Tag Archives: #NYCkids

NY, NY Year-Round!

How do you find family fun when it appears to be hidden inside this enormous city!  

Here’s just a glimpse at what is going on at any given time of the year:

January – March:

If snow is not your thing… hit up a museum or a musical!  There are countless options, but the Children’s Museum is in “our backyard” and it’s my son’s favorite!  Aladdin the Broadway Musical, and Lion King tend to be family favorites… we also enjoyed School of Rock!

Ice skate!  …there’s a few spots around town, but of course, most popular is “The Rink”! Clink the link for more information about Rockefeller Center ice skating!

If it’s snowy… sled!  …families walk to various areas of Manhattan parks to slip, slide and sled!

No snow?  No problem… we hit up one of the many playgrounds in Central Park, (they have even been renovated since this photo below)!  Then warm up with some yummy NYC pizza!

Where’s the BEST pizza?  Ray’s used to be THE most talked about pizza, and for good reason!  However we have found that today various Ray’s locations do not live up to the hype.  We love pizza from Patsy’s, Pappardella, and Little Italy Pizza.  There’s also Sabas!  (just a few of my picks on the UWS)!

A brisk winter’s walk across the Brooklyn Bridge on a clear day or a visit to the Freedom Tower (with its incredible views) with take your breath away!

Spectacular!      

 …and every March 17th there is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

…still slushy outside?  Let’s head to Frames Bowling (near Times Square)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring & Summer!

How about a trip on the Staten Island Ferry or a visit to Lady Liberty?

Explore Central Park…. (near the UWS) there’s Turtle Pond, and the Belvedere Castle…. and OH so much more!  Can you see the little turtle swimming below?

We like to go to playgrounds… Adventure Playground (in Central Park at W. 67th Street) is wonderful!  Another favorite is “Elephant” Playground in Riverside Park (at W. 76th and Riverside Dr.)!

Below: A Spring play date on a chilly morning in Adventure Playground, and splashing around in Elephant Playground in June!


My son loves to turn the scorching hot slide (at Elephant Playground) into a thrilling water slide!  …the only way to go down on sizzling days!

Memorial Day & the 4th of July are very crowded in NYC (lots of tourists) so besides visiting friends, or getting a glimpse of the fireworks from our rooftop we didn’t do too much!  My good friend had a GOOD idea for the 4th of July:  #1.  Find out where the fireworks will be set off (locations vary).  #2  Rent a hotel room facing the view and #3 Enjoy!  Her six-year-old and entire family had a BLAST!  I wish I would have thought of that!

Lots of city people head out to The Hampton’s & surrounding beaches.  (but travel to and from can be difficult and pricey).  We have visited Coney Island & Rockaway Beach.  On my last Coney Island trip, I was baffled by the amount of litter in the ocean (and even found myself cleaning up).  Sigh.  Not very relaxing… but I usually fall into the “good samaritan” category!

After a long day at the beach – a hot dog and fries from Nathan’s is always a good idea!  Lines are long, no matter how many employees are working!  It’s definitely a popular attraction!

Ready for a change up?  Then you’re Brooklyn bound!  (below):

We take the subway to the nearest stop, then walk to Pier 6!  Henry loves it, and there are interactive gears, and water sprays and such!  I find it to be a bit loud at times (when you are surrounded by a bounty of screaming kids and screaming parents sometimes screaming at their kids).  One day towards the end of summer I saw two moms drinking Brooklyn Brewery beers… Hells yeah, I walked a few paces and grabbed one myself.  There’s also food, treats, seating, nearby bathrooms, and more!

September – December

There’s all the back-to-school excitement and even meets-ups with friends at the school…. September is quite busy!

Fall Festivals are all around in October (we even have one right at our kiddo’s school).  Some head out to farms to partake in traditional pumpkin & apple picking experiences.  I have never gone to a farm — but I have gone to Sleepy Hollow for Halloween thrills at it’s best!

Find out if the Legend of the Headless Horseman is true!  The NYC metro system can get you there, and for more info — just click here!

Trick-or-treating has its “hot spots” for sure!  In the UWS, it’s on 69th Street!  It is incredibly crowded and can be overstimulating so proceed with caution!

Cute friends: October 31, and early November at our favorite playground (Metal Park)!

Another advantage of living on the UWS is — it’s the start of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!  On the Wednesday evening before there’s an organized “walk through the floats” event (and it’s free)!

Talk about being unclose and personal with a lot of hot air!  This November— I am bringing the wide angled camera lens!  Of course some of our friends attend the parade Thursday morning — but we prefer to watch on TV!

     

Make sure to treat your little girl (or boy) to tea at the Alice In Wonderland themed cafe Alice’s Tea Cup any time of the year.  The food is truly amazing, and it’s touted as “New York’s most whimsical tea house”!  My kids love it!

If your kiddo loves dinosaurs, and space and sea life… I have got a place for you!  Oh –  the long awaited Butterfly Conservatory is now open too… I have to go back!  My super lucky son gets to visit this museum on school field trips!  (and in the summer we hit up their splash pad fountains)… really cool.  Have you guessed the place yet?

The Museum of Natural History on the UWS… it’s DYNO-MITE!

You are going to need an entire day for this museum — and at the end of your visit — fatigue may set in!  Many head to SHAKE SHACK (across the street) for dinner– then collapse!

December in NYC — there’s just too much to mention, a link here will give you all the ideas!

Remember this was only a glimpse of family fun!  Whew! 

 

 

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!

 

 

Monsters & Showers!

Could monsters be hiding somewhere in our home?  Maybe in the bathroom above the shower?  Our NYC apartment has a pretty small bathroom with incredibly BRIGHT lights.  Maybe these lights ward off the scary creatures?

I have really sensitive eyes and I am always hitting the dimmer.  Everyone else in the household prefers the bulbs on full blast — and when I step in while Henry is in the tub — I know I’ll get a SQUEAL if I dim them.  But only if he’s in the tub. Hmmmmm, I wonder why he won’t budge on  softer light in the shower?

While brushing teeth, and washing hands, the lights can be dim.  It’s been a compromise 18 months in the making!  (maybe at 5’6″ I am just closer to the bulbs so it’s an eye sore).

Cue me cleaning up the sink area: H is in the tub; a bulb flickers, then goes out.  Henry: (squeal) Mom, what did you do?  

Me: I didn’t do anything.

Henry: What?!!!!

Me: The bulb went out by itself.

Henry: (in sheer panic) AH! AH!  A MONSTER DID THAT!  THERE’S A MONSTER IN HERE!  

He exploded out of the tub with a wave of water and ran for his life.

We talked about this and processed all of the above events for the rest of the evening; he continually checked the bulb too.  Of course I explained that there are no monsters.  Sigh.

The next morning we were sure to make a trip to the hardware store.

OK…. now I know why the lights must be on full blast while he is in the tub!  

At seven years old – monsters (and scary clowns) are “for reals”.

 

UWS Fall Bake Sale!

On October 21 we attended the annual Harvest Fest at my son’s elementary school!

Along with all of the chaos…err fun… (haunted house, face painting, games, craft & goodie stations) there’s a bake sale!  

It’s interesting to see what POPS up in the Upper West Side!  Do moms in this career-driven-crazy-busy-section of NYC really have time to bake?

     

The Jello cups were a hit!  I felt bad for the apple teeth — $2 seemed a bit overpriced too.

Are you wondering what that green “thing” is on top of the jack ‘o lantern treats?  Me too!  We had a kid bite in — to find out.  It’s a gummy candy of some sort (sliced into smaller pieces).

        

There’s options depending on one’s diet!

and…. I have no idea what this “creepy hand” cupcake with frosting is made from (below left):

     

These “mouth cookies” (above) looked interesting  I think there was strawberry jelly and marshmallows in there!

…hmmmm….a few store bought items.  A nice touch though!  

There were lots of cake pops and marshmallow pops!

      

I saw a basket of Trader Joe’s pumpkin shaped cookies… it may have gone untouched for the whole event.  

I also saw more versions of a rice crispy treat (with goo and goop) than you can imagine!

So what did I buy?  Just a few simple and traditional chocolate chip cookies.  (I made sure they were homemade)!  

Henry loved them!  …so that was this mummy’s favorite pick of the day!

 

 

A Few More Snaps!

My necklaces are proving to be a fun, challenging and creative project!  A few days ago — I received some feedback from a very inspirational co-worker.  Let’s just say she’s a sewing and fashion expert… a master …a guide… a whiz!  So I am continuing to improve (and provide more designs which will be featured in future posts)!  

I still feel as though I am at the very beginning of my necklace business.  I go back and evaluate them…re-do them… or scrap them; I want each one to pass inspection (I’m tough).  Every time I produce another necklace my husband seems impressed (although girly kid fashion is really not his thing).  Haha!  

Thank you so much for these beautiful photos!  

I absolutely LOVE them… Keep them coming!  …and I also appreciate  your feedback! 

  

      

#reallyprettynyc

 

 

 

Photo Shoot #1

Yesterday after my morning wardrobe shift in Times Square, I quickly threw together a Really Pretty, NYC photo shoot on my roof!

I stopped at the grocery store to nab ice cream and sundae fixings too!  On a hot day — payment to three working kids can be steep!  Knowing Henry and his friends Marley and Alexis would be totally committed, I would need to ante up with creamy yummy goodness (organic whipped cream, sprinkles, banana slices, gummy bears and crushed Oreo toppings just to name a few)!

Here’s a sneak peak at some photos featuring Marley (w/ props):

   


The girls got to keep a few necklaces too!

I have a few more photo shoots to go, and my customers can start to purchase necklaces for $10 plus shipping using check or VENMO.  My on-line payment process is not yet up and running.

100% made in NYC — Really Pretty necklaces are slowly coming to life!  Also if you are a Facebook user, please LIKE and SHARE this newly created Really Pretty, NYC Facebook page!

 

 

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)!

 

 

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.