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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STRONG LIKE MOM

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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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A S.T.E.A.M. Play Space at The Westchester Mall

The long-awaited play space at the Westchester Mall has finally opened! and just in time for the winter months.

Thomas and I headed to the mall to run a few errands and pick up a christmas suit for him and lo and behold… the play space was open! This is part of the new Connect and Play – tech lounge and play center that really brings the classic mall play space into the tech world. There are comfy couches and charging stations all around and the play space is nothing short of an interactive science and art center!

This Play space is not like other mall play spaces. It’s almost like a mini children’s museum with a full S.T.E.A.M. focus. There are 4 primary activity centers featuring – art, engineering, music, and a tile table. A STEAM jr, space for babies and toddlers is blocked off to keep the crawlers and early walkers contained and safe.

Thomas and I were there on a weekday morning and it was really quiet and clean. I am curious to see what this space will look when it’s used. While I felt that the space was pretty cool with the STEAM focus, Thomas wanted to just run around and there really isn’t any space to just run. Additionally the Tile Table is pretty small and there were 3 kids at the table when we were there and that was at capacity, the digital art easels filled up too and Thomas had to wait for his turn but it took some of the play out of the experience. I know my toddler and he wants to tumble and run and there isn’t much for that. But there is a lot of interesting interactive play and he loved the engineering corner.

Thomas and I are looking forward to spending some time at this play space this winter. Bonus for me… there is an Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Potterbarn, Apple Store, Sur La Table and so much more at the Westchester!

The fancy new food court is slated to open Aril2017… I can’t wait! Seems like this is a new concept for mall food courts and play spaces. I’m looking forward to seeing all the changes.

The Westchester Mall is in White Plains, NY and a quick train ride or drive north of Manhattan.

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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!

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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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on weekends…

The New York MomThe New York MomThe New York Mom

The weather in New York has been amazing these past couple days and this makes me so very happiiee! Watermelons have been overflowing at the grocery stores and Thomas and Lily can pretty much eat an entire melon in one setting. These babies can’t get enough of this summer fruit. I kinda miss the seeds in watermelons don’t you. Remember back in the day when watermelons had those giant black seeds? and you would have contests to see who could spit the seeds out the farthest? These kids are robbed of their summer spitting contests.

Our back yard is filled with birds every color of the rainbow and the bird feeders have been needing to be refilled every other day. Matt and Lily even saw a humming bird at our feeder last week and Jonah sits under one of the trees and teases all the squirrels and birds.

It’s our first spring season in the new house and we’ve really loved seeing the flowers and trees and wild life wake up from their long hibernation.

I love summer weekends!

Happy Friday everyone.

 

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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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Painting Eggs – Our Easter Tradition

So much gets lost in translation with consumerism during religious holidays. Easter has become nothing more than bunnies, egg hunts, toys, chocolates, unwrapping chocolate toys and overstuffed baskets of more toys and chocolates.

We haven’t fallen for most of this hype and do try hard to keep the reason for the Easter season in the forefront.

The church that we have been attending since our move had a great Good Friday program for the kids and both Lily and Thomas came back with lots to report. Thomas was especially excited to tell us that JESUS LIVES! he didn’t die… he lives!

We tried to dye eggs last week and both kids lost interest really quickly and really just wanted to play with the colored water more than dying eggs. Lily and I started painting eggs a few years ago. We would boil the eggs and then get out the watercolors and acrylics and just paint. I love this tradition and hope to hold on to it for years to come. We sit at the kitchen table with our cup of tea, eggs, paints, brushes and chat. Golden moments of tween insight!

The biggest news for the year is that this year we have a new Easter Bunny – L I L Y! It’s bitter-sweet. She sorta knew the truth and wouldn’t let me talk about the bunny anymore so I final told her the real deal and she’s had such fun shopping for sweet treats and bubbles for Thomas’ basket.

Another tradition that we have is planting flowers around the yard during Easter weekend. The kids and Matt went to the local nursery and bought a few flowers, but the ground is still sorta frozen so we have to wait a bit to plant. But the flowers are here and we did some yard work and refilled all the bird feeders. This afternoon there was a bright red cardinal who was busy collecting materials to build his nest and Thomas and I watched him for a while as he hopped around and foraged for his supplies. We’ve been waking up to the loud chirping of birds every morning and I don’t mind it at all. like clockwork around 5:45/6am… the birds are up!  I am so ready for spring!

 We came home to find that Jonah had rummaged through the trash to pick out the chicken bones from the previous nights dinner.

Me: Oh goodness Jonah! You are going to die if you eat all these chicken bones! 

Thomas: (without missing a single beat) He’s not going to die mom! We will just put him in a cage ( cave) and he will come back to life. 

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Happy Easter Everyone.

 

 

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Favorite Easter Basket Picks

It’s time for filling up our Easter baskets and I wanted to share a few creative and NON-CANDY ideas for the perfectly balanced basket with my Favorite Easter Basket Picks.

Lily knows the truth about ole E.B and this year she gets to be in on the fun and has been helping me collect a few things for the baskets.  I am not one for candy filled baskets, I try to keep the sugary treats to a minimum to avoid a massive sugar crash later in the day.  So for parents who are torn on giving into the sugar hype of it all …. here are some Easter Basket picks I know you will like.

  1. Kites – Kites are the BEST gift and every year we sneak a themed kite into the basket!
  2. Bubbles – This is a year round outdoor toy. Even in the snow… you can find us blowing bubbles!
  3. Stickers – You can never have enough stickers especially with toddlers. Thomas is getting dinosaur stickers and Lily is getting Shopkins stickers.
  4. Puzzles – A small box of puzzles is also a MUST for a sweet basket.
  5. Chocolate Bunny – I don’t have to tell you that every Easter Basket needs a Chocolate hollow bunny… right!
  6. Jelly Beans – Jelly Beans are Easter Bunny poop… but you knew that! How could you NOT include these!
  7. Butterfly Net – It’s springtime after all and a butterfly net not only makes for charming pictures but kids will spend a good amount of time running around trying to catch a butterfly!
  8. Art Supplies – Every basket needs art supplies – Sidewalk chalk, crayons, watercolors anything to get the kids making art.
  9. Gardening Supplies – The kids are each getting their own shovel, rake and watering can. Lily gets a metal version and Thomas is a small kids plastic set.
  10. Plants – a small bag of seeds for kids to plant is always such a treat. My kids immediately plant them in the ground and within days we have sprouts! Here in NY the ground is still frozen so this year a small potted plant is part is included.

Have fun making your baskets hope you found this helpful!

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A Day at Muscoot Farm

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The weather has finally warmed up enough for us to throw on some coats and boots and headed off to the farm. The kids and I have been stir crazy and have been craving a good ole afternoon at our local farm. Muscoot Farm, is just a couple of miles from our house and it’s our go-to on any given day for hiking, farm chores, and saying hello to all the animals. IMG_1670   IMG_1749 IMG_1769-0 Muscoot Farm

I used to take Lily to this farm when she was younger and it’s been a treat to be back in the area for Thomas and his own farm adventures.

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Some of the pictures… the ones with the leaves… are from a trip to Muscoot in November. But I came across them while writing this and had to share. Thomas loves this farm and we love to support it. From the farmers market on weekends, the kids programming, Maple Sugaring, fairy gardens, farm chores… all of it. There is something for every age and never a dull moment.

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It was still a bit cold this week, but we managed. The trees were all being tapped for maple syrup and there were babies in the barn. Thomas is at eye level with all the animal private bits so this makes for constant, interesting, non-filtered, commentary for all to enjoy.

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Although the ponds were frozen it didn’t stop us from our favorite activity… throwing things into the water. This time we threw ice chunks into the water and watched them bounce all across the pond.

I’m so excited for the week ahead. We have temps in the 50’s and 60’s which means it’s flip-flop weather right!

We barely even had a winter over here and i’m still eagerly awaiting the warmer weather. Just thinking about flip flops, shorts, no jackets, no snow boots, no socks… enough to make a gal do a little summertime dance!

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A Dog and His Boy #beastandmoto

I keep getting asked to post more photos of Jonah and Thomas and I am so flattered! They seem to have their own fan base from far and wide! I want to keep to my organic photo philosophy and try to never ‘stage’ photos. I just capture these moments as they happen. All with my iPhone right in the moment. So the photos are grainy and there is clutter in the background and the lighting is off… but it’s real! A dog and his boy!

Follow me on Instagram to get all the pics!  #beastandmoto



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