We’re both a little under the weather this Valentine’s but still had fun playing dress-up for Valentine’s week.  Juliet is sooo happy whenever she gets to wear a dress.  And this extra fancy Amber Berry one is one of my favorites from her closet.  For a special mommy and me outfit look, I paired it with a pastel cape from H&M and complimented it with my matching tulle dress from Needle & Thread which you can buy on Asos.com one of my favorite online shopping destinations.

Motherhood is extra sweet this year.  Juliet is growing up, and communicating her love so much through her impromptu declarations of love, creative gift-giving, and endless hugs and kisses.  She is more affectionate now than she ever was and it is truly such an adorable stage.  I lovingly watch her grow up before my eyes and this Valentine’s I know she’ll be mine forever.

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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.

    pink and gold party, pink and gold valentine's, cupcake decorating for kids

    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.

    galentines for kids, how to throw a kids valentine party, pink and gold event, pink and gold party, tips for throwing a kids party

    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)!

     

     

     

    valentines props, valentines photo props

    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!

valentine's party for kids, kids valentine's, gold and pink party

 

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Dressing up is every girly girl’s favorite thing.  And Juliet has accumulated more than her fair share of accessories, and fashions through brands we’ve worked with, family and friends and heck who am I kidding, ME the fashion-obsessed mom.  With New York Fashion Week (NYFW) coming upon us, I thought it would be fun to host a NYFW-inspired posh play date, a dress-up party of sorts.  I know..by now you either think I’m crazy or the coolest mom EVA..I hope it’s the latter.

 

With many fashionable moms in my little black book, I knew I’d easily find fab moms who were more than game for the idea.  Turns out they were just as excited about the idea as I was 🙂 So we gathered one winter-y Friday evening, sipped our wine and marveled at our minifashionistas as they excitedly scanned the room filled with accessory stations ranging from hats, to tiaras, to headbands, to purses, to necklaces and to bracelets.

minifashionistas, fashion party, girls fashion,

They were so preoccupied accessorizing themselves, that we got to enjoy some awesome mommy time! Did I mention the wine??  ha

Thank you Imperial Toy for sending us these cute Honua bracelets to add to our collection!

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I was surprised to find how they created so many different looks and even had fun helping to style one another!

minifashionistas, jewelry, fancy girls, fashion girls

Above photos from fellow blogging mom, Mary from Downtown Chic Moms

It was the cutest and sweetest thing ever.  I just love that I am a mommy of a girl and get to share such fun times doing such such girly things.  (have no clue WHAT I would have done with a boy!)

nyc girls, nyc fashion, nyc kids, fashion kids, fab kids

There’s the Honua bracelets again – this time on Brinkley (far right) who creatively accessorized her buns!

I did also lay out fashion and dress-up themed puzzles, games, stickers and more available for the girls to play with but the actual accessories seemed to be the real thrill.

fashionistas, minifashionistas, dress up party

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To finish up the party, we held a runway finale where the girls surprised us with their NYFW – inspired catwalks.  How adorable were they?  And how hot was our momma model trainer?? RIGHT?!

To see more fun, fashionable posh play dates, click here and join us in the future at a Fab Kids ticketed special event simply by letting me know you want to be added to the list!  (name, email, age of child, name of child, your area in NYC).

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Thanks for reading!  We hope you are enjoying NYFW in your own special way!

 

 

 

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With a curious title like, ‘Dinousaurs Living in My Hair,” behind the book launch party at Dylan’s Candy Bar, we were excited to attend and see what it was all about!  I can pretty much lure Juliet with candy for anything but it didn’t take much convincing, given there was so much fun awaiting us!

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As one of the first attendees to this adorable party space, we had the pleasure of spending some quality time with the award-winning author, Jayne M. Rose-Vallee who very visibly, loved children.  She was genuinely interested in getting to know each little one and spent time getting know Juliet, asking all about her big upcoming 4th birthday plans.IMG_0915   IMG_0918

As you can see, at each table, were cute dino cookies, ready to be decorated.  Juliet loved the frosting and candy toppings.

dinosaurs, dinosaur party, dinosaur party ideas, dylans candy bar, nyc party venues for kids IMG_0930

She also enjoyed coloring the illustrations from the book and even happily showed the author her masterpiece when she finished.IMG_0931

Media were treated to a wonderful breakfast spread, mimosas, juices and coffee. Juliet gobbled up the fruit and admired the candy decor.

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The highlight of course though was the special book reading led by the author herself!  Kids gathered around to listen to the sweet story of a little girl with messy tangled hair.  (Turns out this is a book Juliet could really relate to!)  Juliet wakes up each day with near-dreadlocks and a Medussa – inspired do!

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The enchanting book inspires imagination and awe and practically sings with its musical, rhyming text.  I was also impressed with how it aptly spoke to both boys (who all love dinosaurs) as well as girls who have all awoken with tangled hair at one time or another.

“Sabrina has curly hair and a problem. Tangles and knots make her mornings difficult. Try as she might . . . To make her hair “cool,” . . . . The curls make it tricky . . . To comb out for school. At the top of her head . . . Where it’s simply a mess . . . Do creatures hide out there? . . . The answer is YES!”dinosaurs living in my hair, kids party, dylan's candy bar party

We were so thankful to have walked away with a goody bag filled with a signed copy of the book, Dinosaurs Living in my Hair along with product from Shea Moisture (including a great detangler) and colorful miniature dinosaurs.  Thank you for the invite and for the fun mommy and me experience!  IMG_0953

We will look back fondly at these memories each and every time we enjoy bedtime readings of “Dinosaurs Living in My Hair.”  The book is available on Amazon for $17.99 and has an average 5 star rating!

children's book, children's book author, dinosaur book

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nyc bloggers, nyc blogger brunch, live clean products

Live Clean, Live Kind, Live Beautiful, that is the mantra behind the Live Clean Baby brand and it resonated with me.  Recently, I was invited to their beautiful blogger breakfast held at Bouley Botanical.  Walking into the room felt like a breath of fresh air.  Fresh greenery, flowers and the prettiest white balloons greeted all of us.

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We were treated to a lovely experience including a DIY baby bouquet, brunch, and a deluxe bag of goodies to take home with us.

live clean baby blogger breakfast, flowers, diy flower bouquet

The avocado toast and mini quiches were my favorite part of brunch but everything was so perfectly displayed!  Just look at all this goodness.

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It was the perfect setting to learn all about their eco-friendly, baby care products. 

live clean brand, eco friendly brands

Live Clean formulations are made with a minimum of 96% replenishable, renewable and sustainable plant ingredients

  • All baby formulas are pediatrician tested, clinically tested, and tear free
  • Live Clean formulations are free of SLS/DEA/Parabens/Phthalate/Phosphate

They’re products you can feel good about applying knowing they’re safe for baby and good for the environment too.   IMG_8574

Thank you, Live Clean Baby for the memorable blogger breakfast!  If you follow my IG stories, you may have seen this video recap of the event!

 The balloon is in my hallway reminding me of you everyday!

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Live Clean Baby can be found at Walgreens and Whole Foods.

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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!”

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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)

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

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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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It takes a lot for me to motivate, get to the gym and workout.  I don’t like to sweat.  What can I say… Buuuuut when Mom Trends mentioned I would get compensated to workout at Exhale Spa in the Gansevoort hotel, I was sold.  After all my booty could use a kick in the ass, I figured.  So thanks to our sponsor, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, I found myself contorting, squatting, crunching, lunging, and yes, sweating.

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Not sure what to expect other than to be tired that morning, I gulped down some coffee and arrived early to check out the impending torture chamber, er I mean classroom.  Alas I soon found out that I had nothing to be worried about.  The teacher was super friendly and gave me that extra jolt of energy and support I needed.

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By the time the rest of the classroom filled, I felt the full support of all the moms in tow.  It felt fun working out with such a community around me!

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Here I am praying I make it through the whole class!

barre class, nyc equinox

The mixture of different movements was a challenge but actually didn’t leave me drenching in sweat (which is a good thing in my book!)

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It was more like a steady tension in all my muscles with the class pushing my boundaries and stretching my comfort zones.  Such simple moves yet so effective.

barre workout

These planks and ab crunches were the most challenging for me.  Does anyone else post c-section feel like their abs will never be back to shape?  My ab muscles (after being sliced up and sewn back together), just do not work like they used to.  Here I am trying my hardest to hold it together..

momtrends event, equinox at gansevoort2N9A3871

The Boudreaux’s Butt Paste press release says it’s “tough on diaper rash, gentle on baby’s booty.”  Well I can tell YOU that this butt paste – inspired booty class was NOT gentle on MINE.  I got an intense workout that I will surely feel for days.  This was maximum strength for sure!

diaper cream, boudreaux

I love this diaper cream and used it a lot during Juliet’s younger days.  The flip top is a smart new feature and I love that it provides the thickest barrier of protection with 40% zinc oxide, free of dyes, parabens, preservatives, phthalates and talc.  Safe and smart, it’s pediatrician (and Fab Gab) recommended!

steph

Post workout ,we enjoyed tasty treats, a mini massage and some fun photo opps.  Oh if only those perks came with every workout perhaps I’d be doing it more…

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Thanks so much for the invite, MomTrends! It was a kick-ass way to end the week!

momtrends event, equinox, nyc bloggers

Now where’s my ice cream….

 

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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.

chinese cooking, chinese restaurant

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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I’ve used Zazzle in the past for business cards and was recently prompted to try it out again with a blogger credit.  Browsing the site, I quickly realized that I could customize anything from fashion items to paper goods and bedroom decor.  So I went on a bit of a limb and created a very girly glam duvet cover.  This first image got rejected because I was using a Chanel image unfortunately.

viewThe 2nd design got approved and though I wish I had decreased the size of the image to make it look more realistic, it came out great!

chanel home I wanted it to look as though I had a bunch of items sprawled out on the bed trompe-l’oeil style but it’s a little larger than life.  It was a bit hard to estimate from the website, how large the items would look in person with the duvet actually on the bed.  But I’m OK with the end result.  It just looks a little more playful now..

black white bedroom, gold wallpaper, damask wallpaper

I like that it adds a bit of quirkiness to this sort of formal bedroom.  What do you think?

bedroom chandelier, zazzle duvet

I’m happy with the result especially given the duvet was soooo soft! It’s such a pleasure to snuggle up to this winter!

And did you see that Zazzle is currently having a sitewide 15% off Valentine’s sale with code ‘ ZAZZSENDLOVE’?  I’m going back and customizing some matching mommy and me Valentine’s day tee shirts!

 

Special thanks goes out to Zazzle for partnering up with me on this post.  As always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.

 

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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).

gingerbread cookie decorating

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.

gingerbread cookie, cookie decorating with kids

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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