Archive | September, 2012

Freshmade NYC

26 Sep

Last week, I attended day three of the Freshmade NYC Open House to kick off the start of their first semester in their new space for their cooking school. During day three, children listened to stories about planting seeds and then were able to choose between two flowers to plant. After, they got their face painted by Rockstar Face Painting and had their picture taken in a photo booth by Keren Precel Events. Freshmade NYC provided some of their tasty, healthy treats for nibbling. The favorites for my girls were the humus-vegetable sandwiches, fruit and the tomato and mozzarella sticks. Adults sipped on wine while kids enjoyed the activities. I was very impressed that she sold AllerMates wristbands for children with food allergies. I made sure to pick up a peanut one for my daughter. The space is beautiful, with two kitchen areas with two long tables with benches as well as a reading rug with a variety of food related books. My girls had a blast and I am looking forward to checking out classes.

One class I am particularly interested in trying is the farm to table class. Every week Cara, owner, receives a box of seasonal fruits and vegetables from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group. She never knows what each week will bring and has to come up with meals with very little notice. At my daughter’s four-year check up, her doctor she needed to try one new vegetable a week. Making meals using seasonal produce straight from the farm would be a fun way to introduce new fruits and vegetables. Freshmade NYC is on the waiting list to become a member of The Battery Urban farm, with hopes to grow some of their own produce to use in their classes. Click here to find out about other classes Freshmade NYC is currently offering.

For a limited time, Freshmade NYC is offering drop-in classes for you and your child to try. All drop-ins require a reservation. To reserve a class or find out more about pricing and availability, contact Freshmade NYC at 212-475-0500.

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own. I received coupons for a free class for attending the open house. Congratulations to Freshmade NYC on the opening of your new space!

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Never Too Young To Learn How To Prevent Cancer

20 Sep

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and with early detection she was able to beat it.  On the day I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter, she found out the cancer was gone.  I will never forget that phone call and am so blessed that she is able to be a big part of my girls’ lives.  We all know someone affected by cancer whether it has been someone close to us or an acquaintance. I have several friends who have battled the disease themself and friends who have lost a family member to the disease.  According to the American Cancer Societynearly 1 of every 4 deaths is caused from cancer, making the disease the second most common cause of death, exceeded only by heart disease, in the USIt is important that we educate children about taking preventative measures to slow the disease or stop it from invading our bodies all together, especially when it comes to educating children with healthy choices for meals.  What we eat now may not have immediate impact but could have detrimental impact in the long run.

One of many fun adventure’s with their Mema!

The Prevent Cancer Foundation has provided millions to support cancer research to better understand the disease, funding many impressive discoveries.  In 2011, the Foundation provided the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium with funds to support the development of a traditional food and activity workbook that aims to promote healthy lifestyle choices and nutritional habits among alaskan children (8-10) at risk for obesity, cancer and other diseasesAlthough, the workbook is geared toward Alaskan Natives it provides a wealth of information that could be useful to all youth.  It educates children on foods we need, why we need various nutrients, how much we need, when to eat, portion sizes, the importance of hand washing, food sanitation, food safety and includes easy recipes kids can make.  My girls are a little young for the workbook but they enjoyed coloring it and talking about the pages they worked on.

One important fact I tried to stress was the impact on sugar.  I taught them about the difference between natural sugars versus refined (added) sugar.  My two year old wasn’t interested but my 4 year old had a lot of questions especially after an experience she had after eating too much candy without permission (her tummy really hurt her).  We talked about how fruit is a better choice than gummy bears and that too much fruit isn’t good either.

Working on their workbook with their Uncle!

As a parent, I need to do a better job of making sure my girls learn to make healthy choices by modeling healthy eating habits at home and teaching them about healthy choices.   Educational games and workbooks like the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s are a great way to engage children to learn about healthy choices and the impact they have. Click the link to find out how you can buy  the Traditional Food Guide Activity Book for your home or classroom.

Learn more about the Prevent Cancer Foundation and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

Disclaimer: I received two workbooks from The Prevent Cancer Foundation for the purpose of this review.  My brother works for the foundation and worked with the girls on the workbook too.  All opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted.

Cupcake!

19 Sep

I thought most schools had done away with celebrating birthdays at school because so many children have food allergies.  I was surprised when my daughter’s Pre-K teacher asked if I wanted to bring cupcakes for snack time to celebrate my daughter’s birthday.  Her first day of school was on her fourth birthday, the best celebration ever because she LOVES school and couldn’t wait to start at the “big school” .  Since the first day was short, we celebrated a week later with her class.  It was a great way end the first full week of school and a very special day for her. Since my daughter has a peanut allergy, I made sure to ask about allergies.

Tips when bringing cupcakes to school to celebrate a birthday:

  • Make sure to get a list of the allergies prior.
  • Keep everything simple: we decided on vanilla with a few rainbow sprinkles
  • Read labels if buying boxed mix and icing.  Whole Foods carries allergy-friendly mixes in their baking section.
  • If purchasing from a bakery, be sure to ask whether they have been in contact with any food on the class allergy list.

As part of her special day at school, I was asked to read a book to the class.  My daughter chose to share Cupcake by Charise Mericle Harper, an adorable story about a “plain vanilla cupcake”  who doesn’t feel so great around all the fancy cupcakes. His candle friend tries to make him feel better by suggesting different toppings.  It was a hit with her class.  The kids giggled though out.  My daughter received it as a gift and would highly recommend it as a gift or to read when making cupcakes or celebrating a birthday.

Image from BarnesandNoble.com

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Freshmade NYC Open House

17 Sep

 

Freshmade NYC will start offering cooking classes for toddlers through teens. As the fall semester of classes begin, Freshmade NYC will be having an open house for the public to see their new cooking school and event space. I am excited to take my girls and find out more about what Freshmade NYC has to offer.
The open house will take place September 19, 20 and 21st from 3pm -7 pm. The schedule of activities is as follows:
Wednesday: Paint stamping with Lucky Lil’ Darlings
Thursday: Design your own tote and t-shirts with MilkPOP
Friday: Face painting with Rockstar Face Painting

RSVP today to cara@freshmadenyc.com!

Back to School With Beatrix New York

11 Sep

Today was my 2-year-olds first day of school. It went much better than expected. The highlight was using her new Beatrix NY Dolce and Panna.  It is the perfect size for a toddler starting school. I am able to fit her diapers, a change of clothes, her bunny, pacifier (just in case) and a few snacks for after-school. There is also a side pocket to hold her water bottle. She was so proud to carry her very own backpack, just like her big sister (who received the little kid papa the owl backpack 2 years ago when she started school).

A few weeks ago I attended the Beatrix NY trunk show/ cupcake party at Piccolini, an adorable store you must check out if in NYC and/or near Mulberry and Spring St. Not only did I get my daughters pride and joy but I got to see other great products by Beatrix NY including backpacks for bigger kids, lunch boxes, water bottles, wheelie bags, cuddley creatures, and newest to the line; ipad cases.  Be on the lookout for new creatures of the forest in 2013!

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Images above were taken at the  Piccolini event!

Jill Vegas: The School of Speed Decorating (A Four Week Online Course)

5 Sep

Image from SPEED DECORATING

It is an exciting time for Jill Vegas. Her book, SPEED DECORATING, sold out after hitting #1 on Amazon.com in decorating and is now in its 2nd printing (press release on The School of Speed Decorating). On September 17, she will launch The School of Speed Decorating.  The 4-week on-line course will include hot design tips, a weekly call to check in, instructional videos and worksheets.  Each week will cover a new room: Speed Kitchen, Speed Living Room, Speed Bedroom and Speed Bedroom.  Jill Vegas will teach the seven steps to decorating success, give practical and fun guidance, how to showcase your personal style within your rooms, and will give tips for transforming your home without spending a fortune (Speed Decorate).

Tips for Cleaning (something I feel like I am constantly doing) from Jill’s book Speed Decorating! Image from Amazon.com

In the four years I have lived in our building, very little has changed in my decor with the exception being my girls room because we had to reorganize to fit a bed.  I have been bored with my decor for some time and want my walls painted with something other than white.  I met Jill Vegas in April at a Momtrends Living Event at Exhale Spa.  Since, then I have wanted to re-decorate my apartment but haven’t known where to start with getting rid of the clutter accumulated over the years.  One of the most challenging aspects of decorating is to get organized than tackle the decorating plan (Jill Vegas). I am looking forward to seeing what Jill’s class has to offer.  To find out more about turning your home from frumpy to fabulous in a few weeks (press release) or to buy ($149) click here.

Some inspiration from Jill’sBook (Images from SPEED DECORATING):

A Whole New World (called Brooklyn)

4 Sep

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend.  It was the first weekend all summer we didn’t have plans so we decided to venture out of our neighborhood, which we don’t do very often during the week.  We loaded the girls in the stroller on Saturday and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to check out Jane’s Carousel and DUMBO.  Along the way, my youngest fell asleep and my oldest was asking every five minutes if we were there. A  forty minute walk for my husband and I felt like hours to her.  I tried to keep her engaged by telling her how neat it was that we were walking over water, but she looked over to my husband and quietly whispered “Mommy’s lying, I see the street below us”, sort of true as there was a wall blocking her view of the water and she could only see the cars whizzing by below us.  It wasn’t until we were almost over the bridge that she could see the water we had just crossed and the carousel down below.  Her eyes lit up in excitement and then realized we still had a way to go before we were actually at the carousel.  We finally made it and spent an entire day exploring Brooklyn.  If you are looking for something to do before the weather gets cold, take a trip across the Brooklyn Bridge and visit these great spots (read below images):

Jane’s Carousel (2 bucks to pony up, open until September 30):

My youngest, finally woke up when we arrived at the carousel (perfect timing) but was terrified to go on.   My husband and I put her between us while my oldest rode on a pony, which she realized half way through that it didn’t go up and down, so she had to ride again.  In front of us was a Bride and Groom taking photographs, my daughter thought she was a princess and loved looking at her gown, I just hope they didn’t mind that my family (one screaming child and all) will be in the background of their pictures.

Dewey’s Candy Store:

Who say’s you need to be a kid to LOVE a candy store.  The store was a perfect stop before lunch, we needed a bribe (i know wrong) to get us through the meal.  So adorably arranged, you can buy a bag, a mason jar or a bucket of candy.  The variety of candy is so large it’s hard to know where to begin.  Gummies, hard candy, sugar-free candy, lollipops, skittles, M&M’s, a chocolate bar, pez dispensers from favorite characters, and candy I haven’t seen since I was a child.  It’s cool, hip, and nostalgic.  Definitely worth a visit when in Dumbo.

Gran Electrica:

We went at an off time so there was a limited menu so we only got guacamole, a few appetizers and a drink.  The guacamole wasn’t mushy like a lot of guacamole’s I have had lately.  It was large chunks of avocado lightly seasoned.  I usually like mine spicy but because the girls were with us it was mild.  We also got a crab tostado which was light and delicious.  We can’t wait to go back and try the tacos. To drink my husband and I got a margarita, perfect after the hot afternoon we had, while the girls sipped on a “special” orange soda. (note: there is no kids menu but they said they could make a quesadilla with cheese during regular menu hours.)

East River Ferry ($4 from DUMBO to Wall St/Pier 11)

We were exhausted by the end of the day so decided to take the girls on the ferry.  My oldest has asked to go on a boat for a while and it was a nice evening for it and it was easier than dealing with the subway.  It was also a lot cheaper than doing the water taxi.  My oldest did not peel her eyes away from the window the entire time.  It was a great experience to end a wonderful in a whole new world (called Brooklyn) they discovered!

disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.