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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#Blizzard2015

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#Blizzard2015

A few pictures from our big ole historic blizzard which was a flizzard.

#Blizzard2015

#Blizzard2015

#Blizzard2015

We still had a good foot plus of snow but just not the excitement of a blizzard. I love snow days. Somewhere along the way when you have kids, us parental types forget how fun it is to be a kid… and snowdays are a perfect reminder.

#Blizzard2015#Blizzard2015

#Blizzard2015

#Blizzard2015#Blizzard2015#Blizzard2015

#Blizzard2015 #Blizzard2015

 

#Blizzard2015

#Blizzard2015

#Blizzard2015

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Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

 

Dia Beacon

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

Straight up North, along the Hudson Valley, about an hour from New York City, exists one big artsy secret.

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

The Dia :Beacon. While recently this sleepy town has been getting a ton of attention because Brooklyn hipsters – who are always on the hunt for the next big thing to experience – have found this hamlet, The Dia has been our go to for the past 10 years. This stunning museum features installations from significant artists like Richard Serra and Dan Flavin. You wouldn’t think this was a kid friendly space, but i think it’s perfect for kids and especially important.

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

Art needs to be experienced and while a painting is significant and can be experienced in an internal way, installations are a whole different sort of creative force.  An installation is powerful. The Dia features many large-scale modern conceptual works. One should read up on these pieces while there to fully grasp the concept. But… it’s also nice to just absorb the pure awesomeness of these works of abstract art and walk through them and … dance through them like we did.

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

I take the kids to museums all the time. New York has the best museums in the world and we sorta call them all our indoor playground.

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

It’s essential to expose kids to art at a young age. They absorb this in ways you and i can’t see in a tangible way but they do. Lily sees the world in a different way because of her hard-core exposure to modern dance, modern art, classic art, music and just being in spaces bursting with creativity. i see this in her daily though process, her kindness to humanity and in her personal artwork. Her creative decisions are much more advanced than the average 9 YO, She mixes her mediums and colors waaaay outside the lines and has original artistic voice which cannot be taught. This is only going to make her a creative and thoughtful human. and we need lots of those these days!

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

I encourage you to take a road trip up the gorgeous Hudson Valley to Beacon, NY and spend a few hours at the Dia: Beacon. My favorite time to go in during the spring because all the cherry blossoms just dance around as you walk under them.

You should go!!! Don’t miss this amazing museum. Beacon also has a handful of restaurants and great farmers market on the weekends. You can take a train from NYC or rent a car and stop at towns like – Sleepy Hollow and ColdSpring along the way up.

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

More Info:

Dia:Beacon

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Wordless Wednesday ~ with words

The new York MomThank goodness for Wordless Wednesday which totally saves me on weeks when I can’t find time to write a full sentence down on this here blog.

It’s been a pretty crazy holiday season and the holiday season hasn’t even started yet! I have the freelance hustle in high performance and have some really fantastic clients which inspire and work my creative spirit. So it’s a win. But I’m a working mama bear these days!

I have sooo many gift guides coming up… so swing by again for more gifting ideas and random rants!

Also this picture was so beautiful that I had to post it just to have in it the archives!

 

 

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A New York Sunset to Welcome us Home

Every year we head down to Florida to spend time with our parents. It’s 2 weeks of love and food, cousins and did I say food! This year our trip was layered with lots of friends and life and seeing people decades later.

more on all this later. I have to process it all.

it was great!

New York Mom

As we drove into NY this gorgeous summer evening… we were welcomed with the most fiery sunset. Now… I just love the bayous and beaches of Florida… but nothing compares to these New York Summer Sunsets!

I’m glad to be back. The kids are glad to be back. Lily settled right into her routine, Thomas re-discovered all his toys and was really happy to see his Choo Choo’s . and my sweet Jonah Bear has been a big hairy lovebug this evening.

Go hug your families… i wish I lived closer to mine!

 

 

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Sick and Sick

We’ve all been sick with the Super Stomach Bug for the past 2 weeks. Lily had it first all last week and then I went down on Sunday and 4 days later… I’m JUST now feeling human… still sick… but I left the bed today and made dinner and cleaned the kitchen all with a gurgling stomach.
memo: take it slow.

Lily has been amazing this week. It’s her spring break… and what a way to spend it right! Matt took the kids to the Bronx Zoo on Monday and it was so packed that after waiting 1.5 hrs just to get into the parking lot they finally left and went to the queens zoo.

Lily made me breakfast – toast and butter this morning. For lunch she woke me up with a kale salad, toast and grapes. Since Thomas has been sick and sleeping next to me all day – she brought him strawberries and cereal. What a sweet little nurse.

Jonah of course is just all too happy to have someone to sleep with all day.

I’m catching up on all my gazillion emails tonight. So please be patient with me and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

I hope you don’t get this bug… it’s a bad one! fingers crossed that day 5 is the last!

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Sundays at the ballpark with The New York METS

Spring has FINALLY made its way to us over here in New York and we kicked it off with a gorgeous sunny Sunday at the ballpark with the METS.

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This little blog of mine continues to amaze me with the once-in-a- lifetime opportunities which come my way. And I am super thankful for being able to experience all of this and share it all with you… dear reader.

photo (18)

Mets_Family_fun

As you know I am part of the new METS MOMS campaign and I couldn’t be any happier. Matt loves baseball games and Lily has become a pretty intense METS fan. I was a METS MOM last season as well and went to many Sunday games at Citifiled. We’ve had a blast. There is nothing like the excitement of a baseball game and hotdogs, and peanuts and crackerjacks to get that summertime feeling.

Citifield also has many indoor spaces and swank restaurants which overlook the ballpark. I’ll have to cover that at the next game.

Mets Mom
First Base

In case you haven’t been to a baseball game or didn’t think it was for you let me break it down for ya.

I am not what you would call a ‘ typical baseball fan”. Fact is I don’t know much about baseball at all but I have absolutely looooved our Sunday games with the METS. When I first met with the METS marketing team I told them – My daughter has spent more time and knows more about the MET ( Metropolitan Opera House) than the METS!  But after last season, Lily loves her Sundays at the Ballpark.

Mets_Family_fun

Mets_Family_fun

Sunday are family friendly, with the games starting at 1:10pm. I suggest you get to Citifiled a bit early because there is a ton of action going on outside the stadium itself – bouncy castles and lots of fun entertainment for the kiddies.

Mets_Family_fun

Once inside you have :

  •  Fan Fest – you’ll probably spend a lot of time here. It features a miniature replica playing field, batting cages, speed-pitch dunk tank, and video games to keep your little ones active
  •   Mr. Met’s Kids Club Kiosk – located near Fan Fest. If you’re not a member you can sign up. If you’re already a member you can pick up your Mr. Met’s Kids Club package
  •  Mr. and Mrs. Met Appearance – not far from the Kid’s Club table, Mr. and Mrs. Met will take pictures and meet fans, usually twice before the game
  •  Food – check out the brand new Mr. Met’s Kids Kitchen, with Kids Meals tailored for your young ones.
  •   Mets Team Store – Check out the merchandise at all of our team stores! There are many unique items only available at Citi Field

and our FAVORITE!!

Mets Mom
Home!!!
  •  Mr. Met Dash – After games on Family Sundays kids can run the bases, the same bases some of their favorite Mets just did! This happens about 20 minutes after the last out.

Thomas and Lily both ran the field and it was the coolest thing evah!

As part of the METS MOMS campaign, I get to share some pretty sweet deals with my readers so keep it right here and I hope I see you at a Sunday game this season!

  • Mets Moms

Let’s play Ball!!

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Please sharpen your no.2 pencils

Today is day 2 of Common Core Testing in the New York Public Schools. Lily came home yesterday and felt pretty accomplished. She bragged about the huge packet they had to work on for the test, how the principal himself walked into the class to hand deliver the test and all the nervous energy everyone was feeling. She came home from school – did her homework, played with her friends, had dinner and spent the rest of the evening playing with her dolls and role-playing the entire testing day.

Calico_Critters

I grew up in India. We had one giant test at the very end of the school year which determined your placement in the class and whether you would move on to the next level. This is a whole ton of pressure on kids and parents. I have very vivid memories of staying up all night in tears and miserable because I just couldn’t get one math problem on the practice test or i couldn’t spell a word, my patient mother by my side into the wee hours of the morning. The stress was there, it came from the school, teachers, and most of all parents. But there was no other way really. This ONE solitary test at the end of the year measured your intelligence and your knowledge on everything … every-thing you studied that entire year. The test was long and grueling and I remember even being stressed about sharpening my no.2. pencils. Because if you had to stop what you were working on to get up and sharpen your pencil then the whole class was disrupted and it also meant you and your parents were unprepared. My mom used to send us to testing days with a dozen finely sharpened pencils so if one dulled, another was ready and willing to take its place. prepared.

Common Core

While the Common Core is not judging the kids, it is putting pressure on them to perform at their very best. The school year has been spent preparing the kids for this test with practice tests and timed math quizzes and homework. While it’s been a lot of work it also has been a fairly smooth transition this year. I don’t disagree with the testing. I think giving the kids this pressured goal is actually a good thing. Lily has very little to stress about in her life. We have a great home life, we go on vacations, we play, we dance around… it’s fun. Teaching her how to deal with pressure and stress is an important tool which will only make her capable of coping with her challenges as she gets older.

Calico_Critters

As she headed off to school this morning, she was nervous. She was excited but she was totally prepared! Here’s to day 2! How is your kid doing this testing week?

* Lily is playing with the SchoolHouse Playset from Calico Critters. We love it! check out my review of it at TTPM.com*

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Discovering art with Art Muse NY

New York has no shortage of culture and arts. Lily and I love going to the many world-famous museums in New York City and spending hours roaming through those gorgeous halls of art and sculpture. It’s our go to activity when it’s cold or rainy outdoors. But we also love going when our friends and family visit us from out-of-town.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with the amount of art the city has to offer? Maybe you don’t know where to begin and how to go about feeding your artful spirit. Don’t you worry your little head there friend… ARTMUSE is here to help.

ARtMuseNY

ArtMuse offers exceptional customized art experiences in New York City and Europe at museums, galleries, auction houses, art fairs, and artist studios. They offer Scheduled Tours & Class Series and Custom Designed Private Tours for adults, kids, and families in New York City, London, Paris, Rome, and Florence and are geared towards both art students and connoisseurs.

With Valentines day right around the corner how about thinking outside the box this year with an evening filled with art. ArtMuse is offering a special evening at the Met.Museum in NYC.

The Art of Seduction: Women, Scandal, Portraits: 18-20th century at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Travel through the galleries and the centuries of the Metropolitan Museum to discover the intimate stories, scandalous love affairs and the inspirational women behind these European and American portraits. We promise it will never be boring and you will never look at portraits the same way again.  To schedule contact Natasha Schlesinger at (646) 785-9759 or ns@artmuseny.com

Art Muse has great programming for kids as well.

MetKids

ArtMuse has created ArtXplorers to introduce even the youngest children to the thrill and excitement of discovering art and history at museums. All of the ArtXplorers tours are thematic, interactive and fun! They bring in props, costumes and stories to supplement and make art appreciation engaging and exciting. Every interactive discovery journey is competed with a related art project. Themes range from “Mysteries of Ancient Egyptian Mummies” to “Ancient Greek Gods, Heroes and Myths” to “Meet the Kids who Live at the Museum” to “Monsters and Dragons at the Museum” to “Pop, Splatter, Dash: Discover Modern Art”. Private tours, special gift tours, birthday party tours and any time tours are all available.

For More information visit ARTMUSENY.com

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for visiting and supporting my sponsors*

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the newness of things

January 1st is quiet possibly the most exciting day of the whole year. as much attention as december 31st gets, i think underrated Jan 1st is really the star! it’s such a rush to look at your calendar and say… it’s a New Year Y’all!

Maria Dance

i don’t do new years resolutions. that kind of pressure does not work for me. i do like making big lofty goals with the hopes of maybe… just maybe acheiving a little bit of that lofty goal.

i like dreaming big. my dreams are usually so very big that the first step seems daunting and then it all falls apart from there.

being a mother to these two monkeys of mine is pretty awesome but in 2013 i totally let ALL of my personal interests go to the wayside.  I did not do ONE thing for myself this entire year! I know it’s a stupid problem to have but in my brain it’s a huge thing. i have been so focused on these babies and making sure Thomas doesn’t fall down the stairs, or eat Jonah’s food, or choke on a rainbowloom band or any number of dangers that lurk in this house… that i forgot all about lil ole ME! I forgot about who I used to be before the kidlets, I forgot what I enjoyed WITHOUT the littles and i just forgot about making time just for me.

i want to cook some more, ride my bike really fast, i want to go surfing, i want to take bubble baths and go upstate more often, i want to enjoy a cup of coffee in the early morning and i want to dance…

so this year… i’ll continue to have lofty goals, dream big, twirl … but… I will start at step one and really try  MAKE things on my little list…happen.

here is my lofty, grandious, super awesome, going to happen dang it wish list for 2014:

  • I want this blog to get it’s wings and fly … fly … fly!(all these years, i’ve been coasting and doing pretty well. but this year… it’s game time!)
  • My fashion+design+style blog – MomGoneStyle is going to get mad luv and grow!( yes I started a fashion blog in my 30’s GASP!)
  • I have a cool dance related project in the works for this year!
  • I want to go hiking in Nova Scotia. ( or Maine)
  • I’m going to start all my ideas and not be afraid to fail.
  • I would like to write more about travel (in addition to writing about beauty and fashion..like i do)
  • I want to have more dates with Matt. or i should say… A date with Matt!
  • ZERO unread mail in gmail!(don’t we all)
  • i’m going to make a MUCH bigger effort to see my friends.
  • I’m going to surf all summer.
  • Lily and I will be skateboarding fiends this year.
  • Ride my bike..a lot.
  • Meet friends for dinner… a lot. and host dinner parties.
  • I am going to wake up a good 30 mins before the rest of this house and just enjoy a cup of coffee and maybe even take my sweet Jonah Bear for a walk in the wee early mornings.
  • yoga.
  • i’m going to get this babe to sleep!
  • send thank you cards to this most amazing village that raises this family. 

so that’s it. my short… not so short… list of goals for this year.

i know that most of  you do EVERY SINGLE thing on my list already and do it really well. so what! this is my humble wish list, my lofty goal, my dreaming big list for 2014.

i wish you the happiest of new years! i thank you for following my inconsistent life, my wild ideas and my fails and wins… overall i thank you- dear reader- for your support. i feed of off your energy and  your comments and your sweet emails. so here we go… you and me… 2014… we got this!

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