MommyCon

Last week I had the opportunity to attend one of the coolest mom events ever- @mommycon. I was invited to attend the event as part of the media team (bloggers and influencers) and I was super excited to be there. This is the second event I was invited to, I guess blogging has a few cool perks right? I’m always grateful for opportunities like these, and I was excited to share this event with a few other mamas. I brought a friend of mine with me since she recently became a mom and I figured she could use some time away from the house. Two other mommy friends tagged along and I even got to meet two of my beautiful mommy friends from IG. Instagram has connected me with so many moms and I’m excited to continue meeting more mamas through it.

The event was filled with sorts of vendors educational sessions for moms. The location was great, and it had been a while since I took the train to Grand Central. Calvin and I took our first ride on the MetroNorth, which was definitely more comfortable than riding with the MTA.

Mommycon catered so well to parents attending this event. They had a snack table, a changing room, and even a quiet nursing room. Each room was filled with baby gear, even the conference rooms had toys in the back so the babies could play while the parents listened to the speakers! That’s something that any mama can appreciate. I wish I could have attended all the sessions taking place throughout the day. At some point, I started jumping between sessions since a few of my faves were happening during the same time slot. I also spent a large amount of time chasing Calvin around the hotel- it was hilarious.

Sessions I attended:

  • 7 Strategies for Raising a Healthy Eater, presented by Happy Family Organics
  • Why Wait to Communicate?! Baby Fingers: A Musical Journey through Language and Learning
  • Sleep Consultation: 12-24 months months
  • Hey Superwoman, You Need Self-Care Too 

Each session was filled with so many resources. I was most excited for the session on ” Raising a Healthy Eater”. I’m a very picky eater and veggies have never been something I put on my plate. When I started giving Calvin solids I only gave him veggies, but ask me if I tasted any of them… nope. However, now he’s a toddler and he loves to eat anything on my plate. Which means that I need to end my picky eating ways and start adding some veggies to my meals. I really loved that the speaker emphasized that we not give or kids labels like “picky eaters”. If your toddler is having a hard time trying different foods, try to present it to them in different ways. But stay away from forcing.  It’s also okay if they choose to stick to eating the same foods. The speaker also taught me that there is no such thing as ” Bad foods” for example, you packed cookies and mangos and your kid chooses the cookies over the fruit, no big deal. it’s food. I’m glad she said that because very often I stay away from foods that I may think are not ” good” like pizza. So learning this helps me understand I don’t have to fight against what he’s choosing.

Another fun part about this event was being introduced to so many new and familiar brands. As a new mom learning about new brands is always so exciting. There are so many baby companies that have created amazing products, and I’m always looking to see if any of them work for our family. They had baby wear, feeding products, toys, body products, you name it- they had it!. A few of my favorite companies were Re-play, Hamiltonbabies, Happy family organics, Serenitykids baby food, Lulla doll, and Motherlove Herbal Company.  You definitely want to check out these brands on Instagram.

If you are a mama and want to connect with other moms in your city, be introduced to some great baby brands, and attend some amazing workshops, Mommycon is the event for you. I’m excited to come back next year and see them continue to grow. Thanks, @mommycon for inviting me!

Here are a few pictures of the event: 

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NYC Holiday Activities for You & the Kids

The holiday season is here and I’m sure you have some time off to hang with your kiddos this Christmas time! So here are some places to check out during this Christmas season, take your camera and go and make some memories!

1. See Santa at Macy’s Santaland (or elsewhere). I really enjoyed Santa Land at Macy’s. The wait was about an hour but don’t let that scare you away. Inside SantaLand you can take pictures and just enjoy the Christmas decor. Taking a picture with Santa is free but the picture packages start at $20.

2. New York Holiday Train Shows:

All Aboard with Thomas & Friends: – The Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

I haven’t been to this show but I heard it’s pretty amazing. If your kiddos love trains especially Thomas and friends you’ll want to check out this show.

New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex in Grand Central Terminal:

Apparently this is one train ride you won’t want to miss out on.

Free and open to the public.
Monday – Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday – Sunday, 10am to 6pm

3. Rockefeller Center:

One of my favorite places. Standing underneath the tree always feels magical at night. So stop by and get some pictures and while you’re at it, make a quick stop at Magnolia Bakery, for some treats. My fave is their banana pudding.

4. FAO Schwarz in Rockefeller Center: 

 The most fascinating part about this toy store is their giant piano.

5YC Winter Lantern Festival —Snug Harbor, Staten Island

Seven acres of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden are lit up by 40 LED installations that stretch up to 30 feet tall. The lanterns are accompanied by live performances of traditional Chinese dances and art, and a variety of holiday vendors, to create a magical and unique holiday season experience. (Mommypoppins.com) Ends, Sunday, January 6, 2019

6. Luminaries Brookfield Place

Age: all ages – Price: FREE

Visitors are immersed in a canopy of light emanating from hundreds of suspended lanterns. Three Wishing Stations on the ground allow visitors to “send” a wish to the canopy of lanterns above, translating the wish into a mesmerizing display of lights and colors. Ends, Fri, Jan 4, 2019

7. Dyker Heights Christmas Lights: – Brooklyn NY

Looking for a place that lights up your night ? You might want to pay this place a visit. 

8. Garabedian Family’s Christmas House: – Bronx, NY

The Garabedian family’s home on Pelham Parkway North is known to many as the Christmas House. Just one look and you’ll see why. 

9. Toddler Gym at Chelsea Piers: – Chelsea

This awesome indoor space offers a jungle gym to climb, crawl through, and clamber over. 

Open play: Monday–Thursday, 9:30am–noon and 1pm–5pm; visit the website for weekend schedules
$12 per session, discounts for multiple sessions
Ages 6 months–4 years

10. Children’s Museum of Manhattan — Upper West Side

Tuesday–Friday, 10am–5pm; Saturday, 10am–7pm; Sunday, 10am–5pm
$14 per person; infants younger than 1 FREE

11. Radio City Christmas Spectacular:  Lower East Side 

Splurge to see the high-stepping Rockettes do that famous kick line.

Ruben took me to see this show when we were newlyweds. It’s outstanding! 

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12. Rolf’s:

Dine at Rolf’s, the tiny German restaurant in Gramercy that goes all out with its Christmas decor.


The Muddy Puddles Project

Last week I decided that I needed a day to spend with Calvin. Being a full time worker and student has been very overwhelming to say the least. I’m either at work or anxiously at home waiting for him to go to bed so I can start homework. I feel like often I’m too tired to give him the energy he needs from me, he’s crawling, standing, grabbing everything insight and I’m just sitting on the couch trying to catch a breath of air to let go of the emotional load I carry from work often. A few weeks ago I was invited to an event taking place in “The Little Gym” which is located on the Upper West side. They were having an event to celebrate the the launch of Peppa’s Muddy Launch Party. But before I tell you about the party I have to tell you about the charity behind it called “Muddy Puddles Project” 

The Muddy Puddles Project is a celebration of children and childhood, it is the shift towards letting go of the everyday stress and finding the fun in all the messy things.

( Lord knows I needed to hear the story behind this project. I’m always freaking out over messes! Just keeping it real with y’all. )

” It was inspired by Ty Campbell, a little boy who absolutely LOVED Peppa Pig and dreamed of jumping in muddy puddles just like her when his cancer was cured.  The project embodies the act of kids being kids in honor of those who can’t. Ty passed away back in 2012 and he is finally free to jump on muddy puddles and be a kid.

At its core, The Muddy Puddles Project is a vehicle to remind parents to stop sweating the small stuff; but it is also a fundraising platform for the Ty Louis Campbell (TLC) Foundation in support of childhood cancer research.  In 2017, The Muddy Puddles Project became the official charity partner of Peppa Pig, enabling the nonprofit to meet more families, far and wide, and raise awareness for childhood cancer.” ( Taken from their website)

At the event we got to meet Ty’s mother, what a brave woman she is and I admired her courage to start something so amazing that speaks so profoundly to parents. I’m constantly complaining about Calvin’s messes or avoiding putting food in front of him so he won’t through it everywhere. And here I was being told to embrace those messes because the reality is that many children don’t even have the chance to be just kids. I think as a new parent I’m learning about picking my battles wisely. Do I really want to stress over peas being all over the floor? or the fact that Calvin got his shirt dirty? When I get the chance to watch my son be a kid, make messes, laugh, jump, cry and give me a million kisses throughout the day.

This event reminded me why I needed this day with him, yes I love my job and I’m enjoying school but I want to take in every part of Calvin for as long as I can. I don’t want to waste my time with him stressing over things that I can’t control without controlling him. I want him to be a kid for as long as he can and I want to enjoy it.

So if your like me, stop sweating the small things, let your children make a mess. Join them in the mess and enjoy it.

These are a few pictures I took of the day, we also got a really cool gift bag filled with goodies.

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Also about “The Little Gym” 

“The Little Gym is the world’s premier enrichment and physical development center for children ages 4 months through 12 years. Programs offer children a Springboard to Life’s Adventures by using movement-based learning and imaginative play to help build the confidence and skills needed at each stage of childhood.” Be sure to check out their website for more info.


10 Places you want to visit with children in NYC

Few weeks ago I asked My instagram mamas and friends for suggestions on topics they would like for me to talk about on the blog. I got so many topics to talk about! Of course I needed to start with activities for kids in NYC.

 As a city mama, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most is finding activities to do with Calvin in the city. This summer I spent taking Calvin around the city and researching places that would be perfect for mommy and me or family dates. Before I share with you some activities for kids, you must google “ Mommypoppins”. This website is filled with  so many children activities in the city. I love that they have outings that fit different ages of children. If you’re looking for stuff to do alone with your baby or your family you’ll want check out https://mommypoppins.com. You can find information on events happening all over the city. I was able to enroll Calvin into swimming classes this summer because of this website. So bookmark this website if you haven’t already.

Here are my top ten activities and places to go to with your children.

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  1. The NYC Public Library – NYC   

Price: Free 

Ages: Different classes for all age groups

If you didn’t know, public libraries offer free mommy/daddy and me classes. The classes are about an hour and consist of storytelling, sing along, and play time. This summer Calvin and I attended our first class and we loved it. He got to watch someone read out loud a story with a puppet and enjoy some time interacting with other babies.I really loved being able to meet other moms in the neighborhood. If you’re a stay at home mom and your mornings are free I suggest hitting your nearby public library. You can search the times and locations on https://www.nypl.org.

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  1. Mini Land Play – Queens, NYC

Price weekdays unlimited play $12

Weekends 2 hours limited $15 ( one child + adult)

This place,WOW! I went to many places this summer but this one was my favorite. It’s a indoor playground for babies and toddlers between the ages of  0 -5 years old. The whole place is covered with foam and mats to protect the kids from getting hurt. That’s a plus for me! They have slides, sensory areas, dolphin rides and a ball pit play area. This place does an amazing job serving parents. They’re clean and even provide a changing area for parents to change their babies. This is a MUST GO TO PLACE!

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  1. Pop Art Museums – NYC

              Price: Vary

This summer/ Fall I took Calvin to three pop art exhibits. They were so much fun for all of us. I think pop art exhibits are amazing for children because they get to use their sensory skills, interact with other people, take fun pictures and enjoy some family time.  They have so many colors, objects to see and sounds to hear. Calvin really enjoyed them and he behaved so well at all of them. I got some amazing shots with him that I will treasure forever. So for the Colorfactory is our favorite exhibit by far.

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  1. Ride a Carousel  

 SeaGlass Carousel,  Jane’s Carousel-  Dumbo, NYC

Price: $4 – $5

While taking our family pictures in Dumbo, we got to ride the Jane Carousel for the first time. The view from the carousel is just beautiful, the Brooklyn bridge and skyline make the ride just perfect.  If you’re in Brooklyn during sunset and need something to do, take a ride on the carousel or maybe walk the Brooklyn Bridge. The Seaglass Carousel is also another famous carousel located at Battery Park. 

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  1. Museums – Children’s Museum of Manhattan – NY

Price : Vary

CMOM-  Children and Adults $14

Children under 1 year free.

Museums are such fun places to visit in the city. If you enjoy art and history you want to spend some time visiting the museums located in every borough. Most museums are family friendly but if you’re looking for a specific museum that caters to children, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan is the place you want to go. This place has many exhibitions and it’s perfect for crawling infants, toddlers and older children. If you have a library card you can actually visit any museum for free by signing up through Culture Pass. Use the link below. 

https://culturepassnyc.quipugroup.net/?NYPL

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  1. Governors Island – NYC

The perfect place to take a ferry ride too.  This is my favorite place to go to during the summer. So much history and activities for families to enjoy together. Once you get to the island you can rent a bike and ride around. You can either get a single, double or family bike. Around the island you’ll find a lot of art and projects created by talented artist. You can even have lunch at the vendors located on the island! How great is that!  I love their Columbian spot. Arepas are my favorite. This summer Calvin spent a lot of time at their sprinklers and hanging on the hammock. The view is also just amazing, such a great place to watch the sunset and enjoy the summer breeze.

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  1. Bronx Zoo – Bronx, NY

Price: Adults: $36.95

Child 3-12: $26.95

Children 2 & under: free

Wednesdays: Free for everyone – donation base

Growing up in the Bronx and living near the Bronx Zoo was one of my highlights of living in the boogie down Bronx. The Bronx Zoo is the biggest zoo in the city and they always have different exhibits for you to enjoy. I’ve been waiting to take Calvin till he’s able to walk in order for him to enjoy the children’s zoo. This section of the zoo allows children to pet and feed the animals. I’m pretty excited to take him and watch his reaction when he sees the animals. You definitely need a day just for this zoo, you want to take your time and wear comfy shoes and bring a lot snacks. ( The food can be a little expensive)

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  1. Botanical Garden – Bronx, NY

Adults: $28

Students (with valid ID): $25

Children (2–12): $12

Children under 2: Free

“The New York Botanical Garden is an iconic living museum, a major educational institution, and a renowned plant research and conservation organization. Founded in 1891 and now a National Historic Landmark, it is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world and the largest in any city in the United States, distinguished by the beauty of its diverse landscape and extensive collections and gardens, as well as by the scope and excellence of its multidisciplinary exhibitions and programs.” If you enjoy nature and want to expose your children to different plants and flowers this is a great place to have a family date. I brought Calvin here on a mommy date with other mom friends, we strolled around and had a bite to eat at their cafe. Pretty relaxing outing. 

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  1. Mommy and me Classes – NYC

Mommy and me classes can be found all over the city. As I mentioned before the  “Mommy Poppins” website can help you find classes in your area or around the city. This summer Calvin took swimming classes at 92Y. Ruben and I took turns each week swimming with him. These kinds of classes allow you to bond with your babies and also give you the space to meet other parents. There is something special about doing something with other people who are in the same stage of life as you are, so go make new friends and mingle with other moms.

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10.  Highline – Lower West Side

Ruben and I love the Highline. We had our second date here while we were dating. In honor of Calvin’s 1st birthday we decided to come downtown and spend some time at the Highline. This place is amazing during sunset, the view is beyond beautiful. They have benches and small vendors to buy treats from. A big perk about coming to this area is the Chelsea Market. This place has shops and so many small restaurants to enjoy. We made sure to have lunch and dinner there. My favorite food spot is “ Los Tacos No.1”, this spot has the best tacos hands down! Best believe you will be waiting on a line just to order, they’re that great!  

I hope these places catch your eye and you decide to pay them a visit. Here is a link to other things you can do in the city! https://mommypoppins.com/ny-kids/100-things-to-do-with-your-kids-in-ny-before-they-grow-up

What’s your favorite place to take you kids?

love,

transparentcitymama


Family Time at The Color factory

Now this, this is a place you won’t ever regret visiting but will regret missing. This weekend we had a family date at one of the most popular pop art exhibits in the city, @colorfactory.

Here’s some info about the exhibit: ( info from their website)

Color Factory is a collaborative interactive exhibit that debuted in San Francisco in August 2017. What was intended as a month-long run unexpectedly flourished as a celebration of color and creativity that lasted for another eight sold-out months.

In August 2018, a whole new palette came to New York City in SoHo’s Hudson Square neighborhood. In 20,000 square feet, we feature brand-new participatory installations of colors we’ve collected around the city— hues that invite curiosity, discovery and play. Some of our favorite artists, creatives, designers, and makers are teaming up with us to tell their unique color stories and engage all of your senses in unexpected ways.

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Ruben and I were amazed at how amazing this exhibit was, it was filled with color, treats, fun rooms to interact with each other and lots of cameras to take pictures together. I think it’s been a while since we went to a place where all three of us enjoyed each other and had fun. This place was super family friendly and allowed Calvin to explore. I love taking him to places that help his sensory development.

These are a few things you should know about this exhibit;

  • The tickets are $38 each… yes, I know it seems like a lot but trust me it was worth every dollar. Also, if you have children age two and under, they’re free.
  • Once your tour beings, you are taken to a room to watch an intro video and then taken to another room to register on an iPad. The reason for this is because you are given a card that will be used in order to store any pictures you take around the exhibit.
  • Which leads me to the MOST amazing part about this exhibit, each room is like a Photo Booth! How dope is that! We loved the fact that all three of us got to take pictures, and Ruben didn’t have to be my camera guy for the day! lol
  • You also get so many treats, like pins, macaroons, ice cream, a visitors gift and a color factory map that tells you about so many art designs around the city.
  • And they have the largest ball pit area in the city!

This is my favorite pop art exhibit by far, so glad we made this a family date. If you’re looking for something to do in the next two weeks do yourself a favor and check out the @colorfactory! You can get tickets till October. 14th.

Here are some of our pictures, enjoy!

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