There’s no better place to find your new favorite ice cream than NYC.  And surprisingly (or not), the most trendy ones today happen to be Asian-owned!  I know, you may not equate Asians with ice cream at first, but we Asians love taking photos so when it comes to picturesque treats, it’s no wonder the cutest, and most Instagram-able ones are Asian-owned!  We’ve done the taste-testing, and have rounded up the top 5 that NYC has to offer.  New summer bucket list, anyone??

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Store: Justin Tea

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Location: 69 Mulberry (Chinatown)

Trains:  J, N, Q, Z to Canal

Open: 10am-12am, yes people, you can have your late night ice cream binge here at midnight!

Most Instagram-able must trys:  There are tons of creative desserts to try including liquid nitrogen ice cream (watch them make this from scratch and feel like a scientist eating your smokin’ cold scoop), mango tower drinks, pop rocks toppings etc. but we opted for the cutesy teddy bear waffle cone and my little one was NOT disappointed!

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Store: Soft Swerve NYC

 

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Location: 85B Allen St (lower east side)

Trains:  B, D to Grand st.

Open: 12pm – 12am everyday except Sunday 12pm -11pm (gotta love these Asian-owned places for staying open late!)

Most Instagram-able must trys:  What’s special about this place are the exotic flavors such as black sesame, matcha, or the ube (purple yam) will beg you for a try! If your kid is like mine and loves the color purple, ube will be the best pick, (get it with the red cone for an extra vibrant pic) and watch as your kid’s tongue and mouth turns Barney-purple!  I took this shot right outside the store in front of a grafitti covered love wall.  They do a cute job with the mochi sprinkles by adding a ring around the base of the ice cream, making for a super cute cone – next time I’d get that too!

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Store: Milk & Cream Cereal Bar

 

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Location:  159 Mott St (border of Little Italy and Chinatown)

Trains: J to Bowery, B,D to Grand, 4,6 to Spring St.

Open: 12pm – 10pm everyday except Fri & Sat (open til 11pm)

Most Instagram-able must trys: With 4.5 Yelp stars and almost 200 reviews, you know you can’t really go wrong here.  Specialties include birthday cake and matcha flavored cones plus an endless selection of all the nostalgic cereals from your childhood.  Pick your favorites and they’ll crush and mix it into your ice cream!   Also, the store is so cute, you’ll wanna stay and take shots of your tasty cone from all angles!

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Store: Taiyaki NYC

 

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Location: 119 Baxter St

Trains: J, N, Q, Z, 4,6,N,R to Canal

Open: M – Th 12pm – 10pm, Fri 12pm -11pm, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-10pm  (so confusing by changing it up so much..)

Most Instagram-able must trys: Let’s start by mentioning the over 1050 reviews and 4.5 stars..that is a mighty feat!  It’s a tiny store with hardly any space to sit and enjoy so plan on taking your shot by the quote wall or out in the city for a cool street shot.  Beautiful presentation includes a unicorn option (not pictured here).  The fish cone with red bean inside is served warm making for a tasty contrast to your soft serve of choice!

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Store: Cafe Bene’ (don]’t let the French- sounding name fool ya, this is truly a Korean chain..one that we frequent both in K-town and beyond)

Location:  www.caffebeneusa.com

Trains: so many locations to choose from.. K-Town, Tribeca, Brooklyn, East Village, Union Sq, Times Sq. etc

Open: see website Most Instagram-able must trys: This all – in – one coffee/gelato/bubble tea/ waffle/sandwich/ice cream shop is a must-stop for anyone who loves a shaved ice (with ice cream).  Our favorite is the matcha one with green tea ice cream, matcha sauce, almonds and whipped cream but the cutest one for pictures is the choco devil.

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So there you go!  It’s National Ice Cream Day today.  Time to start checking off that list!  Leave a comment to let me know which one takes top priority for you to visit or if you see that I missed something, please let me know!

Here’s to summer!

 

For tips on how to get those coveted Instagram-able photos, click here! 

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One of the many reasons I love NY is because of the creative, branded pop-ups that the city surprises us with.  As a former brand marketer, these fascinate me on a professional level and because of my background, I feel like I enjoy all the details even more than the average passerby.  Of course now, the best ones are the ones I can enjoy with my daughter, like the Perrier pop-up which just opened to the public today.  We were one of the first to check it out!  Think sparkling water with a splash of fun!

This immersive experience made the brand come alive through its colorful, interactive environment with the highlight being a fruitastic (bubble) ball pit to which Juliet screamed, “I LOVE THIS PLACE!! I never wanna LEAVE!”

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We were lucky enough to have the whole ball pit to ourselves.  We swam, we dove, we giggled and we posed.

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After all, the Perrier Flavor Studio was specifically created to encourage social shares.   Just take a look at this place…can you say ‘Instagram-able?”

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Besides the mirror on the ceiling of the ball pit, there was even a hashtag photo printer and Twitter vending machine to attract the socially savvy.  The vibrant studio space featured juicy fruit splattered walls evoking the painted house Perrier’s partner artist, AKACorleone, created for the brand.

A live DJ set the mood, an interactive art wall turned everyone into an artist, and a Perrier “mocktail” bar encouraged mingling.  Another highlight for us was enjoying a complimentary mommy and me mani.  Keeping in fruity theme, we got to choose from several fruit nail art.  Juliet chose the pink strawberry cuz well, PINK!  I chose what I later learned was the most popular – watermelon.

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How cute is this??  Plus you have no idea how badly I was dying for a manicure.  Mommy has no time!  Thanks, Vanity Projects!

What a fun way to launch Perrier’s new flavored sparkling water (or bubble water as Juliet calls it)!  We loved the watermelon flavored water the best but there is also strawberry, lime, and lemon flavored water too.

Come one come all!  We recommend getting there as soon as it opens at 10am (now through Friday)..avoid the weekends if at all possible because with all this buzz, we predict it will be jammed.

  • Free, open to the public
  • open 10am-6pm each day
  • the manicurist and mani offering began at 3pm today and is only there one more day (Thursday)
  • Macarons by Dana’s Bakery (Fri & Sat)
  • Sundaes by Big Gay Ice Cream (Sun.)
  • restroom is available on-site

Check out my IG story today for all the video details!

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As mentioned in my prior Shopkins posh playdate post, Shopkins are all the rage!  And I can see why with their cute, colorful look and collectible nature.  Tiny toys for tiny hands that beg to be bought, Shopkins scream fun!  And for that reason, we hosted not 1 but 2 posh playdates with this Shopkins theme!  This 2nd play date was for bloggers only and included fab moms Mary (and Brinkley) from Downtown Chic Moms and Melissa (and Misa) from JustaBXmom.  Together, we enjoyed perfect weather on our rooftop and giddily watched as the girls got together and celebrated their super fandom.

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(As the Shopkins theme song goes,)”We got a plan, the perfect party / There’s so much to celebrate / It’s a surprise, so let’s get started! / How are we gonna make this party great? / Got to make it extra special / No one’s ever seen before /Streamers, sparkles, party dresses / Check out what we got in store! / We’re thinking of fashion fiesta / A party to sweep me right off my feet! / Got to make it extra pretty / No one’s ever seen before / Flowers, glitter, and confetti / Check out what we got in store!”

I basically took our prior decor from Shopkins play date #1 and moved it outside!  Here are some quick notes about how I stayed within budget:

  • The paper fans were from Target’s dollar bin.  I creatively customized by adding Shopkins stickers to the center.
  • The cake pops are stuck into styrofoam that I wrapped in gift paper and washi tape.
  • The Shopkins plushies and costumes which were sent by PR companies were re-purposed as decor.
  • I added minature Shopkins plushies and dolls to silk florals from TJMaxx that I already had at the house.

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The tiered snack tray included funtastic fruit that Juliet helped skewer, crunchy snacks and Shopkins branded M&Ms. Each tier was sprinkled with actual Shopkins toys and the top of the display was stickered with Shopkins stickers.  Matching washi tape was used as a decorative border.

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Thanks to Moose Toys, each of us bloggers got to keep a Shopkins costume which had the girls smiling from ear to ear. “This is how we party! / Dressing up, throw some flinging / This is how we party! Decorating while we’re singing This is how we party!

Speaking of decorating, that is exactly what the girls did!  They decorated themselves with Shopkins tattoos,  and decorated a Shopkins coloring page with crayons & Shopkins stamps.  Apple Blossom took home a picture of herself, Cheeky Chocolate designed a cheeky chocolate coloring page and Strawberry Kiss loved coloring her own profile pic.

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And of course, we had the first trade these girls have ever experienced!  A Shopkins Swapkins!  The girls (at age 4 and 6) were unbelievably nice about giving up items their friends wanted in exchange for new Shopkins they might have had their eyes on.

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I barely had to intervene! kids party ideas, girls party ideas, shopkins party ideas

Each girl was given an organizer box which Juliet decorated with Shopkins stickers to stay within theme before all the guests arrived (if you follow along with our IG stories, you got to see all our fun, pre-party planning details!).  I found the teal boxes and Shopkins stickers on sale at Michaels.  As the Shopkins song goes, “what really makes the party is being with all my friends!  Good times, everybody, this party never ends!”  Well OK so after a couple hours, the party did finally end but it lives on in our hearts and minds!

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“Good times, everybody This party never ends!”

Shopkins Season 8 is out on the shelves now and features a super chic world vacation theme.  Paris, anyone?

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THANKS to our posh play date sponsors without whom our party would not be so fabulous!

RenBeanie PR – Shopkins Kinstruct and Shopkins Plushies

MWW PR  / (Moose Toys) Shopkins toys, tattoos, M&Ms, goody bags, stamps, pens, erasers, costumes and plushies

Baked By Tal – cake pops

Heart N Soul by US- Shopkins surprise rainbow bath bombs

Calming Intentions – Shopkins filled glycerin soap

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You know what else is worth celebrating?? Shopkins is launching its first-ever live, theatrical show for Shopkins!  And with our media preview at Shopkins’s 1st-ever pop-up cafe in NYC, we were able to witness the live action with front row access!

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Shopkins Live will kick off Sept. 14, with tickets going on sale now.  You heard it here first!  How about planning your Shopkins Swapkins around the show??  Click through our previous (indoors) Shopkins play date for more ideas and inspiration!  And don’t forget to turn it up as you dance to “this is how we party!”

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Are your kids Shopkins crazed?  If so, they’re not alone!  This cutesy collectible which varies in theme from grocery items to desserts and now travel collections (season 8) hit #1 status in 2015 as the best -selling toy in the U.S.   So hosting a Shopkins-themed posh play date seemed like the only logical thing to do.  Thanks to our many helpful sponsors, we were able to treat our guests to sweets, bath bombs, plushies, stickers, toys and more.

Activities included Shopkins costume dress -up and race down the hallway, Shopkins Trouble (board game), playing with a real-life Shopkins bunny, and searching for Shopkins inside a Play doh ball!

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I got the idea to hide Shopkins surprises into a Play Doh ball from one of our sponsors who sent us fizzy rainbow bath bombs which each hid a Shopkins toy inside.  Check out these amazing bath bombs Heart N Soul sent us these to share with all our Shopkins – crazed guests!

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It is handmade using natural ingredients (baking soda, citric acid, epsom salt, essential oil, natural food coloring or natural mica colorant, pure organic olive oil and purified water).

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After working up an appetite, we munched on kid-friendly snacks (cheese and crackers, hummus, bread, dried fruits and fresh fruit smoothies).  Moms sipped some wine..Ok so that didn’t go along with the Shopkins theme but hey, it’s a party for us too, right?

smoothie

I made the smoothie with organic watermelon juice, frozen grapes, fresh rasberries and spinach, topping it off with more Shopkins fresh fruit!  The real treat of the day however were the delicious cake pops sent to us by Baked By Tal!  In coordinating rainbow colors, and topped with sprinkles, they were a huge hit to the girls who laughed out loud at their blue, purple and red mouths afterwards.

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Even though Shopkins has just launched in 2014, it has become a leading property with its tiny toy collectibles, an app, a line of dolls, and licensed goods which can be found at all major retailers, ranging in price from $2.99 to $34.99 MSRP.  Juliet was so excited to be able to share some of these goodies with her school mates that she couldn’t wait to get the party started and gift away.

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Stay tuned for more Shopkins parties coming soon!  And make sure to follow along our daily adventures through our Instagram.  Right now, you can view videos from this posh play date through our IG story and if you’ve been following along, you were able to see our sneak peek of the first-ever Shopkins pop-up cafe in NYC where Juliet got to model down the Shopkins runway for all the media there!

 

Thanks for reading and make sure to tag a Shopkins fan and leave a comment below!

 

Special thanks to Ren Beanie PR and MWW PR teams for helping to make this posh play date possible!

 

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We at Fab Kids, love a good party so when our besties from Gotham Love invited us to an exclusive blogger playdate at the Plaza we said YES without even referencing our already- packed June calendar.  Priorities, people!  We’ve had a grand old time just shopping through their adorable Eloise shop and always wanted to try out the Eloise themed tea party there.  We knew that it would be “mahhhvelous” and ‘rawther fancy!”  So we made sure Juliet had an outfit to match the special occasion.

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Perfectly poised to match the pink, black and white party space, she happily explored all the pretty items which ranged from designer duds to Eloise books, accessories and stuffed toys.

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We bought her another Eloise book to add to her collection as a souvenir!  DSC_2500

The shop is a true fantasy land for any fashionista!

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Before we got the party started, Juliet was able to play a little pretend in the gorgeous stage area (where they used to have a miniature grand piano).    DSC_2494

Where’d it go?? I don’t know..

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 The Plaza does NOT disappoint when it comes to decor.  This room was fit for a princess!  6.8-001

The girls loved it and started their playdate with Eloise bedazzling a pink jewelry box.  My lil’ jewel loved this activity!

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Afterwards, she enjoyed coloring Eloise pages, browsing the tea sets with friends, getting her face painted and choosing a dress for the Eloise fashion show!  eloise at the plaza, plaza tea party for girls, eloise tea party for kids, eloise tea partyThere was a lot of pink in this fashion show!

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Each child got introduced to the runway filled with eager parents and each dressed up child took his/her own turn and spin down the runway for us momarazzis.  It was hysterically fun for all of us moms to witness!  Juliet, having had some experience modeling was not one bit shy and took her time with each sweet and sassy pose.  And at the end, they took group shots on stage and even got their sillies out!

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Turns out modeling works up an appetite. Afterwards we sipped lemonade and enjoyed tea sandwiches, and beautiful desserts of all kinds!

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We felt so lucky to be treated in this royal manner!  The Eloise tea room accommodated 8 kids for their playdate special.  And from the looks of it, all 8 wanted to come back for more!

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Prices begin at $75 per child for 60 minutes, offering a semi-private section of the Eloise Tea Room.  To privatize the Tea Room, prices are $250/hour.  Pricey, I know.  My review is that it would have been reasonable at $50/head or if they had thrown in some champagne for the moms and/or an event photographer with that package price (which we luckily got given our host was a professional photographer), perhaps the $75/head would be easier to swallow.  But it IS NY and it IS the Plaza ..

What do you think?  Would this picture-perfect party be worth the expense?  It’s pretty beautiful and they say pictures are priceless..not to mention the many memories made..

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Capturing that coveted Instagram-able photo has taken on a new level of importance.  It’s no longer enough to just snap a quick shot for your own memory.   Secretly, you want to take a shot worthy of showing off through social media!  Whether it’s that cool new find, place or happening, or heck, simply our outfit of the day nowadays, you snap and share!  Here are my 3 top tips for getting that Instagram-able photo and guess what….it all has to do with the styling!  So don’t worry about this getting too technical with photography tips.  There are plenty of other articles on general photography how – tos.  These are easy-to-apply styling and fashion tips to take your photography to the next viral level.

Find photogenic backdrops that compliment your outfit.  Consider your backdrop ‘cuz your cluttered room isn’t cutting it.   I usually favor a real simple white or plain colored wall to make my OOTD shot really pop. mommy ad me matching outfit, minime, fashionable mom, fab mom But I also really love a stunning graffiti wall,

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and a beautiful nature scene.
DSC_8510What I also seek out is modern art.  As soon as I saw this stunningly lit artwork pop up in my feed, I was inspired to take J there in her favorite outfit of all time – her Elsa costume.

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As if she read my mind, the minute she saw the art piece, she knew exactly how to pose with it.  Transforming herself into Elsa, and pretending the room was her ice castle, she immediately went to work with her wand.  Preparing the perfect outfit with this shot in mind created the wow factor I was looking for.

Similarly, the below shot was staged with an enormous star (from the FrankStella collection) to echo the sparkly star-like swirls on her dress.

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And the Gagosian Gallery called my name with this awww-inspiring bow.  I just had to take J there dressed in her favorite Janie and Jack bow sweater and Amour Bows headband.  I like big bows and I cannot lie….5.16

Sometimes all it takes is a little research, outfit planning and prop preparation.  Before heading to your next cool destination, research it, check out the hashtags.  Perhaps you’ll re-think that outfit which you now know clashes with the background, or maybe you’ll be inspired to create a special outfit customized for the destination or want to bring a prop to pose with.  Check out what others have photographed through location geo -tags and destination hashtags.  And you’re bound to find additional motivation to get the shot right!

I hope some of my photos inspire you to take a moment to reflect on elevating your next shot.  For my personal inspiration, I like to follow the following IG feeds!

  • fomofeed (for the coolest, local NYC backdrops and art)
  • artfullyawear (you think I like to match art? wait til you see THIS!)
  • dressedtomatch (when life imitates art)  Tag them in your matching art photo and you’ll get featured like we did!

Have a great day and happy photographing!  Comment below with your favorite Instagram feeds that you like to follow for inspiration!

 

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domino magazine party, domino pop up, citypoint brooklyn

Domino Magazine is my all-time favorite home decor magazine so when I got called upon to cover their VIP party at the newly opened, and beautiful City Point (Brooklyn mall), I just had to see it for myself.  Golden Globe winning actress, Maggie Gyllenhaal (and my little Juliet) graced the opening reception to the delight of photogs.  Is it just me or does one seem strangely more at ease in front of the cameras than the other…

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We walked into a burst of colors, tropical fruits and a summery soundtrack that immediately put us in the mood for the season.

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Together, we enjoyed fruity popsicles, enjoyed the festive party go-ers and shopped the store which included so many stylish finds.  Domino expertly curated items from the best of the design world including: Dusen Dusen, Bushwick Kitchen, Found My Animal, Bushwick Kitchen, Recreation Center, and Fredericks & Mae and proceeds benefited Prospect Park Alliance’s community art project, The Connective Project.

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Those are patterned soaps by the way in that first picture! What a fun way to freshen up your bathroom decor or leave a little hostess gift behind, huh? The whole space was just breathtakingly beautiful.  But what else would you expect from Domino?

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The appetizers could not have been more alluringly laid out either.

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Even the bar area provided plenty of eye candy!

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Overall, we had a swinging good time and highly suggest that if you’re in the area you drop on by!

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The Domino Summer Pop-up Shop will be open three weekends in June [June 2nd-4th; 9th-11th; and 16th-18th] from 11am until 8pm daily.  It is conveniently located on street level in City Point at 445 Albee Square West in Downtown Brooklyn, accessible by the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, B, F, G, Q, and R subway trains.

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Check out the last time we were at City Point for a kids’ fashion show HERE!

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review of ny baby show, top 3 most stylish kids' products, trendy kids products, stylishly designed kids products

We love attending the NY Baby Show (read my top 3 reasons to attend here).  It’s always a day full of family fun with highlights like face-painting and complimentary classes for kids (see Juliet getting made-up and enjoying her first chess class below).  This year it was held at Pier 94 on May 20-21st and we made sure to be there!  I love trend-spotting and I love shopping so being able to do this while getting paid to cover the show sounded like a great deal to me!  Read on to see what fab finds we found and see if your favorites made our top 3 most stylishly designed kids’ products list!nyc tradeshow, nyc parents, nyc family, new york family magazine

The shopping was endless with over 150 booths to explore.  They don’t call this the biggest baby show for nothing!  Of course much of it was not needed in our lives since J has outgrown her baby stage.  But still it was exciting to test and check out the latest in gear, strollers, accessories, classes, and parenting services.  I’m always impressed by the innovation and ever-changing technology.  We could have spent all day there especially given all the convenient rest stops.  (think cafe, reading corner filled with children’s books, dad’s lounge and a handy stroller cleaning which we most certainly took advantage of – see below)DSC_2104

With my keen eye for spotting fab finds though I was on the hunt for stylish kids’ products.  Here’s what really deserved design accolades and would fit right into any modern, NY apartment.

  1. SNOO So just when you think all bassinets are the same out comes this hybrid baby rocker and bassinet. Heard of the baby whisperer / Pediatrician, Dr. Harvey Karp? Watch him and you be amazed at his magical ways and easily teachable method for instantly calming a crying baby with his soothing, rocking technique.  Well he has invented this ingenious sleeper called the SNOO that detects a baby’s crying and immediately creates movements and sounds that imitate the womb with the simple push of a button or connected app.  What? you say?  Yea, really!  Watch here.a It does the work for you letting you get some additional shut eye and that, my friends is priceless.  This futuristic functionality combined with the fact that it just looks so sleek and beautiful makes the (gulp) $1200 price tag less offensive.  Extra sleep for mom?  No eyesore in the house?   Happy baby?  Priceless.a from a piece of toast
  2. BLOOM.  Out of the hundreds of high chairs out there, this definitely stands out.  It’s modern, it’s cool, it has endless color combinations and it looks like it came straight out of the Jetson’s home!  must have baby products, stylish baby products, stylish kid productsI could be convinced to have a 2nd child just to have a reason to buy this beautiful piece of furniture.  …Ok maybe… The all-white one is screaming my future unborn child’s name.  And the rose -gold?? AHHH my heart be still.  Be warned, style this high comes with a price tag to match. With price points from $450 and up, you will certainly have to invest in this conversation starter. But if you place design at a premium, this 3-position, reclining, high chair is for YOU!  Use promo cod ‘NYCSHOW20’ for 20% off!
  3. BabyNes.  Ok guys, imagine this.  Keurig your favorite coffee maker just had a baby with Gerber formula.  Ta-Da!  BabyNes is born!

 

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The BabyNes Machine prepares a perfectly mixed bottle, at the right temperature, in under a minute, all at the touch of a button.  You can receive feeding alerts from your Wi-Fi enabled BabyNes Machine, track your baby’s growth, order formula, and more, with the MyBabyNes dashboard and iPhone App. There’s always a registered dietitian on call to answer questions and help create a feeding plan for your baby.  Being all-white as it is, it won’t clash with your kitchen decor and will even up the cool quotient on your countertop!

Thank you to MomTrends for inviting me to review the NY Baby Show and for hosting a fabulous blogger lounge!  This is a sponsored post but as always all opinions expressed are 100% my own.

#mtbloggerlounge

 

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things to do in times square, things to do in nyc, gulliver's travels, gulliver

We knew we were in for a treat when we attended the VIP grand opening of Gulliver’s Gate when greeters on stilts opened the doors into this awe-inspiring wonderland.  Gulliver’s Gate is Times Square’s newest attraction located at 216 West 44th Street that you just have to see to believe.  Within its 49,000 square feet, you’ll travel around the world in no time. Visit over 300 built-to-scale miniature scenes of Juliet’s favorite destinations including Japan, London, Coppenhangen, Italy, and NY.  Together we reviewed our geography, famous landmarks, and nostalgically walked down memory lane.

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“Remember when the man let me drive the gondola??” -Juliet pointing to this scene remembering our trip to Venice.  We marveled at all the intricate, miniature scenes and could not believe the handcrafted detail.  And luckily, we were allowed to watch the model makers at work and ask them questions on the model making process.  We learned that 3D laser printers and model kits were the primary source of materials.  We were also given a key to the cities with which we could unlock and activate special areas of the exhibit. DSC_1773

Juliet loved the interactivity and was excited to tour around the globe to try out her key.  By doing so, she launched a hot air balloon into the air, started up model trains and cars and set ships off to sail.  Sometimes by looking very closely, you’d find unique surprises such as the Spiderman we found climbing the Brooklyn Bridge.

manhattan bridge, brooklyn bridge

So you can see the scale of these amazing models, check out this shot of Grand Central along with NY’s iconic metrocard!   Everything is 1:87 to scale.IMG_0024

Just look at all the incredible detail and natural gestures!IMG_0029

One of the highlights of this exhibit is that you can scan yourself in their 3D scanner and turn yourself into a miniature figurine! What an amazing souvenir, right?

3d scanner, how to make a figurine of yourself

Thank you Gulliver’s Gate for this memorable walk through your miniature world!  It made my little one feel like a giant and increased her sense of wanderlust.

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GULLIVER’S GATE HOURS:  9am-10pm everyday with last entry at 8:30pm

TICKETS:  https://gulliversgate.com

COST:  Adults $36, children under 12 $27

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