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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STRONG LIKE MOM

#StronglikeMom
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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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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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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 Whole 30 Breakfast Best – Sweet Potato Pancakes 

I’ve been making a really simple, delish and kinda fancy breakfast lately. The kids and Matt love this and it’s really easy to put together.

I guess you can call them a Sweet Potato Pancake Delight!

/\ PRESS PLAY /\

Ingredients:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Avocado
  • Eggs
  • Onions
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Butter or Ghee (clarified butter)

Shave the sweet potato using a cheese grater or you can use a zucchini peeler to get longer shreds.

Once you have shred your potatoes, chop up one onion and add to the potatoes. Next,  crack an egg and add that to the potatoes. The egg is going to help hold the potato pancake together when you cook it. Salt and Pepper for taste.

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Next you add some butter or Ghee to your hot pan. If you are on the WHOLE 30 program like I am… add ghee.

Scoop up small amounts of the mixture of potato, onions, and egg and add to your pan.Just drop the potato mixture in a little clump and then press down to flatten with your fork. Don’t spread the potatoes… just smash them down.

Fried up an egg – we like ours sunny side up or poached. And then you layer layer layer!

Start with about 3 potato pancakes, sliced fresh avocado and the egg to top it off.

Lily likes to add Sriracha sauce to the top of the egg for a spicy kick. 

Eat and eat! That’s it… super easy right. You are going to love this breakfast meal. It’s very filling, tasty and super healthy. You can also add chives, mushrooms and whatever else you want to your potato pancake. 

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#YouthMarchTogether

#YouthMarchTogetherLike many of you, we, in this house, are feeling out of sorts and at times hopeless. This is something that our kids perceive and understand. The question I have myself as a mom is, do I want my kids to think that hopelessness wins or do I give them some tools for not just coping, but for being part of a movement that stands for something different.
What kids really need to know now…

they need to know they are Safe

they need to know they are Loved

they need to know they are Accepted

they need to know that GOOD WINS

Kids need hope, they want to be involved, and kids need concrete action. I’ve been going back and forth about how Lily, my 11 YO, can feel involved in this current climate. She feels the unease and asks questions, observes harsh words being tossed around at her school and wants to do something. But what?


Your news feed is being filled with plans of people who will march this weekend, in DC, in NYC, in states all across this country. Some of us won’t be able to make these marches and most kids won’t be there. So how do kids, our youth, who are so very effected by this electoral outcome and the conflicting environment, how do our youth participate in this, how do they get involved?

I suggest a project.

This is for our youth. YOU are the future change-makers, YOU will make a difference, YOU will ensure that kindness and good will win and YOUR VOICE is POWER!

To YOU marching this weekend… our kids, young people, our youth stand with YOU… the millions marching this weekend… we stand with you and this is how we will show our support.


Use the reach of social media to get the message out. I encourage you to write #YouthMarchTogether on the palm of your hand and share an image via your social channels.

Tag @YouthMarchTogether on Insta!

We are all in this TOGETHER. We MARCH forward TOGETHER.

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Weekend Vibes: A day at the Dia:Beacon

Art is a healing medium and i’ve been pretty stressed, as have most of you, within this current social climate. I have been feeling hopeless, helpless and just angry. So we’ve been getting out and roaming the lands, and taking day trips all over the Hudson Valley.

One of our favorite museums in New York is the Dia: Beacon. The Dia:Beacon is north of Manhattan, in the Hudson Valley in the town of Beacon. The museum is housed in a space that used to be the Nabisco box printing factory. This museum features large-scale installations and interactive site specifics.

I used to go to this museum before kids and these days, we just take the kids with us. All the installations are large and take up an entire gallery space, there are no borders or limits to experiencing this museum.

It’s important to expose children to all styles of art. I especially love the Dia because the presentation of these pieces is like none other. You are not looking at a painting on the wall or a classic sculpture. These are art installations that you interact with, you enter into and you add to the artful perspective. Thomas immediately caught on to Fred Sandback’s – Untitled (construction) series. In this minimalist piece, that takes up multiple rooms, Sandback outlines the vertical space with yarn to create a space. Thomas upon seeing this immediately said, ” it looks like there is something there… but there is nothing there, look I can walk right through it”. 


Lily loved the works of Dan Flavin, His light sculptures were throughout the museum and she loved the playful nature of the light and how it appears to change color the more you look at it.

On the weekends there are kids programs and my kids love getting lost in all the supplies and creating whatever inspires them. Lily made Thomas a dress out of the materials and Thomas was only too happy to get her undivided attention for that long.

My favorite has always been the massive Richard Serra sculptures. We loved dancing amidst them and walking through the winding spaces. The Merce Cunningham Dance Company did a dance site-specific at the Dia a few years ago and it was quite stunning.

The Dia is such a gem up here in the Hudson Valley. It’s a quick train ride up the Metro North from NYC and once here, the town of Beacon is full of small shops and restaurants. It’s one of our favorite weekend getaways.

The Dia has locations in NYC as well. Swing by their site to get all the info.

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New Year, Clean Home

Photo Via Unsplash

I love to start off the new year with a clean house, clean inbox, clean closet… just a nice fresh start. The freshness of the new year gives me permission to delete things, toss clothes, items, clutter and do a deep clean.

We’ve had a few gorgeous snow days here in New York and I took full advantage of being stuck inside and … cleaned!

I have a few simple tips to get your house in tip-top shape for the what the new year brings… these tips are especially great if you have a giant dog that sheds everywhere!

  1. Bedroom – Clean sheets on all the beds and as a bonus, I like to buy new pillows for all the beds… your pillows have been on the bed for 12 months. Time to change them.
  2. Wash your shower curtain, bath mats, and all towels – bath, kitchen, bar and guest towels. Throw out your shower liner and bathmats. Just throw them away. Don’t bother washing them.
  3. Clean your baseboards – it really makes a difference. I use a dryer sheet to get rid of the static dog hair and them wipe down with a wash cloth and warm water.
  4. Clean out your car. Do it… start anew!! You can do this yourself or treat your car to a yearly full-detail at your local car wash.
  5. Vacuum. Dedicate a half day to moving furniture, taking cushions off couches, getting behind and under things and vacuum the entire house. Good luck!
  6. Wipe down your light switch plates and doors. Have you noticed how dirty they get. Our doors are all white and so are out light switch plates… filthy little dirty finger marks all over these surfaces. A simple dishcloth and warm water does the trick… or you can use a disinfectant spray.
  7. Drop a few drops of a lavender, lemon or jasmine oil on your heater coils to let the scent drift throughout the house.
  8. Clean out the fridge. I found a nasty tub of rice pudding from last summer deep in there. Clean that out, start the new year with a shiny fridge!
  9. Deep clean your kitchen… the heart of the house. Spend an entire day scrubbing this room down. All appliances, floor, stack of clutter papers in the corner…get this done!
  10. Plant some flowers or succulents. Fill the bird feeders. Start the new year with new life and nature.

Happy 2017 everyone!

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Happy Birthday Jonah

“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”

Dean Koontz

My sweet Jonah turned 8 this week. The kids and I haven’t had a party for him yet… although everyday in this house seems to be a party…. that I’m always crashing! We are planning a weekend party with homemade doggies treats and kiddie treats.

Jonah is my sweet baby boy. He’s my constant. Dogs are pretty amazing people and I am pretty sure we have the best one of all.

Our daily routine is pretty much the same , the days I’m home.

//We are all up so very early in the morning and Jonah is right there in the midst of it all, having his breakfast, giving out morning kisses, chasing out whatever animal has been resting overnight in the yard and sending everyone off for the day. When things settle down – Lily is off at 6:45am – he immediately hops on her bed for his morning nap. //Next it’s Thomas turn to get out the door – 9am drop off. Thomas has second breakfast… and so does Jonah. Thomas usually drops a few bits of food here and there and Jonah is ready and willing to clean it up. After Thomas is dropped off… he hops on Thomas bed for his second nap of the morning. I settle into work or head off to the local coffee shop to get things done. When I return… he’s on my bed part two of his second nap. //We usually snuggle in the mid morning, he lies on my legs or leans his head on my shoulder while I work. There is some chasing of birds and squirrels, staring down the mailman who tosses him a treat. The UPS guy walks to the front door and Jonah gets his belly rubs and treats from him too. So much for a killer St. Bernard. //Lily comes home from school at 2:30pm… and Jonah is right at the door waiting for her. Tail a wagging round and round in circles, he greets her with kisses and sometimes knocks her to the floor for more. Oh! that was a lot… nap time again. //Next, I pick up Thomas from school and we get back around 3:15pm – more kisses. Everyone – kids and beast all have snacks… and head out to play. //This nap eating schedule basically goes on until bedtime when he sits in each child’s room for bedtime stories, tucks them in and meets me to watch some TV.

He spends his days sitting outside staring at everyone who walks past. Sometimes he barks at his favorite doggie friends but most of time he sits still… just observing. What a noble beast!

Jonah is an important part of this family. His sweet heart knows no offense and forgives like none other. His soft eyes, deep and soulful are ready to take on the weight you carry, his body ready for providing comfort and warmth and his sweet selfless demeanor melts this cold heart of mine.

Happy Birthday Sweet Jonah. I can’t imagine our lives without this big beast of ours.

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