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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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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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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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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Apple Picking with Kids

Apple Picking The-New-York-Mom

Living in New York means that every season gets a grand hurrah! and Fall – being my favorite season, gets lots of hurrahs! Apple Picking is one of our favorite fall festivities. The smell of the crisp air, the walk through the orchards, apples eaten along the pick, apple cider, cinnamon donuts… I could go on forever. Apple picking with kids has it’s set of challenges as does basically doing anything with kids. Here is my tried and true list of do’s and don’t of apple picking with kids from my years of schlepping my kids up and down orchards up here in New York.

HUGE TIP – Some of the orchards have already run out of apples so please call before you head up. We are fortunate to live in the middle of orchards so we go all the time on weekdays with no crowds. 

Apple picking on the weekends is for those of you who like to live on the edge. We go to some of the orchards that are about an hour north of Manhattan. The weekends are insane. There is no charm in over crowded apple picking orchards. You have to stand in lines for everything and sometimes after standing in that line for 30 minutes you STILL don’t get your Cinnamon Donut! Then you have to walk forever to get to your car to then sit in traffic inching forward as your kids scream because … remember… no cinnamon donut! Go during the week if you can.

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Take the kids apple picking when they are off on ‘school days‘. It’s not as crowded and you will certainly dodge the ‘Instagram Selfie’ crowd.

Dress – don’t wear heels when apple picking! I can’t believe I have to tell you this… you would be surprised at how many gals show up in heels!  You know this is dirt and mud and orchard land right. You are walking up hills and picking apples! Skip the heels. Wear your fall boots, skinnies, a sweater and a hat. Rock!

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Bring water, it can get hot up in the orchards so bring water. The orchards are usually a bit of a walk from the car so a backpack with a snack and water is best.

Some orchards have evening music so check in advance and time your trip accordingly.

I wear sunscreen year round and so do the kids. So add that to your backpack.

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A little provision for you and your honey. Go ahead – fill that water bottle with a little something special. Sit up at the top of  your apple orchard taking in the scenery and sip away. Because those drink lines are super long and not worth the wait.

MUST go on a hayride. So fun. And definitely do the corn mazes!!!

Poision Ivy likes to go all around apple trees. We haven’t had an issue but some orchards might overlook this and forget to take the poison ivy out. Be on the look out for three shiny leaves! Apple Picking The-New-York-Mom

Eat the apples from the tree. I know you paid for your bag of apples but what’s apple picking without munching on one red delicious fruit while picking.

Head up north to the Hudson Valley – Beacon, Coldspring, Hudson, Rhinebeck … all amazing towns with gorgeous views and not half the crowds. The time you will spend sitting in your car in traffic will be put to great use driving through the Hudson Valley on twisted roads with falling leaves while taking in some of the best scenery that New York State has to offer.

There ya have it. A bonafide tried and true guide to apple picking this season. Have fun!

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Summer 2016

We are in summer mode over here. The kids are out of school and the lazy summer days have begun. Lily has a sleepaway camp later in the summer, Thomas starts a local town camp next month but for this week we are winging it!

I’ve decided not to put Lily in an all summer camp this summer. I want her to just hang, get bored, to have unstructured days, to find her own entertainment, and to hang out with the neighborhood kids.

We moved to this community for this very reason. Lily walks to the town pool, downtown, rides bikes all over the neighborhood with friends, eats popsicles in the afternoon and builds fairy houses with Thomas. It’s that old school – non programmed- summer days of old.

We’ve been having lazy brunches in town and long strolls through our neighborhood saying hi to the chickens and pig and goats.

Yummy Salmon Toast from the Reading Room in Katonah,NY

If you know us , you know that we don’t sit still for long and we have a whole list of summer trips and day trips and quick jaunts all around the tri-state and I can’t wait to share this with you. New York has just so very much to offer and there is never a shortage of engaging activities for kids… I’m talking about hikes, museums, towns to wander through, flea markets, balloon festivals…etc.

Summer 2016 we are ready!

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Screening of The Little Prince at Jacob Burns Film Center

Lily and I attended a very special sneak- peak screening of the new film The Little Prince. This gorgeous stop motion animation film is inspired by the ever popular children’s book – The Little Prince.

Academy Award Wining Direct Mark Osbourne… a local neighbor up here in the burbs… takes us into a very relatable story but one with a lot of magic. The film was screened for a very special event at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY

The Little Prince is a story of a girl and her single mother. The mother works hard to provide the very best for the child – buying a house in the best school district, scheduling and over scheduling the child so she’s exposed to every single academic experience… all the while.. forgetting about the fun and color and emotion of life. A neighbor.. the Aviator… introduces the child to the world of the Little Prince.

This film is pure art work. From the ideas presented in visual and emotional capacity to the beautiful music and message of the film. It’s a MUST SEE.

I can’t even truly being to express the imagery and the emotion this film exudes… so I’ve attached the trailer for you to view.

This film sticks to you and inspires you and for kids… it opens up a new creative pathway and thinking outside the ‘scheduled’ box. This is a somber film, with a few humorous moments to break it up. It’s thought-provoking and the imagery is just stunning. The film opens with the narrator telling us a story of the first drawing he made as a child. _ it was of a boa constrictor eating an Elephant. Elephant was in the long narrow belly of the Boa and when the narrator presents this image to a class of his peers… they think it’s a hat. This film encourages us to look outside the box… or rather live our entire lives outside the box. Actually get rid of the box entirely! It’s a great reminder to stay forever young… and as a parent… to keep reminding our children that childhood is for creating and creativity and freedom and magic.

Before the screening we met Mark Osbourne and he chatted about the process and had a few of the original clay structures used for the film. Fun Fact : Director Mark Osbourne’s son is the voice of the Little prince in the film. His son was helping out when the film was being created and they loved it so much that they kept him in!

The Little prince runs 108 minutes and is rated PG.

After the screening we walked across the street to the Jacob Burns Media lab for an afternoon of crafting movie making, and digital creativity. The media Lab has some amazing digital creative programs for kids of all ages. Lily’s fave has always been the claymation station.

Swing by JACOB BURNS FILM CENTER to learn all about their amazing film schedule and Media Arts Lab.

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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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Exit 4 – A Gourmet Food Hall in the Heart of the NYC Suburbs

Be still my food loving heart! A one stop gourmet food hall for all my hangry cravings!

Earlier this month, Exit 4 Food Hall opened in the town next door and they invited me to come over for a sampling for Media Night. I’m not going to beat around the bush… it’s good. really good, so good in fact that if you are heading up north from Manhattan it is TOTALLY worth the stop. They made it easy for you to remember… EXIT 4 off Interstate 684.

So what’s a food hall. Well if you are in Brooklyn or Manhattan then you know exactly what these are. It’s one restaurant that has several different food style selections almost like a food court but elevated without the free chicken bourbon samples.It’s not fast food and no chain restaurants it’s gourmet sit down dinner food in a very communal seating situation. You can expect prices to be anywhere from the teens to $25 for an entree.

Exit 4 has 9 stations that include everything from the freshest raw oysters to home-made pastas, sandwiches, bahn-mi, chicken and ribs, cheese and meat platters, sushi, wood fire pizza and more.  A bar serves wine, beer and other cocktails. This is the new wave of eating that has taken over the Brooklyn and Manhattan food scene and now it’s right here… in my back yard!  As a family of four, one of use has to always compromise when we go out to dinner. In comes the concept of a food hall to fit all our needs. Thomas can have his mac and cheese to his heart’s content, Matt can have some oysters and sashimi, my pick is the squid ink pasta and Lily can have her lobster roll.

Izi Albanese, the owner of Exit 4 Food Hall, has successfully collected a handful of local culinary favorites to come together in one place and this is the winning recipe. The long communal tables, quiet comfy seating in the back, bar stools that are never empty for too long and the excitement of the entire place makes for a staple that needs to be rooted in any town. This place gets PACKED and loud and there is a waiting list because they don’t take reservations… especially on the weekends and I love it. No more sleepy suburbs… there is LIFE up here!

The nine food stations at Exit 4: 

Charcuterie 153

You get your cheeses, smoked goods and meat platters. And did I mention the Chocolate fountain!

X 4 on Tap

Featuring local craft beer, wines on tap, and my obsession… nitro coffee. You MUST ask for this!

Fuoco Wood-Fire Pizza

Create your own pizza or choose a gourmet combination for the table.

Dirty Roots

Myong Feiner, who has a local cult following, spins a Korean twist on everyday salads and sandwiches.Try the Grilled octopus and the Ahi Bahn Mi.

Rotiss-A-Q

Slow cooked meats, comfort food and classic sandwiches.

Inno Sushi

Chef James Jung is at the helm of this one with a signature Exit 4 Sushi roll and for those of us who crave the real deal… a Poke Bowl (sticky rice, raw fish, seaweed and other ingredients) is on this menu!

Piacci Pasta Bar

The pasta bar boasts fresh pastas, some I have never even heard of, and my favorite – Squid Ink. Choose your pasta, choose your sauce, choose your protein and it gets whipped together right in front of you.

  

Rawsome Seafood Bar

Joe from Mount Kisco Seafood is the captain of this seafood ship with fresh clams, oysters, an overstuffed lobster sandwich and seasonal soups. It’s a seafood… especially shellfish lovers treat and will not disappoint.

  

Head on over to Exit 4 Food Hall to get your foodie fix in the burbs!

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New York is a Winter Wonderland…

The New York MomWe had the most magical snowstorm over the weekend. Winter storm Jonah stopped by to drop off mounds and mounds of white powder and we loved every moment of it!

The New York MomWhile New York City is nothing but slush puddles and gross snow mountains… here in the burbs…the ground is still covered in a blanket of glistening snow while shiny icicles hang from the edges of the house.

It’s amazing how a bit of snow makes us come to a complete halt. It literally takes a force of nature for us humans to slow down and enjoy our lives.

The trains weren’t running, power was out, schools have been cancelled and it snowed for over 24 hours straight. The kids spent most of their time outside in this wintry wonderland. Jonah, our snow mountain dog, of course was in his element. Finally after a winter that has been in the 50’s and 60’s we have snow!

The New York Mom

Lily has had enough of my – I’m never in any pictures –  complaints and got behind the camera to snap a few pictures dancing in the snow.

Yes I’m in shorts…in the snow… i know! But honestly when it snows.. the temps are not that bad… it’s only in the mid 30’s ya know. and I had some intense snow boots and had a super thin insulated winter zip up hoodie on… so I was good. my shorts were totally fine! I can’t stand wearing all the winter clothing… ugh! Just thinking about all those layers makes me feel claustrophobic!

The kids however were totally bundled up… head to toe. Do as I say not as I do. The New York MomDSC_0198
I hope you ran out and played in the snow!! I can’t wait for more snow days!

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