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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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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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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