Father’s Day

 

Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing papa’s out there. The kids and I are so blessed… incredibly blessed to have Matt be the papa bear in this big den. His patience, kindness, love, humor, cooking and sense of adventure are always inspiring all of us to be better and do more while also making us feel absolutely comfortable in our flaws.

We started with coffee in bed.. breakfast was a whole ordeal that could not be had in bed.  The kids had picked out a handful of personal gifts and cards for Matt and even Jonah came over with sweet kisses.

Our plans were to head to Manhattan for a walk in the park and grab some grub. So we decided to go to church in NYC to hear one of Matt’s colleagues preach. After that we walked the two blocks over to Central Park to walk through the Central Park Zoo.

It ended up being a really hot day in New York and the kids were too hot and exhausted for more park time. The original plan included a day with the boats and a picnic but the heat was too much!

So we headed downtown to Curry Hill for some Indian Food. More on this later, because I am pretty sure I found the MOST AMAZINg indian food in curry hill!

The kids take after their dad. They both have Matt’s relaxed, thoughtful nature. They both have an interest in cooking and crafting decadent meals. Lily loves creating cheese platters and baking. And I am just happy that i get to enjoy all the home cooked feasts!

We love this sweet little life of ours. While today was certainly a day that celebrated Dad’s we are thankful for Matt every single day.

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OMG the Hot Moms at the Town Pool!

The New York Mom

Summer is nearly here and there is nothing more terrifying than the town pool. Our town pool opens in exactly 5 days!!! and I have not done one single thing to get this body prepped for what awaits me at the pool every. single. day.

Hot moms!

Hot Nanny’s!

Hot AuPairs!

Pool season with preschoolers is not fun! Last year, thank the heavens, I did not have to wear my swimsuit once at the pool. Thomas was too young to go to the big pool and had no interest, so I just wore cute pool side cover ups and sat in the shade in the kiddie pool. Chillin! But this year! I have to “park’ my gear at the kiddie pool and then take him across the lawn to the big pool because he wants to swim in the big pool this year.

And here is where my problem lies.

The walk from the kiddie pool, past the gate that confines the kiddies in the kiddie pool, across the lawn – past the hot moms, nannies, aupairs… is the worst walk!

My only goal is to jump into the big pool as fast as I can without making a scene and then usher Thomas into the pool into my arms with my un-summer body safely under water! Great plan right?

Wrong. inevitably, I will run into a neighbor hot mom who wants to stand in the open air and chat about whatever she wants to chat about without even thinking for one second that I might be having an internal freak out right now standing practically naked in front of the entire town.

Thankfully Thomas will pry me away and I’ll be safe in the pool.  This is going to last 5 minutes because the water in the town pool is cold and he doesn’t like it and I am soaking wet and cold but now have to drag my soaked body out of the pool to walk back to the kiddie pool.

… past the hot moms, hot nannies, and hot aupairs.

That’s it. That’s all I have for you today. OMG the Hot Moms at the town pool!!

 

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Breathe – it’s Spring

We’ve been quiet over here lately. Things have been a bit stressful, exciting, crazy… all those things. It’s just life.

I’m learning to breathe. Take moments to just sit still and breathe. The house is always a wreck, the laundry is never-ending, the kids stuff is all over the house… signs of a live well lived, I know. But too often I find myself focusing on these messes than the laughter, the fun and the unexpected surprises everyday. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed in this parenting game, I’ve been feeling underwhelmed in my work life, and I feel like I am still in a ‘stay at home mom’ fog. I am walking in a fog most days hitting repeat on mundane things like cooking, cleaning, playing, walks, school pick ups, school drop offs, meltdowns, solo parenting, slime everywhere and just navigating auditing.

Adulting is real. and it’s no fun!

The weather has finally warmed up and we’ve been spending ever single waking moment outdoors. Hiking, jumping in puddles, exploring and painting. Lily loves to sit outside and paint and now Thomas has taken up the hobby as well. Jonah just loves that Thomas is still for more than 5 minutes and enjoys watching him color.

We’ve been going on long hikes and bathing our mind, body and spirits in the forests of New York. The kids love looking for chipmunks and rabbits and finding strange-looking mushrooms growing on downed trees.

I’m trying to get back to a schedule that makes sense and have started running again. Spring… always a time for rebirth. So forgiving of our winter woes. I’m looking forward to the warmer climate and everything that’s blooming in the garden and our lives.

 

 

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Little Messes, Big Lives

Glitter glue marks are all over my freshly cleaned bathroom faucets. I look in the tub and there are little globs of slime, putty or whatever other science project is going on. In the kitchen there is Kinetic Sand all over the floor by the toy kitchen. Paint splatter adorns the side of the wall in another corner and something odd is growing on the kitchen window sill… could be a crystal, a borax project or a fairy garden with fungus. The little space between our kitchen cabinets and the floor plays host to dinosaurs, hot wheels and a myriad of tiny toys, I almost trip on a skateboard as I try to head out the door, the family room is cluttered with an unfinished puzzle, paper boats, Lego set that might get done soon, trains, marble runs and homemade putty or slime. Under the sheets of my bed, at any given moment, lives a dinosaur, a toy rat or a choo choo that “needs his mommy’.

This is our messy life.

In a particular moment of clarity – rare, very rare moment of clarity, I realized that these little messes all over the house are actually great big signs of a life well lived.

I get really teary when I think about the kids growing up. I love them being who they are right now in this time and space and I love how they interact with me, each other and the world around them. I love that every single one of our bathrooms is a fully functioning science lab with something growing, bubbling or waiting to hatch at all times. I love the neon pink glitter Kinetic Sand all over the kitchen floor because that was actually the food being made for the mermaids or some such tale.

I love it.

Yes, there are days where these messes only add to the clutter in my mind, the stress of raising a toddler and a tween, the fog of the life you are in when raising young kids, being in jobs where you are not valued for your worth… and it’s part of the daily never-ending routine of this messy life. Yes, I have those days. But then within the moments of clarity, I realize that my little messes are really signs of big lives being lived out loud.

These messes are short-lived. I am not looking forward to the days without science experiments in my bathroom, without putty and slime bowls on every surface, and days where conversations with dinosaurs are not a priority.

Hold em tight you guys… it really does go by too fast.

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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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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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Celebrating This Perfectly Messy Life with Bounty

 

Life with kids is messy… and Bounty is here to help clean up those little messes.

Life is messy and life with kids is messier. Remember those early days when the little dragons were sweet cherubs sent from the gods up above to enrich your life in ways you could never imagine. Remember how you looked at them and their sweet faces, thinking “you are the best thing ever”. Their gross spit ups or diaper blowouts… disgusting as they were can be described as a cute mess to non kid having friends. When flinging spaghetti across the room was a picture perfect moment, well those moments still happen just not as cute the third, fourth, millionth time….

We only celebrate the first messes. And while parenting is messy… would we ever have it any other way? Not me. I’m perfectly happy with my perfectly messy life.

I’m working with Bounty to talk about the little messes of life. With Bounty Paper Towels, parents can enjoy these moments while the Quicker Picker Upper does the work.

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I spent an evening with Mother and Author Kristin Cavalleri and chatted toddler messes. She shared a few of her tips.

Tips for Avoiding Messy Mealtime Madness.

  • Stop Playing Fetch – don’t pick up everything as kids throw them on the floor, clean up at the end of the meal with Bounty Paper Towels.
  • Practice Patience with Utensils – try sticky foods that will be easier to be scooped up by utensils – Oatmeal and yogurt are two faves.
  • Peace of Mind Placemats – Clean up will be so much easier with makeshift placemats made from bounty paper towels
  • Set a Good Example – Eat Healthy and exhibit positive eating habits for the kids.
  • Avoid High Chair Messes – Place a paper towel in your child lap this way all the run away food gets caught in the bounty paper towel and it’s a simple clean up when done eating.
  • Have Them Help You – encourage kids to help clean up so they learn to tidy up early on!

This post is sponsored by Bounty. Thanks for stopping by and checking out The New York Mom and learning a bit more about the sponsors.

 

 

 

 

 

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Moms Night Out with Parents Magazine, Momtrends and More

 

There is always an article floating around about how – Moms can have it all. Apparently we can have a full-time job, be an entrepreneur, have kids, husband, house, dog, travel, vacations, date nights, birthday parties and make pinterestable party favors for the entire preschool class. All without falling apart! Well, I call B.S.

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I never believed that song and dance for one second and seems like I was in great company.

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I met the editor of Meredith Publications’ – Dana Points – last week. Dana heads up Parents, Fit Pregnancy, Family Fun, and Parents Latina. You know all the parenting mags and Dana calls B.S. too. Parents Mag says – there is no magical “having it all”. You can’t have it all…and that’s OK.

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This Moms Night Out event was hosted by Nicole Feliciano of MomTrends and Meredith Publications. Tucked into an event space in Soho with stunning views of downtown, the evening included endless chatter, meeting NYC bloggers, connecting with friends and of course hearing about some great brands that help around the house.

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Clorox had a crafting station that had us customizing our own Clorox wipes containers. I always have Clorox on hand around the house. A quick wipe down of kitchen countertops, bathrooms and even take them to go when I travel with the kids.

The New York Mom Moms-Night-out

Quaker Oats asked us what we would do if we had an extra hour in the morning… while most answers ranged from yoga, meditate, drink coffee alone… i went for the truth… SLEEP. I would sleep for that extra hour!

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Quaker Overnight Oats gave us tips for a quick, easy and delish morning breakfast for busy mornings. Lily’s bus picks her up at 6:45AM… She is up at 6am… we are eating breakfast as we run out the door. Quaker Oats has lots of great ways to get a fast breakfast in for those hectic mornings.

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I love having scented oil diffusers throughout the house and when cleaning, I love lighting a candle to give the house a calming smell. Scents are healing and we use lavender a lot. Lavender helps calm the restless mind and also helps soothe anxiety. Glad kitchen bags with odor shield and Febreeze had us mix up our own scented lotions. I made a soothing lavender for Lily.

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The New York Mom

Philips Avent encouraged us to make little gift bags for new moms in our lives. Pacifiers and bottles were neatly tied up in boxed with bows for perfect gifting.

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Earths Best has lots of first foods for baby and now they are making snackable take-alongs for big kids as well. More on this later… but I loved seeing all the new offerings from one of our favorite kids snack brands.

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*This is a sponsored post, all opinions are mine*

photo credit: MOMTRENDS

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The News From These Parts

 

I can’t even begin to tell you the madness that is happening in these parts. It has been non-stop, overtime over here.

First of all: My iPhone 6Plus that is basically my life line decided to crash over the weekend and ALL MY PICTURES since February 2016 have been wiped out!

Our iCloud was full and we just never got around to upgrading the storage and I didn’t backup my phone. So there. Awful lesson that I had to deal with! All my Pictures from the summer are gone, all my content for fab new snazzy posts gone.

But in a way… it feels good. It has totally given me a whole new “Re-Start” on my daily grind….or that’s what I’m telling myself to be all zen and not freak out all the time… I guess. Back Up Yo Stufff!

Second: My sweet Jonah has a cone on his head. I hope this not in-humane to my sweet pup but the “neck pillow’ option doesn’t work with Saint Bernard’s because they will just pop that pillow and keep on keeping on.

The New-York-Mom-dogs

Jonah has a “hot spot’ on his face and basically smells like death because of the raw flesh that’s exposed all the time.

Gross. But my sweet bear is slowly slowly …very slowly healing.

Third: I’m not supposed to mention but since you all are so supportive of my tween dramz… Middle school has been amazing! That is all I can say! Lily auditioned for the role of ‘witch one” in Macbeth… she’s been practicing all her life for that. ( I kid. i kid).

Fourth: No kitchen Reno yet soo…. don’t talk to me about it.

Fifth: Hillary Clinton lives in the area and the paparazzi and news Ahem – journalists – if you can call them that have been wrecking my daily errands!

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Sixth: Thomas starts Preschool tomorrow and is super excited about his Dinosaur tee shirt!

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That’s it. This is all the news fit to report from these parts here in the suburbs of New York City!

What’s happening with you lately?

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