Fab Kids

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.

gulliver's gate, things to do in nyc, venice, italy

“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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I used to plan 150 events a year for Saks Fifth Avenue (along with handling all their marketing and PR needs).  So my brain is used to being filled with a zillion party planning ideas and it’s no wonder I’m always in search of my next reason to throw another fashionable party (even though I no longer work there).  Anyone who knows me knows I can use anything as an excuse to plan another party… (how does my hubby put up with me..I know…).  Emoji party anyone??

emoji party ideas and inspiration

This time, inspiration came from all the emojis happily smiling at me wherever I went.  #trending??  They were everywhere on every article of clothing, fashion accessory, kids’ backpacks, lunch boxes and now did you hear?  There’s even an emoji MOVIE coming out!

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Little J loves emojis! She happily sends texts with her chubby 4 year old fingers to all her friends and family filled with her carefully-chosen emojis.  And she loves imitating all the silly faces with her own.  So I decided it was time Fab Kids threw an emoji-themed party where finally, everyone had the perfect reason to show off their happy, silly, and cool emoji style.

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I partnered with NY Kids Club and aptly titled the event, Mommy and Me HAPPY Hour.  It was a happy hour unlike anything you’ve ever SEEN! Imagine wine for the moms…pizza and play space for the kids.  I mean with this padded play area, you could literally, leave your child in there and sip away knowing they were having a blast!  Easy peasey.  And cheers to THAT!

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Besides having wine nearby, we couldn’t help but smile ear to ear while being surrounded by all the bright, sunny yellow-not to mention all the smiling faces!  emoji party ideas, emoji party entertainment, emoji party decor, happy hour, nyc moms event

Plus did I mention the PIZZA?  Ehem, I could live on this stuff!DSC_1994To really envelop ourselves with the emoji theme, guests were challenged to come wearing their best emoji style.  What better way is there to express yourself than through fashion anyways??  Of course, Fab kids brought it!

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The moms didn’t disappoint either!

how to throw an emoji party

Any mom that can get into a theme is a fab mom to me btw!  Besides the super cute dress code, I made sure smiles surrounded the party people.  Everything from the walls, to the railings, to the bathroom doors were emoji-fied!   5.20-001

NY Kids Club gets 2 thumbs up for brilliantly decorating their trampoline with chalk emoji drawings too! (Insert clapping hands emoji here.)

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The dessert and snack station featured a wall of linen that waterfall-ed into the table.  (Can you believe this was fabric from my college days…it used to be a curtain that I DIY-ed for my dorm).  From here, I simply taped up smiley face emoji plates which you can find here.

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Budgeting tip!  Instead of splurging on emoji lollipops, I bought simple yellow ones and stuck emoji stickers on them.  I found this pack of emoji stickers at the dollar store).  Score!  The suckers stand perfectly in the gift-wrap covered styrofoam and add needed height to the table.  DSC_1936

Coordinated cupcake holders were filled with crunchy, organic, kid crackers.  Pretzel poo was made simply by sticking free poo printables onto mini pretzel packs. DSC_1937

The emoji cookies were from Dylan’s Candy bar, and the sprinkle cupcakes were simply topped with DIY emoji toppers and cupcake liners to complete the look.

Every kids’ party needs a fun activity.  For this emoji party, I wanted an emotional craft that was fairly quick and easy to do for kids of all ages. This emoji photo booth prop was the perfect thing!  Kids were able to customize their own face by choosing from features like sunglasses, heart eyes, smiles, and winking eyes to create a photo prop personalized to their #currentmood!  Little J was very proud of hers!DSC_2002

NY Kids Club staff were sooo awesome at helping to prepare all the pieces by cutting out everything beforehand so the kids could simply select, glue, and GO!  It was so fun that kids often could not stop at just making one.

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Once emotions were let out through this crafting activity, kids were invited to do their happy dance (all to a great playlist customized by me making sure moms could enjoy the latest happy tunes).  And GR8 games included a fun emoji ball toss, as well as a game of pass the emoji (think hot potato game and all set to the lively tune of “don’t worry be happy”.)  I had so much fun brainstorming all these details!

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Thanks to Little Spoon who helped make the night possible through their taste-testing sponsorship of the event and beverage bar!

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Their delicious, organic baby food gets delivered to your door with free shipping (and also tastes great mixed into prosecco with pomegranate seeds, I learned!!)  These products are so hot, there’s a wait list so get on it, Mommas!!

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And thanks to Lulu Fete who supplied all the emoji balloons and decorated /executed my silly selfie station area!  This was such a blast!!

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In the end, style awards and raffles were given away and guests left with goody bags and emoji balloons.  We all left smiling ear to ear! The party ended too soon for us.  We wanted to keep dancing and playing all night long.  But alas, that’s what the next party is for….

 

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SAVE THE DATE!  June 24th, we’re hosting another party at the NY Kids Club and YOU’RE INVITED!

THEME:  Geek chic Graduation party (come wearing bowties, nerd glasses, argyle, suspenders etc.)  We’re celebrating the fact that school’s out and that summer is IN!  Those 5 and under have all graduated from something and this I think calls for a congratulations in party form!

LIKE facebook.com/fabkidsnyc  and follow @fab_kids on IG for all the details coming soon!

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BIG THANK YOU to the NY Kids Club Tribeca for making this event seamless and all-around super.  I couldn’t have asked for a better team!

To see how the yellow chair covers (featured in the crafting room) were last used at little J’s bunny-themed 3rd birthday, hop on over HERE for more party planning tips!

 

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Teletubbies

Last March we were invited to an exclusive, Teletubby gala celebrating their 20th anniversary of the beloved Nick Jr. show.

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Kids and fans of all ages were treated to tattoos, face painting, bubbles, and coveted photo opps with all the favorite characters: Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po.  Juliet had a blast at this colorful extravaganza!

toddler tv, teletubby party, teletubby anniversary

We attended this party with fellow blogging buddies, Harper and Harlow from Gotham Love.17636919_10154456029733994_1625729632287313740_o

And we were very excited to take home a goody bag filled with Teletubby activities, a DVD and a plush doll which inspired us to host an impromptu Teletubby pajama party!  Some of Juliet’s school friends who live in the building came down for the festivities and started the night off with pizza and Teletubby coloring pages.

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Each of them got to pick out their own Teletubby band to wear and celebrate the 20th anniversary.DSC_1808

And together, they put the yay in Friyay!  After a round of couch jumping, they settled in for some popcorn and Teletubby TV.5.12

Afterwards, we played some toddler -friendly games and then Juliet offered to read them some bedtime stories.  5.12-001

It was an adorable PJ party that ended all too soon.  Thanks to Teletubbies for the fun time and for inspiring us to continue the celebrations at home!  You can check out Teletubbies on Nick Jr. weekdays at 9:47am.

teletubbies, teletubbies party, teletubby toy

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Who doesn’t love little girls’ fashions?  These days, there are so many fantastic options for every type of minifashionista.  But for some, that selection is overwhelming and they need assistance sorting through everything and then figuring out how to style it all.  That’s where Kid Things comes in.  Read all about the process of working with them via text on my prior post.   They basically save busy moms the time and effort it takes to manage their little ones’ wardrobe needs helping to navigate brands, keep up with growth spurts, and prepare for changing seasons and occasions.  I tried out their service and was happy with the selections, quick shipment time and friendly service.

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Featured here are the preppy striped whale shorts from Vineyard Vines that I styled with items already in our closet.  This is a classic piece that I can see her wearing all summer long, perfect for all our New England adventures.

kid things, kidsfashion, fab kids

I also made sure to request some casual, easy summer dresses because in the past year, my minifashionista has developed such a penchant for wearing dresses that is nearly impossible for me to convince her to wear much of anything else.  But most of her dresses are for fancier occasions, not for the playground and everyday.  Kid Things came to the rescue with this super comfy striped number by preppy brand, Busy Bees.  I styled it with colorful stacked bracelets, beaded necklaces, a pom pom gladiator found from an online sample sale, and a floppy pink hat to match.  She loved it.

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The other dress I fell in love with was this graphic printed tank dress by Nui.  It’s organic cotton, was super soft to the touch and I loved the modern look.  This dress can easily play on the slide and then transition into a going out piece with the right accessories too.

5.8-001

Next up came this ruffle navy sleeveless top which is sure to be a summer go-to piece given that it can match with so many items in J’s wardrobe.  I can see it layered under rompers and dresses, to being paired with skirts, jeans and shorts as pictured above.  It’s by a premium brand, Splendid which is known for its easy breezy, carefree pieces.  (Don’t you just love how my little one hams it up for the camera??)

ice cream, minifashionista, styling kids, kids stylist, toddler fashion, girls fashion, zulily shoes

Lastly, this cotton drawstring dress screamed summer with its ice cream print and I just couldn’t resist.  Molo is the designer of this dress and I paired it with a hand-me down cardigan, MY headband from the Gossip Girl days (now hers), and sample sale gladiator sandals.  We plan to host an ice cream social this summer in this dress and it looks like J is ready!

Overall, there were some really cute pieces that introduced me to great new brands.  My minifashionista’s closet is fully prepared for our spring / summer needs and it was a true pleasure working with my Kid Things personal stylist who helped shop the pieces with me. Thank you to Kid Things who granted us a complimentary trial!  What outfit was YOUR favorite??

 

 

This was a sponsored post but as always, all opinions expressed are my own.

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Her tee shirt says it all.  She loves candy.  So when Wonderkids asked if we would like to cover their Candyland event, it didn’t take much convincing.  We were THERE!

DSC_1683 wonderkids-candyland-m

Located at the DL, a 3-floor venue in the lower east side of Manhattan, costumed characters paraded in dressed creatively as their favorite candy.  The organizers “strongly encourage” creative costuming.  We saw people simply dressed with candy haphazardly taped to their colorful shirts to a man who took the theme to another level dressing head to toe as Willy Wonka!  Eye candy was everywhere!  Doughnut leggings on one mom, a splash of rainbow swirls all over one child, and then… this pastel-hued lady with the cotton candy hat.  LOVED HER!

wonderkids, dl, kids candy party

Oh my!  I wanted her whole costume for next Halloween!  But alas, it’s one of a kind of course, given she painstakingly hand-made it herself!

The event bills itself as a “creative dance experience where kids and parents celebrate life, self-expression, music, dance, creativity and community.”  I found it to be a place where Burning Man fanatics grow up and party with their kids.  It had sort of a bohemian vibe, the house music rocked, and I got the feeling that all the hippie flower child inspired looks came straight out of these guests’ normal wardrobes.

kids events in nyc, burning man

Whatever the style, the kids had fun!  Juliet enjoyed making a bead necklace with me, posing with a gigantic gingerbread man cookie, testing out her hula hoop skills, and finding sweets along the way.

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What a magical sweet world it was!

candyland, kids event, kids party

My favorite and most inspirational sighting was this giant cake.  The community was encouraged to help decorate it and I just thought what a brilliant crafting activity to have at a future birthday party!  All you would need is cardboard, paper to wrap it with and items to decorate it with (think stickers, play doh, scrapbook paper cutouts, glitter glue, etc).  Juliet happily stationed herself here for quite some time!

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The 3 hour party had a lively tone and we happily explored each and every corner, dancing our way throughout.  You could event paint along to the music!

kids birthday party ideas, candyland theme, diy cake, cake crafting, painting for kids

Thanks to Wonderkids for this wildly imaginative way to spend a Saturday!  This is why I love NY.  There are so many amazing, artsy and fun things for families to discover and make memories from.  I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!  Happy Saturday!

 

Disclaimer – We were given 3 complimentary tickets to review the event but as always the opinions expressed are 100% my own.

 

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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!

kid chef, little chef, baby chef, cooking with kids, institute of culinary education

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!

kids cooking, cooking party for kids

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?

pink and white party, happy birthday, photo backdrop wall pink white, princess party

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!

pink and white party, princess party, princess party for toddler

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.

princess party, dessert bar, pink candy bar

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!

baked by tal, pink party, pink party for toddler, princess cake

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.

princess food, what to serve at kids party, kids party food, pb&j

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!

how to plan a princess party, pink and gold princess party, princess party for kids

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! 

DSC_7765

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.

princess craft, princess party ideas, plan princess party

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)

styling station, pink princess party, plan princess party for toddlers

princess party for toddlers, pink and silver party, pink and gold party DSC_7732

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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