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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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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Kid Made Modern – Craft Kits For All Ages

We’ve had a few snowy days up here in the suburbs of NYC and I for one love it. Snow days force us to slow down and take in the season. The kids are home from school and we spend our snowy days baking and crafting. ( in between the yelling and fit throwing) keepin it real yall!

We’ve been working with Kid Made Modern and testing out a few of their crafty kits and I have to report… we love them.What makes Kid Made Modern stand out from other craft kits is their attention to detail, their modern designs and the sense of unique whimsy.

This Winter WonderLand Kit was my favorite to work on. After the kids were in bed after a long day in the snow and friends coming over, I settled by the fire-place and caught up on my latest Netflix binge while painting away. I stayed fairly true to the shapes and tried my best to paint them in as they look, but Thomas, upon seeing them the next day, wanted to douse all the pieces in glitter! A kid after my own glitter lovin heart. Maybe they need an makeover!

While you are busy running around purchasing your Christmas gifts, I would like to suggest a crafty kit from Kid Made Modern. You can find a great selection at Target. We especially love the massive Arts and Crafts Library that comes with everything your little crafty heart desires! There are also gem shaped crayons, or the Ukulele Kit

Long after the holiday season is over… we still have a few months of winter! Making something fun and creating art is our go to boredom buster! You can swing by KID MADE MODERN to pick up a few sets of your own or swing by your local Target to grab them asap!

Happy Holidays everyone!!

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Back to School: Backpacks for Tweens

Back To School: Backpacks for Tweens
The kids are in the middle of the hot days of summer and while we here in New York still have over a month and half to go before school starts, most of the country starts in mid August. Lily starts 6th grade, this fall,  and it’s very exciting. Her sense of style is really becoming her own and no longer will I be able to pick out her accessories, clothes and backpacks.
To keep up with your picky tweens awesome personality, I’ve picked a few of our favorite backpacks this season. Everything from the trendy Pokemon to the classic Herchel is here on this list to fit your picky tweens style!
1. Miss Selfridge Holographic Mini Backpack $53 // 2. Accessorize Galazy $59// 3. Realm Divide Backpack $40 VANS // 4. Nintendo Backpack – $40 VANS // 5. Multi Tropical Backpack $34 GO JANE // 6. Herschel Supply Company $100 Nordstrom // 7. Aeropostale $25 // 8. Pokemon $20 HOT TOPIC //
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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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Dinosaurs love Hillary Clinton too

Madame Alexander Wendy for President

When Barack Obama was sworn into the White House… Lily was 3 years old and lined up all her dolls and ponies to watch the historic moment.

This morning Thomas was so excited about the big news – because Lily and I were chattering about it  at breakfast – that he brought out all his favorite toys to be part of the excitement.

Dinosaurs love Hillary too y’all!

Hillary Clinton 2016

Unless you have been living under a rock these past 24 hours, you know that Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Nominee for the upcoming presidential election.

I’m with her.

Lily and I stayed up late to watch her speech and cheered her along. Her powerful words, inclusive ideas and just overall energy was enough to pave even playing grounds for both genders. Having a daughter grow up with Barack Obama and now Hillary Clinton as leaders of this fine country is magical. we get to talk about equality, we get to talk about fairness, we get to talk about love and patience and building a better future. And we get to do this in an open forum with leaders who openly support these changing times.

I grew up in India with the name Indira Gandhi mentioned all around me. I grew up with a woman as a political figure. This was the norm. So why is this such a big deal in this country which is far more progressive in so many ways.

Play… imitates life… imitates play… and while I’m sure there will be lots of Hillary Clinton dolls for little girls everywhere to role play with… we have found our fave.

The new Madame Alexander doll – Wendy for President – is ready to celebrate this historic time in our political history. This gorgeous collectible doll is dressed in red white and blue with a familiar blonde hairdo. Hmmm… Madame Alexander… did you know something we didn’t! We are super proud of our Wendy for President doll… and Thomas high-fived her on the way off to preschool this morning.

I would snatch this doll up quick… it’s going to sell fast!

Madame Alexander Wendy for President

Swing by Madame Alexander for all the info about this doll.

This post is sponsored. Opinions are my own and not affiliated with the company. 

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What’s the Best Brand of Diaper?

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

The New York Mom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TTPM DIAPER CHALLENGE

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

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

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

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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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Johnson’s 3-Step Bedtime Routine

A baby sleeps a total of 13 months by the time they are 2 years of age.

I know… tell this to the sleep deprived new parents across the globe and they will laugh you out of the nursery!

Tonight we Sleep Johnsons

Any new parent will tell you that all they ever want is SLEEP. Heck… my kids ate 3 and 11 and I STILL ask for a day of sleep for every occasion!

Sleepless parents and newborns go hand in hand. While Thomas and Lily are both past the sleep training stages, we still maintain a bedtime routine for consistency, keeping everyone on schedule and claming down before sleep.

When Thomas was a baby, seems like just yesterday, we had many many M A N Y sleepless nights. He didn’t cry but was just awake and ready to play. A bedtime routine was established early on to help with his sleep. But still, as babies hit growth milestones every few weeks, sleep patterns are disrupted and change. It’s important for babies to have a consistent schedule that repeats everyday. This way there are no hidden bedtime surprises. A consistent bedtime routine also helps us when we travel. Our family loves to travel and we would keep our bedtime routine in tact for a smooth transition in our adventurous locale.

Last week I attended an event with Johnson’s to celebrate their new 3 Step Sleep Routine and the launch of their brand new globally inspired lullaby – Tonight We Sleep. As a frequent contributor in the baby/ parenting space, i was thrilled to be there and hear first hand from the Johnson’s research team.

The list of sleep benefits for child and parent go one but some research points that stood out were pretty eye-opening. The growth hormone is released when babies sleep, thus nighttime teething pains. How about a good night’s sleep benefits babies socially and helping them stay focused. One of the biggest take away points was that babies develop an internal clock at 12 weeks. Thus having a sleep routine in place is vital. Of course the sleep benefits for parents, especially mothers or the primary caregiving parent, is vast. Parents who sleep well are happier, reduce chances of depression, are social and all around well-balanced especially during the infant stages.

So Johnsons has developed a 3 Step Sleep Routine to help babies go to sleep and offer parents much-needed down time.

STEP ONE: WARM BATH.  My kids love bath time. A warm bath with soothing moisturizing scents helps set up the tone for the routine.

STEP TWO: MASSAGE I need a daily step two massage in my bedtime routine too! A moisturizing lotion for after bath massage helps stimulate the skin, relaxes baby and is great for bonding.

STEP THREE: QUIET TIME A lullaby and a book. We have a toy that sets up a starry projection on the ceiling, calming music and a short book. Reading to your child is essential to their learning and music certainly tames the bedtime worries.

Johnson’s also released a new lullaby – Tonight We Sleep –  inspired by global sounds. Most fascinating was the attention to details, this piece of music takes the rhythm of mom’s heartbeat as baby hears it in the womb, adding percussion, static noise, ocean and rainforest sounds, and vocals made this beautiful lullaby complete.

Sleep is vital and challenging for some babies. But helping set up good routines keep both baby and parent healthy and happy!

 

*This post was sponsored by Johnson’s Baby and the Motherhood* 

 

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