New York Mom Eats: O Mandarin in Westchester

If I could roam the world and eat all day… I would! Maybe one day when these dragons are grown and fly the nest, I’ll travel and eat and eat and travel! You with me!

Best part about living in New York… there are many best parts… but one of the best parts is the food. Oh. My. Goodness. –  there is no shortage of amazing food to be found in ever single price range.

Moving up here to Westchester – Suburbs of NYC – has not slowed us down in our foodie adventures. Some of the best restaurants are housed up here. Jean Georges, Blue Hill Stone Barnes, so many!

Recently Matt and I dined at O Mandarin in Hartsdale. This is a new Chinese, Sichuan restaurant inspired by, mentored by, somewhat related to the famed cult-following, elusive chef Peter Chang. If you don’t know Peter Chang, please take a second to read about him. He has a following like none other and in his early days, he had to change his name just to keep hidden from fans for certain reasons. Long story… look it up!

We are BIG BIG fans and love that there is something remotely affiliated with him up here in the burbs!

The chef at O Mandarin is Eric Gao, who is a protégé of Peter Chang. This wasn’t a media invite so I am only writing from my pure “fan girl’ point of view.

Any place with soup dumplings is just calling my name! Matt and I met for a quick lunch date and cozied up in a dimly lit booth for our meal. We loved the food we had but didn’t experiment much. I can’t wait to go back for the Peking duck meal and the whole fish meal.  We had the Yu Xiang Pork  – Bamboo | Celery | Bell Pepper | Mushroom and the Shredded Pork in Sweet Bean Sauce –  Cucumber | Scallion | Steamed Buns.  The food was fresh, and very very authentic. Each dish had its own flavor profile that we just indulged in.

I can’t wait to head back for a full meal!

I forgot to tell you about the best part . O Mandarin is located at – 361 N. Central Avenue, Hartsdale –  in the same shopping plaza as my other fave – H-MART!! all the goods in one place.

I would love to know if you go… report back!

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New York Mom EATS: Barnes and Noble Concept Store

Last week our friends at Barnes and Noble invited me over to check out their new concept store right here in Westchester County. There are only a handful of these stores in the country and only one in New York.


What a treat! This Barnes and Noble store offers a full sit down restaurant, and a bar that serves local wine and beer. Of course their coffee game is right on point!

We met the chef who took us through a play by play of each course complete with his favorite tips for the food. His secret to that amazing hummus… more tahini.


The space is gorgeous with a massive outdoor patio complete with fire pit and bocce ball courts. I love being able to park myself in the comfy cafe and get some work done! The new concept store is bringing a sense of community back to the bookstore. I love bookstores, large and small. This concept store is targeting all ages and demos, families, singles, seniors, students, networking events… all of it. Hope to see you there sometime!

Barnes And Noble WESTCHESTER  is  located at 680 Post Road, Eastchester, NY.

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Pool Essentials with Speedo

This post was sponsored by Speedo USA. I received Speedo products as compensation.

It’s that time of the year, bird are chirping, tulips are popping out of the frozen ground , snow is melting, weather is warming and I have the think about swimsuit season!

For most of us, shopping for a swimsuit is not fun. Over the summer, I spend almost every single day at out town pool with our neighbors. While this might sound like an ideal situation – lounging at the pool for endless hours, reading a book, sipping on a cold drink, chatting with neighbors. It’s not all you are imagining. My pool experience with a preschooler consists of getting in and out of the pool several times, being cold and wet and while in the pool being tugged on in all directions, bathroom runs, swims in the deep pool with Thomas grabbing onto me and the best part having to chase him all around the pool with nothing on but a swimsuit suit! Not a good look!

This season, I’ve teamed up with Speedo USA to share some pretty amazing swimsuit finds that I know will be mom approved. For a summer town pool suit, I’m looking for comfort, great quality, support in the mid section and of course style. Most of all I want a quality suit that will keep up with our busy summer that includes, water skiing, paddle board, surfing and daily trips to the town pool.

Speedo has lots of options for swimsuits but I choose a couple one pieces that are comfortable and quick to throw on. The Ombre suit is my fave and is made from a Xtra Life LYCRA® fabric that resists the effects of chlorine to last longer than conventional swim fabrics. I also like that it had built in cups for shape. The Pebble Texture One Piece has extra support in the mid section a v-neck and a conservative fit. Something busy moms of toddlers and preschoolers will appreciate for sure.

When the town pool opens, we collect all our pool gear – towels, sunscreen, toys – and head up to the pool for hours. We end up meeting friends and sometimes even order pizza for dinner at the pool. A comfortable swimsuit is essential for these days and a cover-up is a must!

I encourage you to swing by Speedo USA to check out their suits. I found some great two pieces and cover-ups to last me my entire summer! Shopping for a swimsuit doesn’t have to be scary, you just have to find the right brand.

Happy Summer all!

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Yonkers Brewing Company – Westchester Restaurant Review

Matt and I were recently invited to a private beer tasting at the Yonkers Brewing Company. We jumped at the chance to go out on a rare date night! The city of Yonkers is on the Hudson River in lower Westchester County. Westchester County is sometimes considered the ” other borough” to NYC.

If you haven’t been to the Yonkers Brewing Company, you should go NOW! The restaurant has large exposed industrial ceilings, long communal tables, an even longer bar and some great food and drinks. The open relaxed communal vibe makes this restaurant perfect for couples, groups and kids!

We had a private tasting with the master brewer, Dave Hartman,  who gave us all the deets on all the new offerings at Yonkers Brewing Company. We had a flight of 6 beers and food that paired perfectly with each.

Matt , the snobby beer drinker that he is, loved the whole experience. He loved getting to talk beer-making with Dave Hartman and chatting with local leaders in Yonkers.

I’ve heard amazing things about the brunches at YBC… and can’t wait to go back. Kids in tow!

When you do make it over to Yonkers Brewing Company, make sure you take advantage of the location. Go for a walk along the water or visit the other restaurants in the area. The town boasts a wonderful waterfront location and perfect for warm spring days! The town of Yonkers has put a lot of effort into making this waterfront city a destination and it really doesn’t disappoint.

Stop by Yonkers Brewing Company to learn more and plan a visit!

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Clinique Crayola Chubby Stick – Review

Guess who looooves Lipstick just as much as me! The little MOTO. So when I was trying to get some beauty blogger worthy shots of me and my Clinique Crayola Chubby Stick lips… he wanted in.

Of course we are the cutest beauty duo ever! and this is what you get for encouraging beauty reviews on this little blog!

Have you seen these new Crayola Chubby Sticks from Clinique? They are the best. they look like chunky crayons which doesn’t help when you have a 4Yo who wants all your stuff and then finds these ‘ crayons’ and colors all over his face!

Clinique has a very limited edition set of 8 colors in the Crayola Chubby Sticks. The color goes on like a lip balm with a tint that is bold and stays on. I said tint.. which means you can create an intensity by simply applying it in layers or just once.

The Chubby Sticks come in super fun colors for all skin types!  – Brick Red, Wild Strawberry,  Mango Tango, Melon, Mauvelous, Pink Sherbert, Fuzzy Wuzzy, Red Violet,

The shea butter helps soothe these chapped lips form this never ending winter up here in New York! and my little helper, Thomas, loved the shades as well.

These Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks are perfect to toss in your bag and throw on a bit of color when you need a quick bit of a touch up in your day! And are such a fun must-have for your beach bag this summer!

Swing by CLINIQUE to find out more and where to purchase!

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6 Best Red Lipsticks for Valentine’s 2017


Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I’ve rounded up a few of my most favorite shades of red lipsticks for you to rock! A costume designer – from my days on stage- once told me… “Honey just throw on a red and the world is yours for the taking”. Truer words have never been spoken… these days, I thrown on a red lip when cleaning, when wanting to feel put together, or just for fun.

Having brown/olive skin, it’s really hard to find a good shade of red. But not to worry my little brown girl peeps… There is no shortage of reds in my makeup bag which means I have weeded out the ones that don’t work to hand-pick my select few.

Some of these … like the Stilla and NARS shades are cult classics and have a fierce following. So if you see them in stock… snatch ’em up and send me one! I had to go to 3 Sephoras in Manhattan to replenish the Cruella from Nars! Finally got it!

Best Red Lipsticks for Olive and Brown Skin.

These colors are great for all skin colors and are actually perfect shades of red, with just the right amount of orange but not too much of the pink.

  • Bobbie Brown – Burnt Red 9
  • MAC – Liptensity – Fireworks
  • Palladio – High Intensity Herbal Lip Balm – Red Rush
  • NARS – Cruella
  • Stilla – stay all day – Liquid Lipstick – Beso
  • Makeup Forever – Rouge Artist Intense – Mat 8

Kisses!!

 

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Craft Kits for Tweens and Teens

Craft Kits for Tweens and Teens
It’s almost time to have all your presents neatly wrapped under the tree. Are you done with all your shopping?? We aren’t! Thomas is super easy to shop for. As a newly minted 4-year-old, he loves anything and everything! Dinosaurs, Superheros, trains, trucks and paints.
Lily being a tween is tougher to shop for. As kids get older the choices dwindle down and gifting is a challenge.
I have found a few crafting lines that are perfect for the tween and teen set. They offer really unique craft kits like – foosball table kits or dream catchers and even a DIY speakers kit.
Here is a great list of 6 Craft Kits for Tweens and Teens.

This is a great gift for older kids. When finished this is one fully functioning foosball table!! Super fun!

Ukulele Kit Kid Made Modern
kidmademodern.com
For the music lover in your home, The Ukulele Kit from Kid Made Modern is a MUST. This kit comes with glitter stickers, paint and everything you need to make and decorate your Ukulele.

This dream catcher kit is easy to follow and comes with feathers, beads and the pom poms. This makes for very cool room decor.

Jam out to your music with speakers you made yourself! This kit comes with foldable speakers, paints stickers and basically everything for you to create you jammin boom box!

Journal Kit Kid Made Modern
kidmademodern.com
If you have a tween or teen you know that journaling is total THING! This journal kit includes a 250 page book paints, stickers, glitter tape and more. It’s a one stop journaling shop!

I have been a loyal follower of Handmade Charlotte and not their craft kits are available at Michaels Arts and Crafts. These unique crafts include everything from chandeliers, to framed art.
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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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5 Weeks Until Christmas and 5 Toys You Need Now!

 

We have a little over 5 weeks before Jolly Old Saint Nicholas is going to come sliding down the chimney to drop off lots of toys for your kids! I’ve come across some really fantastic toys for this season that will appeal to kids of all ages and maybe even adults… can you say… LEGO DISNEY CASTLE! It’s stunning!

These are few of the favorites that are Thomas and Lily approved. As you know, most if not all of these toys have been tested by me and my crew… AKA Thomas and Lily… and usually Jonah gets a hold of something  and after clawing it out of his jaw… we write about it.

Disney Castle LEGO

Disney Castle Playset – LEGO – $349.00 I don’t know about the kids, but I WANT THIS. The Disney Castle play set has 4080 pieces and builds an amazingly detailed Disney Castle. This is a MUST for Disney Fans. Get it while you can… it’s selling quick!

Torch Blazin Dragon

Torch My Blazin Dragon – Hasbro $65 It’s not the Game of Thrones Khaleesi Dragons… but it’ll do for the kids. This dragon blinks and breathes fire and even “toasts’ marshmallows! Also a hot item this season… so grab it!

Thomas and Friends Mini Playset

Thomas and Friends Minis Twist and Turn Stunt Set $20  This entire line in on my Thomas’s wish list. He can’t get enough of these minis. They twist and turn and spiral back up. Thomas and Friends Minis Playset also have a whole new DC Superheros line… Thomas as Batman… believe it!

sky-viper-remote-control-hover-ptru1-23893606dt

Sky Viper Hover Racer $99.99 This hover craft is #1 on Lily’s list. It’s tough to find toys for kids as they get older so I was super excited to discover the Sky Viper. It’s a great, sturdy quality, that can handle rough play and a giant dog going after it!

Love-2-Learn-Elmo

Love2Learn Elmo HASBRO $59.99 – Just when you think you have outgrown the Elmo stage… they reel you back in. This is the new 2016 version that is bluetooth compatible. Imagine Thomas’ surprise when Elmo said his name! There is soooo much this new version of Elmo does that I could write a whole piece on it. It helps with learning alphabet, numbers, colors, silly phrases and songs… so much more! PJ Masks Headquarters Playset

PJ Masks Headquarters Playset – $69.99 Thomas is WISHING for this playset. We can’t find it anywhere!! PJ Masks – which is NOT TJ MAXX –  I thought he was saying this all along… anyway PJ MASKS is Thomas’ favorite show and if you have a toddler/preschooler then you know what I am talking about. This Headquarters Playset is all he wants and it’s sold out practically everywhere. It’s such a fun toy that has spinning parts a slide and whatever else magic that Thomas is into. No really though… if you have a PJ MASKS fan… this HAS to be under your tree. Along with every PJ MASKS toy made!

There is so much. SO PLEASE keep stopping by. I want to have short gift guides this year so as not to overwhelm anyone. We have DIY guides, Craft, indie… all sorts of guides coming up and soooo many toys!

One more thing… from my soapbox… PLEASE try to shop local… I know that some small toy shops don’t carry these toys ( but some might). If you do shop online, please link your shopping spending to a charity many places like Amazon and Target allow you to do that.

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Snacking on the Go with Earth’s Best

 

The New York Mom Moms-Night-out

Our mornings around here are hectic. We are up before the sun is up, Lily is on a bus at 6:45AM, Thomas is in school a coupe times a week at 9am, I catch a 7:18Am train to NYC, Matt’s out to door… it’s non stop.

I have a few go-to foods that make the weekly snack and lunch round.  Earth’s Best has been on the rotation for Thomas, they have a great selection of organic snacks for babies and toddlers. Recently Earth’s Best launched a line of yummy snack foods for older kids. A granola bar or a fruit cup for after school or before soccer practice makes all the difference in the world.

The kids have loved the Mini Cookies and the fruit pouches. These are SUCH yummy treats that can be just tossed in your bag or left in the car for snacking anytime of your hectic day.

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*This is a sponsored post, all opinions are mine*

 

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