Tag Archives: parenting

New York Baby Show and Momtrends Blogger Lounge

21 May
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Image from Momtrends

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When I found out I was pregnant I was pregnant with my first child, I was overwhelmed by the amount of baby products. I was later surprised to learn of all the other wonderful products out there I had never heard of.  Over the weekend, I attended the New York Baby Show for the first time. The New York Baby Show, sponsored by Canon, was a two-day event that connects families with the latest products and services.

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Image from momtrends

The morning began with a ribbon cutting ceremony with Erica Hill and Sheinelle Jones from the Today Show.  Brands in attendance included Quinny, Maxi-Cosi,Britax, Safety 1st, Hansel & Gretel diaper bags, Skip Hop, Primary kids clothing line, Pottery Barn Kids, Love to Dream, and many more.   I was excited to discover a breastfeeding app. showing locations near by where you can breastfeed, definitely something I wish was around when I was breastfeeding. I also found Music to Your Home, a NYC based company providing in-home music lessons. (MORE BELOW PHOTOS)

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Throughout the day, seminars were held for parents to learn more about shopping for a new baby, breastfeeding along with the challenges and solutions, and buying a car seat and installing it safely.   These were just a few topics discussed that I would have greatly benefited from as a first time mom.  Another great aspect was the stroller test-driving track, allowing you to get a feel for the strollers on the market and decide which would best fit your family.

At the event, I was also invited to attend the Momtrends Blogger Lounge.  The lounge gave bloggers the opportunity to connect and share their favorites from the show room.  In addition bloggers were introduced to sponsors including GlamSquad, Mabels Labels, The Nanny League, NetNet, New York Family, Hatch Thing, Happy Family, and EssentiaPhWater.  Lunch was provided and attendees had the opportunity to get glammed with hair styles, make-up, and nails by GLAMSQUAD.  Thank you to everyone for a wonderful day!

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Image from mom trends

Learn more about the New York Baby Show, Canon and Momtrends by clicking the links.

Disclaimer:  I was compensated for this post.  All opinions are my own.

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Momma Love & Tips For Capturing Precious Moments

13 May

When I found out I was expecting my first, I immediately went on the hunt for a nice camera. I knew that I would want to capture every precious moment to share with family and look at with my girls as they get older.   I purchased a Nikon D60.  I captured the birth of my daughter.  I photographed the first time she ate and had food smashed all over her face. I captured the moment my second was born and the day she met her big sister.  Years later, the memory on my computer is full of pictures and I am deleting apps to take pictures on my phone when I don’t have my camera with me capturing all the special moments.

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Now that my girls got older, taking photographs have become more challenging.  Getting photographs of them together is nearly impossible unless I’m bribing.  In the six years I’ve had my camera, I’ve never learned to use it properly.  Not long ago, I attended an event hosted by Kristin from My Strange Family  on Tips on Photographing Kids with photographer and award-winning author of Momma Love: How The Mother Half Lives, Ali Smith.

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Ali’s Tips:

  1. Find an alternative word to CHEESE!  GUILTY.  I am that mom asking my girls to “SAY CHEESE”.  Since the session, I’ve noticed changing up the words and using words like candy or a word that might be funny has helped tremendously.
  2. Let your child take the lead.  You might have something in mind but your child might not like that idea.  Don’t get stuck on that one result.  For my girls, they won’t take a picture unless they do a silly one first.
  3. Look for the light.  Use lighting
  4. Change your perspective.  Try different angles, not every picture has to have your child facing the camera.  Try changing the aperture on your camera to blur the background (I’ve always wondered how photographers do that).  Change your height and get down to the childs level.
  5. Distract the child.  Ask about something they are interested in. Photograph their reactions & moments in between.
  6. Don’t let other parents (or grandparents) interfere behind.
  7. If taking family pictures, parents should always be ready for the shot.  Often parents try to distract and the photographer will miss a moment.
Image from MommaLove.com

Image from mommalovethebook.com

 

Momma Love: How The Mother Half LivesThese passionate stories are bound by a respect for the job of motherhood and a belief that the health and well being of ALL mothers is crucial for a healthy society. Momma Love is not only about the love a mother shows. It’s about the love she is shown, by herself and the world around her.  I had the opportunity to look through the book with Ali.  I loved seeing the REAL moments moms encounter whether they dealt with the battle of breast-feeding in public or overcoming an illness.  A beautiful gift for a new mom.   Ali’s book is available here.

Follow Ali  on Twitter @mommaloveAli, Find Ali on Facebook, and see more of Ali’s beautiful work on Instagram @mommaloveAli.

Thank you Kristin for having us into your home and organizing such a wonderful event.  Thank you to Ali for all the wonderful tips, photographs and help navigating my camera.

 

An Ultimate Night Out with Mommybites (Recap)!

15 Dec

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Last Tuesday, I joined other parents and Mommybites for an Ultimate Night Out at the New Yorker Hotel.  The night began with a comedy show with  Lisa Blythe Perlman and Carolyn Castiglia.  After the show, moms, dads, and friends gathered for drinks, appetizers, and tasty desserts.  In addition to mingling, parents shopped and learned about new products and services available.  Parents left with a generous gift bag filled with products from sponsors and some walked away with raffle prizes from strollers to a round of golf.

Highlighted Companies/ Sponsors included:

New York Kids Club:

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NYKC has six locations around  New York City.  They have opened locations on Long Island and their first overseas center in Beijing, China.  The Children Enrichment center offers a preschool program (3 hours for 2,3, or 5 days a week) as well as creative and innovative kids classes, day camps, birthday celebrations, and special events!    Daily open plays in the indoor gym are perfect for cold winter days or when there is bad weather.   Afterschool programs are available with a walk over option from local schools by a NYKC staff member.

We have been a New York Kids Club family since my oldest took her first class at 6 months. Both girls have attended the preschool program which has been fantastic.  NYKC offers fun drop off events on Fridays and during the weekend, if you need to run errands or you and your spouse want to grab a bite to eat or have a little time together.  Both of my girls started attending the themed Pajama Parties (Fridays 6-8) at 2 1/2 and always have fun.  The coaches are always energetic, fun, and the girls talk about them for days after.

For more information visit www.nykidsclub.com and while you are there check out their blog.

Inwood Country Club:

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My husband loves to play golf any chance he gets.  Living in the city, I never thought about joining a country club because I didn’t want to spend hours in the car just for an afternoon at the pool while my husband golfs. Inwood Country Club is a private, member owned country club Located 20 miles outside of Manhattan on the South Shore of Long Island.  It sounds and looks like a great little escape from the city. Memberships include access to:

  •  The Golf Club
  • The Tennis ClubTennis members have the use of the Inwood Beach Club, the newly renovated state of the art Heath Club and limited use of the historic Inwood golf course.  All levels welcome, clinics are available for beginners!
  • The Health Club:  Newly renovated, state-of-the-art Health Club, with equipment ranging from free weights to the most sophisticated Cybex machines, also provides access to personal trainers, yoga classes, a masseuse, barber shop, steam room, and sauna. 
  • The Beach Club, located a few minutes from the main clubhouse, transportation runs to and from the main club house.  Play a round of golf, then head to beach to let the kids build sand castles.
  • The Clubhouse
  • The Guest Suites: Suites are located on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the club house and are available for seasonal rentals.

The club is family friendly offering programs and clinics for children while parents play a round of golf, a game of tennis, or head to the Atlantic Beach Club.  The Country Club is also available for events.  Contact Inwood Country Club for membership details, prices, and more information on programs and clinics available.

Image from Inwoodcc.org

Image from Inwoodcc.org

Ella’s Kitchen:

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When it’s time to transition your child to solids, Ella’s Kitchen offers a variety of organic baby food options from new eaters (4 months) to toddlers (10 months and up) with lots of great flavors. Their meals and snacks are broken down into 3 stages, which go from smooth purees to more texture as the child gets older and learn to chew.  The stages are:

Ella’s also offers a selection of food for special diets which include gluten-free, lactose free, and vegetarian options.  Ella’s Kitchen is also free of peanuts and soy!  Their meals are perfect for on-the-go eating.  My girls love Ella’s Kitchen!  They still snack on Smoothie Fruits and Puffits.  Some flavors I would have been interested to try when my girls were younger are  the Ella’s 1 Blueberry Pear Baby BrekkieElla’s 2 Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Ella’s 3 Thai Curry Vegetables.  For more information visit Ella’s Kitchen.com and be sure to check out Stuff for the Senses.  Available at Whole Foods.

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GetTaxi:  

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When the weather is bad or I am with my girls, getting a taxi is challenging.  They are either full or the taxi’s don’t want to stop because I have the girls.  GetTaxi, which began in Europe, recently launched in New York City.  GetTaxi is an on-demand taxi service.  Simply download the app for iphone or android, then make your reservation.  A  “G-Car” will pick you up and take you to your destination (watch it in action).  The app allows customers to know their drivers information as well as their license plates after the reservation is made.  When booked in advanced you are able to request car seats for your little ones, an option that is great to have especially when traveling longer distances to the airports.  Because they just launched, a 2 hour advanced reservation is required.  At peak times, a maximum surcharge of $5 will be added to your fare.  At all times there is a standard rate (see sample below). No more waiting, searching for an open taxi, or paying ridiculous prices during peak times!  Looking forward to giving it a try!  Check out this video

Image from GetTaxi

Image from GetTaxi

It was a wonderful night out with friends!  It was so nice to meet so many wonderful vendors and sponsors!  Looking forward to the next Ultimate Night Out with Mommybites!

Mommybites connects moms and moms-to-be with parenting resources, education, and support.  Visit Mommybites.com for more information, resources for parents, and details about upcoming events.

Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post.  All information about sponsors/ vendors came from their websites, handouts or speaking with them at the event.

Win It Wednesday: Tickets to the @mommybites Ultimate Moms Night Out #giveaway

20 Nov

The Mommybites Ultimate Moms’ Night Out here again.  Grab your mom, a friend or all of your friends and  join Mommybites for the Ultimate Moms’ Night Out at the New Yorker Hotel on December 10.

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The Agenda for the night:

5:30 – 6:00 p.m: Registration
6:00 – 7:00 p.m: Comedy Show – (get ready to laugh your butt off!)
7:00 – 9:30 p.m: Shop, eat, meet, mingle, prizes and more during this dedicated vendor time!

The Ultimate Moms’ Night Out is a fun filled evening and a great way to shop for the Holidays!  Tickets start at $25 and everyone leaves with an amazing gift bag. Register by clicking the image above. Hope to see you there!

Want to know what to expect? Read highlights from the last Ultimate Night out at the Mommybites Summit!

Two lucky readers also have the chance to win a pair of tickets!

To Win:

Giveaway begins today and ends December 3, 2013 at 11:59 pm.  Please leave a comment for every entry!  Good luck!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of tickets to the event.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information about Mommybites can be found here!

 

The Biggest Baby Shower

17 Nov

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I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with my first.  It was an exciting time but as I got closer to my due date I started getting nervous.  Shopping was definitely fun but I had no idea what I was going to need or where to begin with my registry.  What do I NEED that will keep my baby safe, healthy, and will help her meet developmental milestones?  I was the first of my friends to get pregnant and I was new to New York so I was clueless about where to shop and what to shop for.

I recently attended The Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower for the first time.  I wish I had known about this event when I was pregnant with my girls.  On November 13, new and expecting parents gathered at the Metropolitan Pavilion to learn about the latest baby gear, clothing, feeding and services available for a smooth transition to parenthood.  Various brands and representatives were available to educate parents on safety and choosing what’s right for you.  New and expecting parents had the best for baby (and parents) all in one room.  I have to say a lot has changed since my first pregnancy (5 1/2 years ago) and even my second (4 years ago).  I can’t believe how much is out there. Below you can find a little of what parents experienced and saw at the Biggest Baby Shower:

Get Strolling:

Choosing a stroller is challenging.  There are so many things to think about.  Had I known that I was going to have my second so soon, I would have opted for a stroller that could transform to a double and have a wheel board.  I also wish I had pushed a few around before.  Attendees were able to talk to various stroller brand experts to learn the latest features and give strollers a test drive to decide what best suites their new family.  Representatives from Orbit, Joovy, UppaBaby, Mama’s and Papas, Quinny, Britax, and Baby Jogger were in attendance.  So what’s new? Early next year you will be able to design your own stroller on Orbit.com.  A black frame and more fabric color choices will be available.  The Joovy TooQool is a new double stroller with a bumprider board that can be attached (love this stroller).  Also, new to Joovy is the Caboose VaryLight, in stores soon.

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Time to Eat:

Mixie is an awesome bottle, making feeding on the go easier.  Two compartments separate the formula and water. When ready to feed your baby, push a button to dispense formula, then mix.

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Liza from SageSpoonfuls was demonstrating how to make baby food with the SageSpoonfuls Immersion Blender and Food Processor.  Glass jars for storing baby food will be available soon!

SageSpoonfuls Liza Huber with her mom, Susan Lucci,  image from Big City Moms

SageSpoonfuls Liza Huber with her mom, Susan Lucci, image from Big City Moms

A Fashionable Mom and Baby:

Lucky Brand was a favorite when I had my first.  At one point they stopped their baby and kid line.  I was happy to learn at the Biggest Baby Shower that baby and kid clothes are available online and in stores again.   You’ll also want to shop Ruum for your new baby.  The clothes are adorable!

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TWELVElittle offers fashionable and functional diaper bags to help moms look great while carrying everything they need for their new baby.

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TWELVElittle

Keep it Separate:  

I’ve never like packing dirty clothes with clean clothes.  Especially, when my girls were infants and going through multiple outfits a day.  I would go through so many ziplock bags to keep the clothes separate.  Free Like Birdie offers green products to keep your clothes organized and separate without being wasteful.  Great for traveling or diaper bags.

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 In addition to shopping and testing out new products, new parents attended seminars (click for topics discussed and a list of speakers).

Christy Turlington Burns & Jeanne Faulkner from Every Mother Counts spoke about Maternal Health and Birthing Options.  Image from Big City Moms!

Christy Turlington Burns & Jeanne Faulkner from Every Mother Counts spoke about Maternal Health and Birthing Options. Image from Big City Moms!

At the end of the night, parents left with an amazing gift bag stuffed with the products below.  Some also walked away with fabulous prizes!

The Gift Bag

The Gift Bag

Just found out you are expecting?  The Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower will be back in Spring 2014.  Visit Big City Moms for more information!

 

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received a press/media ticket to attend the event.

Don’t Miss the #BiggestBabyShower 11/13 in NYC

11 Nov

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The Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower Ever is like no other baby shower in the world. Considered the pioneer of the baby preparation experience, this is the ultimate, can’t-miss event for expectant and new parents across NYC. More than 1,500 moms and dads will hit the town for a night out, mocktail in hand, as they browse over 150 of the top brands in the maternity and baby industry. This 4 hour event is jam packed with educational seminars, demonstrations, games, treats and more as attendees shop the hottest essentials for modern parenting.

Tickets start at $80.  Register now to shop, eat, relax, and learn! Everyone will go home with a gift bag filled with hundreds of dollars of baby essentials.  Enter raffles to win strollers, high chairs, car seats and more.

Click the links for Shower Details, a list of Sponsors and the Seminar Schedule!

Hope you can join!

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated for this post.  I received a media ticket to the event.  All information and photos came from a press release and the Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower website.

 

Bluum To Launch Toddler Box In January

2 Dec

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I recently attended an event at Piccolini for the upcoming launch of the bluum toddler box. Bluum is an online, monthly subscription service that sends new moms a beautifully curated box containing sample and full size beauty, wellness and baby care products. The Bluum team scours the globe to find the latest products and fill each box with useful, healthy and responsible choices for you and your little ones. Founded in 2011, bluum began with a baby box and will launch the toddler box in January 2013 for $24.95 a month. Bluum customizes the boxes based on your child’s age, sex and needs. You can subscribe for one month, six months, or a year depending on what suits you. At the launch, I revceived a box as a sneak peek about what a subscriber would expect in the box. When I returned home, my girls were ecstatic to see what was in their box. They found these awesome products:

My girls love checking the mail. They look for our apartment on the mailboard to see if we received any packages and when there isn’t a toy magazine or something addressed to them they think the mailman forgot them. With a subscription to bluum toddler they would know they are getting a package once a month and every time they open the box they would be surprised by what they receive. Some products we may know and others we will discover. We can’t wait to subscribe when they launch! To find out more, subscribe, or give the gift of bluum, click links!

Disclaimer: I received a box for attending the event. All information in italics came from bluum. All opinions expressed are my own