STRONG LIKE MOM

#StronglikeMom
Guess what we found at Target yesterday! These super cute shirts that read… STRONG LIKE MOM.

I am SUCH a fan of the new Cat and Jack line at Target. The clothes are totally on trend for kids with great graphic tees. I grabbed one of these shirts for Thomas this past week and he wore it to school today! When he asked what was written on his shirt, i said – STRONG LIKE MOM. And he immediately showed me his strong muscles… like mom!

The Strong Like Mom phrase is significant because it has an empowering message. Words have power and attaching words like strong to women changes the overall social dialogue about women and girls. I don’t want to get into any gender specific debates but I do appreciate this word ” STRONG” when used to describe us… moms!

Usually I see words like  sweet and beautiful and pretty when referring to campy phrases about Moms. While words like “strong” are saved for the Dads. These words are so important, especially these days where the sexist divide is so deep.

Thomas thinks I’m the strongest person he’s ever met. We call ourselves ‘The Fast Guys”…. we break all the rules! He has even changed the words to “Bob the Builder’ to sing – ‘Mommy, Mommy, can she fix it. Mommy, Mommy yes she can’ ! 

This is awesome!!!  Go grab yours at Target before they are gone!!

 

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Art for Social Change -Upcycled DIY – Love Wins

When things get tough… we make art. This is the way of the word right? Art heals, The act of creating something is a powerful practice that often times goes neglected when layered deep underneath the stresses of daily life.  As a dancer… movement was my voice, and so is visual art. When stressed, I make art, when feeling hopeless, I make art and these days.. when feeling angry, sad, disgusted by the daily reports from our political “leaders”… I make art. So here ya have it – Art for Social Change -Upcycle DIY – Love Wins!

The kids are feeling this vibe as well. and I’m sure your kids are restless because the words and information they hear at school are not the full story.  I have been arming my 11YO – Lily- with FACTS.  Give them the facts… that is their armor… and ours against the “alternate facts’ people.

OMG, anyway… before I get on my soap box… let me actually tell you what we are doing here today.

The kids and I created an upcycled project to put more good and love into the world.

WE DO NOT SUPPORT this Muslim Ban. How in the world do you rejected an entire group/religion of people.

Again… I digress!

My gosh… let’s put some love into the world. Love and love and love. Let’s remind each other that in the end… LOVE WINS. LOVE is going to WIN!

Here is a quick little DIY for you to do with your kids, family, friends and community. Spread the love. Hang this little sign on trees in your neighborhood, place it in coffee shops and anywhere you want to spread the love.

…and remember… there are MORE OF US!

What You Need:

  • Cardboard – Cereal boxes will do just fine.
  • Paint
  • Wire or thread
  • Beads
  • Love for your fellow humans!

  • Cut up your cardboard into little squares.
  • Paint hearts on the squares.
  • Write a message in a contrasting color.
  • Create hanging handle loop with beads for extra flair.

Hang on trees, walls, coffee shops, libraries or where ever you feel like you want to hang it.

And always remember… that LOVE WILL WIN!

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D.I.Y. Upcycled Winter Snowflakes

​​Just because the Christmas season is over doesn’t mean that winter is over. Here in New York… winter is JUST beginning! We had a light dusting of snow today but most of the ponds have a decent layer of ice, the kids and I have been getting out ice skating, sledding, snow ball fight gear ready.

Believe it or not we craft in this house all day and erryday! This week we worked on one of my most favorite crafts ever! Paper Snowflake garlands. This is the best little winter snow day crafting activity and honestly. you don’t even have to do it with kids!!! I did some of this last night while watching “The Crown” on Netflix.

( The Crown) which BTW i highly recommend. yes its a bit slow… for our fast food media brains. But it’s really great acting and script and all those people are still alive!

Anyway… i digress. back to my Upcycled Snowflake Craft.

OK So first … do you get TONS of junk mail in your real life street address mailbox? yes, you do. Look at those envelopes… on the inside of those envelopes live gorgeous patterns to hide your secret info. Don’t throw those away because those gorgeous prints make for the perfect craft!!!

Lily and I discovered this ages ago and used to love to open junk mail just to discover the patterns. The BLUE ones are kinda rare but the RED patterns are super rare!!!

Thomas and I created a few snowflakes this week and I took the project over and made it a full decor thing.

Happy winter everyone… here is to 2 possible 3 freezing months!!! and hoping for lots and lots of snow days!!!

The details:

Your Supplies:

  • junk mail envelopes
  • thread
  • glue
  • a snowflake craft punch ( i should have already had an amazon affiliate account so I can make some money while you all go out and buy this! – but I encourage you to donate a portion of your AMAZON purchase to a worthy cause – the arts, health, science, environent, education.)

I made this funky video about the craft that will certainly help visual learners like myself. Excuse the reflective image of me in the upground… i’m getting there!

Steps… so easy!

  • Collect your junk mail envelopes
  • open them up to reveal the gorgeous patterns
  • use your snowflake craft punch to punk out the snowflake
  • glue two sides together around the thread
  • and keep going
  • done and done

So easy… so simple and it’s a great way to welcome the winter season.

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5 Things to Do in New York This Weekend

The New York Mom
Dear friday… you know you are my favorite right All those other days.. they are just little weekly obstacles to get to you. But here we are… Friday!I love my weekends and we are always out and about exploring and roaming around trying to find trouble.  This weekend there are a ton of great things to do and I figured I would  share a few things on our agenda.

The New York Mom

  1. Hamilton – The epic musical that is sold out until next century has a significant show this evening. Tonight is Lin Manuel Miranda’s last show. So you know it’s going to be E PI C ! Good luck getting tickets. But if you don’t have tickets you could always stand outside the theatre after or before the show to catch glimpses of the cast.
  2. Hudson Valley Balloon Festival – * Updated* – We tried to go to the festival on Friday evening and it was a bust. There were no food trucks, the balloons were not set up all day and they never launched due to weather but never made an official announcement. Maybe this isn’t a good year to go* We are heading up the Hudson Valley this weekend for this grandiose balloon festival. We often see hot air balloons floating high above and the kids get so excited that we decided to go this year. There is a ton of info about this festival so just swing by the site to check it out. Balloon launches are at 6pm every evening and 6am on Saturday and Sunday as well. I’ll see you there.
  3. Brooklyn Flea/Smorgasburg – This is a summertime MUST in NYC. Located on the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn, this flea market is a total scene! You can spend a whole afternoon looking at all sorts of interesting odds and ends while munching on  yummies from award-winning food trucks. Fashion, food, fun and kid friendly!
  4. John Jay Homestead Farmers Market – Take a Saturday drive up north of Manhattan to the John Jay Homestead Farmers Market. This amazing market is open 9am – 1m with a special scavenger hunt for kids. Local resident Martha Stewart has been known to ride up on her horse to pick up a few provisions. After the Farmers Market – stay in Westchester County for lunch at any number of great restaurants. I’ll suggest a few if you want. If you have kids – head to Muscoot Farm down the road to see the little piglets!
  5. The Amazing Max Live – This is the most wonderful magic show with a very entertaining magician. Lily and I saw The Amazing Max years ago when she was about 6 and I can’t wait to take Thomas on Sunday to see this show. Please swing by the site to see show dates… or I’ll see you Sunday!

 

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Summer 2016

We are in summer mode over here. The kids are out of school and the lazy summer days have begun. Lily has a sleepaway camp later in the summer, Thomas starts a local town camp next month but for this week we are winging it!

I’ve decided not to put Lily in an all summer camp this summer. I want her to just hang, get bored, to have unstructured days, to find her own entertainment, and to hang out with the neighborhood kids.

We moved to this community for this very reason. Lily walks to the town pool, downtown, rides bikes all over the neighborhood with friends, eats popsicles in the afternoon and builds fairy houses with Thomas. It’s that old school – non programmed- summer days of old.

We’ve been having lazy brunches in town and long strolls through our neighborhood saying hi to the chickens and pig and goats.

Yummy Salmon Toast from the Reading Room in Katonah,NY

If you know us , you know that we don’t sit still for long and we have a whole list of summer trips and day trips and quick jaunts all around the tri-state and I can’t wait to share this with you. New York has just so very much to offer and there is never a shortage of engaging activities for kids… I’m talking about hikes, museums, towns to wander through, flea markets, balloon festivals…etc.

Summer 2016 we are ready!

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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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An Easter Brunch Cruise Around Manhattan

Hornblower The New York Mom

We did something a bit out of the box for easter this year and it was the best thing ever! We went on a cruise around New York City. No matter what time of the year this is a great activity for kids in New York City or just a bucket list item for anyone visiting New York City.

Hornblower The New York Mom

Our family is spread out throughout the country with the main fort being in Florida where our parents and grandparents live. My sister-in-law lives in Brooklyn which can feel like a different state sometimes! Matt usually cooks a great big feast for Easter brunch and we spend the whole day flying kites and riding bikes and planting flowers. This year we didn’t have any family visit us for Easter so Matt and I decided to take an Easter brunch cruise around New York City. Let me just start by saying, this was the BEST IDEA EVER! If you have young kids, an easter cruise with Hornblower Cruises is pretty perfect.

Hornblower The New York Mom
The obvious… no cleaning, cooking, wrangling of children nothing… just show up, have a great time, dance, eat and take in the most incredible views. After church we headed over for our Brunch. It was a quick drive down the west side highway and on Sunday’s there is hardly any traffic.

Hornblower The New York Mom

Upon arriving we were greeted by the Easter Bunny… this was a dancing, skipping, very happy Easter Bunny. Thomas was over the moon. He could not believe that we were about to get on  big boat with THE Easter Bunny.

Our table was set with everything we needed including a chilled bottle of champagne!

Hornblower The New York Mom

Hornblower The New York Mom

The food buffet was great – with a variety of food for everyone. Meats, fish, veggies, pasta, carving station, kid friendly food. A massive dessert table with a chocolate fountain seemed to be the hit. After eating, we headed up to the top of the boat to take in the views. Stunning. If you have never been on a cruise around Manhattan you are missing out. It’s romantic, it’s beautiful and you’ll never have access to these views unless you are in the water.

Hornblower The New York Mom

 

Hornblower The New York Mom

New York CityNew York CityBut wait there is so much more… a live jazz band was playing the entire 2 hours and the floor was packed with little kids and adults dancing! And then…

and then…

Hornblower The New York Mom
The EASTER BUNNY! After the cutest easter egg hunt – on the boat – the Easter Bunny came around and said hi to all the kids and adults and danced and took pictures and had the best time.

Hornblower The New York Mom
The Hornblower stops right in front of the Statue of Liberty for about 15 minutes and the views of this and the photo opps are amazing we didn’t make it out in time because the EggHunt had just ended and the kids were busy counting the loot. Priorities ya know!

Hornblower The New York Mom

Hornblower The New York Mom

Hornblower The New York Mom

Overall, this was a great experience. We would absolutely do this again… even with family visiting. The kids loved it, Matt and I didn’t have to worry about anything and the kids both napped on our  45 minute drive back home.

The staff on the Hornblower was the sweetest and catered to the kids and played along with the Bunny. The Bunny by the way was the real deal… and we snapped the best picture for easter!

Hornblower The New York Mom

Hornblower Cruises operate all year-long and I HIGHLY recommend their cruises for visitors this summer. What an amazing way to end your trip to New York – a dinner or brunch cruise around the greatest city in the world with dancing and champs and great food. It’s such a great time! They also have private charters and all sorts of bundles. Swing by HORNBLOWER CRUISE for more.

*This post is sponsored by Hornblower Cruises. All opinions are mine, we really had a great time* 

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Screening of The Little Prince at Jacob Burns Film Center

Lily and I attended a very special sneak- peak screening of the new film The Little Prince. This gorgeous stop motion animation film is inspired by the ever popular children’s book – The Little Prince.

Academy Award Wining Direct Mark Osbourne… a local neighbor up here in the burbs… takes us into a very relatable story but one with a lot of magic. The film was screened for a very special event at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY

The Little Prince is a story of a girl and her single mother. The mother works hard to provide the very best for the child – buying a house in the best school district, scheduling and over scheduling the child so she’s exposed to every single academic experience… all the while.. forgetting about the fun and color and emotion of life. A neighbor.. the Aviator… introduces the child to the world of the Little Prince.

This film is pure art work. From the ideas presented in visual and emotional capacity to the beautiful music and message of the film. It’s a MUST SEE.

I can’t even truly being to express the imagery and the emotion this film exudes… so I’ve attached the trailer for you to view.

This film sticks to you and inspires you and for kids… it opens up a new creative pathway and thinking outside the ‘scheduled’ box. This is a somber film, with a few humorous moments to break it up. It’s thought-provoking and the imagery is just stunning. The film opens with the narrator telling us a story of the first drawing he made as a child. _ it was of a boa constrictor eating an Elephant. Elephant was in the long narrow belly of the Boa and when the narrator presents this image to a class of his peers… they think it’s a hat. This film encourages us to look outside the box… or rather live our entire lives outside the box. Actually get rid of the box entirely! It’s a great reminder to stay forever young… and as a parent… to keep reminding our children that childhood is for creating and creativity and freedom and magic.

Before the screening we met Mark Osbourne and he chatted about the process and had a few of the original clay structures used for the film. Fun Fact : Director Mark Osbourne’s son is the voice of the Little prince in the film. His son was helping out when the film was being created and they loved it so much that they kept him in!

The Little prince runs 108 minutes and is rated PG.

After the screening we walked across the street to the Jacob Burns Media lab for an afternoon of crafting movie making, and digital creativity. The media Lab has some amazing digital creative programs for kids of all ages. Lily’s fave has always been the claymation station.

Swing by JACOB BURNS FILM CENTER to learn all about their amazing film schedule and Media Arts Lab.

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He Named Me Malala – A Review From a Parental Perspective #withMalala

Malala_Social_V1-Rev

Lily’s 5th grade class read about Malala this year. She was inspired and would come home and tell us all about this modern-day hero. So when I was approached to be a media partner for the upcoming documentary – He Named Me Malala – airing on the NatGeo Channel on MONDAY February 29 at 8:00pm EST,   I had to jump onboard.

He Named Me Malala is a powerful documentary about Malala Yousafzai. Malala is the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Peace Prize and she has proven to be this generations, hero in a very unconventional way. Unlike the heroes we see on the big screen – you know muscles, brawn, skin-tight outfits, capes, and magical transforming power, Malala’s strength and power lie in her words.

At the age of 11, living in Pakistan, she decided to start a blog. Yes… a blog. A blog where she talked about the Taliban regime and her support for girls to be educated. She gained fans and was shot down in public 3 times on a bus and left for dead.

He Named Me Malala tells this story and has real-time accounts of what happened, what has happened since, and gives the viewer not only the full play-by-play of Malala’s powerful story but also takes us into her culture and family.

I’m not going to go into a full review of the film, because you can read all about it all over the web. However, I would like to give you a parents perspective and whether or not you should watch this film with your child.  *Note: I said WITH your child. It’s a tough one to have a kid watch alone. 

Lily is 11. She’s in 5th grade. She has read the book and knows the story. She had lots of questions about the shooting and grasping the concept that girls are denied educational rights over boys. She had questions while reading the book and we answered them the best we could.

The film. The film is different. It’s visual and there are a lot of images that are tough to take in for young kids. The content is serious with visuals of the blood on the bus, her face after being shot, and imagery of local life in poverty ridden areas of Pakistan.

There are a few moments of emotional relief like the beautiful relationship she has with her father who, contradictory to the stereotype of Pakistani men, supports and fuels Malala’s women’s right’s movement, and another moment when Malala is caught looking at pictures of David Beckham online. I mean… who can blame her right. But overall, this film is intense. Especially for kids who have not been exposed to any context or real life experience similar to the Pakistani terrain, culture, and imagery in this context and storyline.

He Named Me Malala is a PG-13 film. And this is an appropriate rating. If your child is watching PG-13 movies already, then you should watch this because this film with its ( very few) graphic visuals and true change-makers- story that’s happening right now. At least this film has a better message than other PG-13 flicks where zombies are eating people or snakes have invading a plane or even 6 o’clock the news.

Malala_Social_V5-Rev

This said, it is an important documentary that should be watched by kids in Middle and High School. The mature content will resonate and may even work as a call to action for some kids.

He Named Me Malala is an important documentary and PARENTS… you …WE… should watch it. To know the truth and to know what’s happening and to know that our children will be inspired by this strong change-maker.

What does the name MALALA mean? We learn from the film that – Malala’s father – who is a significant part of inspiring his daughter to fight for what she believes in,  named his first born -fueled with power from the beginning. Malala is named after the Pastun Joan of Arc of sorts –  Malalai of Maiwand,  who fought and gave her own life while she  encouraged Afghan soldiers to stand up against British colonialists.

He Named Me Malala will be shown commercial free on the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC channel on Monday February 29 at 8:00pm ET/7:00pm CT.

Another way to support this amazing story and cause is to tweet #withMalala! Between now and 3/10 and 21st Century Fox will donate $1 to the Malala Fund for every tweet tagged #withMalala. It’s never been easier to support the Fund and girls’ education globally. Tell all your friends to get on board too!

Please tweet this message —>  @thenewyorkmom & I are standing #withMalala Please RT this message to have @21CF donate $1 to @Malalafund 4 supporting girls right to edu! 

*Thanks for swinging by and supporting this powerful story!  You guys are awesome!*

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Valentines Gift Guide for the Gents

It’s almost Valentines Day and I have the perfect Valentines Day Gift Guide for Gents! Men are tough to shop for and while they surely appreciate a good bow tie or a button down, we never seem to surprise the boys with anything exciting. Unless you are like my friend who made a 3D doll that looks like her husband. That’s just bonus points! 

I’ve been writing a few gazillion gift guides this season and thought I would share one of my faves that’s live right on PROVISIONS MAG. 

A fab gift guide for that dashing gent in your life. Hope on over to PROVISIONS MAG for the full scoop!

 

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