Fab Kids

If you’ve read my past post about the 3 top reasons to take a toddler to an art gallery, you know we love frequenting them!  Today, after school, we enjoyed another artsy adventure, this time closer to our home, in Tribeca.  R & Company on 82 Franklin (between Church and Broadway) is a 2-floor, narrow unassuming space that you’d miss easily if not looking specifically for it.  Step inside though and you’ll be greeted with playful bursts of color and sculptures that beg you to reach out and touch them.  As soon as Juliet stepped in, she screamed in delight, “Mommy this place looks like so much FUN!”

r & company, r and company, art gallery, nyc art galleries, nyc art gallery, tribeca art gallery, nyc art

And indeed it was!  The tactile surfaces were fun to explore and luckily, this gallery encouraged not only feeling the exhibits but also sitting, climbing and exploring in them!

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Yes, the artist’s name is actually “Porky Hefer…”

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Isn’t this such a wonderous place for a child to enjoy art?

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It inspires such curiosity and imagination!

DSC_6897“Each piece is meant to be inhabited like a hermit inhabits shells.” He encourages visitors to curl their bodies into the playful, human-scaled shells and nests, or to drape themselves languidly over the leopard’s branch.

Downstairs, though was where Juliet’s favorite pieces were.  She got such a kick out of the coin couch because we were just teaching her the value of coins.  “I wonder how the artist made this!” And so we discussed possibilities and she determined, “glue!” haha

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Johnny Swing‘s iconic coin works have been exhibited in museums and institutions around the world. Swing, who is considered a master welder and craftsman, has developed a unique patterning technique that utilizes flat shiny coins to create furniture works. His innovative approach successfully transforms these industrial found coins into biomorphic and natural forms that transcend their material. (excerpt from the exhibit’s website)

r and company, nyc art, nyc art gallery, art for kids

Coins certainly take on a whole new value in the mind of this tiny toddler!

r and company, nyc art, nyc art gallery, art for kids, white animal, beast, beauty and the beast

Juliet’s other favorite find was this fuzzy little beast.  When it was time to go, she said, “but I LOVE him!!”  So I let her stay for a bit and she spent the remaining minutes, cuddling and kissing this crazy fur creature.  “Wait! 3 more hugs!” she exclaimed as motioned for us to go.DSC_6940

If you’re in the NY area, I highly recommend R and Company.  This intimate art gallery will only take you 30minutes of your time depending on how many selfies you take 🙂 and is great to explore with kids!  We went on a Monday afternoon and were the only ones in there!  Woohoo! This exhibit is open until February 23rd.

 

To see more of our mommy and me artsy adventures, click here!

 

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What better way to celebrate Lunar New Year than to take my half Chinese daughter to an edible exhibit all about Chinese food at the Museum of Food and Drink!  I’ve never been to a museum that offered a sniff and taste test so I was excited to trek to Brooklyn and check it out.   .

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Juliet is always game for a mommy and me adventure and is no stranger to museums.  And she liked the sound of getting to eat her way through this one!

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The most spectacular sight there was an interactive curtain of Chinese take out boxes.  Each box symbolized 7 of the 50,000 Chinese restaurants in the US!

chinese food, food and drink museum, food museum It was impossible to resist walking through the curtains.chinese art, chinese food, chow, museum of food and drink

Juliet did this at least 100 times!IMG_0872

At this limited-time-only exhibit, we were reminded of Chinese immigration history, learned about the secrets behind “velveting,” (a cooking technique I’m going to have to incorporate now) and tested our senses.  Apparently Juliet is not a fan of the smell of coffee!

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The most scent-sational exhibit for us however, was the tantalizing fortune-cookie-making machine which continuously offered treats to all the visiting guests and filled the entire museum with its sweet, baked scent.

Each colorful fortune was thoughtfully created by the public who were invited to invent their own fortunes via social media or through the interactive station found at the museum.  How cool is this??

museum of food and drink

Another tasty treat was found at the cooking demonstration where we watched as a friendly chef replicated Chef Irene Li from Mei Mei Restaurant / Mei Mei Street Kitchen’s Kung Pao chicken.

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Too bad he in full performance mode, flipped the chicken so high in the air that it splattered and fell all over my Chanel purse haha!

I learned so much about the evolution of the Chinese American restaurant’s 170 year history in the form of menu timelines, first dish originations, ingredient and sauce formations and secret cooking techniques i.e. “velveting.”

As “New York City’s first food museum, MOFAD seeks to advance the public understanding of the culture, history, science, production, and commerce of food and drink. Our exhibition allow(s) students to see, smell, touch, and explore while learning about different cuisines. Our multi-sensory approach to learning uses food as a lens to understand our world.”  It was such a fun, educational, and memorable way to celebrate Lunar New Year!

Check it out before the end of February.  (tofu and crab sauce is served at their culinary studio in February).

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

  • review the hours, they are not the usual museum hours and start at 12noon on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays!
  • same-day tickets cannot be bought after 4pm.
  • Use code Groups10 at checkout for groups of 10 or more to receive $1 off each entry.
  • Lyft, Via and Uber can all take Manhattanites there (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
  • If you want to subway it there, MOFAD is still 8blocks away from the nearest (L) train.
  • There is a complimentary (unsecured) coat and stroller storage area
MOFAD Lab
62 Bayard Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 387-2845
mofad.org 

 

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Gingerbread cookie making is one of our favorite holiday traditions.  I started it with Juliet when she was less than 2 years old and it has become something we look forward to each year.  The first year, I let her decorate a jumbo sized gingerbread man (found already baked at Whole Foods).

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The 2nd time in 2015, we hosted a plaid play date which you can see here where everyone decorated gingerbread men and got to enjoy some sponsored toys.

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Similar to last year, I hosted a “Cookies and Cuties” posh play date at our place and let our growing toddlers run wild with the gingerbread man decorating session.

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It was so much fun to see the kids interacting and talking so much more with one another this year.  Oh how they’ve grown!

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Juliet really loves her frosting!  She was a great help and loved adding the candy eyes, bows and sprinkles onto my cookies for me.

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I’m not sure who had more fun decorating – the kids or us moms.

DSC_6375 And of course there was play time!  We watched and marveled at how our little ones were so great at pretending they were little mommies themselves.DSC_6364

They decided that even babies need hairstyling!DSC_6371

These water babies are so great because they double as a bath toy.  Children can fill them up with water to weight them, making them feel even more life-like!  I love that they are sized so perfectly as to proportionately seem like they are newborns next to toddler mommies.

just play water babies, newborn baby doll

The Dream To Be Water babies are so soft and cuddly, Juliet couldn’t help but sweetly rock hers and adore it while waiting for her friend to come over.

We thank Just Play for providing the adorable water babies and helping to make this play date possible!  Click here for more posh play dates!

 

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There we are to the left, sitting next to the runway.  I marvel at how I’m living my dream being able to take my daughter to these fashion shows.  As a little girl, I remember watching runway shows on TV wishing that I could one day see one live!  And here I am having not only attended hundreds of shows in my lifetime, but also sitting front row with my toddler in tow letting her watch the lineup before her very own eyes.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: Models walk the runway during petitePARADE at Children's Club January 2017 at Jacob Javits Center on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for petitePARADE )

And I can’t get over how much she enjoys them so! Here she is doing her own sassy pre-show catwalk and dance.  (Where did she learn these moves???)

As always, she had to have her own turn on the runway.  So when I saw other moms post-show put their babies up on stage for a photo or two, I obliged mine.  And course, she didn’t want to ever get down from there. .

child models, kid models, new york models, fabgabblog, fabgab, runway show, kids fashion showAs you can see from the runway finale recap, there were so many fantastic looks on the Children’s Club Petite Parade runway! And for me, the accessories really made some of the looks!  Like check out this furry, royal crown and leopard oxfords on this handsome boy below.  Such a standout!  The crown is from Oh Baby!

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Sometimes the socks stole the show!

kids fashion show, childrens club fashion show, socks, girls socks

Speaking of socks, don’t you just love how this bowtie below matched the socks?

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: A model walks the runway wearing Lili Gaufrette during petitePARADE at Children's Club January 2017 at Jacob Javits Center on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for petitePARADE )

I’m a sucker for girls in bowties.

I loved this mini model and her sword.  Now that’s a killer accessory!

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: A model walks the runway wearing Angel's Face during petitePARADE at Children's Club January 2017 at Jacob Javits Center on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for petitePARADE )

She’s like an exotic warrior princess!

Juliet and I pointed out how so many of the kids wore those lace-up military style boots (which Juliet also owns).  Ooh how on-trend we were!

And check out this one’s mod look.  I love the mismatched socks, (too cute!) and that CROWN and dress!! AHH kids’ fashion has me like !!!

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: A model walks the runway wearing Carlucci Kids during petitePARADE at Children's Club January 2017 at Jacob Javits Center on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for petitePARADE )

Here’s another sophisticated, modern look that proves that girls don’t have to just wear pink and purple to look fabulous!

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: A model walks the runway wearing Bleu Comme Gris during petitePARADE at Children's Club January 2017 at Jacob Javits Center on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for petitePARADE )

I’m totally planning to steal this camo+ black tutu + graphic black/white tee shirt outfit idea below!

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: A model walks the runway wearing Lil XO Kings during petitePARADE at Children's Club January 2017 at Jacob Javits Center on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for petitePARADE )

And my favorite looks of the night…

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: A model walks the runway wearing Angel's Face during petitePARADE at Children's Club January 2017 at Jacob Javits Center on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for petitePARADE )

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: Models walk the runway wearing Wild and Fierce during petitePARADE at Children's Club January 2017 at Jacob Javits Center on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for petitePARADE )

I can’t. I just can’t.

 

Which of these were your favorites??  For some more of our past coverage of Petite Parade’s kids fashion shows click here!   

‘Til next time!

fashion mom, fab moms, nyc mom, stylish mom, minifashionista

 

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To help create special moments for my family, I enjoy celebrating each holiday and marking the passage of time with mini celebrations.  I host themed play dates for Juliet, play dress up, produce photo shoots in holiday colors, bake themed desserts with my little one and have fun re-decorating the dining area with her.  Here’s my 2016 year in review showing how just one small area of a NYC apartment came to life each season.

pancakes and pajamas, kids party, galentine, valentine, posh play date

For all the details from this adorable, “Wild For You” themed Valentine’s PJs and Pancakes play date, click here!

The girls played with their furry stuffed animals, sprinkled toppings on heart-shaped pancakes and brunched like little ladies while wearing their matching animal PJs.  It was so much fun that I hosted another Wild For You play date during Valentine’s with a slightly different setup.   For this posh play date we decorated heart-shaped Valentine cookies and wore heart printed sweatsuits. Click through for all the details and tips on how to create your own!

kids party, animal party, pajama party

For her birthday at the end of February, I turned our dining area into a Mickey Minnie black and white themed space since our Disney kid was clubhouse crazy!

kids mickey party, mickey mouse party, how to host a kids birthday party on a budget

Click here for all the budget-friendly details!  The next month, I hosted a princess themed play date featuring a Beauty and the Beast screening, ballroom dancing, and mommy and me manicures.  With free printables, I transformed the buffet area to a blue and pink sparkle and sweet station.  Click here for more!

how to plan a princess party, princess party ideas, princess play date, princess party ideas for kids

I’ve never been one to celebrate the fourth of July with such enthusiasm until recently.  Decorating my home in red white and blue has become a tradition ever since having a little one.  I want to celebrate every holiday with her in a fun, stylish and meaningful way.  Besides being festive, holiday decor is a talking point from which teachable moments can spring forth.  My little one learned about the American flag, identified stars and stripes, and practiced color memory with these visual aids as a baby.  Nowadays she likes and insists on getting involved with the decorating!

fourth of july decor

During my birthday month (Sept.) I used some remaining party decor to make the place feel festive.  Hubby agreed to cook me his first dinner ever as part of my present.  What better entertainment on my birthday than to watch him try and figure his way around the kitchen I thought?  Juliet and I set the table with all our Oh Joy for Target items leftover from last year while daddy fumbled through the Hello Fresh kit with all the dinner ingredients.  Below was the end result!

birthday party decor

I opted out of hosting a Halloween bash this year and instead hosted some close friends over for a crafty trick or treat pre-party.  Here’s our dining area transformed once again with a damask shower curtain and homemade banners on the wall.

nyc apartment, dessert bars, candy bar, halloween candy

And for a simple and comparatively minimalistic Thanksgiving scene, I cleared out the dramatic Halloween decor and re-purposed items around the house for a totally different look.  Using fall favorites such as white pumpkins and apples, I created an elegant scene with pure white with silver accents.

thanksgiving decor, jonathan adler chandelier

Then I held a posh play date sponsored by 7 or 8 brands under the theme, “sprinkle some fun” which you can see here and got to re-use the backdrop from Juliet’s bunny birthday party as well as the princess party.

kids party ideas, party decor

 

These are some of my favorite looks using whatever I had around the house, gift wrap, shower curatains, re-purposed party decor.  I hope this inspires you to change it up every once in a while and give your home a fun festive look for your favorite holidays in 2017!

Happy new year!

 

 

 

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2016 was a great year for us.  We are grateful and thankful. Every new year’s eve, I look back through old pictures and like to reminisce on all the good times.  Each mommy and me look presented here represents to me a day of fun and laughter.  And I hope that your 2016 was filled with much of the same!

mommy and me looks, mommy and me fashion, matching mother daughter

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Juliet, Stella Leo

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Happy New Year, Everyone!!

 

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Love theater but afraid your kids won’t sit still long enough to make the ticket purchase worthwhile?  Or have you been there done that and are now looking for something new?  Even the most jaded New Yorker is sure to find Pip’s Island, a new interactive, theatrical production playing in Chelsea for a limited time only, exciting and new.  Forget the traditional stage and seating.  No, think total immersion and exploration!  It’s an hour-long adventure led by  Pip and his pals, Pebble and Finn.  And it’s a NY performance that your kids won’t want to miss!

nyc things to do with kids, kids theater nycIt all starts with the invitation to try on special explorer vests.  Getting costumed up is something all kids seem to enjoy and this helps build anticipation for what awaits.

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I tried to explain to my 3.5 year old that these safari – like jackets were going to help us get in the mood for our little adventure.  But I honestly had very little idea of what to expect.  Their whimsical website was certainly intriguing though and knew I was in for an experience like no other.   “Incorporating the latest curriculum guidelines and play trends, Pip’s Island is guaranteed to empower its audience through sheer wonder.”dsc_4027

We were given a brief overview of our mission which was basically to to help solve a mystery and fight off the villain.  The story line without going into full detail will bring out the inner superhero in kids of all ages.  By walking through a fantastical tree, you enter Pip’s Island, a magical, faraway world.  And with the help of fellow adventurers, you move through 5 rooms all filled with wonderous objects and themes that invite touch, lure childhood play, and excite curiosity.  Children are encouraged to help find, make, build, and carry items.  They practice power moves, tackle puzzles and celebrate with bubbles. We weren’t allowed to take photos or videos once inside but suffice it to say this was Disney – level: set, costume and production!

It was such a treat to be able to enjoy something so special, so unique, so kid-centric, yet fun for adults too!

dsc_4035We sincerely thank Pip’s Island for graciously asking us to partake and review their show.  It made for a fun-filled family memory.  And we thoroughly enjoyed it!

 

Pip’s Island is at Skylight Modern. (537 West 27th Street)
performances through Sunday, January 8, 2017.
Tickets are $50 per person discounted tickets on BroadwayBox.com

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NYC has so much to offer in terms of arts and culture.  We feel blessed to have so many amazing opportunities to show Juliet a good time that are both fun for all and educational too!  When Symphony Space invited us to view one of their new, family-friendly “Just Kidding” performances, we were thrilled to review their calendar and find that they had dance performances for our tiny dancer to watch!  This 3.5 year old LOVES dance!  She has started ballet at 18months and has this year, added tap classes to her dance routine. Having read that there would be over 100 dancers from National Dance Institute’s “The Celebration Team” on stage we knew this would be a spectacle!

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What we didn’t know and fully appreciate until after seeing the show was the level of professionalism that would be exhibited.  As a fellow dancer myself, (I trained in tap and jazz for 12 years, while also dabbling in ballet, hip hop and other forms of dance) I deeply understood the hours of practice and collaboration a performance like this required.  And to think we expected to see another kid’s recital…

national dance institute, arts for kids, nyc kids

What made this dance performance so awe-inspiring was the choreography.  I was seriously SO impressed.  Dances ranged from African to modern, to jazz and hip hop styles- all mixed in with an innovative dose of poetry.  (yes poetry!)  And I’m not talking about the Dr. Seuss variety but quotes from Walt Whitman and other sophisticated leaders and prime poets from our century!  And the creativity  (oh the creativity!)  It was Broadway / Martha Graham – level!  I couldn’t help but be a tad bit jealous of these kids who got to train under such talented tutelage.  Way to go to all the Producers and developers of this show!ndi_poetry_02medium

The other interesting things about the show was that it featured a healthy mix of boys and girls.  They say it’s hard to find male dancers but you wouldn’t know it from this stage! They made for excellent examples for all the littles to look up to!  And finally, who knew a kids’ dance performance could so powerfully translate themes of diversity, hope, and love.  We appreciated the sophisticated messages that kept the adults thinking and on their toes too!

Tips for Parents:

  • refreshments can be purchased inside the auditorium.  There’s even wine for the adults (woohoo!) and yes, you are allowed to take them back to your seat.
  • Booster seats for the little ones are readily made available so everyone no matter their age enjoyed excellent viewing
  • Indoor stroller valet is free of charge
  • It’s conveniently located across from the 96th street subway stop on Broadway

In this highly digital age, it’s so nice when we can find entertainment away from an ipad that is rich with culture, isn’t it?  Plus what parent can turn down the opportunity to give their kids an art-filled family memory? The Symphony Space’s remarkable calendar of events (there are shows every weekend now through the end of March!) includes everything from music to acrobatics to comedy, to puppetry to theater and of course, dance.  You’re sure to find something that suits your fancy.

Here are a couple of our picks for upcoming shows!


Les Parfaits Inconnus

“goofballs who jugle, rock out, shimmy up poles, and make their audiences squeal with delight.” -The Seattle Times

Saturday, January 7 at 11 am and 2 pm:

Justin Roberts and The Not ready for Naptime Players 

“the Judy Blume of Kiddie rock” -The New York Times)

Sat., December 10 11am and 2pm

Full Disclosure – we were given complimentary tickets to review the show and venue.   All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

 

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Looking for fall fashions?  Look no further.  Gap Kids had some great autumn colors in their boys collection for back to school which were the perfect thing to wear for our Central Park shoot with Danny Weiss.

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The classic mustard yellows, deep wines, and navy mix are timeless enough to ensure you won’t cringe when looking back on these back to school shots years later.

soccer, soccer kids, kids fashion, boys fashion, gap kids, gap

We had so much fun playing around during this shoot.

centra park, kids fashion, danny weiss, gap, gap kids

080116_shelbyjohn_1836Kalia, is wearing a Kidpik jean jacket and top with a tutu from Target’s Cat and Jack collection.  Headband ears are from Gap Kids.

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Our male models, Sebastian and Jonathan made modeling look effortless and fun.  Thanks to a great team!  And thanks to Danny Weiss for partnering up again.  To see other shoots I’ve styled with Danny, click here.

 

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I love throwing parties.  I used to throw three a day at Saks Fifth Avenue in 3 separate departments sometimes all at once and I kind of miss it.  Decorating, party planning, and celebrating with themes is in my blood and so with Juliet, I combine themed parties with play dates.  And together we’ve celebrated each holiday in style and have elevated the average mommy and me get together to something special, something beyond. And that is what I aimed to do again with a sprinkle-themed play date.  I enlisted 7 sponsors through my database of contacts and threw a series of “sprinkle some fun” themed play dates for some close blogger friends of mine.

how to throw a kids party

It all started out with Juliet using her kid-friendly cooking set from Real Cooking.  They gifted us and the blogger moms in attendance with adorable cooking sets, cake pop makers and handy egg crackers perfect for toddler hands.  Given Juliet loves cooking so much (even sleeps with her whisk), she was super psyched to show off her cooking skills by baking cookies for all her guests to decorate.

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She helped present all the fun sprinkle options in these cute containers and I encouraged everyone to decorate with their own dollop of frosting and sprinkle toppings.  dsc_3420

Of course, eating your finished product is the best part!

cooking with kids, baking with kids, real cooking kids

Other activities included coloring in pages supplied by Crayola in a fun sprinkles theme.

sprinkles party

Below is Juliet’s finished artwork – not bad for a 3 year old, right? dsc_3715

After school snacks included:  fresh fruit, trail mix, hummus and chips, cheese and crackers and a selection of drinks.

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The kids loved the displayed ice cream truck and doll sponsored by Our Generation.  I mean really, is this not a dream toy set for any little girl or what?

ice cream truck, ice cream truck toy

The “sweet stop ice cream truck” features movable wheels, wipers, a pull down seating area and chalk board sign.  And it even has buttons to signal left /right, lights for cruising in the dark, a music button to play 3 songs, brake pedal lights and wipers that actually work!

our generation doll, sweet stop ice cream truckAnd with 128 delicious and beautiful pieces (think snow cones, banana split sundaes, popsicles, donuts and ice cream galore), the imaginative play is endless!

our generation ice cream truckPlus you can feel good about this product because the packaging is made from recycled materials and a portion of any Our Generation product sales goes towards the Free The Children’s Power of a Girl Initiative.  And unlike many other toys, this one doesn’t need a makeover.  It’s perfectly pretty already!

The Our Generation doll that was gifted with it was also a hit!  She traveled everywhere with Juliet and her friends!

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When I asked Juliet where they were driving off to, she replied “to the fashion mall!”  haha she is definitely my daughter!

If you’re wondering why Juliet is pictured wearing two different outfits it’s because this play date was a 2 part series.  It’s hard getting all these busy moms to agree on one date!  But it all worked out because Juliet got to show off different ways to style her new Beach Town Baby tee!  The raglan tee, with its cute saying, “It’s a confetti and sprinkles kind of day” was the perfect addition to the play date for our minifashionistas.  Each girl styled it in her own way which really showed off how versatile the tee (which comes in both pink or blue) really is!

11-10-002I even found double use for the tees and draped them over the chairs as decorative chair covers.  And yes that is wine.  The moms need to have some fun at the play date too! lol

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Not only was each blogger kid gifted with a Real Cooking set, and a Beach Town Baby tee, they also got to take home a gift from Charm It! and Watchitude!

Both companies carried on the sprinkles theme with cute accessories perfect for girly girls like ours!

raglan tee, beachtownbaby, charmit, watchitude, tees

Sprinkles themed watch patterns included gumballs, gummy bears, donuts, sprinkles, and ice cream.

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I love how the watches slap on for easy on/off wearability and the fact that they are analog, not digital makes them educational tools too!  I am already starting to teach Juliet how to tell time with them!

kids watches, cupcake party, sprinkles party

Charm It! offers the cutest selection of charm necklaces, bracelets, brooches and stick on charms.  The teeny bopper in me got super excited while shopping their colorful website.  Of course we chose charms with a sprinkles theme for this play date!  But she also chose and received some really sweet Disney princess charms to transform her necklace for those days when she is feeling more royal (follow me on Instagram to see more!)

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sprinkles, kids necklace

Sprinkles cupcakes were supplied by Sprinkles.  Who better to partner with on a sprinkles themed play date??  No but really, they had the most delectable cupcakes.  I’m totally addicted and find it nearly impossible to pass by their store without a little treat.

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tablescape, kids parties, kids tables

A fun, dance-able mix of songs played in the background and confetti push pops and polka dotted balloons invited kids to revel in their sugar high.

how to style a kids party

Thanks to all our guests for such a memorable, laughter filled time!  @gothamlove, @downtownchicmoms @eunicekindred  My cheeks hurt from smiling at all the cuteness overload.  And special thanks goes out to all my sponsors who made this posh play date possible.

 

 

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