastation from losing her child to be the preeminent voice of infant sleep safety.

The message of Safe-Sleep gives the public tips about making sure babies always sleep in their backs and that there are no soft, loose bedding or toys in the baby’s crib.

The gala was a buzz with media, parents, advocates, baby gear companies and supporters of First Candle.

Some of my pals from the parenting space – Elisabeth Bergoo from regal Lager, Brianne Manz from Stroller in The City,Jessica Hartshorn from Parents Magazine, Melisa Fluhr from Project Nursery, Serena Noor from Cool Mom Picks, Eric Messinger from New York Family, and a handful of NYC’s social influencers in the parenting space were all in attendance to support First Candle.

First Candle

At the end of our decadent dinner, a single cupcake with a candle was served to all the guests to symbolize baby’s first birthday. It was very touching and makes you really appreciate everything this organization and all the companies in the room were fighting for.

Please visit FIRSTCANDLE.ORG for more information.

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5 Immediate Tips for Baby Proofing Your Home




This post is sponsored by Huggies and Costco and Alphamom. All opinions are my own. Thanks for swinging by and learning about my sponsors.Huggies Little Movers Plus

As we unpack and settle into this house, one thing in on the very forefront of my mind.

Baby proofing. I guess Thomas is not technically a ‘ baby’ anymore… don’t read this Thomas, you will always be my baby! Anyway, we have to baby proof this house.

Last night, when the house seemed particularly quiet for too long, I found my, 2-year-old, Thomas giving his cars a bath in the toilet. Or how about the time he was trying to stick one of his choo-choos into the light socket because the battery had run out.

Huggies and Costco

The brand new house is one big adventure zone for this little 2-year-old of mine and as I mentioned earlier, baby proofing is at the top of my to-do list.

Baby Proofing Your Home

5 Immediate Tips for Baby Proofing Your Home.

  1. Always cover up the electrical outlets. Kids will find any reason to stick things into these tiny slots and most electrical outlets are exactly at eye level. What is out of sight for us, is irresistible for them.
  2. Batten down the commode commodore! Our plumber is on speed dial due to the number of crayons, cars, choo choos and other U.F.O’s (unidentified flushed objects) flushed down.
  3. Secure your kitchen and bathrooms cabinets. Often time’s bathroom cabinets house our cleaners and things that are just not good for humans, especially baby humans, to ingest.
  4. Baby proof your doorknobs. Opening doors is a lot of fun. Closing doors and having your little one locked in on the other side is not fun.
  5. They might not be vibing with your already existing Pinterest-able home décor, but corner guards are helpful in preventing head bumps on table corners. At 30 inches tall, Thomas’ forehead has a nearly magnetic attraction for all things cornered.

The New York Mom
I’m working with Huggies and Costco and Alphamom this season? They have asked me to share a few of these baby proofing tips and you can find the full piece over at ALPHAMOM.

Swing by ALPHAMOM for the full article!

This post is sponsored by Huggies and Costco and Alphamom. All opinions are my own. Thanks for swinging by and learning about my sponsors.

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Custom Art for Kids Rooms with Yellow Oak Tree

Yellow Oak Tree

Finding the right artwork for any room is no easy task. I like to have original works, unique prints, pieces that have a story. When Matt and I were first married we decided that all the artwork in our home will always be original and have a meaning. So no store-bought pieces can ever be found on these walls.

Yellow Oak Tree

I recently met up with Nuala Mellett  – a New York City mama, artist and entrepreneur. Nuala paints one of a kind pieces to hang in your child’s nursery.  I absolutely fell in love with her NYC series and Thomas has loved having these pieces hanging in his room next to his reading nook.

Yellow Oak Tree

I’s so important to support artists and small businesses, so I thought I would introduce you all to Nuala and her company – Yellow Oak Tree. She’s pretty awesome and can create original commissioned pieces for your child’s room. This way there will be a personal connection to the art work hanging in the galleries of your home. Necessity is the mother of invention. Have you heard that phrase before? And Nuala’s company stemmed from a need for original artwork for her daughter’s room. I had a quick Q&A with this artsy mama and she’s sharing some tips for new entrepreneurs and also a little story about herself.   
Yellow Oak Tree

How did you start the company? What was your ah-ha moment?

I studied history of art in university and then worked in non-profit art organizations and commercial galleries since then, but the big change over to painting full time came after I had my daughter in 2014. I wanted some personal art to hang in her nursery so I painted something for her wall. I was so inspired by my little girl, I couldn’t stop painting different pieces of art for her! And then I started painting for my friend’s kids too and they liked them. I had always loved to paint but never considered doing it as a business venture. I buy lots of gorgeous things on Etsy so I decided to start selling my art through their website, and then I started selling to toy stores and children’s boutiques in the City.

Where do you find inspiration?

My biggest inspiration comes from my daughter. I paint art that I would like to hang in her room and lots of my inspiration comes from my personal experiences. Early on I painted a watercolor painting with the first words I ever said to her and since then I’ve made similar ones for people with a phrase that means a lot to them and their little one. The first custom name painting I painted was for my daughter, and I painted my first Empire State painting as my husband and I went up to their viewing deck to open our baby’s gender reveal envelope when I was pregnant. Since then, my New York paintings have expanded to include the Chrysler building and New York skylines in lots of different colors! Living in the City I’m so inspired by New York; taxis, fire engines, cop cars, they all make it into my art!

The pieces are hand painted. How long did it take you to make one painting? 

It depends on the painting. I think the custom name paintings take the longest, but because I have to leave them to dry for a day in-between layers I’ve never actually timed myself over a few days to see how long I spend on each one. It also depends on the painting, as with all handmade things, some just happen really easy and others take much longer to feel happy with.

How do you balance life, work, parenting?

It is a balancing act, for sure! I’m a stay-at-home mom, so I have to be flexible. I try to get some work done while my daughter is napping, or after she goes to bed at night, though I prefer to paint in the daylight. My husband loves to hang out with her on weekends and I get some time then, which is great. But there’s no denying it, some weeks it’s tough to find the time. I’m the same as everyone else, sometimes there’s just a lot going on in my life, that’s why I have a two week window for all orders, usually I’m able to keep well within that time frame but sometimes I’m really glad of it!

Whats your advice for budding entrepreneurs?

The best advice I can probably give an entrepreneur starting out is to make sure you’re following your passion. There will be lots of late nights, awkward deadlines and setbacks and if you don’t genuinely love what you’re trying to set up then it’ll be way harder than it should be! Apart from that, the best advice I could give is to be disciplined. The easiest way for me to do this is to set myself some weekly/monthly goals. They can be small goals, actually it’s probably better if they are small at the start, that way you get a sense of achievement. Setting up some social media presence, getting your first client/sale, getting some wholesale orders, experimenting with search engine optimization, taking great photos of your products, all of these goals are reachable and your success or failure isn’t measured in monetary gains alone.

What’s coming up with you and your business?

There are so many wonderful things coming up. I’m really excited to be working on some interesting wholesale orders that should see my art being available in lots more children’s boutiques around NYC by the end of the summer. I’ll also be expanding my online store with lots of new paintings that will be available soon and I’m developing my range of greeting cards too, which is so fun! So lots of great things coming up, as well as a summer in NYC with my little girl and my husband, which will be amazing!

Yellow Oak Tree

Nuala Mellett studied history of art at Trinity College Dublin and set up Yellow Oak Tree after her daughter was born in 2014. Inspired to paint personalized art works for her daughter’s nursery she left her career in the contemporary art world and followed her passion to paint art for children’s nurseries, bedrooms and playrooms. Originally from Ireland, she lives in NYC with her husband, Richard, and their daughter, Chloe.

Swing by YELLOW OAK TREE for a peek at Nuala’s great work.

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Bugaboo Bee3 Van Gogh – Stroller Review

The New York MomLuxury stroller brand, Bugaboo just released the all new Special Edition – Bugaboo Van Gogh Bee3. This is one stunning stroller that was inspired by artist Vincent Van Goghs painting “Almond Blossom”.

Thomas and I headed to the American Museum of Natural History – to see the dinosaurs. We had to take the subway to the museum and the Bugaboo VanGogh was so easy to travel with. The fold is very convenient and I could carry Thomas on one arm, the stroller on the other while walking down the subway stairs. No problem.

The seat of the Bugaboo Bee3 Van Gogh is deep and can be pulled out and up for more of a sitting space as Thomas gets older. A generous canopy practically covers the entire seat while in full recline. This was especially helpful when Thomas napped while we strolled through Central Park.

The seat is also rear and forward facing which I love and the stroller totally tackles the cobble stones or bumpy sidewalks really well.

The only note I have is that you can’t access the storage basket as easily as you would want to. When Thomas was sitting in the forward facing mode, his legs were in the way of the storage basket and there is no way to access it from the back. But whatever… small price to pay for such a fab stroller.

For a full detailed review of this stroller, here’s the review I filmed for

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My Top Picks from The New York Baby Show

New York Baby Show

The annual New York Baby Show was held last weekend in NYC. This 2-day baby expo offers products, seminars and services for expecting and new parents. Everything from doulas to doctors, photographers, stroller companies and organic baby products are showcased for 2 full days. Navigating the world of baby gear is daunting and often time parents end up with too much gear and not enough space. The New York Baby Show had expert tips from all corners of the baby advice world to help parents  be informed about the latest products on the market and make decisions to fit them and their new babes!

The Bump New York Baby Show

While walking the floor and meeting the companies and brands was fun and all, my fave part was getting glamed up in the Momtrends Lounge with Nicole and her team. The Momtrends Lounge offered complimentary babysitting and the ever awesome Glam Squad. Nails, hair, makeup… all done by the fab team from The Glam Squad.


I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite picks from the New York Baby show – the latest and greatest on the market!

Check out this great video that I did with TTPM for my full coverage of the New York Baby Show.

One of my favorites and most overlooked Baby Must Have items is a camera. Let me talk you through my reasoning… most parents have a smart phone – like me- and use this for taking photos all the time. When Thomas was born, I upgraded my old camera to a fancy DSLR… why… to take better pictures of my sweet babe. Brilliant idea… a lot of parents do this. For some parents, this is the time they ever even buy a great camera. Canon was at the New York Baby Show sharing tips on how to take fab photos of your babe with one of my favorite photogs – Karilyn Sanders Photography. 

Canon The New York Baby Show

Canon has a whole range of cameras that have wifi capability, filters for your pics and low light capability so those sleeping baby pictures come out perfect without waking up your babe.


New York Baby Show Canon

The fanciest of stroller at the expo was not even at the booth… it was this German stroller that this fancy man was pushing his babe in. Lovezzzz! The New York Baby Show

There is SOOO much that overwhelms parents in the baby gear world.. so feel free to drop me an email if you ever need some tips! newyorkmom1 {at} gmail dot com


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Easter Picks for Babies and Toddlers

To add to the big Easter celebrations this week, I thought I would share a few of my favorite little things for babies and toddlers. These sweet clothes and knitted dolls are a perfect addition to any nursery and make memorable gifts for the kids in your world. While we do fill our baskets with a bit of candy, an article of clothing with a vintage vibe makes a memorable present for babe and parental units alike. These are Easter gifts that are not as big a commitment as a live bunny ( don’t buy a live bunny) but rather a year round gift!

Easter Picks for Babies and Toddlers

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