Fab Kids

momtrends

Securing your financial future may not be the sexiest topic but it sure makes sense to seriously think about it when you realize that kids’ college tuitions are just getting pricier each year. (Did you know that currently it takes about $75k / year for a student to room, board and attend NYU for instance)?  Per year, you heard me right…. Us blogging moms learned all about this at the recent MomTrends ny529edu event with NY 529 who was there to helpfully explain this powerful savings plan.

momtrends, chef, kids cooking, kids chef hat

Luckily I have a financial guru (my brainiac husband who also works in finance) who was smart enough to start a NY 529 as soon as our daughter was born. So I knew the major benefit was tax savings. Your earnings grow federally tax-deferred, and qualified withdrawals are tax-free. But there was still so much that I needed to learn!

ny 529, ny schools, ny529edu

Here are 5 things I didn’t know about the state – subsidized, higher education savings plan:

  1. The money can be used not just for college but for: post graduate programs, vocational and post secondary trade schools, books, supplies, equipment, computers, and certain room and board fees
  2. Anyone can start one (parents, grandparents, other relatives, friends—as long as he or she is a U.S. citizen or a resident alien) and with just $25 minimum
  3. There’s a link to send out for contributions in lieu of holiday and birthday gifts
  4. opening an account takes as little as 10 minutes
  5. You can change the beneficiary, as desired, to a sibling, a relative, or even to yourself—should you choose to go back to school (it’s never too late for that either!).  So even if your child for some reason doesn’t end up needing the full amount, it can be transferred to someone who does need it!

While we were planning for our kids’ futures, the kids had so much fun planning our lunches!  The event was held at the ICE Institute of Culinary Education in Battery Park City and it was the perfect place for our kids to turn into chefs for the day!  Here is little J designing her own chef hat…of course she had to bedazzle it with gems, and color in purple and pink!  (SUCH a girly girl!)making chef hat, kids chef hat, kids cooking, princess outfit

She was so cute, telling me she was going to be just like Disney princess Tiana (who loves cooking in all the stories).   Here she is modeling her new chef hat, accessorized of course with the tiara she wore to the event!

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And here are all the little kids.  Who says there are too many cooks in the kitchen??
2N9A9369-1024x683Lunch was surprisingly delicious!  These kids can cook for me ANYTIME!!  Thanks guys!

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Now all I need to do is figure out how to get my daughter into one of my alma maters..Harvard? Yale? I hear both calling your name, little J!

 

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things to do in tokyo, cook tokyo, travel to tokyo, tokyo for kids

If you’re looking for a list of the most popular tourist attractions, the top temples, or info. on the major amusement parks, museums and zoos to take your kids to in Tokyo, this is not for you.  Yes, there is a Tokyo Disneyland, Legoland, museum of nature and science, and Ueno Zoo but there are also similar sights elsewhere.  If you’re looking for the wild, the wacky and the only-in-Tokyo experiences, you’ve come to the right place!  Here are 5 must-see spots to take your kids to while in Tokyo that will leave you craving more of the colorful, crazy, and quirky “kawaii” that makes Tokyo the most memorable place to travel to.

  1. Maid Cafe

    Most typically found in the Akihabara district of Tokyo, these maid cafes promise to treat you as master as they welcome you into their girly, frilly world of cuteness.    maidWith a diverse mix of families celebrating a birthday, giggling girls coming in for an after-school treat, to tourists and the random old man, the room is filled with a curious audience entranced by the spell these girls cast.  These happy-go-lucky maids dressed in stereotypical maid costumes only seen during Halloween in the States, dance, sing, play toys and games, pose for photos and encourage you to singalong and cast a spell onto your food.  What?  Yes.  Form your hands into a heart and in your most adorable voice, repeat after me…”“moe, moe, kyun!”DSC_8468tokyo themed cafe, at home maid cafe I, as an American tourist did not understand.  But I didn’t care.  And neither did my 4 year old who was just as entranced as I was.  She had so much fun she even exclaimed that she changed her mind.  She didn’t want to be a doctor anymore.  She wanted to be a waitress!  Great.  Just great.  We left in bliss anyways. For more on Maid Cafes click here.

  2. Animal themed Cafe

    If dining with your family has become monotonous, don’t fret!  ‘Cuz in Tokyo you can choose to dine with an animal of your choice!  There are plenty of cat cafes, dog cafes, bunny cafes and even owl cafes to suit your fancy!  We chose the exotic-sounding owl cafe and weren’t disappointed.japan things to do, japan themed cafe, kyoto owl cafe, owls, owlHow is it that in the States, we were never allowed to touch owls?? Apparently they’re super friendly and enjoy being petted?! We got such a kick out of this place and couldn’t believe how many different owls there were..ones I didn’t even know existed.  It was surreal.  Every few steps, we met a wildly different owl. Check out this one that looked wooden!DSC_0351We got to pet (with the back of our hands) about 15 different owls that day.  How cool is that?  Juliet just learned about owls at school too and was super psyched.  Hoot Hoot!  What an amazing learning experience for the kids to learn fun facts about owls hands on. DSC_0356

  3. Monster Cafe

    Better than Xanax (I would imagine).  ‘Cuz how can anyone be sad in a room that looked like a rainbow just exploded there?  I think if Lisa Frank, 80’s rainbow sticker creator had a restaurant it would look like this. things to do in japan, travel to tokyo with kids, cool things to do with kids in japan, kawaii japan A game of I spy in here could include unicorns, bunnies, and gigantic mushroom sightings that will have you feeling like you’re hallucinating in this trippy place.  cool things to see in tokyo, cool things to do in tokyo, places to eat tokyo, tokyo for kids, japan with kids, monster restaurantAnd don’t worry, while the name of the restaurant may sound scary, there is nothing scary about this place.  It’s more of a dream than a nightmare!  I would love to know what sort of dreams little J had after experiencing this place…DSC_8790Address: YM square building 4F, 4-31-10, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo. Opening Hours: 11.30am-4.30pm and 6pm-10.30pm daily.

  4. Robot Restaurant

    “Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto” as the song goes, this place (more like a cafe with parade style entertainment) is the definition of wacky.  And it’s WONDERFUL!  robot restaurant review, things to do with kids in tokyo, things to do with kids japanIt’s so hard to find the words to describe how much I enjoyed this weird, highly Instagram-able wonderland. things to do japan, things to do tokyo, themed restaurants, themed cafes japan It’s burning man on a sugar high! Think dazzling lights, estatic costumed performers, beaming laser lights and Transformer-like robots coming at you…”roboto roboto” their main song will be singing in your head for days!  It’s sensory overload in the most over-the-top fashion and you will wonder how you’ll ever go back to normal life again..things to do tokyo, travel to japan with kids, robot cafe, themed japanese cafes, themed restaurants japanI’m uploading some insider videos of this place and all our Japan adventures on our Youtube channel soon so subscribe to see all the wild details.  TIP:  secure reservations beforehand.  get the biggest discount from the Metro Magazine at the airport when you land or click here.  And if your child scares easily from loud noises or large mechanical creatures stay away.

  5. Alice In Wonderland

    Where else can you find not 1 but 5 (yes 5!) Alice in Wonderland themed restaurants in one city?  Tokyo, this is why we love you!  aliceinDiamond Dining (where these pictures are sourced from) owns Alice in a Labyrnith, Alice in Fantasy Book, Alice in Magical Land, Alice in an Old Castle, and Alice in a Dancing Land.  alicerestauranThese super cute meals and fantastical scenes are bound to make your child squeal in delight while making the momarazzi in us all marvel at all the amazing photo opps. alice in wonderland restaurant japanThe Japanese are so amazing at inspiring us moms to try creating food art at home.   themed restaurants japan, alice in wonderland restaurant in japan, cute japanese cafes, themed cafes in japan

     

     

    So what do you think?  Which of these 5 hot spots would you most want to try? What would YOUR kids most enjoy?

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Ever since becoming a new NYC parent, I’ve enjoyed checking out the biggest baby show in NYC, the New York Baby Show hosted by New York Family.

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Here are 3 reasons why you should go:

  1. It’s a one-stop shop where you can taste-test, try-out, and even test-drive all the best and latest baby, family, and parenting products!  You’ll get to browse, ask questions and compare without the high-pressure sales tactics. Discover the latest trends, learn about new technologies, and learn from other parents who have tried the products out!
  2. You can tell your husband that you’re headed to an EVENT, (not just shopping)!  This is one shopping experience that my hubby can’t say no to.  He actually enjoys tagging along, and hunting down the latest finds for our family.  The interactive nature of the event escalates the shopping experience into a fun-filled time for the whole family.  Think raffles, mommy meetups, celebrity speakers, face-painting, and other free activities for the kids!
  3. You know the fun of shopping your local grocery store when they have samples?  It’s kind of the same thing here.  Every aisle that you turn into offers snacks for you and your kids, beverages to quench your thirst, stickers and promotional toys to keep your kids occupied.  And c’mon!  Who doesn’t like free stuff!

Enter to win free tickets for you and your family!

The 1st 10 win to click through here WIN!  Don’t fret if you click through and those are gone.  You can click to purchase single or family pack tickets for half off here.  Hope to see you there!

NYBS2017-Ticket Giveaway-Blog-700x500[2]

For tips on getting there click this link.

For exhibitor, seminar and programming info click here.

This is a sponsored post. #mtbloggerlounge

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I naively thought that I could dreamily plan out my daughter’s birthday parties for at least the first 5 years of her life. Anyone who knows me knows I love planning parties and knows that I find any random excuse to celebrate.  Kids’ White party to celebrate the end of summer, anyone??  So here I am with carefully thought-through party ideas for her 1st through 5th birthday parties..not kidding check out my Pinterest page…and then my precocious, soon-to-be 4 year old daughter throws a wrench in my plans and independently comes up with her own ideas.  Princess Party!girls birthday party, pink party, pink party decor, happy birthday bannerAnd boy was she specific!

  • “princess theme with pink”
  • “I want it to be a tea party”
  • “I want to sit in a queen’s chair!”
  • “I want a princess cake like Olivia’s (referencing a Barbie cake)”
  • “lots of CANDY!”
  • only 4 guests” (tells me exactly who to invite and that this year it has to be a small party)
  • “I want to set the table!”

OK OK!  I get it. You want to be a princess!  So back to the drawing board I went and through our collaborative research/discussion and approval phase, we came up with a non-Disney-specific, princess tea party with pink, white and metallic colors running throughout.  Here’s how I transformed our NY apartment into a picture-perfect party palace and here are tips on how you can design yours on a budget too:

Backdrop 

We have a large white, blank wall currently devoid of art, or frames which not only gives our living room, a clean minimalistic feel but also allows me to easily transform the space each holiday or for any celebration.  I turned this wall into a beautiful photo backdrop with my 1 splurge piece, this beautifully printed banner from Iconica Design.  The large scale immediately brightened up the room and carried the colors throughout the space.  What do you think?

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Since I’m all about the photo opp, I imagined getting a group shot with the girls all jumping on my couch with balloons in the air, waving them around like they just didn’t care…  and I loved when my vision came to life!

Balloons

Balloon garlands and installations if professionally done are super pricey.  But you can go the DIY route if you have a lot of patience and can spare some time (and by “some” I mean double the time you think it takes).  To stay within budget, I blew all these balloons up myself (bought wholesale), taped them to my mirror with packing tape, prayed they would stay on but still had to repeat this process 10x cuz so many popped or wouldn’t stay up, then added mirrored Christmas garland, and finally inserted silk flowers in between for a unique, girly look.  It was well worth the effort in the end, I think, don’t you?

princess party, diy balloons, balloon garland danny tableballoon It perfectly echoed the banner across the way and was a major conversation piece that night!balloons

I also did a balloon makeover on an enormous balloon that I brought home one day from the Live Clean blogger brunch.  By adding my own coordinating pom pom string, tulle and paper garland, it became a one-of-a-kind photo prop!

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Her feather crown can be purchased wholesale here.

Desserts

She mentioned she wanted sweets.  So I made and formed rice krispy stars, added frosting, gold glitter and a gold straw to create magic wands!

DSC_7592Pink rock candy sticks, jellybeans, and mini cupcakes also contributed to the sugar high.  And pink, gold and silver Hershey kisses hid in crown favor boxes while candy awaited our guests in the form of pretty pink purses.

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Happy Birthday sign is actually a cake topper that I bought wholesale here.

Crown favor boxes can be bought wholesale here

Pink purse favor boxes found wholesale here

The most royal of desserts however, was the princess cake!  Straight out of our dreams, was this glorious Barbie cake, dress, hat and present designed to match our party decor, from Baked by Tal.  AMAZING!

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Besides giving the sweets the royal treatment, I picked out the prettiest princess-y paper goods that I could find while perfectly matching her color theme.  By printing, cutting and assembling on my own, I was able to cut costs as well.  The banner, cupcake toppers, invite, thank you card and other event signs and notes can be found here.

how to plan a princess party, barbie princess cake, baked by tal

Tea party menu included: crown shaped PB&J princess sandwiches, 2 kinds of salad, pasta, chicken and rice, asparagus, fruit and of course, tea which I added pink edible rosebuds to.  Here’s a shot of the sandwiches that I cut using crown-shaped cookie cutters.

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Gold glitter wall

If you want a picture -perfect party, you MUST think about pretty backdrops!  These princesses were expert posers and I knew I had to have a special spot for them to pick a prop and pose.  Here, I re-used my fold-up backdrop holder and created a shimmery backdrop with a friend’s borrowed gold linen, some pom pom, xmas trim and some leftover plastic tablecloth previously used at a past party.  Everything was simply taped on with packing tape on the back and cost me nothing ‘cuz I just used what I had.  It’s amazing what you can find for your party at the local dollar store!  The shredded pink tablecloth turned garland here was a dollar each and I hand-cut it.  The gold circle confetti was also from the dollar store and I filled my wholesale balloons at the dollar store with helium!

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Tablescape

For a sophisticated kids’ tablescape I mixed in paper plates with real plates, bought coordinating teacups on sale on ebay, and found the perfect pink, white and gold paper goods at wholesale prices! 

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I really wanted a luxe linen but couldn’t afford the rental prices from my favorite linen supplier, Wildflower Linen so I made my own by buying wholesale, 1 yard of glittery mesh fabric from NY’s garment district and adding my own white ruffle trim.  I then sprinkled some diamond confetti pieces (found at Target) all over the table as shown here – majorly upgraded look from the usual child’s plastic table cover, right? how to set a kids party table, tablescape, design kids party, kids party stylistOf course, Juliet got to have her throne.  I found that Exceptional Party Rentals had some of the best throne selections with delivery to/from NYC.

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Activities

For this princess tea party, our (hired) princess (and Juliet’s babysitter) gave individualized mini-makeovers giving each guest a turn on the throne.  The girls also got to design their own glass slipper, a craft involving stickers and these wholesale favor shoes.

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And they enjoyed the shimmer and shine styling station and a “game of thrones” that I made up and had our resident princess lead.  (think musical chairs but with princess music, thrones, and princesses wearing tiaras)

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In the end, everyone had such a blast that they overstayed by 2 more hours!  Nobody wanted the party to end, including me.  See my Instagram and Twitter for more details and videos!

Juliet is already talking about her next birthday party plans… she says it will be a Frozen themed party with 5 friends when she turns 5!

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I’ve always dreamed about leading arts ‘n crafts with my child one day and am so thrilled that my little one is into it.  I try to ensure that she has some sort of artsy exposure everyday whether that means an outing to one of New York’s many art galleries, installations and exhibits, or making sure she has hands-on art experience through class/school or at home.  So when Mom Trends and Halos invited us as one of the bloggers to join them at the Children’s Museum of Arts, we jumped at the chance to share some quality mommy and me time this Saturday!

crafting with food, halos oranges, arts and craft ideas, crafting with oranges They had the most ingenious crafts all incorporating their seedless mandarin oranges!

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Together, we made a bird, a bunny and even a potted flower!

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fWho would have thought to craft with food but orange you glad you now know??  (sorry I had to insert that corny children’s joke)!

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Seriously though, how cute are these creations, all made with some construction paper, glue dots, googly eyes, straw, cupcake liners, and pipe cleaner – basics that any crafter at home most likely already owns! Juliet loved it!

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We already love Halos oranges because they’re sweet, seedless and easy for toddler hands to eat and peel.  They’re such a healthy non-GMO alternative to the many unnatural, processed snacks out there.  Plus they make for great on-the-go, packable treats!  I also learned through the event, that “Pure Goodness” is Halo’s motto.  Halo spreads goodness through their charitable work. They contribute more than $2 million annually to kids’ education, they partner with Feeding America to provide healthy fruit, and they support solar power usage and water conservation.  They’re good to families, communities and the land!  Kudos to them!  That’s a halo well-deserved

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And the food.  Can we talk about the Halo orange – infused FOOD?!  I’m getting hungry as I type and look at these pictures remembering all this deliciousness.  Fruity pizza cookie made with pomegrante seeds, oranges and pistachios atop a frosted sugar cookie?  YES PLEASE!  Orange infused cider, chocolate covered orange slices, mandarin salsa, spring salads and smoothies?

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Uh can I go back right now for MORE?!  IMG_1220

Luckily, they sent us all home with a bag of oranges, a craft kit and all the recipe cards to replicate this tasty experience at home.  I’m definitely trying this prosciutto bruschetta bite below!

appetizers

Is anyone else’s mouth watering now??

Thank you to the team at MomTrends and Halo for inviting us to such a fun mommy and me experience!  We enjoyed the day at the museum (see my IG feed and stories), learned so many great things about Halo and had a memorable day crafting away!

nyc bloggers, nyc mom bloggers, mom trends, halo orange, seedless orange, mandarin orange

 

This is a sponsored post but all opinions as always, are 100% my own.

 

 

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Juliet’s favorite color has been pink since the beginning of time.  So when I heard about Pietro Nolita, an all-pink restaurant in ..wait for it..Nolita, I just had to take her!  Though pink is not MY favorite color, I do love an Instagrammable scene and this one promised to be just that.  While waiting for friends to join us for lunch, we witnessed non-stop photo shoots outside the adorable, eye-catching facade and had to wait our turn to take these shots!

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Little Juliet was so happy that mommy let her wear her pink princess Aurora costume for the occasion that she belted out princess songs to the surprise and joy of pedestrians turned adoring spectators.  Much to their delight (and the restauranteurs who happily watched the mini-princess dance, sing and perform during their meal, she did this all right outside their viewing and even popped in for a view herself!

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The world is her stage!

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We were overjoyed when our friends arrived and couldn’t wait to try out this intriguing place!

girls who love pink, pietro nolita, nolita restaurant IMG_1157

They loved discovering the library of pink books and pretended to read each one while we waited for our table.

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It’s a teeny restaurant and they don’t take reservations but being that it feels so unique and special, it is definitely worth the wait!  This would be the perfect place to host a girly, 20-person private party (themed in pink of course), wouldn’t it?

where to take girls in nyc, traveling in nyc with kids, traveling to nyc with girlsPink walls, pink stools, pink chairs, pink bar, pink pots..even some pink food!IMG_1168

With Italian pasta, salads, sandwiches and ROSE’ on the menu, it’s definitely a place that us moms AND kids could enjoy! Note – They serve breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner plus cocktails til 2am!)

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We had a blast at this girly restaurant and we highly recommend it for pink and non-pink lovers alike!  For you pink lovers out there, you’ll be happy to know that they sell matching tee shirts with the quirky slogan, “pink as fuck.”

IMG_1170  For more of our fashionable adventures, follow me on Instagram and check out our daily IG stories!

 

Pietro Nolita can be found at 174 Elizabeth street off of Kenmore.

just look for all the fashionistas snapping selfies…

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mommy and me, mommy and me manicures, milk n cookies, nyc kids, things to do with kids nyc

Being the girly girl that she is, Juliet loves manicures and My Little Pony.  So I knew she would have a blast at the limited time only, My Little Pony pop-up at Milk ‘N Cookies Kids’ Spa.  So she wouldn’t get totally spoiled with the spa treatment, I used it as a reward for getting 40 stamps on her new chart, a reward system I made up that includes getting stamps for things like: cleaning up, brushing her teeth, listening well, etc.  She was so proud of her achievement and excited to celebrate with our latest mommy and me adventure. Here she is picking out her nail color (blue and gold glitter)! I chose a light pink and a gold glitter topping for a rose gold mani effect.

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The 1100 sq. ft. kids’ spa “features four hair stations, three manicure stations, two pedicure stations. In addition to haircuts, up-dos and washes, the spa services includes mani, pedis and fun facials.”  There are special treatments for boys, as well as mommy and me services too!  Being a huge sweet tooth, I loved the adorable dessert themed offerings like the flavored facials (think lemon, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla), scented “cookie crunch” haircuts and “gummy worm mud pie treatments.”  FUN, right?!?

nyc kids spa, kids spa party, kids manicures nyc, kids manicure new yorkHere she is finishing off her manicure with squeals of delight! (laughed uncontrollably when her nails got filed for the first time too)DSC_7357

Moms can rest assured that the kids’ spa nail polishes are organic and safe for kids.

milk n cookies kids spa, splat,

Next up was the My Little Pony inspired ponytail hair styling!  Check out little Juliet getting the total glam treatment – rainbow streaks, glitter and all!

This was truly like a little girl’s dream come true.  Get your hair and nails done, AND walk away with one of your favorite toys too??

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To top it off, we got to hang out, play with My Little Pony toys and watch some My Little Pony on their big screen while enjoying our complimentary cookie and milk.

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 The Children’s Place, boots & dress, Target Cat & Jack cape, Ba Ba Bling long sleeved tee

It’s definitely a sweet spot that we’ll return to!  Already she is asking if we can go back to the spa..  better start collecting those stamps I tell her!  Fair warning, if you do decide to try a glittery, colored hairstyle like this, expect to come home and have to wash a bunch of things.  That evening, she left a glitter trail everywhere she went and left me having to wash our white -turned-pastel-sofa slipcovers.  It was like My little Pony came and sprinkled her fairy dust all over our house…  try at your own risk!

 

 

 

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above photo by Plamen Petkov

If you’re looking for an off-the-beat, unique art experience in NY, the gallery at the Cadillac House is a must-see!  For Instagram addicts, this is THE fantasy selfie station.  With all sorts of wacky backdrops including fish wallpaper, crocodile statues, and spaghetti floors, it’ll have you posing and preening in all the nooks and crannies of its psychedelic space!  We loved it because not only did it spur a fantastical imagination, it was interactive!  What child doesn’t want to touch and feel?  This pop-up apartment envisioned by Ferrari and Cattelan encourages you to explore and more!  Here is Juliet jumping on the bed and playing Cinderella by vacuuming the floors!!

And just like with any other apartment, this one required a lot of household chores.  We started our day getting ready at the vanity, then found dirty laundry sitting on the bathroom floor, a kitchen with dinner uncooked, and hungry pets to feed.

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cadillac house, art gallery, the gallery at cadillac house  IMG_1060

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With so much to do around the house, you might just need to, lounge and call a friend from the comforts of your colorful bed.

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Needless to say, this was SUCH a fun place for her and I to play pretend.  We went after school pick up (around 1:30pm) on a weekday and were the only ones there!  I highly suggest going during the weekday with your kids to fully enjoy the space.  After you’re done, you can treat yourself to a little something at the beautiful cafe that they have and also browse the latest Cadillac models!   IMG_1097 IMG_1098

What a fun mommy and me outing this was!  Click here for more of our fashionable adventures around the city!

The exhibition was made possible through creative media agency Visionaire and Toiletpaper MagazineFerrari and Cattelan are co-creators of the latter. Toiletpaper Paradise runs through April 12 and is free to the public.

The Gallery at Cadillac House
330 Hudson Street
New York City

 

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I submitted Juliet’s pictures on a whim to the Lil Jewels Boutique model search on Instagram despite the model call asking for kids 6 and over.  So much to my surprise, at 4 years old, and even with 4000 entries, Juliet was chosen as the youngest model to get to walk the New York Fashion Week runway for her couture kids collection.  I told Juliet she was chosen because she was a good listener and so well behaved 🙂 and she was psyched!

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We’ve enjoyed watching kids fashion shows and women’s shows during NYFW ever since she was a baby, and always from the sidelines.  I couldn’t believe my very own baby would be ON the runway this time!  And what a runway it was!!  Here is Juliet posing pre-show.

This tremendously long runway was unlike the last runway Juliet crawled (at 10 months old) for Old Navy and so I was a little concerned with how she would do especially given the girls weren’t given the opportunity to rehearse together.

Backstage, I was able to cover as media and watch all the adorable shenanigans.  It was like a pastel tutu explosion in there!

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Juliet made lots of friends while waiting for her 15 minutes of fame.

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Juliet said she felt like she was in a princess story and that it looked like everyone was getting dressed for the ball.

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She enjoyed getting all glammed up with hair and makeup and like a superstar, waited patiently in a cramped and crowded room.  Yana, the designer was terrific with all the girls, engaging them by playing a round of Q&A talking about favorite colors and princesses.  You could tell that she genuinely loved little girls.  It’s no wonder she dresses them so gorgeously!

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When the time came to line up and wait for our turn on the catwalk, Juliet held my hand and told me (unprompted), “Mommy, I’m gonna be brave like (princess Merida)”

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She was visibly excited to take her turn down the catwalk.

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By the way, aren’t the dresses to die for?? So sophisticated yet adorable at the same time!  I was in love! Here’s the runway finale!

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Above photo from Eva Kapanadze

After the show, Juliet explained to me how it was time to return her beautiful dress, just like Cinderella did after the ball. I found it hilarious that she in her head was re-enacting Cinderella’s post-midnight story as she slipped back into her “regular clothes.”  Here she is in those regular clothes..

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Gotham Hall, a downtown venue that I’ve previously frequented for galas, benefits and other fashion shows will have new meaning and fond memories for me now.

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Thanks Yana and the Lil Jewels Boutique team for selecting Juliet!  It was an honor to represent your brand and a dream come true to walk NYFW!

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I love celebrating Valentine’s with Juliet because it’s such a fun girly holiday filled with hearts, pink, red and lots of love.  Every year, we transform our dining area with themed decor, I make my annual pink heart pancakes and break out all our Valentine’s colored fashions.  Another annual tradition we enjoy is hosting a Valentine’s-themed, posh play date.  See last year’s pajamas and pancakes play date, or Wild For you play dates!  This year, I’ll show you how we threw a pink and metallic Galentines for kids.  You can Do It Yourself at home too in 5 easy steps!

  1. Pick a color theme.

    I generally recommend picking and sticking to no more than 3 colors when decorating (with white not counting).  (That is unless you are having a rainbow themed party in which case color explosions would be required).  Because Juliet’s upcoming birthday party decor items were pink and metallic, I decided to make double-use out of items already laying around the house and use what we already had.  The white, pink, silver and gold went well with our home’s neutral color theme, and the shot of baby pink just made things so much sweeter.  To go along with the theme, I asked Juliet’s friends to dress up in those colors which made for super cute coordinated outfits (and photos)! kids valentine's party, how to throw a kids valentine's party, kids valentine's party ideas

  2. Dress the table.

    I like to dress up the dining area for special occasions and holidays and it never takes much money.  The flower centerpiece was actually a gift from a blogger event I had just attended, The pink paper plates were found at the dollar store and set on top of our fancier chargers to elevate the look, the borrowed sequin linen was folded into a runner and I made placemats out of cardstock paper.

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    I have bought a giant pack of patterned cardstock paper during Michael’s sale and have found them so useful year-round for all sort of crafts, activities and yes, as placemats!  Just throw them out once a mess is made plus they look so cute under the clear chargers, don’t they?  DSC_6737Another tip when dressing your table is to layer.  Notice how the placemats and plates are layered on top of one another with a Valentine’s greeting card on each plate?  Or see how the pom pom ball string was added to each side of the runner?  All these layers add visual interest and elevate your standard dining table setup.

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    Juliet helped me DIY placecards by adhering letter these circular white and gold stickers to each plate, spelling out each child’s name while reinforcing her alphabet recognition.

    3. Get photo ready.

    With each holiday, you’ll want to capture all the cute memories and milestones.  You’ve already asked your guests to come dressed in color theme, so think about the photo opps!  For a simple backdrop, I cut out letters out of the same cardstock used in the placemats and spelled out “Happy Galentine’s,” scotch taped them to the wall for an easy, temporary banner.

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    Then I added xoxo letters to my dining area’s mirror and a love balloon (found at Target) to my other mirror.

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    My selfie station included lip, heart and kiss me photo props with a framed sign encouraging guests to, “pick a prop and pose” (and they did)!

     

     

     

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    4.Plan an Activity

    Every get together needs an entertaining activity.  For a little girls’ Valentine’s get together, I like to have them do some simple decorating of food items like topping their heart-shaped pancakes like in my last Vday party (or for this party), sprinkling sparkly confections onto already frosted cupcakes.  Valentine’s card crafting could be another fun activity for moms and kids to do together but for the sake of time, I find it best to choose just one.  galentines for kids, how to throw a galentine's party, pink and metallic party, valentine's party decor ideas

    You could save time by purchasing store-bought cupcakes but Juliet and I enjoyed preparing for the party by pre-baking our own before the party started.

    DSC_6826(Don’t you just love the shot of chocolate that Max Brenner gave to me as a blogger who attended their event?)  You can inject it into the cupcakes, or just spread it over the top!  The colorful sprinkles and candy toppings were a major hit too!

    cupcake frosting, cupcake making party, valentine's party, valentine's for kidsAnd if you’re hosting a play date, sometimes, it’s fun to plan an activity for the moms as well.  I had prepared this fun get-to-know-you card game given to me by the brand during a toy fair. “Ladies night” it’s so fittingly called; and each card poses an interesting and revealing question, perfect for getting your Galentine’s going! how to host a galentine's, happy valentine's party, valentine's party for kids, ideas for kids valentines DSC_6782Combine this with a little pink champagne or rose’ and you’re all set!

    5. Party!

    Lastly, don’t forget the background music, prepare enough time to set up before your guests arrive and when they do, relax, and party with your girls!  Valentine’s is the perfect time show your girlfriends your love. Happy Galentine’s!

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