Tag Archives: #kids

Catch This!

My friend needed help – fast!  Her son’s 10/31 birthday was quickly approaching, and she needed to pull of a Yankees themed birthday party the weekend before.

Cue the party assistant (me)!  I helped make this BOYS & GIRLS party (full of second graders) a HIT, and everyone left with a pretty cool “thank you gift”!
I created a special banner (with photos of the birthday boy), fun framed decor and party bags filled with themed necklaces or keychains …

  …the girls loved the necklaces!    

I used this same idea to create boys’ high quality keychains.  I used blue or steel colored beads along with baseball beads to make a cool yet different design for the boys.  They love to hook the keychains to their school backpack zippers!

Here’s a look at the BASEBALL party…

…his “Bronx grandma” brought an amazing cake, and the kids played at the Baseball Center on the UWS!

      There were at least 25 kiddos, and a few younger siblings tagged along.  Everyone received a party bag — however I didn’t fill it with Cracker Jacks, peanuts, Big League chewing gum and such.  I know NY kids LOVE Air Heads!  Plus I added some Halloween stickers and red, white, and blue pompoms for a little whimsy.    

(my son above right): He would rather juggle than play baseball.  He’s a circus kid, what can I tell ya?

One of the coolest things about this party (besides watching “Manhattan Grandma” cheer on her grandson) was seeing our friends from (ex.) Sweden and Columbia join in, and learn the sport of baseball!  They were not ashamed to admit they never played, didn’t know how, didn’t know the rules, etc., It made me appreciate diverse friendships, supporting and teaching others, and cheering on your fellow teammate!  There is unity in our little world in the UWS.

Above: juggling Henry and “TuTu” (grandma); Enjoying yummy pizza on this super stormy rainy Sunday — what a great day to be inside!

 

 

Still Going!

Yay!  The domain: Really Pretty NYC.com is now mine, and I am still perfecting my craft!  ….I have learned so much about creating unique necklaces! (and I’ve been teaching myself every chance I get)!  Wait — did I really just write that?

The necklace clasps, jump rings, trim fabric, and chain all play a vital role in the final product.  Sometimes I reach perfection… sometimes I reach a snag!  The learning curve is “for reals”!

Before September I am hoping to do a photo shoot!  (I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me for that)!  My packaging (w/ insert) is all designed and completed (phew) and I made a few flyers as well.  This Fall I hope to sell my new collection on line (and at the Upper West Side’s Grand Bazar).

Henry says he doesn’t want me to sell any necklaces because they are too beautiful.  (He wants to keep them all).  Louie our cat loves sitting amongst my “nest” of supplies purchased from the Fashion District, and Louie frequently nabs a favorite necklace (it’s always the same one).  Plus I have a choker with pom pom embellishments and the cat swipes those pom pom’s every chance he gets!  Seth will comment from time to time and say, “Oh that necklace design is cool!”

A “trunk party” with Henry’s girlfriends (and parents) is on my horizon too…. I can’t wait to see how the response is!  My test trials have been really valuable, and now I look forward to seeing future reactions.  I am also excited about learning from young ones’ fashion view points!

 

Until the next chapter….  thanks so much to all of my friends with this process!  You have truly helped me on my journey, and I am so grateful!

Really Pretty

…after months and months and months of searching — I may have found it!

Working in the glitz and glamor on Broadway can be incredibly inspiring!  Costumes, costumes, costumes!!!!  That led me to window shop, and investigate fabric stores…. and more fabric stores… and trim stores… and bead stores, and more bead stores in the Garment District.  Sometimes I would purchase a few supplies… then I’d go home to make ________________? What?  I don’t know.

I have tried and failed, and tried and failed…. and tried…. and failed….but then I’d go back to those stores again.  Now — I may be on to something.

Henry helped me with the name of my new venture: Really Pretty.  I admit it, my son truly admires girls.  He admires their kindness, their compassion, their brain-power, and he is very respectful.  He also notices everything.  When we are at home in private — he shares a little something about his girl friends.  He admires every skin tone, every hair color, every eye color, and also THE fashion!  It’s so fun to see what his friends are wearing — NYC trends and styles do not disappoint!  Seeing that his age group (and up) have been pretty keen on wearing chokers — I decided to launch my own line of chokers: Really Pretty.

“Really pretty” is the term Henry uses the most when he describes girl friends.  He doesn’t have girlfriends (thank goodness his teacher Nick told the class that this was not allowed in first grade)!

Forward to my summer collection — it was  just about ready!  I was so excited!  Then FLOP!  Then I tried again, and again and again.  The SUMMER COLLECTION of really pretty necklaces for girls (ages 1st grade – 12th grade) is now here!

From the bottom (l) each necklace has its own name:

Summer Picnic, Key Lime Pie, Lemonade Stand (w/ blue & w/ green)…

Mermaid (wide), Mermaid (narrow), Polkadot Parade…

Pineapple Vibes, Cool Cat, Street Fair, Starry Night, and Water Fountains….

 

The Street Fair necklace is a bit whimsical with lots of candy and  stuffed animal bears — so cute!

Starry Night is exactly what you’d expect it to be!

We chill at the water fountains all summer long in NYC (some cities call them splash pads); this one is a little bit edgy.

Lemonade Stands — one with blue undertones & one with green undertones.  What’s summer without lemonade stands?

 

 

       

A closer look at Starry Night, Lemonade Stands, and Water Fountains…

  …and MY FALL COLLECTION IS GOING TO BE OFF THE HOOK!  I am so excited!!! 

If you have any questions about ordering a necklace (or want to order in bulk for a child’s birthday party) please contact me at katmat14@gmail.com.

This one-of-a-kind, made in NYC, (supplies bought in Garment District), labored over in the Upper West Side (and inspired by cool kids everywhere) necklace makes a great gift

There’s also unlimited possibilities for your special someone’s party (because they also make great thank-you-for-coming-to-our-party-gifts)!

 

 

Bee Yourself

I’ve had bees on my mind for a while now… Henry’s “B-10” first grade helped inspire the name for the class market project — the Bee Happy Bee 10 Market (and I used a bee as their trademark)!

…then we sometimes watch Aladdin (the original Disney animated movie).  As most people know — Robin Williams is genius as the Genie!  There’s a part in the film where he turns himself into a bee, and tells a very nervous Aladdin, “bee yourself” while he is trying to impress the princess…  I love that message!

Now I am a busy bee — making bees out of vinyl and Swarovski gems that I find on the floor at Broadway’s Aladdin!  So far I have turned them into magnets… but I don’t know what I am going to do with all of these bees!

I started out with buying some glittery vinyl, and I was going to try to make fun little bags (like clutches), but I don’t have a sewing machine (and I’d need special needles or something really good to sew vinyl)!  With bees on my mind (and having bought these particular colors) I just started making my own bee body patterns and cutting out bee  heads, and wings too…. I glued them together and added the gems. Also — I find subway Metro cards all over (free materials); they seem fun… so now I also have a hybrid of NYC bees.

With the ending of this school year drawing near — I made bees for Henry’s teachers & staff to go along with their gifts and cards.

The bees with bows went for the ladies, I gave teacher – Nick –  a bee with a bow tie, and one paraprofessional always has stylish glasses… so I made special bee glasses for Ebony!

I tried arranging them on a blue canvas, but that didn’t look right.  Since they have magnets on the back– they are hanging on my refrigerator, and my front door (it’s made of metal).

I happened to think all bugs are pretty cool.  When I lived in WNY — I remember seeing all kids of interesting insects, I was out in nature every chance I could get: camping, hiking…going to nature preserves…. I also took “Outdoor Science” at Buffalo State College — one of our projects was to create a bug collection.  I had to label them scientifically (and have a specific amount)!  I was pretty desperate toward the end and started scooping them out of light fixtures and a friend’s pool filter (I hated to kill and pin these beautiful little guys).

So often humans see bugs as pests; and we kill them if they get in our way.  Un-bee-lievable!  But about seven years ago — bee colonies starting disappearing.  Are pesticides to blame?  What about our crops?  Do we need to plant more wild flowers?  We need pollination for our fruit crops, and other crops, right?

Get the BUZZ, and some real answers by clicking this  Ted Talk here!  Don’t forget to share with your children too!  The short answer is YES, we need bees!

The BEE Movie (with Jerry Seinfeld) only got a 3/5 star rating… but Henry and some of his friends think bees are pretty cool now!  You’re the bees knees,  Jerry!  (and since Jerry lives right around the corner maybe I’ll just drop off all of these bees at his building)!

Oh — by the way my bees are all different — because BEEing yourself is BEE-u-tiful!  Let’s BEE friends… Get the BUZZ… BEE mine…. You’re cute as can BEE… Are you a Queen BEE? …having a baby?  You’re a Mama to BEE….or a Daddy to BEE… now BEE sweet, and enjoy some nature today!

     

*Metro cards were cleaned and disinfected with a plant-based non-toxic yet powerful cleaner.

 

Ready, Go!

If you’re an avid runner in NYC — you’re in luck!  There are 5K’s, 10K’s, and marathons offered all over the city year round!  Sometimes two or three races in one day!

On a particular Upper West Side street that I happened to live on– I can both participate and watch a race every morning: Monday – Friday, and it’s a darn good one!  The race to get the kiddies off to school.

We walk our little ones to school in the Big Apple… and on a sidewalk about four feet wide with tons of obstacles in the way (such as carved out tree/greenery areas, slow moving strollers, random garbage, doggie droppings) parents jog, hop over, circle around, slow down, walk briskly then sprint to the finish line!  Forget the racing shorts and tee’s with runner’s number…

Moms dress in almost every attire imaginable from yoga pants to business suits… heels to sneakers, there’s chic NY fashions and sweat pants and loafers; Dads are no exception.  They’ve got business attire with overloaded briefcases strapped across their bodies, or jeans, sweats, flannels, baseball caps….  The chatter ignites all around: Go! I’m right behind you!  Faster!  Almost there!  A little further!  A little faster, we don’t want to be late!  Go!

Then you hear a loud voice coming from the school: PARENTS I AM ABOUT TO CLOSE THE GATE.  SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR CHILD OUTSIDE THE GATE.  ITS ALMOST 8:20.

There’s a manic type of energy now.  Go! Go! Go! Go!  Running is now in full motion.  The kid makes it in the gate!  ….parents inevitably take a big sigh of relief then either retreat back home or start their own journey to work.

I might add — one can walk at a comfortable pace if you’re an early bird.  Considering our fast paced world and often our slow paced kids (getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth) I happened to see much more of the race!  Henry is somewhere in between.  Not really in a rush but kind of waltzing through.  I have to admit, after Henry is in the gate, I stand back and watch the race before I head back home.

With crazy parents, morning smiles, playful dogs, scooters and so many interesting facial expressions (in addition to those NYC seasonal fashions)  —  it’s morning entertainment at its best!

Our Thinking Cat

Louie our pet cat is such a beloved part of our family.  As Henry was petting him over and over he said to us, “Can Louie think?”  My husband said, “Yes!  That is a great question.  Louie has a brain and he can think.”

-Pause-

Seth: “What do you think Louie is thinking about right now, Henry?”

Henry: “Umm – I think he’s thinking how beautiful Mommy is.”

Me: Heart melted.

 

 

Dippy Drippy Pumpkins

From my last post — I mentioned that we had a Soccer ‘N Pumpkins in the Park play day…

I saw a cool idea on Pinterest and wanted to do a test run before-hand!  Hmmmm– Michael’s craft store is up near W. 100th Street, I am at W. 77th…  Maybe I could copy the idea with different paint from a store closer by?  Is that a DIPPY idea?  

paint

We have Flying Tiger (party store) nearby and their stuff is CHEAP!  Let’s see what happens!

Step 1 –    Spray paint your pumpkin so the drizzly paint will adhere to it.  We chose orange: spray    We went up on our roof top for this!  Easy!  Oooo shiny.

spray2dribble not-quite

Step 2  

Place your pumpkin on top of something (I repurposed an old juice box.  The idea is that the paint will drizzle all the way down to the bottom and not create a huge puddle

underneath.  I shook the paint a little, the top flew off and it covered parts of the wall and carpet!  What?!  I didn’t even open the top and peel the foil off yet!  Then we had problems squeezing it out for Step 3.  Arnold Schwarzenegger may not have been able to do it.

Step 3  Hold the paint container upside down and start drizzling paint onto the stem, then let the paint slide down the pumpkin like a waterfall.  Henry & I both squeezed the paint together….. It started to look weird; then I found myself saying, “Henry I think that’s enough paint.  It looks like puke.”

Poor kid — he was so excited.  I wiped off the Flying Tiger paint with paper towels (returned the yucky paint), then got the RIGHT kind of acrylic paint at Michael’s craft store.

Step 3 (again)

Drizzle CRAFT SMART acrylic paint.  Don’t be DIPPY like me and buy the cheap imitation.  I repurposed a used plastic cup for the run-off; (there is still residue from the old paint though).  Step 4: sprinkle with glitter (optional) and let dry.

 paint2    Much better!    again

Henry had so much fun — he wanted to keep going!  I had some foam pumpkin cut-outs (from Michael’s) and foam brushes (from Flying Tiger).  We continued with more creations.  Our cat wanted to check things out too!

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The cute gold party plates are from Flying Tiger.

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We also got the large confetti pieces at Flying Tiger; glue and marker from Michael’s.

img_9590 I don’t know if you can tell — but Louie the cat has a special yellow pumpkin with green paw-print eyes & nose.  Then I clipped two confetti pieces to look more like cat ears (in a triangular shape).

Here is how it looked in the park…  

We brought orange and red spray paint, and ended up using mostly red.  I bought some paper bowls (on clearance at a drug store).  They propped up the pumpkins, and let the paint drizzle down (the lid of the bowl caught the run-off).

colors  The red paint was pretty!  colors5

colors2    colors3    colors4

The pumpkins were a hit!  The washable paint was a relief to all the parents!  Henry’s class of 6-year-olds were able to create some real magic here, but little siblings had a tough time.  I wouldn’t recommend this to kids younger than five.

We topped off the wet paint with a little glitter (from Flying Tiger). It reminded me of pixie dust;  It’s very fine and stays put (does not rub off and get all over clothes or the home).  Nice!  Once the pumpkins are dry — you can glue on some silly plastic spiders & snakes or bugs.  Again Flying Tiger had plenty of that stuff — even glow-in-the-dark spiders and snakes!

Finishing Up:  I bought medium paper bags with handles (at Michael’s).  The pumpkins were about 1/2 way dry by the time parents were ready to leave.  I used a napkin to pick up the pumpkin by the stem and placed the semi-dry pumpkin in the paper bag; an easy carry home project.  Some of the kids got Autumn leaves stuck in their pumpkins which was really cool… ahhhhh the joys of making a mess outside!

The younger siblings loved painting the foam cut outs… Later when I arrived at home I looked inside my paper bag; Two foam pumpkins accidentally bumped into each other and the result was this:

scary

Yes, scary!  I had Pre-K kids opening everything, messes were made but contained on the huge rectangular plastic table cloth I put down on the grass.  I used small sticks to stake the plastic table cloth down (so the wind didn’t blow it away).  Since no one went home with a painted little sibling or a painted dog I would say it was a good day!

 

Bedtime Blues

The midnight conversation…

Henry:  “Mom, Mom!  ….Mom….Mom… Can you please come up (in my loft)?

Seth: “Henry I’ll come up.  Daddy can come up… Daddy can come up.”

Henry: “Nooooooooo.”

Seth: “Daddy can cuddle.”

Henry: “Ugggggggh.  But I don’t want you.  I just want Mom.”

Seth: “But Daddy can give hugs.”

Henry: “But sometimes I am afraid to cuddle with dad.”  — OK he’s a big liar now!

Seth:  “Why?”

Henry: “Cause sometimes I just like girls.  I’m too hot up here.  I just need to go downstairs.  Downstairs is a perfect temperature.  My knee hurts. I need to go downstairs.  I just need Mom.  I don’t like you.”

Henry repeated this again, and the next thing I knew Seth slept up in the loft and Henry slept with me.   Zzzzzzzzzz.

Math Game With Dice!

I totally love this new game for Henry!  He’s in first grade but has always been a little advanced in math (it’s logical)!  So I would say it’s on a first to second grade level.

You need:

  • 3 dice.
  • You need the worksheet!  I grabbed one from a teacher friend — I’ll have to upload it to my site so you can have it too!
  • 2 different colored hi-lighters.
  • Go!

Roll all three dice, add up the numbers and then color the box on the sheet with that number (using your choice of colored hi-lighter).  The next player goes and does the same using a different colored hi-lighter.  Once the numbers run out on the sheet you can’t color anything so the next person rolls the dice and so on.

Henry didn’t want to play so I told him that I would play against the cat.  I put my name and m2Louie’s name on the top.  After a few rolls, I asked Henry to roll for Louie and then Henry “played for Louie” for the rest of the game.  Louie won too!  Wow!

Henry was adding his dice (Louie’s dice) and adding my dice as well because he wanted to see how well I would do.  He starts to get competitive!  I LOVE it because he is using his brain non-stop!  Learning and reinforcing all that is going on in math class at school!

Yay!

At the end you count up how many boxes each of you colored and who ever has the most wins.

m3

Henry adds up 6 then colors the “6” box

You can play against yourself too.  You can also add some imagination and maybe if your kiddo is a sports fan — for example — he or she can assign one color (purple) for The Ravens, and another color (blue) for The NY Giants.  Or if your kiddo wants to pretend each color is a Disney character then Anna and Elsa can play each other with your child rolling the dice for both.  Don’t stop there — it can be a pet agains another pet, a stuffed animal, favorite characters in a book… 

Modify:

Play with only 2 dice and use a different number sheet!

 

 

Up, Up, Up and Away!

From caterpillar…DSC_0650

…to chrysalis…

crys

…to butterfly…

Henry’s class unleashes the amazing butterflies today!

butter    but   And Henry’s “Bilfo” was the FIRST TO COME OUT OF ITS CHRYSALIS!  

Asking questions about the butterfly release….  Students are a little sad to see them go, but they understand these guys belong out in nature!

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We walk down to the school garden… bodies are wriggling… it’s so hard to remain calm.

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The big moment has arrived… the class quietly watches to see what happens!

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One by one they take flight… up, up, up and away….. we hear, “goodbye Snoopy, goodbye, goodbye!”  And there were NO hungry birds around;  Whew.  Some are worried about the one who didn’t come out of his chrysalis yet.  We think this “late bloomer” will emerge today!

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This one’s wings are not working as well as the others.  It gets a little help from the teacher’s assistant.  “Why is it different?” they ask.

Just as we are all born different — so are the butterflies.  We have our strengths, and weaknesses.  Whether you fly up to the sky, or land on a pretty soft flower – life is what you make of it.