Pre-k Tips, surviving the madness. March 24 2017, 0 Comments

 

Pre-K. This is when one enters the world of going from costly daycare to attempting to secure a spot at an amazing public school- as Brooklyn has some of the best. As the Pre-K offer letter's date looms (end of April) here in NYC some mamas are feeling the stress. I've been there. When it came to getting into a public pre-k we, like everyone else, did the lottery, and (oh no!) we didn't get into any of the 5 schools we applied for despite living two blocks from our zone school's first pick. On to the waiting list we go.

I had always heard of the stress of trying to get into a public pre-k program in New York.. tough...others parents told me. Nothing prepared me for the stress I felt when my boy didn't get into any schools. I wasn't alone, so many parents applied to more then 10 schools and didn't get in. After two months of looking for other alternatives, as you need to keep going in this process, looking for solutions...we got off the waiting list and into the school we wanted. The good news is every year the schools try to offer more classes. I have heard that the waiting list was less stressful from my pre-k moms last year. My advise to parents who have entered this crazy pre-k application this year is first take a deep breath and educate yourself on this process.

A few tips:

  • Join a support group, I know it sounds kind of funny but a fellow mom in the same situation put together a group of moms prior to the pre-k slots being announced. We constantly updated each other on school programs and news. We also met up and strategized and shared tips from seasoned moms who told us how to get on the wait list if we were to not get into a school. This was instrumental to me planning my 'attack' on getting on the waiting list and off.
  • Have back up, most pre-k programs are private and expensive. However some private schools will offer a CBO. This is paid for by the DOE. It only goes until 11a.m but is 5 days a week. However, if you can work out a schedule with your partner or a sitter there are many free programs such as the library story times and Parks and Recreation programs your child can attend for the remainder of the day.
  • For mothers with babies and pre-k parents apply for programs that are hard to get into such as the YMCA Pre-K program. As soon as you can get over to the Y and fill out the paperwork, it is a a great program and doesn't hurt to put the small deposit down. This program is famously wait listed but once parents find out there kids have gotten into a public pre-k slot a spot opens up in this program. 
  • Stay in touch. Join a parents group, in Brooklyn there is the HUI and some smaller groups that are usually started by parents in the community. These parent boards are great to hear about schools that you may have never known existed. While searching for a Pre-K solution, I found out about two great programs that were affordable and in my neighborhood just by asking other parents for help.

Updates:

There are many great sites that support you through the pre-k process, stay tune for tips, posts that will help you through this process:

Inside Schools

NYC School Help


 

Photo: Vogue

Post Updated 3/20/17


Bumping into Spring 7 pieces perfect pieces for the newly pregnant mama March 20 2017, 0 Comments

 

Let's just pretend for a minute that as we celebrate the first day of Spring it is actually not 39 degrees here. The forecast for the week, at least here in the East Coast, is expectant to hit the 50's-60's (whoo hoo). This means we can shed a bit of the heavy layers. 

With Spring I love how you may see a friend who seems to be suddenly sporting a bump now that the heavy coat has been stashed away. The luxury of Fall is you can wear loose sweaters and get away with a lot more when newly pregs. Come warmer weather a little thought needs to go into your maternity wardrobe. This is why we love these 7 pieces. If you are in the first trimester/second or even carry small well into your third these pieces can be worn weekly...heck..a few times a day. The best part is not all are traditionally maternity clothes (buy a few sizes up!) so wear them post baby. If you live in warm weather then your in luck, these pieces can be worn now. For us cold dwellers ...tights, long sleeve thin sweaters and light weight jackets are they key to layering these stylish items.

 

 

 

 

Maryam Nassir Zadeh Lauren Turqoise Suede Slide

 

 

 

H&M MAMA Skinny Jeans in Grey Denim

MAMA Fine-knit Sweater H&M

 


Happy Weekend. March 17 2017, 0 Comments

 

 

Spring is around the corner and we are definitely excited for it's arrival which has been a winter of sick mamas and kiddies. Many changes in our lives as we now have a mix of baby and young children who seem to already act like tweenagers. We are also making more time for Motherburg as we have changed up our work lives a bit to give love to our other 'baby'. Expect to see more guest posts and a lot more of us. Meanwhile follow us on social, we love to see you!

Saturday

Free Family Day 1pm to 4pm Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum in Fidler-Wyckoff House Park

5816 Clarendon Road
Brooklyn
Directions to this location

 

Sunday:

 

 


Stormy weather ahead...checklist of what you need March 13 2017, 0 Comments

 

 

Growing up in California storms are big news and sometimes over hyped and the ones that do live up to the predictions are disastrous. I’ve been ignoring the possibility that we may get a blizzard (Denial? Yup, I think so) then I realized last night it is better to be safe then sorry.

This list via Red Cross is quite a lot, for apartment dwellers you may not need what someone with a home may need. Although this list may seem extreme ..remember not all of us took Sandy seriously. So gage what you think you may need for your home especially since we have kiddies to take care of.

  • Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
  • Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit 
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
  • Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets and warm clothing for all household members
  • Ample alternate heating methods such as fireplaces or wood- or coal-burning stoves.
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    For a pdf of this list that includes during and post storm, click here.

     

     

    Photo: Garance Dore

     


    7 Amazing Space Savers for Baby. March 12 2017, 0 Comments

           

     

    Living in tight spaces is pretty normal for us city dwellers however it can be challenging when space is an issue period. If you are gearing up for your first baby or making room for another addition and space is even more precious these 7 items are the perfect space savers.

    1. This table is a bit of an investment but worth it if design and saving space is a priority in your home. NOGA Changing Table via Charlie Crane.

    2. This collapsible tub is designed to expand and grow from newborn to toddlerhood. It stores easily which is a plus when you start seeing all the baby gadgets start to pile up. Boon Naked Collapsible Baby Bathtub via Giggle.

    3. Living in New York I've met my share of parents who converted a closet into a baby nursery. The Alma Mini Crib is much smaller than a standard-sized crib, it also folds for storage when not using. Since the mattress is mini the Alma Mini Body-Fit Spring Mattress can also be purchasedBloom Alma Mini Crib via Giggle.

    4. When space is really tight or just looking for an highchair that will not overwhelm the dinner table this  highchair clips to almost any table up to 3.5" thick. The plus is ultra-light and easy to install. Inglesina 2010 Fast Table Chair - Fiamma via Amazon.

    5. Designed for toddler beds however this can be used to store on a changing table or even on a hanger in a closet with some daily essentials such as babywipes, q-tips. STICKAT Bed pocket via IKEA (available in stores only).

    6. This little gadget will hold most stroller models up to 40 pounds making it a perfect tool for small homes/apartments where any space is precious. StrollAway Over the Door Stroller Storage Hanger( Available in white) via Amazon.

    7. I personally own this easy to stash bassinet. I have used it when we have had babies pop on over for a visit, it literally takes minutes to put together. A great buy if you wish to move the bassinet from one spot to another or stash away when you have company. Chicco Lullago Portable Bassinet via Target.

     

    Updated post 2017

    Post by Donna

     


    5 tips to welcoming Baby #2... March 08 2017, 0 Comments

     

    We all know that with children, especially under 5, a few months can make a huge difference in their development.  The difference between a 6 month old and 12 month old is huge!  The same for an 18 month or a 23 month old. These 30 day monthly increments really matter.
    My children are 22 months apart. So my daughter wasn't even 2 when my son was born. But, as they get older, they are simply '2 years apart'.  They will be 2 years apart in school.  They will be 10 and 12. But, at 0 and 22 months they might as well have been twins. Haha. But seriously, my daughter was still a baby herself when she became a big sister.
    I have a few mamas in my life that recently, or are about to, have become a mama of two. 
    Here are my words of wisdom.... especially for those with less than 2 years between children, but many things can apply to a larger age difference. 

     

    1. Your first born is still little.  I found it was helpful not to push the 'big girl' thing on my daughter.  I had two babies!  Baby girl and baby boy.  If you have two of the same gender, it can be baby X and baby Y.  My baby girl did some things, and my baby boy did other things.  I literally wanted to choke people who would say to my daughter, 'oh, Mommy had a baby, now you are the big girl.'  Um, no.  No she's not.  When she is ready, sure.  But I didn't push that on her and I really disliked and discouraged people from saying that to her.   

     

    2. I never pushed my daughter to be my helper. If I needed a burp cloth, I got up and got one. If I needed a diaper, I got up and got one. Adults telling my daughter, 'Mommy had a baby, you need to be her helper!' made me cringe. MOMMY had the baby, not her. It is not up to her to all of a sudden help me in caring for a newborn. Did she want to help sometimes? Yes.  And of course I let her be involved when she wanted, but I never expected her to be my live in nanny.     

     

    3. Someone gave me this advice, and I love to pass it on.  If both children are crying, go to the older one first.  The older one will 'remember' that you ignored them to tend to the baby.  Comfort the older one first and let the little one cry a bit.  It will be ok.  Repeat that to yourself, it will be ok.   

     

    4. A big thing that was very important to me was that I didn't push my daughter to give up things.  She was still happily sleeping (12+ hours) in her crib.  Why take that away?  We got a mini crib for my son, or you can get a bassinet, or a co-sleeper, or maybe even a second full size crib if you have the room.  When she was ready for a toddler bed, we moved her into that and moved my son into the full size crib. It worked wonderfully for us that she never felt she was being pushed out - and in fact, felt like the 'big girl' that was giving her brother something vs. something being taken from her to be given to him.

     

    5. Speaking of gear, do you remember how much gear a newborn can have?  Swings.  Bouncy seats.  Vibrating seats.  Pack n plays.  Floor mats.  It can be endless.  I set all of these things up about a month before I was due, this way my daughter could get used to all of this 'stuff' all over the house, and, in our case, sit in it, play with it, enjoy it - before it had an occupant. 

     

    Keep in mind their home is about to change, so, introducing some things in advance can lessen the blow. As tricky as it can be, go easy on yourself.  Did my daughter miss some park time while I was busy dealing with newborn 'stuff'?  Sure.  But, eventually we got our act together and we headed out everyday.  My son happily slept in the stroller while my daughter ran around the playground.  It worked. Regardless of a few blips in the road, her life slowly went to her new normal. Not the same as it was before, but, not drastically different.  And when she was ready to declare herself a 'big girl' we all welcomed her into that phase of her life.  

     

    Post by Erica Young 

    Original post 12/14

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Dry skin? Try these beauty fixes.. March 06 2017, 0 Comments

    Dry skin seems to be a common complaint amongst my mom friends. Weather and stress, hormones are a few reasons to name a few. This time of the year we start to see more sunshine yet it can be pretty darn cold still, yesterday morning it was 19 degrees! Even my California friends can suffer dry skin as too much sun is never great for the skin after a certain point.

    Here are 4 products worth giving a try:

    What Your Skin Needs 

    My sister in law Bee likes to use oils ..this concoction from Julep concoction is perfect for it works more like a light weight serum then a heavy oil. Ingredients such as rose hip, jojoba, argan, coconut, and squalane, a natural ingredient that locks moisture into skin. This 'milk' is made to replenish which when skin is quite dry needs to be the first priority.

    Sleep Tight by Farmacy

    Straying away from heavy creams for night I chose this natural product from Farmacy as a night balm. Key ingredients such as  EchinaceaGreenEnvy™.and Echinacea Purpurea, GreenEnvy™ work on reinforcing natural moisture of the skin while firming and toning. Vitamin C is a nice extra as it revitalizes and works as a natural brightening for the face.

    Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter

    I was turned on to Josie Maran's products by my beauty friend Melissa and my sis in- law Bee. Since our skin can become a bit out of balance this buttery product has been just what I needed as my skin is not as dry this winter. Last year it was pretty dried out and even this product couldn't pull me through. However, since my skin has recoupedin the last year with some some great products I am able to maintain it's softness with this baby.

    Kerastase Elixir Ultime Oleo-complex Versatile Beautifying Oil

    For good measure I added this elixir as it is one of my I swear it works miracles products. I dab a bit of this (and it can last well over a year) into my hair at night and wake up to soft hair-slowly it has helped in keeping my hair healthy and shiny.

     

    Updated 3/6/2017

     


    Happy Weekend. March 03 2017, 0 Comments

     

     

    Saturday
    The Bent And The Straight
    I recently worked out with one of my favorite people/pilate gurus Marina Trejo from the tkkk and gave to charity at the same time. This class happens every Saturday and for the next two Saturdays (3/4, & 3/11) will be a pay what you like 1OO% donation classes.These classes have benefited ACLU, Planned Parenthood International Rescue Committee
    NAMI
    and Camions of Care to name a few.
    Sending you all love and care and goodness to your day, your week, your life and you. I appreciate my friends so much more than I ever thought and would love to see more of you.
    The bent + the straight also have meditation, 10 day Spring Clean eat-for-grace clubhouse. These are all glasses geared to taking care of mama..body and soul.  The Bent And The Straight
     
     
     
     

    5 Baby playmats & blankets (that are totally chic) February 26 2017, 0 Comments

                         

     

     

    The play mat is a definite must when getting baby ready. It is one of those baby items that tends to be used every day...first as the baby is not mobile then as they start to wiggle around and play it is that layer of cushion that baby needs especially if you have hardwood floors. This is why we love these chic options, they definitely bring up a living space with their stylish aesthetic. Don't get us wrong, you'll eventually fold like we did and buy (or register) for a play mat that is a design to look like a puffy jungle gym with all the crazy bell and whistles. And this is all good - most are made to be easily folded and tucked away from the eye sore some can be. I also looking for something a bit out of the box, stylish and can afford the investment, here are 5 worth checking out!

    1. NOFRED LEAF BLANKET GREEN

    2. Black Confetti Hand Printed Padded Play Mat Made to Order – Black on White – Organic Options

    3. Mountain baby play mat. Handmade quilted travel blanket for a modern nursery. Contemporary, gender neutral gift. Scandi nordic moonlight

    4. Custom Order Play Mats by bekaboo, check out their instagram for design inspiration.

    5. Lion Playmat

     

     

     


    Happy Weekend. February 25 2017, 0 Comments

     

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    Photo: Bandit Kid's


    A simple course saved a baby's life.... February 15 2017, 0 Comments

    My sister-in-law saved a baby's life last week.

    This is her story so I can only share it in an abbreviated sense. Bee, my sister-in-law (who lives in Portland, Oregon), was strolling in the rain with her 3 year old daughter and wearing her 3 month old in a carrier yesterday when she heard a woman screaming. She ran to the woman, who was shaking an unresponsive, blue baby that was around the same age as Bee's baby, while two toddlers in a double stroller were sobbing next to her. Bee frantically asked her what was wrong but the woman could only speak in broken English. Bee bent down to get eye level with one of the children in the stroller, and held his face to get eye contact and asked him what happened. He told her the baby was choking.

    My sister-in-law tried to grab the baby, the woman would not hand over the baby- perhaps she was just shell-shocked, but she continued to shake the baby. Bee ignored her resistance and grabbed the baby from her, placing the baby downward over her forearm and quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver. The baby coughed out a small red dice, and within seconds started breathing normally and was screaming.

    Bee, who at this point was sobbing along with her children, the other children, and the woman watching the children, told the woman to call 911. When the paramedics arrived they told her that they wouldn't have made it in time and she saved this baby's life.

    Bee's story made me proud of her of course- I hope the family is aware of how lucky they are and that they need to ask themselves some questions regarding the training of their caregiver. This is a parent’s worst nightmare.  

    Bee’s incident also brought up the subject of the importance of knowing CPR/Heimlich maneuver. When my son was a baby, both my husband and I took a course, and I had a refresher at work few years ago, yet I wouldn’t say I am an expert and could stand to take a course soon.  

    How to be CPR/ Hemlich ready*

    • Take a course, if you have an infant make sure it is a class that also covers infants.

              For local resources for CPR classes contact these resources:

                                           Carriage House Birth

                                           Wild Was Mama

                                           Birthday Presence

     

    Bee contributes a CPR class she took from Laurie Torres, EMT-B a Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Provider, CPR and First Aid Instructor for American Heart Association and owner of Baby Be Safe. Bee took this course at Wild Was Mama. I personally like this resource for having many types of CPR classes being offered. 

    For classes in all states try the Red Cross

    • When interviewing a nanny or sitter ask if they know CPR, if they can show proof this is an extra.
    • If you or your sitter needs a course, take one sooner then later, offer to pay, book the course if this sitter is someone you will have long term.
    •   A good video that we use as a reference on how to save a baby that is choking.
    • This is an infographic that we have used as a reference and can be printed as a reminder, place in your cupboard or the area where you have emergency numbers.

    Posted by Donna

    *All views in this post are my own. Please check with an expert or pediatrician when educating you and your family on Infant CPR.

     

     


    Happy Weekend. February 11 2017, 0 Comments

     

    Photo: Stardust & Wanderlust

     

     


    In the pink... February 06 2017, 0 Comments

     

    Pink is pretty yes, this is why it is a great color as we feel that it brings a lift to skin, especially tired skin. Which is why time again we mention it's benefits as a beauty must and it doesn't hurt to share a few of our favs close to V day. This hue doesn't always have to be bubblegum or bright fuchsia, find the right shade that compliments and gives you a lift... and be pink.

     

     

    Tata Harper Skincare Love Potion via Nordstrom *bonus , this 'potion' is a blend of essential oils that get you energize...giving yourself some love.
     
    SEPHORA COLLECTION Mara Hoffman for Sephora Collection: Kaleidescape Lip Gloss Set (Rose Quartz featured)

     

    SEPHORA COLLECTION Mara Hoffman for Sephora Collection: Kaleidescape Cheek Trio

    Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Hot Pink 

    PARISIAN LIP CRAYON Limited Edition Sonia Rykiel Collection

    Claire's Valentines Day Pins + Patches

     

    Artwork background: Steven Ladd 

     

     


    4 Unique animal/earthy theme books.... January 31 2017, 0 Comments

    Something about winter has us wanting to curl up with the kiddies and read creative books that lend us adventure while we are stuck inside. Here are 4 books worth reading.

    We Found A Hat by Jon Klassen Ages 4-8
    We are big fans of I Want My Hat Back in our casa and this is another cool read from author Jon Klassen. This book may appeal to the minimalist parent with it's cool muted hues and deadpan humor...it's a book my son loves to read especially since he loves turtles. It is an easy and has a narrative that tells a sweet story a kid appreciates.

    A Walk in the Forest by Maria Dek Ages Pre-k to 10

    I received an advance copy of this lovely book and wanted to include it since it fit the theme. So many books have woods as being scary which of course they can be but we're talking kids here... let's have them have fun especially in reading. This book is about play and exploring , collecting stones, feathers...pinecones. Items my boy loves to pick up in a city park which is why this book is a great read for kids.

    Where Did They Go? a spotting book by Emily Bornoff Ages 2-5

    Follow the rhymes to find animals that may be unfamiliar which only part of the fun. Look, read and learn about these creatures in the beautiful illustrations.

    123 Dream by Kim Krans Ages 3-7

    This book is recommended age pre-K age to 7 however a baby would enjoy this beautiful read. The illustrations are vivid and pop out which will hold a wee ones attention. Each number (up to 20) are partnered with a creative illustration that strays from the conventional learning number books.

     

     

     

     


    Style ease January 30 2017, 0 Comments

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I am in a new phase work wise where I am trying to get a handle of my schedule so my family has a less stress madre. I am working on projects I love and feel passionate about and this is what I hope all the years of hard work has led me to. One thing I get to do is meet a fellow mother or a work friend for an early morning coffee at least once a week if my schedule permits. Living in this part of Brooklyn the style quota is pretty high. Just the other morning at a cafe I had never been to in Williamsburg the place seem to be oozing style with little effort. Even the relax style was stylish.

    It was inspiring and I care about how I present myself... hey... early morning no work drop offs are another story and I never judge a mother I see in pajama pants, I am frankly jealous! I don't think pjs are in my future as I always have some kind of event or meeting to get too but there are more days now where my style can be more relaxed and comfort can be part of it. Not that the 3/4 inch heels are gone for good, I still have meetings where I can't wear a clog or a jean, however I can have fun on the days no heels are required.

    Here are 6 items that I'm loving to help me embrace my new work life:

    Chloe Sweater ( this sweater is for inspiration as it's quite spendy however it's so pretty I couldn't resist. Now Zara take note!)

    The Race Clog (call stores for availability) via Madewell

    Bandana via Madewell

    Every Mother Counts Tote Bag via Clare V

    Flowing Top via Zara

    Enamel Vista Necklace via Jessica Wenzelberg

    9" High-Rise Skinny Jeans Button Edition via Madewell

     

     


    Happy Weekend. January 27 2017, 0 Comments

    To Do:

    Winter Jam

    Saturday, January 28, 2017
    11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Central Park, Manhattan
    Bandshell Area

    Enter at 72nd Street

    Featured Venues

    • Arctic Golf
    • Live Ice Sculpting
    • Ice Slide (for children five years old and younger)
    • Ice Bowling
    • Quidditch
    • Dodgeball
    • Flag Football
    • Fit Fun on the Run and the Fit Fun Mobile
    • Shuffleboard
    • Four Square
    • Taste NY Winter Market / Warming Hut
    • REI's All Out 2017 Workshops
      • Winter Camping
      • Wilderness Survival
      • How to Pack Your Pack
      • Tent Packing Competition
      • Sleeping Bag Stuffing Competition

     

    Photo: Lexia Frank


    Where to have a kids birthday in Greenpoint/Williamsburg January 25 2017, 0 Comments

     

    Cotton Candy Spa

    This sweet spot is geared towards girls however all genders are welcomed. This is the ultimate spa day for your beauty lover and friends. Packages include mini mani's and pedi's, make up application, glitter tattoos...even pizza can be served. Birthday Packages start at $399.

    Edamama Cute Cuts and More

    This space unique space is quite eclectic with it's story times, musical hours and sweet hair cut space. You can also throw a them birthday party that includes arts and crafts, a fun activity and with all the birthday trimmings such as cake and goody bags. Call or email directly for prices.

    Greenpoint YMCA

    Celebrate your kiddos birthday with a pool party. This is a pretty cool deal and again I like this venue for older kids although wee babes can have their party at this venue. Plus is a certified lifeguard is included in the package as well as noodles, bubbles/ backpacks, and toys . Package details are included here.

    Gym Park

    Perfect for the kids to tumble and have fun at this popular kid destination. Party fee starts at $425 with additional costs of gratuity and extra fees for time and children.

    Play

    This popular play space offers designated rooms as well as the entire space to host a your little ones birthday party. Theme packages are also offered. Prices start at $425. Contact directly for estimate.

    McGolrick Park 

    A beautiful park located in North Brooklyn is a great party destination when weather permits. Arrive early as there are limited picnic tables at this park. If you like to reserve the pavilion you can apply for a permit which usually runs around $25. This is great if rain may be in the forecast. We have hosted and been guests to many a birthday party at this park, great for older kids!

    Ms J's Gym

    Located on the South side of Williamsburg this large gym space offers birthday packages that basically give your child and friends exclusive use of the space during his/her birthday party. Packages starts with basic at $500 .

    Twinkle Playspace

    This space doesn’t fool around when they throw a party. Their specialty is theme parties however they do have a basic party option. All packages include play time in their cool creative play space. Packages start at $675.

    Photo by Jeff Mindell

     


    MLK Jr activities for young children January 15 2017, 0 Comments

    I grew up in California where we make a pretty big deal about MLK Jr.

    Yes, MLK Jr. is a day off and yipee no school (or work). However, my son is going to know why he has this day off so like we do every MLK Jr. Holiday we will read, talk and learn about why we honor this man on this day.

    Here are a few cool ways to teach the kids about MLK Jr:

    Cool video via Soul Pancake! The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. by Kid President

    I plan to buy one of these books on the kindle today. 5 Books To teach Tots Aboit Martin Luther King Jr via popsugar

    If you have a printer. Free PDF Printable MLK Jr mini book via Education to the core

    Amazing List. Martin Luther King Jr activities you can do today via mums make lists

    MLK Jr dream speech via youtube

     

    Post by Donna.

    Original Post 1/19/2015. updated 01/15/17

     


    New shopping nook in Brooklyn... January 08 2017, 0 Comments

    We were hit with quite the snowstorm Saturday, which meant my plans to check out the new retail space, BEYOND at Liberty View was going to have to wait a day. I've heard about this space months ago from some of my PR friends and I was pretty excited about it coming to town. Located in the Sunset Park Location, Brooklyn neighborhood this is a location that I know mostly as industrial and a great place to have an artist studio, meaning there is space...sometimes lots of it. Which is why this new space that although quite big in that way that malls can be, feels special with its roots of Brooklyn firmly in place in the space. There is even a statue of Captain America that greets you when you walk through the door. Kids are going to go crazy for this cool sculpture.

    I decided to not drive my husband mad and visit all the stores (I’ll save this for later) and picked Buy Buy Baby to check out since this is the store I mostly shop online, as it is always impossible for me to get to one in the city. World Market/Cost Plus is also there and I can't tell you how excited I am to see a store that is usually in the suburbs nestled n our busy city.

    I love this mall for the busy mom... shop, get something delicious to eat and if you have the time- get a Blow dry at the Blow In Blow Out Bar located in our Face Values store where customers can make an appointment with master stylists to wash, blow and style their hair. 

    Here are some of my favorites at Buy Buy Baby....

     

    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Beyond at Liberty View. The opinions and text are my own.

    #ad #sponsorpost

     


    Happy New Year. Now about those goals... January 02 2017, 0 Comments

     

    Another year has gone by and with this we will have a New Year, a clean slate if you wish but we know as mothers that goals/resolutions are sometimes easier said then done. Here are 6 ways that can help you keep them!

    Erica Says:

    Hand write your resolutions. Haven't there been studies that prove handwriting burns into your brain better than typing?  Also - laugh if you will - but in college Erica would make lists of assignments due and once complete she highlighted it in pink (her favorite color!). Pink was my accomplishment color. I could look at my list and the more pink I saw, the better I felt and the more inspired I felt to finish more (so I could see more pink!). Think of it as a grown up sticker chart.

    Create small goals. You want to lose 20 lbs.?  Write '2lbs' ten times and highlight as you go. Want to clean out your wardrobe?  Itemize it out - make a list of bedroom closet, dresser, and hall closet. As you clean each one, highlight as you go. Again - feel a sense of accomplishment for each step you take.

    Be realistic. If you order dinner 6 nights a week don't say you will cook dinner every night. Start by half. Aim to cook dinner 3 nights a week. Then 4. And work up to your weekly goal.

    Donna Says:

    Don’t be afraid to make goals that will take longer then a year. I am entering into the final stretch of a long term resolution/plan I made to myself that consists of 4 goals. One was that I start a project I was afraid of and I did…its Motherburg this blog you’re reading. Another was writing for other sites. Check. The others are a wee bit personal but they have started to take fruition which is both scary and awesome at the same time.

    Ask for support. This circles back to the goal I just mentioned. People, your fellow mom friends can help you with a resolution. It doesn’t have to be top secret, but if you do feel cautious about sharing it, then entrust a friend you feel will give you guidance and the encouragement you need to achieve this goal.

    Believe in yourself. This is the hardest part about sticking to a resolution- especially for tired moms. Whatever it takes, affirmations, writing down positive attributes about yourself-then do this. One of my goals is to try to replace a negative thought with a positive. It’s not easy, as I tend to be my worst critic/enemy. But I am determined to turn my thoughts around, which will help in feeling more self-assured and confidant. This helps all of us especially when there are some bumps in the road.

    Happy 2017!

     

    Photo Credit: Flyingmind.tumblr

    Original post 1/2014-updated 1/2017

     


    Kid friendly restaurants in Williamsburg and Greenpoint December 31 2016, 0 Comments

     

    We finally updated this list. There are so many new restaurants and one of our goals this year is to check them out and add to the list as we have to assure that what we recommend really is kid friendly. Feel free to email or comment here if you like us to check out your restaurant.

    Aurora- Friendly and welcoming staff and amazing food to boot. The restaurant is a bit tight but there is still room for a stroller especially if you go for an earlier dinner

    Bakeri- A favorite among local moms. Delicious food and a cozy atmosphere make this super kid friendly.

    Basik- Many parents have recommended this restaurant to us, the open airy feel of the space that includes a garden. Food is delish.

    Cafe Colette- Beautifully classic place to grab a bite to eat is also family owned and delicious

    Calexico- A busy restaurant with a staff that tolerates kids. I've gone here several times with many kids and the wait staff is always friendly even with many screaming children. The food is good and quick to get to the table. 

    Cookie Road- This place has the best energy, yummy treats. Our kids love going here. 

    Crema- Not a restaurant per se however this space deserves an honorable mention for being super quaint and one of the best places in the Greenpoint area to meet a friend. Pastries from Balthazar and coffee from Toby's estate. It is small but on a quiet morning can fit a stroller or two as well as it has a little area in front you can easily place and keep a watchful eye on your stroller. It has one large community table a 2 to 3 more smaller nook areas to sit.

    egg - One of our top picks to take our kids (just look at our instagram). This popular eating spot is our favorite for breakfast. It does get packed so get there early if you want a short wait. Super kid friendly.

    Enids - Close to McCarren Park, this restaurant is large enough to accommodate strollers and a large brood of kids. 

    Fabbrica- Food that is delicious, we recommend this for lunch if you are towing around a few kids and early for dinner.

    Fanny-  Can eat here everyday and kid friendly to boot, love that it's in Greenpoint.

    Fada - French food at its finest. Great brunch and you’ll love that the wait staff dote on the kids the moment they walk in.

    Five Leaves- This place gets crowded so if your kid is chill then it's worth going for the food is amazing. I would say to get there by 8 a.m for the restaurant is full with parents and kids by 9a.m. My kid is wild so I go for breakfast before it's busy and there is room for the stroller. If you go at a busy time which is always know that you're stroller may have to be parked outside. The wait staff are incredibly friendly even with wild children. 

    Frankel's Delicatessen- Newish deli open up by two brothers and their friends. Super nice staff and delish pastramis, brisket and bagels. This eatery feels hip but not pretentious.The line can get long but this place is worth it.

    Little Dokebi- This new little jewel opened up a few months back in a quiet area of Greenpoint. I use to live only a few blocks from its main restaurant Dokebi for years and my husband and I frequented before child. When this new one opened I was curious how it would fair in our picky neighborhood. It's doing great. Little Dokebi feels warmer, quainter and although the big one is child friendly this feels more neighborhood-y. Parents even leave their strollers out front as they eat their meals and the food is a-mazing to top it all off.

    Lobster Joint - This place gets busy but it is totally worth it as the tented back area is perfect for kids. We love the picnic tables, plenty of room for high energy kids.

    Marlow &Sons- We've been visiting this restaurant with the best food for years pre-child and post child we still love it. My son's first visit was at 3 days old and I found that my breastfeeding wasn't frown upon which makes for a calm mama.

    Meatball shop - Meatballs are naturally toddler friendly food and the amazing ice cream sandwiches don’t hurt.

    Ninas- Old school Italian restaurant with ample room fro large families and crazy patience when it comes to wild children. We have visited this spot many times with screaming kids and never have the wait staff given is 'the' look.

    Ovenly- Grab a treat as you head over to Transmitter Park. You won't regret it!

    Pearls- Erica and i check out this eatery as a moms night out, we had one child with us as there is always at least one kid in one of our outings. Pearls is warm, friendly and you feel like you are not in Brooklyn...it feels very Caribbean. If is affordable and yummy especially if you love 'island' food. There isn't a ton of room for strollers in the front however there is a back area and not one eyelash was bat when we brought in our stroller and sat in front. Always a plus for us.

    pies and thighs - The reincarnation of PnT is better than ever! Kids will love the sides; you’ll flip over dessert. 

    Rabbit Hole- Amazing brunch, a bit of a struggle getting stroller in but worth it once your there for it's a lovely place with space in the back and garden.

    San Loca- Erica's favorite spot for quick Mexican food. An order and site destination ..Erica loves not having wait staff move around you. 

    Selamat Pagi: This Balinese restaurant is by the same owners of Van Luewen Ice Cream which celebrates their love for Balinese food. The pancakes are my son's favorite dish, I love their scramble eggs. Brunch or early dinner are the best times to go with kids. There is always room for a stroller as the place doesn't seem to get busy until most of us parents are trying to get our kiddos to sleep.

    Spritzenhaus: This is our go to stop. Great waitstaff, insane bloody mary's and tons of room and patience for the little ones. We prefer to dine there before it gets really pack which is around 9pm weekdays, noon weekends especially when the weather is nice. 

    Taco chulo - A great stop for Mexican food with plenty of room for baby/kids.

    Urban Rustic- Hands down one of our favorite places for kids. The food is yummy &healthy; the staff is helpful and friendly.

    Vamos Al Tequila- We visited this restaurant with an infant and a toddler and had room for the car seat and a stroller. However once 8p.m hit the place was packed so visit early.

    Williamsburger- The cheese dogs are a great hit with the kids and it's not too hipster that parents can bring a group of children to eat for a family outing.

    Extras:

    Not really sit downs but worth stopping by if you have kids.

    Milk (of Momofuku) 

    Bedford Cheese Shop Now more space then ever, let the kids check out the cool candies while you indulge in the amazing selection of cheese etc.

    Feel free to comment here or email us if you know of a restaurant that should be on our kid friendly list. Bon Appétit!

    Tip:

    Be courteous to your fellow diners and keep stroller either tuck away by your table or (if available) in a designated stroller area. 

     

     

     


    Potty Training Tips from Pro Jen L'Italien! December 26 2016, 0 Comments

    Hello everyone! I’m Jen of Oh Crap Potty Training From ME To You, and I’m super excited to be sharing some tips with you today all about potty training for you city mamas.


    But first, I thought I should share a little bit about me and how I’m connected to Donna and the Greenpoint/Williamsburg community. I was lucky enough to once work in the same office as Donna, back when we were both Real Simple editors. I can say, for those of you who haven’t met Donna in person, that she’s as sweet as she is talented, and she is easily one of the best-styled women I’ve ever come across. (I covet her collection of bohemian tops to this day!) While I now call Maine home, I lived in New York for 14 years, and I birthed my babes while living in Greenpoint. I spent gobs of time in Wild Was Mama, back when it was called Caribou Baby, during my first year as a new mama. My kids still wear some cool finds I nabbed back in the day at Flying Squirrel (consignment shopping is admittedly not great in Maine.) I loved living in Greenpoint for my first few years as a mama. And I did potty train my daughter in our Brooklyn apartment, so I know personally what potty training in the city looks like.


    I’m certified in the Oh Crap Potty Training method, which many of you may know (back when I lived in Greenpoint, I remember there was an entire preschool co-op who was using Oh Crap.) But however you choose to potty train your kiddo, I thought it’d be helpful to share some simple tips to help you in the process and beyond, when you’re navigating Brooklyn with your newly potty trained toddler. So here are 10 tips specific for you city mamas! - Jen

    1. Map out a plan for public restrooms: So you’re thinking about potty training your toddler? Before you’ve even started, start paying attention to where bathrooms are in your neighborhood. You’ll need them! No matter how quickly your child potty trains, the process of *holding and consolidating* takes a while to happen naturally. Unless if your child naturally runs as a camel, you will have very little notice to find a bathroom. (In the cold months, even with a travel potty, you’ll want a bathroom simply for warmth.) Yes, Starbucks is an easy one to check off, but notice what other local shops and restaurants would be friendly to you popping in with a toddler who has to pee. It’s similar to the map of stroller-friendly subway spots I remember seeing on the blog Love Taza. That’s what you want in your head when you’re out with your child — a general map of some spots where you can make haste to find a bathroom.

     

    2. Clear the schedule: One of the easiest pitfalls in potty training is pressure. It comes in all forms — a looming deadline for preschool, classes and commitments you want to make, and even a general sense of wanting to get it *just right* with potty training. Set you and your child up for success and clear your schedule of commitments for a week. That doesn’t mean you need to take a week off of work, but sending your child off to music class a few days into potty training is a lot of pressure. There’s a reason our parents had an easier time potty training us as kids. It’s because it was much easier to unplug back in those days, and that’s what you really need to be able to observe your child, and teach your kiddo how to use the potty. Rushing to make some class that first week, and putting artificial time frames of how long it should take, works against how this is truly a new big skill your child is trying to learn — and one that’s going to be big in building their confidence.

     

    3. Skip the Facebook share: Post on Facebook that you’re potty training, and you’ll suddenly get 350 opinions on what is the right way to do it. That can really throw your confidence (and confidence is what you need to dive into potty training!). You are the expert on your child. You’ve chosen your path. If you’re looking for community and support in going through the process, look to your local mom’s group or your close friends.

     

    4. Make use of that blasting radiator: Winter is upon us! I shared tips on why I think winter is an ideal time for potty training. In short, this is the time when we’re already hunkered down indoors. And with many city apartments, that means your radiator is blasting hot! Perfect time for bare bums and potties.

     

    5. Get a travel potty: I am completely biased on this front and think there is no greater travel potty than the Potette fold-down potty with silicone liner. I am not paid by them, I just really love their travel potty. Keep yours in a wet/dry zippered pouch (I got mine originally from Wild Was Mama, though Amazon sells as well.)  You can even fit that travel potty zipped up in your pouch in your styling mama backpack, like my beloved Fjallraven backpack. I’ve heard some city mamas say that they just have their toddler pee in the street. Now as a potty training consultant, I see how that presents some issues. You will definitely come across a thank-goodness-for-the-travel-potty moment. My first one was when there was a line out the door at the airport bathroom and so I set up the travel potty on the bathroom floor which saved us. Second, you want your child to learn to be comfortable sitting to pee/poop on the potty, and squatting to pee on the curb works against that goal.

     

    6. Invite friends over: City apartments can be small and feel even more claustrophobic when you’re in the throes of potty training. Invite close friends over (ones with kiddos) to bring some fresh energy to your space. Being around other friends, and other toddlers who may be potty training, also helps your child. I still remember one of our close friends coming by and how her daughter encouraged my daughter to sit on the big toilet with the insert for the very first time. Also music. Get your dance party on and keep the mood light when you’re potty training.

     

    7. Reusable for the win: I was always so impressed by how sustainably-minded so many Brooklyn mamas are in their daily lives. Here’s a simple trick for accidents, because yes, accidents will happen in the beginning. Rather than paper towels, opt for cloth diaper prefolds. They’re way more absorbent and so handy when you have a pee accident on the floor. They also work great for padding up the bed for potty training at night.

     

    8. Scope out the playgrounds: Along the lines of Tip #1, it helps to know which playgrounds have restrooms when you start out. Some do and some don’t in the city. Some are gross, some are tolerable. For a little while, it helps to choose your playground based on what will be easiest on the potty front.

     

    9. Sitting and accidents: There’s a reason parents more often see accidents when a child is sitting in a high chair or in a car seat. When your child is sitting at that angle, the bladder is crunched and if your child is holding their pee, you’re more likely to see an accident. For you city mamas, the same holds true for strollers and even sitting long stretches on the subway. The solution? Always be sure to get a good pee in before long stretches of sitting time.

     

    10. Team up with your child: There are a million and one things posted online about how awful potty training is and how you must do this, that, or the other. I know because I’m on Pinterest all the time. Here’s my simple advice. Team up with your child. After you teach your child how to use the potty, there is a leap of faith that comes with it. What happens when your child feels that you’ve put your trust in them? They typically rise to that expectation. When you start to move outside your home and go for outings around town with your kiddo, channel that team spirit. For us, that meant going to get our photobooth picture taken on the 6th day out from potty training and having that sweet memento (and no accidents, hoorah!) as a reminder that yes we can do this potty thing together. Potty training actually can be a real bonding experience for you both. Tune out the negative online noise.


    Thanks so much to Donna for having me here!









    Last minute gifts via Brooklyn! December 20 2016, 0 Comments

                              

                                             

     

    Need a last minute children's gift for the holidays? No need to go any further than your very own Williamsburg/Greenpoint and you can feel good about supporting local businesses too!

    Flying Squirrel

    1) Schylling Forest Friends Tin Tea Set, $24.50

    A great present for the preschool aged child who loves pretend play.

    2) Fisher Price Camera, $22.00

    You can’t go wrong with a classic Fisher Price item for any young child.

    3) Schylling Harmonic, $3.00

    The perfect small gift or stocking stuffer.

    Matt & Juliette


    4) Haba Clutching Rattle, $13.00

    Perfect for baby's first Christmas.

    5) Wood/Wool Felt Sling Shoot, $22.00

    This looks pretty and will be a huge hit with older kids.

    6) Moschen Doll, $54.00

    A soft organic doll great for a toddler.

    7) 50 piece Colored Pencil Set, $30.00

    For an artist of any age.

    Mini Jakes


    8) Tegu 42 piece block set, $110.00

    Mini Jakes has a huge selection of Tegu blocks for all price points and a huge set to try out in the store.

    9) Vroom Blocks, $24.00

    Perfect for little toddler hands and any robot/vehicle lover.

    10) Miffy lamps, $199.00

    The lamps just came in and will make a show-stopping gift for any Miffy lover small or big (me please)!

    Greenpoint Toys

    11) Hungry Hippos, $24.00

    A huge hit for anyone who won’t try and eat the little balls. There is a large selection of board games at Greenpoint Toys.

    12) Barrel of Monkeys, $3.95

    Fun for school aged children. A great little present for a last minute gift.
    *If you don’t to go the toy route Word Bookstore has an incredible selection of children’s books.

    Word Bookstore

    13) BOOKS

    Curious George
    The Red Ballon
    Madeline in the White House 

     

    Post by Sarah Bean Brooklyn

     

     


    Stocking Stuffers December 19 2016, 0 Comments

     

    Growing up, and to be honest, still to this day, my favorite part of Christmas is the stockings. As much as I love a big gift, I find great joy in dumping out the contents of a stocking. All the mini items - it is just so much fun sorting through them.  Here are some stuffers I will be using for my kids this year. 

     

    My 14 month old - I like to take advantage of this tender age where anything excites them, and get some practical items.

    Safe Snacker I love that the lid is attached - no more digging through the cabinet to find a match! I also love all the fun colors. 

    Zoo Little Kid Training Chopsticks  My big kids love sushi, so of course my little one wants everything they have. I think these cute training chopsticks from the Zoo collection will be a hit. 

    Earth Mama Angel Baby Body Wash  This orange vanilla combo smells so good, I sometimes use it!  

    My five year old - luckily he is an easy dude. I'll do a combo of holiday specific stuff and some small things that he's interested in - that are small enough to fit in his stocking. 

    Lego Santa Claus Keychain Love this jolly guy in his red suit.  My son may not be ready for a house key. But we can attach this to a zipper on his backpack. 

    Plan Cars II I love these compact wooden cars, a great addition to his collection. 

    Socks  My son is super into sports. So while socks may be boring - he will love that they are his favorite team. 

    Photo: Doozie Stocking

    My seven year old - she is tricky!  If it were up to her, she'd have make up and a cell phone. So while I want to embrace her growing independence, she is only 7. 

    A bracelet craft kit I love craft gifts. It's the gift that keeps giving. So I'll definitely include a bracelet kit. It's a great activity we can do together. 

    Num noms Tiny + Scented = Perfect

    Neck Warmer My daughter loves blue and loves to wear fun winter accessories. So this neck warmer is perfect. 

     

    Post by Erica Young