Little Me creates unique clothing, since 1970, that celebrates those fleeting years when newborns transform into young toddlers. They always have adorable styles to choose from and the material is so soft and cozy. I loved dressing my girls in Little Me. Now that my girls are no longer in Little Me sizes, I love shopping and finding beautiful gifts for expecting friends and family. Over the weekend, my youngest daughter and I headed to Lord and Taylor to celebrate the grand opening of the Little Me Shop with Stroller in the City. At the event we had a photo opportunity with the Easter Bunny, snacked on delicious cupcakes and cakepops by Fabipops and checked out the latest personalized books from ISeeMe Children’s Books. Liquiteria was also serving samples of their juices. The highlight for my daughter was having her make up done by a Bobbi Brown artist. When the artists arrived, she ran over to be first in line. Her first request, red lips please. She danced with friends to DJ Fulamo and listened to Story Time with ISeeMe. (more below photos) After enjoying all the fun activities, we walked around and checked out the latest Spring collection from Little Me. Seeing all of the little clothing made me think of the days my girls wore Little Me. My youngest is going to be 5 in a couple of weeks but I feel like it was yesterday she was that size. Time flies when you’re having too much fun. But I was excited to pick out gifts for all my expecting friends. At the event, Little Me provided complimentary monograming for shoppers. (more below photos)
It’s common to see a toddler sitting in his/her high chair at dinner or in the stroller fiddling with his/her parents mobile device or tablet. I know I’ve done my fair share of passing off my phone to my kids. It’s a great way to keep them entertained. And when I have to get things done at home, it’s easy to tell my daughter to go grab her iPad and watch a show or play a game. It’s no wonder that this younger generation excels at using Technology. They are learning to use devices earlier and earlier.
For the past couple of months, I have been taking classes to keep my teaching license current. The most recent class I took was about Technology in the Classroom. The use off devices and Apps are being used more and more in the classroom, as early as pre-school, so kids can acquire skills to use technology safely and effectively. I see my own girls intrigued by the Internet and the wealth of information that is out there. My oldest daughter LOVES to search for topics of interest, most recently wildlife. Since she is still learning to read and spell, many google searches bring up inappropriate videos for her age. I usually have to sit with her to see which videos are ok for her to watch.
The other week, my youngest daughter and I went to the YouTube Kids launch party at Milk Studios. The afternoon was filled with Mary Mary Quite Contrary cupcakes, photos with Oscar the Grouch, coloring with Thomas and Friends, playing in a ball pit and exploring the new and wonderful YouTube Kids App. The App is geared towards younger children showcasing Sesame Street and Thomas. However, I was very excited about the search option for my six-year-old. I am now able to let my daughter search for topics freely because it will only pull up material appropriate material. It’s a safe, family friendly place to explore. As soon as I downloaded it, she started exploring and searching for animals in the rainforest. Her search brought her to a video giving her a “virtual” tour of the amazon and teaching her about the many types of species that live there. So COOL! Another feature for searching is the Voice Search, perfect for younger toddlers or children who might not be comfortable typing in a search.
In addition to being safe for kids to use, parents can control certain settings. A timer can be set, up to 30 minutes, so kids don’t overload on videos. At the end of the time limit, the YouTube Mascot gets sleepy and shuts down so parents don’t have to fight with kids to put it down or turn it off. Or you can set it to block the search feature.
*I will be keeping my fingers crossed that YouTube creates an App for older students, since YouTube is blocked in most schools. A safe app to use in schools would provide great educational value for students.
More photos from our fun afternoon:
Disclaimer: I received a gift bag for attending the event. All opinions expressed are my own.
Meet Grace, the 2015 American Girl of the Year. She loves to bake with her friends and create new recipes. Her dream is to start a french bakery after taking a trip to Paris.
Inspired by Grace’s passion for baking, a new series “American Girl at Sur La Table: Make and Bake French Treats” will be offered at Sur La Table culinary locations nationwide for girls aged 8-12. Chef instructors will first teach young bakers the fundamentals: following recipes, measuring, mixing and working safely in the kitchen. Then, girls will get a hands-on experience in the kitchen, learning the chefs’ secrets. Recipes featured in the class include Chocolate-Glazed Eclairs, Pate a Choux, Apple Tartlets for girls and dolls, and Eiffel Tower Sugar Cookies. At the end each girl gets to take home an American Girl goodie bag, including an American Girl apron and a cookie cutter from Sur La Table. The classes are 2 hours long and will be available on March 22, April 19, and May 17. The cost for each class is $39. Find a location near you or reserve by phone 800-243-0852.
We got a sneak peek of the class the other day and it’s AWESOME. Although, my girls are younger than the age for the class, they had a wonderful time. They love to bake just like Grace. During our class the girls learned how to make Eiffel Tower Cookies. They learned about which ingredients go into making the vanilla cookie mix. They also learned how to make Royal Icing using confectioners sugar, meringue powder, and water. A couple of secrets they took home with them included using flour on their cookie cutters and using a ketchup bottle for piping. After the class they asked to come home and make more with the Eiffel Tower cookie cutters and apron that came in their gift bag. Thank you Sur La Table W 57st and American Girl for such a fun afternoon.
Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own. Information about the class came from Sur La Table. Information about Grace came from AmericanGirl.com. I attended the event on behalf of ThirtyMommy.
Celebrating The Chinese New Year With The China Institute’s We All Live In The Forbidden City ( BOOK GIVEAWAY)18 Feb
Tomorrow, February 19 is the start to the Chinese New Year. The year of the Horse has come and gone and we are moving into the year of the Sheep. The China Institute’s We All Live in the Forbidden City program includes children’s books and educational workshops that celebrate Chinese cultural history and fun for kids, a great resource for at home or in a classroom.
Living in NYC, a city rich in culture, my girls are always asking about different cultures. To celebrate the Chinese New Year, we received two books from the China Institute to teach them about the culture and history of China’s Forbidden City (mentioned below).
This is the Greatest Place!, published by The China Institute, is an adorable book for children ages four to eight (which happened to be the age range my girls fall into).
Rabbit is eating breakfast with his friends Baby Squirrel, Young Porcupine, and Little Brother Panda when an unexpected visitor arrives. He is a master builder, searching for inspiration to design a great palace for the Emperor of China. Together, Uncle Builder and the little animals explore how nature supplies us with the wonders that enrich our lives. Created by internationally renowned children’s book artists Brian Tse and Alice Mak, this book teaches children about Chinese architecture, how nature’s influence can be seen around us, and how people and animals can live together in harmony. The illustrations capture the majesty of both the natural world and the Forbidden City and are enhanced by interactive components for readers, including a gatefold spread and lift-flaps. -http://www.walfc.org
In the Forbidden City, also published by The China Institue, is a book for children ages nine and up. This was a little above my girls but I think they would gain good knowledge when they are older. It’s more in-depth with the history of the Forbidden Palace. The drawings and details are incredible.
This large format book conveys the grandeur of the Forbidden City through highly detailed line drawings of its buildings, gardens, and courtyards with numerous foldout spreads. Each page is populated by a large variety of characters and peppered with entertaining anecdotes. Every book includes a plastic magnifying glass for looking at the drawings more closely. -http://www.walfc.org
Find activities, lessons, crafts and more at http://www.walfc.org/play/activities/
Or why not make your own dumplings to celebrate The New Year! Recipe from China Institute
Ingredients: Dumpling (jiaozi) Dough
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups cold water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Pork & Chive Filling:
- 1 cup ground pork (can also use beef)
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 3 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 green onion, finely minced
- 1 1/2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
- 4 Tablespoons shredded bamboo shoots
- 2 slices fresh ginger, finely minced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
I recently posted about some of our favorite gifts for Valentine’s Day! One lucky winner will win a Teleflora Sweet Embrace Bouquet and $20 in Driscoll’s coupons so you can make your someone special something sweet (find out more here)! The giveaway begins now and ends at 11:59 pm on Sunday, February 8,2015 so ENTER NOW by clicking the link so you don’t miss your chance to win these wonderful prizes.
Thank you to Teleflora and Driscoll’s for providing the products for the giveaway!
Valentine’s Day is a little over a week away, are you ready? My girls have been ready since we took down the Christmas tree, adding hearts around the apartment, hanging Valentine signs, and making Valentine’s for their friends. I however, always wait to the last minute to get the girls and their teachers a little something. Every year our Valentine favorites include flowers, something sweet, a good read, and/or a little piece of jewelry. This year, I’ve come across these sweet ideas for friends, family and/or your little Valenitne(s).
Teleflora’s Sweet Embrace Bouquet: Flowers are one of our favorite gifts for any occasion. They brighten a room and put a smile on a face. The Sweet Embrace is a 3-in-1 gift that includes a pink and red bouquet of roses, carnations and chrysanthemums in hand-blown red glass vase wrapped with an adjustable bracelet made of golden wire and shimmering red hearts. Once the flowers come to an end you can reuse the vase for many more occasions. The bracelet can be used as a great accessory. The perfect gift for friends, family or a teacher.
From the Heart, Homemade Raspberry Jam: Ever since the girls made homemade jam for jam cookies, it’s the only jam they want to eat. We use the Driscoll’s recipe and it is delicious. They decided they want to make more and give it as a gift to their teachers, friends and family. Add a special touch to the jar(s) by letting them write a special saying and decorating their jar. To make a cute saying on the top of your jar, trace the inside of the lid to create a template you can glue or tape on when you jam is complete. Make your own gift tags with this printable. Use red paint to create thumb print hearts. Tie your tag to the jar. An Awesome Book Of Love by Dallas Clayton: We stumbled across this book at Barnes & Noble and loved it. It’s an adorable book about the many faces of love. Recommended for kids ages 4-8. A great read to snuggle up on the couch to or a great gift for a teacher, to add to their classroom library.
Vintage Stamp Jewels Rose Gold Heart Bracelet on Etsy: I love this delicate bracelet. I came across it on Etsy when I was trying to find Valentine’s ideas. You can choose any chain length. My girls have a hard time separating. This would make a wonderful gift so they could have a reminder of how much I love them and that I will always be there.
What are some of your favorite gifts you’ve received or given your kids for Valentine’s Day? Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!
- 1 bottle Casa Noble Crystal
- 1 bottle Casa Noble Reposado
- 1 bottle Casa Noble Anejo
- 1 pound of Imported Mimolette Cheese aka Boule de Lille: Eighteen months old so it would qualify as Vieille. During the 17th century Colbert denied importation of foreign goods so the French started making their own version of a Dutch cheese, Edam. Produced in Nord Pas-de-Calais, pasteurized cow milk, colored with Annatto. Very mild flavor with little aroma.
- 1 pound of Fourme d’Ambert: This cheese can be made with raw or pasteurized cow milk; this one was pasteurized. The blue mold is added to the curd then the cheese is pierced to promote veining during ripening. Natural rind, smooth and creamy paste, rather mild for a blue, crumbly and moist, with a pleasant aroma of cow and cellar.
- 1 Pound of Époisses: A wash-rind monastery style of pasteurized cow milk, from Burgundy, also produced in Champagne-Ardenne. At first the young cheeses are washed in a brine solution then gradually Marc is added to the wash. Semi-soft, pungent, and a favorite of Napoleon.
- 1 pound of Comte Cheese: With small, scattered holes called “eyes,” Comté has an intriguing, complex flavor that can include hints of apricot, chocolate, butter, cream, hazelnuts and toast. Enjoy Comté in cubes, on a sandwich, melted in fondue, or grated and sprinkled on your favorite dishes.
When the cold weather arrived, we started getting too attached to our iPads. They wanted to watch it breakfast, lunch, and dinner. One of my goals for the new year is to get my girls off their iPad and use their imagination and creative side more. It’s been so cold out recently and my daughter was home sick on one of the coldest days yet, so trying to keep the girls off the iPad was challenging. Luckily, we had a few Creativity for Kids activites by Faber Castle the girls hadn’t used yet. We completed a book my daughter started over the break, made headbands, and read a lot of our favorite books. Here’s what we made:
Creativity For Kids Create Your Own Pop-Up Books: These books are so great for sparking imagination and creating your own story. My daughter was studying animals in science and loves learning about them so she made a book about the rainforest. We used the mini book which is ten pages long and comes with mini-markers, stickers, and pop-up accents. Larger books are available in a 2 pack. They come with stickers, 8 markers, pop-up designs, and illustrated instructions with story starters.
Creativity For Kids Fashion Headband Set: My girls love accessories, so we spent a lot of our day making them. They tried to put together different designs, some simple and some more elaborate. We used the materials in the kit and added some rhinestone we had lying around. We also used duct tape we had to make valentines bows for our headbands.
Other Creativity For Kids products we’ve completed and loved that are perfect for keeping busy while stuck indoors on cold winter days:
Creativity For Kids have many great products that are perfect to keep handy for these chilly winter months. Their activity kits are also perfect gifts for holidays and birthdays. Make sure you sign-up for the Creativity Club for access to the craft of the month and other activities you can do with your kids this Winter (or any time). For more information and to see all Creativity for Kids Products visit: http://www.fabercastell.com/creativity-for-kids.
Disclaimer: This was an unsponsored post. All opinions expressed are my own. I wanted to share because we are big fans of Creativity For Kids.
Yesterday temperatures were very cold and snow was falling in NYC. My youngest daughter and I headed up to the Film Society of Lincoln Center to join The MOMS for a sneak-peak of the Paddington Movie. It was the perfect day for a movie.
Paddington Bear was a childhood favorite of mine. I now enjoy reading the books to my girls and they’ve come to love the adorable little bear too. When we saw a trailer for the movie, staring Nicole Kidman (Millicent), Sally Hawkins (Mrs. Brown), Hugh Bonneville (Mr. Brown) and Ben Wishaw (the voice of Paddington), we got so excited and couldn’t wait to see our favorite little bear come alive.
Paddington, a young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British, travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined – until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck (‘Please look after this bear. Thank you.’) and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist. Written by Marmalade Films (from imdb.com)
I loved the movie. There’s some suspense and a lot of humor- the entire theater broke out in laughter no matter the age. I really loved Paddington’s character. Not only was he furry and absolutely adorable, he was full of honesty and had a very kind nature. He was an outsider trying to fit in to find a home, which got him into a bit of trouble at times. It’s a movie the entire family would enjoy and you might want a Paddington of your own by the end.
Before the film started, Nicole Kidman joined The MOMS and guests for a Q&A. I’ve always loved her movies and always wondered what she would be like in person. Nicole was lovely and a pleasure to listen to. As a child, she always loved books. She would read and imagine herself as the characters. She has since shared her love for books with her children, reading to them every night. Some books they read together include Goodnight Moon, The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Since becoming a mom, Nicole only accepts parts in which her children can travel with her so they don’t have to be apart. Like many of us, she also faces the food challange- her kids want pasta with butter and cheese, no sauce.
Don’t miss the Paddington Movie in theaters January 16, I’ll definitely be going again with my oldest daughter. See the trailer here.
After all the excitement of the event, we felt the bitter cold. Winter is just getting started and warmer destinations are sounding very appealing especially for Winter Break. Norwegian Cruise Lines, a sponsor of the event, offer cruises from NYC to warmer destinations the entire family will enjoy. Find out more here and see our experience on a Norwegian Cruise Ship with The MOMS.
Love the winter weather and want to hit the slopes? The other sponsor of yesterdays event, Chevrolet, will help you get to the slopes of upstate NY in their 4WD SUVs!
Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post. All photos and opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted.
We LOVE the original Annie. When my oldest first saw it, we watched it over and over. Every time we got dressed in the morning, she would belt out You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile”. And in the afternoons, she would make her sister re-enact “It’s A Hard Knock Life” or “It’s a Hard Enough Life” as she would sing. That Halloween she insisted the family dress as the characters. She was Annie, her little sister was Sandy, naturally I was Ms. Hannigan (she insisted) and my Husband was Daddy Warbucks.
When I heard there was another re-make of Annie, I was skeptical that my girls and I would like it and questioned whether we should go to see it. Thank you to the The Moms and Norwegian Cruise Lines for the opportunity to see it because we loved this new adaptation of Annie. While there were plays on the original, there were many changes to make it more modern-day which made it more relative to my girls. It shows scene from the New York they know- the Freedom Tower, taxis, running through the parks of battery park and more. The orphans are now “foster kids” and there is use of social media. Quvenzhané Wallis was amazing as Annie and Cameron Diaz who plays Ms. Hannigan was hysterical.
What my oldest,6, thought:” It was AMAZING! Ms. Hannigan was much better in this movie.”
After the preview the girls got to meet some of the cast, the foster girls, and learned what it was like to be part of the movie and how their child acting careers began. It was an exciting afternoon!
While the original still holds a special place in our heart we definitely recommend seeing Annie the movie It makes a great family outing over the winter break!
Annie is a foster kid, who lives with her mean foster mom, sees her life change when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Fox) makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. –IMDB
The Moms host many wonderful events and am thankful to be apart of them! Learn more about The Moms here.