Tag Archives: Momtrends

Fancy Restaurant and socialsklz:)

10 Feb

Image from socialsklz.com

All dressed up and setting the table.

“Fancy restaurant” started last summer while we were visiting my brother-in-laws at the beach.  Maddie got upset that everyone went out and we stayed back because going out to eat with two toddlers is extremely difficult.  In order to cheer up Maddie, my husband told her they were going to play “Fancy Restaurant” and allowed her to stay up a little later.  Her eyes lit up.  The two of them set up a table with a towel as the table-cloth, he grabbed a pen and paper to take orders, filled a pitcher with water, threw a hand towel over his arm and set the table with plates and utensils.  Maddie sat down.  He left the room and then re-entered with “Hello, Welcome to Maddie’s Fancy Restaurant! May I take your order?  What would you like to eat this evening?  We have some specials you might like (he listed some  of her favorite snack foods)”.  When Maddie would get up or scream for something else she wanted he would remind her that she was being inappropriate by saying “Excuse me Ma’am, this is a fancy restaurant and we would appreciate it if you could stay at your table and use a lower voice”.  Maddie would quickly go back to her table.  Pela is still a little young to fully understand but she loves to play too.  I never thought about it being part of learning social skills or practicing before going to dinner at a restaurant.

Waiting for dinner.

We were playing “Fancy Restaurant” a couple of weeks ago and think about socialsklz:-) founder Faye Rogaski.  Faye spoke at a MomTrends event in November about teaching social skills to children.  I recently reached out to her because I wanted to get some tips on teaching diningsklz:-) to young children, especially since we have weddings and other special dinners coming up.  Today is my Dad’s birthday and we will be going out to dinner at a nice restaurant to celebrate.  We have been playing “Fancy Restaurant” and working on what Faye suggested to prepare for the night out.  See below for what Faye had to say about teaching diningsklz:-).

Mealtime etiquette can be a daunting endeavor for parents,particularly when eating out with others.
First and foremost, start your dining lessons in the comfort of your own home,without the pressure (on you or your child) of being out.

Plan for a “dinner party” or as Jennifer likes to call it at her home a “Fancy Restaurant” night. A dinner party or evening dining out requires preparation and doing so in advance sets you and your child(ren) up for success:

1/ teach your child how to invite people and put together invitations
2/ discuss a healthy well-balanced meal and the menu for the evening
3/ enjoy setting the table with a proper place setting at each seat and placecards
4/ go over mealtime do’s and don’ts (no need to use the word “behavior” kids cringe when they hear it)
Including where the napkin goes, how to sit, using utensils, talking without food in his/her mouth, excusing
Him/herself from the table, etc…
Before you do this part of the lesson put together a list of the most important things to you at the table.
And based on your child’s age, go over more or less specifics.
5/ explain what a “toast” is and show your child(ren) what a toast looks like and how we make eye contact when tapping glasses.
6/show children where utensils go when in resting position and in finished position.

What's wrong with this picture?

7/ discuss what happens during a dinner-conversation and enjoyment!
8/ demonstrate where the napkin goes at the end of the meal
9/ share with children what they should do if they don’t like a food on their plate.
10/ and finally share the importance of a thank you to the “host” or to the person paying for the meal

For assistance or mealtime etiquette queries, email Faye Rogaski, founder  socialsklz:-) tools to thrive in the modern worldfaye@socialsklz.com. socialsklz:-) offers modern day social interaction and communication skills workshops throughout NYC (Upper East/West, Columbus Circle, Tribeca, Brooklyn) that include diningsklz:-) lessons.

Time for a "fancy" dessert!

J&R Jr. Opens Downtown

9 Feb

My husband and I moved downtown when I was pregnant with Maddie.  At that time I wasn’t thinking about trecking up to BuyBuyBaby in chelsea to test out strollers a hundred times before deciding on the right one.  On the way home from the hospital I even had my husband drop me off and drive around while I grabbed last minute essentials.  When I needed a birthday present for Maddie’s friends it waz easy to strap one in the bjorn and go up to Toys r Us.  Once Pela came, forget it, there was no way I was taking two on the subway.  I needed a babysitter or a place convienent to throw both girls in the stroller and walk too.    If you live downtown there are very few children stores for everything you need, until J&R Jr. opened it’s doors.

Last weekend I was invited to a blogging event at J&R Jr. sponsered by KidzVuz, MomTrends, and Macaroni Kid to kickoff the opening and to show off what their store will offer.  J&R Jr. offers baby gear, feeding essentials, electronics, clothing, toys, arts and crafts, and so much more from your favorite brands.   Some brands you will find include Melissa and Doug, ALEX, Lazoo, RoudySprout, Quinny, Apple, Saftey 1st, and Oxo.  It gets better, there is an area for classes and will offer developmental classes from MoonSoup.

Bloggers and their families also got a sneak-peak of the grand opening festivities which will take place February 11&12. Children experienced A Princess Visit, a magic show by Amazing Max and a demonstration from MoonSoup.  They were also able to explore interactive areas for IPADS, musical instruments, playstation, and even made a flowers in the ALEX section. There will be more during the two-day opening (click link to find out the schedule of performances). You and your family should celebrate the grand opening this weekend with J&R Jr., especially if you live downtown.  If you can’t attend or don’t live in the area, make sure you check out their online store or stop by another day.

A magical princess visit!

To see more images check out J&R Jr. on Facebook and look at the album 2-5 Media Day.

Disclaimer: I received a large gift bag, a gift card, and an HP printer for attending the event.  They did not impact my opinions.  All opinions exressed are my own.  I am so excited there is finally a children’s store with everything a short stroll away.  

Crazy About Coffee: Kicking off 2012 with International Delight’s Iced Coffee

3 Jan

Last month I attended an event hosted by MomTrends and MomGenerations at Hair Rules Salon  to try out International Delight’s  iced coffee which will hit shelves this month.  It was a wonderful morning of pampering: massages, manicures,  and blow outs while sipping  International Delight’s  new vanilla iced coffee from an ice luge.  The Iced Coffee  was a little sweeter then I am used to but it was still delightfully delicious, I couldn’t help but go back for more.

Iced Coffee Ice Luge

Loved the blow out from Hair Rules Salon and I.D.'s Iced Coffee! Thank you MomTrends for the image and a great event!

I was never much of a coffee drinker until I endured the sleepless nights and the early rising parenthood brings you.  When I had Maddie I drank a few cups a week and once Pela joined the family, I started drinking at least one cup a day.  Most mornings I am rushing out the door to get the girls to class or school and don’t have time to make a cup of coffee, so I end up going to a local coffee shop and spend almost $6 on a latte.  Luckily,  International Delight’s Iced Coffee will be hitting Food Emporium’s shelf this month.  It is so convenient, all you need is ice and a cup, pour, and go.  Not to mention the suggested retail price is $3.99 per half-gallon.  Even if you aren’t a huge coffee drinker this is a SWEET treat worth trying.  It’s like dessert for breakfast.  Over the holidays I brought the half-gallon I received at the event and it was gone the next day.  My family LOVED it and went back for seconds both days they had it.  We are looking forward to trying the other flavors: Original and Mocha.

Creamers attendee's could try!

I was also able to take home International Delight’s Cold Stone Creamery Sweet Cream.  I have yet to try it but the girls LOVE hot chocolate and I plan on adding it to theirs in the morning.  Check out other International Delight creamers, to add to your child’s hot chocolate.

To find out more about the event, check out the MomTrends Newsletter.  Also, make sure you check out International Delight on Facebook to find other products to help you jump start your day!

Disclaimer: I received services from Hair Rules Salon and a gift bag with products for attending the event.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

Melissa and Doug: Fueling your Child’s Imagination

7 Dec

Last week I attended the Melissa and Doug showroom for a MomTrends event.  Walking into the room, I wished I was a kid again.  It was every child’s dream.  So many great toys in one place from wooden and felt food to complete the face drawing pads to puzzles and puppets galore.  Melissa and Doug have provided educational products for over 23 years and I’m pretty sure every parent or teacher I know has at least one if not more Melissa and Doug products in their home or classroom.  The most valuable features of their products is that they fuel your child’s imagination and encourage creativity whether they are dressing up as a chef and “cooking” in their kitchen, creating and designing an art project, or putting together a puzzle.

At the event, attendees went  on a scavenger hunt for Al’s Angels, a wonderful charity helping children and families in need.  Here are a few of my favorites I discovered on the scavenger hunt:

Snowman Stacker

Felt Cookie Decorating Set

Chef Costume

Wooden Easel

Trunki: a lifesaver for the airport.

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Each guest received a Trunki and stickers as a gift.

Healthy Meal Fast

29 Nov

The past couple days we have been busy with family in town and I am going to a MomTrends event tonight I wanted a quick and easy dinner.  While I was at Whole Foods I came across Mom Made Meals.  We got the cheesy Mac and Cheese.  I saw the peas in it and didn’t feel so bad.  When I read the ingredients I discovered that there are sweet potatoes and butternut squash in the ingredients as well.  I grabbed a couple of boxes for when it gets a little hectic over the Holidays and we need a quick and easy lunch or dinner.  It would be a great side to your left over turkey (if you are still have any) or with chicken tenders. The girls loved every bite.  I even tried it and really liked it.  I went to the Mom Made Meals website and saw the variety of meals, munchies’, and bites that I can’t wait to get for the girls.  Check out their website to see where you can Mom Made Meals in your neighborhood or to order them online.


iAll mages from Mom Made Meals.

A Beautiful Sundae

30 Oct

What better way to start a blog then to post about a MomTrends event I went to last week.  The event focused on toy safety and entertaining.  It was held at a beautiful gallery on Hudson St, called glassybaby.  Glassybaby features hand blown glass that can be used in a variety of ways.  The gallery was beautifully decorated with votive candles in the glass while guests sipped hot toddies and punch from them.  I immediately thought of my daughters love for ice cream and thought they would make a beautiful dish to serve an ice cream sundae or a yogurt parfait.  Proceeds from glassybaby go to different charities which make it more reason to purchase.   I definitely want to get a few.