Quick and Easy Ways to Develop Language Skills while on the MoveOctober 30 2014, 0 Comments

Happy fall Motherburg readers,

It is likely you are deep into daycare routines, new parent groups or several after school activities by now. Time, sweet, precious time, is something everyone is surely pining after. A few weeks back, Donna and Erica wrote a great post on quick and easy meals. I thought, “Yes this is what people need – quick and easy ways to do things.” So to continue those thoughts, here are 3 quick tips on building language while in transit:

If you’re walking

One major issue with walking here in NYC is noise. So while you’re pushing that stroller or holding that small hand, a lot of the time it’s hard to hear your little one with all the competing background noise. A quick and easy way to build language skills while walking in all that ruckus is by POINTING to things.

While putting jackets or shoes on, decide what color items your child might point to while walking. Other fun things to look for: pick a vehicle (Let’s find all the buses today) or street sign (There’s another STOP sign. Look!) or actions (I see another person running) or notice all the dogs. You might be surprised at what you see each morning.

If you’re in the car

Whenever I think of parents in the car, I think of the rearview mirror and all those glances in one short trip. One quick and easy way to build language skills in the car is by playing I SPY. You can play this with very young kids if you keep it simple and relaxed enough.

Again you can spy many concepts: colors, big things, little things, things inside the car or outside of the car, things in the front of the car or the back seat. Or focus on parts/details only (I spy someone with brown hair). Some kids love the guessing part, others like to make items up. Either way, it occupies their minds and their mouths for a little while.

I am often waiting for a bus or hoping the train will pull into the station. As an adult, it takes a lot of energy to commute this way. Imagine the kids. They’re a lot smaller than everyone else and they’re often a lot chattier. One quick and easy way to build language skills in transit is by PREDICTING what will happen next. 

If you’re on a train, bus or ferry

Start while waiting for your bus/train/ferry. Guess how long it will take and set a timer together. Or guess if it will pull in fast or slow. While riding, predict things in the immediate environment (Do you think more people will get on and we’ll get squishier or more people will get off and we’ll see out the window again?) and predict what will happen next (At school today, do you think there will be play doh on the table or puzzles?). With slightly older kids, this can turn into story telling as well.

Alright to all the moms + dads + grandmas + grandpas + anyone else zipping up jackets and heading out the door, may you have a smooth commute today.

Thanks as always for reading. Till the next post, take care.



Vanessa D’Auria is a licensed speech-language pathologist providing home-based services in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. For more information about Vanessa, visit speechtherapyvanessadauria.com or to ask speech/language questions, email directly at speechtherapynyc@gmail.com.




All Photos Motherburg 

Car Seat Photo source




Local mama business owners share their recipes of success...... for dinner!October 28 2014, 0 Comments

I recently sat down and chatted with Olga, owner of Brooklyn Groove (102B Nassau Ave, http://www.facebook.com/brooklyngroove). Once we got passed the beauty talk (her store has an amazing collection of natural and organic beauty products!) we talked about being busy mamas, and I asked her to be a part of our new series - DINNER: OWNED BY MAMA - where local mama business owners share their recipes of success for dinner. Like many mamas, Olga likes to cook once and get at least 2 dinners out of her efforts. She has shared with us her recipe for meatballs with buckwheat.  Her son, Milos, and her husband, Peter, both enjoy this hearty meal. Olga likes making meatballs because they are easy for kids to eat, you can use whatever ground meat and vegetables you have on hand, and they store well. Depending on what she has in the fridge, she will add carrots, zucchini, scallions, mushrooms, cheese, etc.

On this particular batch of meatballs, Olga used: 

  • 1lb ground tukey 
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 5 carrots, shredded
  • 1 bunch of scallion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup of flour for coating the meatballs
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


First, add the onions to a frying pan with some olive oil on a high heat until they soften (about 10 minutes). 
While they are cooking, combine the meat, egg, breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix.
Then add the carrots, scallions, and garlic to the pan, cooking for about 20 minutes. 
Add the softened vegetables to the meat mixture and mix well. Form small meatballs, and coat them with the flour before adding them into the frying pan, along with some oil, for about 15 minutes.   
Olga usually gets 40-50 small meatballs from this recipe, which is plenty for her, her husband, and her 2 year old son. Olga serves them Polish style - with buckwheat and pickles. This is a great meal because you can use this basic outline and just switch up what meat or what vegetables you have on hand for a quick and delicious dinner! 


Posted by Erica




Go softly mama...October 27 2014, 0 Comments



Raise your hand if you're a tired /stressed out mom? Well I am or I suppose this is now my personality, great. Well as a believer that materialistic things although fleeting can cheer one up, at least they bring my mood up a bit, here are a few pieces I am currently loving. 

Soft hues with a touch of navy help me to feel not so serious, so crazy, as how can you wear a top titled Sparkle Pink and be the mumbling lady on the train? Dark hues are our city staple but this season try toning it down with a bit of fall's muted tones. I can't make it to yoga class however fuzzy clogs help me to feel a bit whimsical and light every time I throw them on.

1.Sparkle Side Slit Sweater via Jcrew

2. Skinny Jean with Patch via Zara

3. Clare V Supreme Sandrine Doctor Gab via Bird

4. 5" Sherling on High Heel in String Shade via No.6

5. Brushed Pullover In Stripe via Madewell

6. Wool Coat with Belt via Zara


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