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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Big Apple Circus is Back

The bright big top was up, the excitement was thick in the air and we took our seats in the roundabout circus circle.New York’s Big Apple Circus is Back! Popcorn and cotton candy in hand, we were excited for what was in store. As the big band introduced the show and the ringleader came out never did I think we would be in for such a treat! GRANDMA is baaaack!

New York’s favorite circus, Big Apple Circus, is back and so is the iconic – Grandma The Clown! Actor Barry Lubin is the person behind Grandma and this is the 26th year for the character. Grandma is a staple in New York City show culture and I was happy to see the same character and same actor back to play this iconic role.

The Big Apple Circus filed for bankruptcy a few years ago and is now back and better than ever. Lily had seen the Big Apple Circus years ago and remembered the familiar big top. Thomas was experiencing this for the first time and was completely smitten. The big headliners are Grandma the Clown and the Wallenda Family of acrobats. In addition are the Anastasini Brothers who do flips on each other’s feet. Roller Skating with Dandino.

Lily’s favorite – Elayne Kramer the contortionist, The Flying Tunizians on the trapeze and Jenny Vidbel with her ponies, dogs, and horses.

For those of us who don’t go to the circus because of the animals and treatment of the large exotics, not to worry. The Big Apple Circus only has dogs, ponies and horses and all of these animals are rescued. Trainer Jenny Vidbel has a farm in upstate New York where these sweet animals roam in the fresh air. We loved this part of the circus. Thomas got such a kick out of seeing the little dogs riding on the mini ponies.

There were many breathtaking moments throughout the show. The Famous Wallenda Seven-Person Pyramid was heart stopping. Seven people on balance beams in a pyramid formation ON a tightrope! We were sitting right below them and it was nothing short of old-school circus magic!

Another moment that took our breath away was the trapeze act when one of the performers attempted to do a quadruple flip… one that has rarely been attempted. He didn’t make it which was just as exciting as the anticipation.

The Big Apple Circus is a MUST this holiday season. It’s the perfect circus for all ages, the small space in the round doesn’t have a single bad seat and the pace of the show is perfect for young ages.

The Big Apple Circus is at Damrosch Park in Lincoln Center. The show is up through January 7, 2018. Visit BIG APPLE CIRCUS for all the details.

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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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Spooky Halloween Tradition: The Headless Horseman

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

On the banks of the Hudson River, is a quaint little town called Sleepy Hollow, formerly known as North Tarrytown. Housed here is the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, one of the most historic cemeteries in New York. Maybe even in the Northeast. The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is a large property with rolling hills with a rushing Pocantico River racing through.

This is the final resting place of New York royalty such as Elizabeth Arden, Brooke Astor, Andrew Carnegie, Walter P. Chrysler, and the Hemsley’s. Leona Hemsley is famous for leaving millions of dollars to her pets when she passed away. While the rich and famous did not spare a penny on their lavish tombs – The Hemsleys have an impressive massive tomb with 4 stunning stained glass windows of the Manhattan skyline, our reason for visiting is the much more humble graves that surround the original Old Dutch Church.

Every year, since Lily was about 7, we have made it our annual tradition to go to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery for our spooky Halloween fix. I think it was in 1st grade that Lily was reading some of Washington Irving’s books and when we realized the wealth of secret – not so secret-history that lived… or had died... just a few miles away, we had to visit.

Washing Irving, author of some of our favorite books – Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – lived in Sleepy Hollow. This town was originally known as North Tarrytown and was only recently changed to Sleepy Hollow as an ode to the famous story.

But that’s not all. Did you know that Washington Irving himself is buried at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetary? And it gets even better… He found the names of his characters from the graves that surrounded the Old Dutch Church. Ichabod Crane… found his grave. Katherine… she’s there too.

The story of Rip Van Winkle was inspired by the Town of Irvington with its steep hill down to the train station and Hudson River.

The story goes that the Headless Horseman to this day roams the grounds of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery looking for his … head. There is also the legendary bridge that he can’t cross. (not the original).

Lily loves this tradition and while we have taken Thomas the past few years, he doesn’t quite remember.

This year was just like any, gorgeous fall weekend, stunning colorful firey leaves all over the grounds. We parked right in the cemetery. Insider tip: enter through the north entrance and park in the cemetery so you avoid the crowds through the south entrance. It’s a beautiful walk through the cemetery grounds with draping trees, stairs, hills and stunning views. We like reading the descriptions on the graves. Some of the graves were just stunning and ornate and others much more simple. Nevertheless, it’s beautiful.

We made our way down the hill to the Old Dutch Church to find Ichabod and Katherine and walk through the oldest graves on the property. On the way, we stopped by Washington Irving’s grave and collected leaves for our collection.

While I was nose deep in reading tombstones, Matt gave me a nudge… and there he was!!! THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN!

Of course, we had hyped this whole thing up with the kids. And talked to them about how the Headless Horseman roams the cemetery and that he is always looking for new souls to take and heads to attach onto his headless body and if any of us ever see him… the emergency plan is to RUN to the nearest body of water – the Pocantico river that flows through the cemetery – because the Headless Horseman can’t cross water.

So here we are… the Headless Horseman and there is Thomas… RUN!!!!!

It was all in good fun. He ended up petting the horse and wasn’t too afraid after all.

The cemetery also has a Beerfest and cider and baked goodies and food so we stayed and filled our bellies before heading off to the next fall adventure.

What a treat! The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery should be a MUST for your Haloween Spooky Fun. There are no jumpy castles or face painting… thank goodness… but just pure cultural references and amazing views and some old history about this country.

Happy Halloween everyone. And if you are ever in Sleepy Hollow… remember RUN for the water if you find yourself face to face with the Headless Horseman.

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Halloween DIY craft – Día de Muertos themed painted skulls

It’s halloween and while we have painted and glittered our share of pumpkins, Lily and I decided to do a little something different this season.

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We picked up cardboard skulls from Michaels Arts and Crafts and glittered a few but also gave some the Día de Muertos treatment. Día de Muertos. or Day of the Dead is a mexican holiday which is observered on Nov 1st and is a celebration of family and freinds who have died.

This is also celebrated in other cultures but I love the colors and design and kitchy factor that comes with Día de Muertos.

This is a super simple Halloween craft for kids and adults, while also being educational. So let’s get to it.

You will need:

  • Cardboard Skulls
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint brushes especailly tiny detailed bristles brushes
  • Glitter paint
  • Martha Stewart Liquid Gilding in gold

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DIY_Halloween.JPGSteps:

  1. Give your cardboard skull a full coat of paint. You can give it a double coat if you need.
  2. Start your detailed painting. I looked at images related to Día de Muertos and took inspiration and went for it.
  3. Martha Stewarts Liquid Gilding in Gold is one of my most fave paints ever! It gives a really shiny gold-like color and blings up your skull.
  4. After you have finished painting your skull, let it dry and then add a coat of the glitter paint on top of everything. The new York Mom.JPG

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The New York Mom.JPGSince this is acrylic paint, everything dries really quickly. like in minutes.

Done! That’s it!

These are super easy to make and the end result is really impressive don’t ya think!

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Enjoy! and be sure to share your painted skulls with me.

 

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Best Places for Apple Picking Near New York City

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 FARMSFishkill 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 FARM1335 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 FARM5755 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 ORCHARDS63 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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Summer Vibes: Fashion Must-Haves for #Summaah2017

Summer is finally here and my entire closet needs a massive overhaul!
Last summer, I did a full purge of my closet. I donated and threw away almost all my summer clothing. Well here we are… summer… and I don’t have a thing to wear!
I’ve really been loving the subtle blue and white stripe trend that has taken over. I also love the off the shoulder dresses and shirts and large sunnies that are making a comeback.  And tassel earrings! Who knew you could stick tassels onto earrings and it would work!
Here are some of my absolute fave pieces this summer.
// The off the shoulder dress is a staple this season. I like the stripes and the little ruffle at the shoulders. Grab one in a neutral like black and white or blue and white and you can mix it up with all sorts of colorful accessories.
// A pair of Swedish Hasbeens are my go-to summer sandal! These strappy vintage sandals are perfect for the entire season and I basically live in mine! You can find some deals at Zappos.
// Michael Kors has this new tote bag that is perfection. The round handle and the relaxed look is great for travel, outdoor dinners, or weekending in the Hamptons!
// Bar Necklaces are my favorite. They are simple but still make a statement. I suggest layering multiple pieces! You can find tons of designers on ETSY.
// A statement watch is always a good idea.  I like to mix materials and this Fossil watch fits the summertime bill!
// And tassel earrings! Tassel everything this season. I love these bright blue earrings from TheOutNet.
// Oversized sunnies! LOVE! My round face is totally complimented best by a pair of oversized sunglasses. This subtle shade of rose is a great color for all skin shades.
 Happy Summer Shopping girls!!
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National Jump In Muddy Puddles Day

Did you know there is a day for one of our favorite outdoor activities!!

Today is National Jump In Muddy Puddles Day! And it’s perfect because it’s been raining all week here in New York! No shortage of puddles around!

Thomas and his friends threw on their rain boots and headed to the farm nearby for some muddy jumping fun. We love going to Muscoot Farm here in the suburbs of New York City. The kids love to see all the animals and I love the open spaces where they can just run.

It’s important to let kids get messy. If you have ever been to our house, there is no shortage of messy unfinished art projects, mud boots by every exit and no shortage of mud-pies that line out back garden! We support messy play all the way. Of course these puddles had their fair share of goose poop… but who cares… what’s a little goose poop when you are having THIS MUCH FUN!

Thomas’ preschool is raising awareness for the TY Louis Campbell Foundation. This is a foundation that helps raise funds for pediatric cancer research. His preschool had a ‘hop-a-thon’  and a cocktail fundraiser to help support this foundation.

And then a friend of mine sent me the press info for the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation (TLC Foundation) and I figured I MUST share this with you.

I hope you join me in a simple, fun a quick way to help support the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation and help bring awareness and support for pediatric cancer.

The “Muddy Puddle Jump Challenge” – post a photo of yourself or your family jumping in a “Muddy Puddle”,  on your social account. Muddy puddle not even required!!! Make sure to tag with #PeppaMuddyPuddleChallenge. You can do this the entire month of April!

Feel free to tag me @Thenewyorkmom so I can check out your shenanigans!

Now go out there and jump in puddles!!!

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Tween Scene – 6 Must Haves for Tweens

Tween Scene: 6 Must Haves for Tweens

Tweens are a picky crew and you can’t ever seem to keep up with what’s in and what’s out. It always amazes me when tween trends take off… I mean… lets talk about putty! who knew!

These days we have lots of items around the house that my tween has been obsessing over! Parents of tweens everywhere will tell you that putty is the #1 item. We have putty making stations throughout the house and Lily just can’t get enough!

So I’ve put together a list of our faves. It’s hard to find gifts for teens and tweens that are not tech or high ticket items. These are our go to gifts these days. You can find them at specialty stores or online. But I like to shop local… so maybe your downtown gift shops might carry these goodies!  A lot of these items are for fidgety tweens and adults.

Here is my list of Tween Must Haves. This is what’s being obsessed over and trending in the tween space!

  1. The Fidget Cube– We love this cube. each side has things that click, slide, roll and is great as a stress reliever or busy hands.
  2. Thinking Putty – This is the best putty .. hands down. Crazy Arron’s comes in all sorts of amazing themes and our favorites are the Liquid Glass that is totally clear, the Magnetic and the Electric Teal!
  3. Bath Bombs – I just spent $10 on ONE bath bomb from Lush…. but it was divine! Bath Bombs can be found in all price points, we love Lush products and they are natural and smell amazing. The glitter bath bombs are our favorite.
  4. Spinners! Lily has a few of these and again, perfect for calming nerves, anxiety, focus. These are hard to find so if a store near you sells it… grab it up quick!
  5. Lokai Bracelets – These bracelets claim to have mud from the black Sea and water from Mr. Everest. These are colorful bracelets that raise awareness for various causes and ideals. mental illness, balance…etc.
  6. Electro Dough – not sure that this is a tween must have but it’s pretty amazing. The kit encourages you to make your own dough with house hold items and for putty obsessors.. this is great. But once you have made your dough, there are LEDs and buzzers and all sorts of things that connect for circuitry play! Super cool!
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Spring Flowers – Upcycled Craft for Preschoolers

Spring Upcycled Craft- The New York Mom

Happy First Day of SPRING everyone!!! We have been cusy making some Easter and spring crafts!

After a fairly short but cold winter, I am ready for flip-flops, flowers and dresses without boots!

There is still snow on the ground from the big snow storm last week… but we can hear the constant drip drip drip of the snow melting away as fast as it can to welcome SPRING!

The birds have been out and we even spotted a few young cardinals this morning.

Spring Upcycled Craft- The New York Mom

Thomas and I decided to welcome the season with one of our favorite upcycled crafts. Flowers! This project is so easy to do and the end result is seriously the cutest thing ever. There are also no rules to this project, you can paint, decoupage, glitter…whatever you find in your craft stash.

You need:

  • Cardboard Egg Carton
  • Scissors
  • Paint
  • Pipe cleaners – for stems
  • Stickers, glitter and anything else you want to add.

Next cut out the egg carton in individual sections.

Then start painting!!

Once you have painted them let them dry and once dry, poke a little hole right through the center of your cut out egg carton section. Weave a pipe cleaner through it… we choose glitter because it’s the best… and you are good to go!

Spring Upcycled Craft- The New York Mom

For bonus points, you can find an empty tin can and add stickers or paint to embellish it up.

Spring Upcycled Craft- The New York Mom

And that’s it! We love this craft, it’s also perfect for Mother’s Day. (HINT)

Thomas loves this craft and we do find ourselves making it pretty often. Next time we are going to collect all the googly eyes we can find and stick them on our flowers!

Happy Spring you guys! I am ready for the warmer weather and excited about the newness of the season!

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