LEGO Ninjago City Adventure in Westchester – Review

LEGOLAND Ninjago

Calling all NINJAS! The much anticipated LEGO Ninjago movie is finally out in theatres and I have one very excited ninja ready to go! To celebrate the film, we headed to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester to experience their new attraction and get a sneak peek of the new LEGO Ninjago City Adventure in Westchester!

LEGOLAND Ninjago

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester has an amazing new attraction – LEGO® Ninjago City Adventure. We headed over on Saturday to check out all the excitement and it did not disappoint. Legoland Westchester is exciting, to begin with, but now with a Ninjago theme, my little Green Ninja was over the moon.

LEGOLAND NinjagoThe new attraction has lots of cool exhibits that we loved. We loved the LEGO 4D film, decoding the secret language of Ninjago with Ninjago characters and even meeting Kai, The Red Ninja of Fire.

LEGOLAND Ninjago

But our favorite was The LEGO® Ninjago City Adventure which is a two story 2300 square foot play area modeled after the Temple of Airjitzu that the kids absolutely loved. In true Ninja training style, the kids loved finding their way through the maze and working on their ninja abilities.

LEGOLAND Ninjago

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester is definitely a not-to-be-missed destination. LEGOLAND is at Ridge Hill shopping center which has a ton of amazing stores and restaurants. The kids love being at LEGOLAND and Matt and I take turns shopping through – Lord and Taylor, H&M, REI, TJ MAXX, Sur La Table, Uniqlo and the super swank new Brooks Brothers Flatiron store!

LEGOLAND Ninjago

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester is in Yonkers, NY and open daily. But be sure to get your tickets in advance if you can because it does get pretty busy. Swing by LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester for all the details.

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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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Lucky and Me – Giveaway

Lucky and Me GiveawayI am pretty particular about the fabrics the kids wear. These fabrics are touching their skin, their stinky-sweaty bodies and I just worry about how this is effecting their pores, skin, and overall health. We switched to all cotton long time ago, when Lily was around 5 years old and with Thomas we continue to use mostly cotton clothing. This is especially important when it comes to bedtime wear  and underwear.

Lucky and Me - Giveaway

I’m working with Lucky and Me to give away a fab $75 shopping spree to one lucky reader. We recently discovered Lucky and Me and absolutely love it. All products are made from a super soft organic cotton or cotton blend. We have the cotton tees, briefs and boxers and really love the quality. They only get softer when washed! Lucky and Me has both girls and boys underwear in all styles and colors.

Are you ready for a shopping spree?? Let’s do it.

To enter to win – You must follow the rafflecopter link to enter. Contest ends at 12AM on Saturday 9/16.

Leave only ONE comment on this blog post AND swing by my FB page – New York Mom. 

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. We really do love cotton underwear!! and looove this new brand we discovered. Thanks for stopping by and hearing about the brands who sponsor The New York Mom. 

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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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