Things for Families to do in NYC

A number of friends have inquired about my family’s trip to New York City. We went from dancing in car seats to dancing on airplanes, dancing on subway trains, dancing in taxis and ultimately… stepping here there and everywhere NYC style.  My sister and brother-in-law lived in Manhattan for a number of years allowing us to visit a number of cool places… All with an NYC-transplant as our tour guide. While there, I decided to take note and write down a list of go-to places. Here’s a mom’s perspective. Yep! All kid friendly. Happy travels!

The List

Brooklyn Bridge – walk accross

Shark Boat

Empire State Building

Parks – EVERYWHERE

Museum of Natural History

Chinatown

Time Square

Doughnut Planet

Central Park 

Governors Island is a very cool place and it’s free. 

The SUBWAY – don’t rent a car

World Trade Center Memorial

The Breakdown

The day that we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge we ended up walking 11 miles! There’s an area on top only for foot traffic which gives an amazing perspective.


The Shark Boat actually goes on the body of water and takes you past all of the important landmarks like the Statue of Liberty – giving a cool perspective. There’s usually a Groupon for discounted tickets. ​

The Empire State Building has two options for ticket prices. I recommend purchasing the ticket for the MAIN DECK which is on the 86th floor. It is the one that has open air rather than windows. Feeling the breeze through your hair 86 stories high is spectacular.. No need to pay more to go any higher… if you go higher you’re looking out through windows and do not get the same effect. 



If the kids are going, many of the PARKS have water features which are pretty cool. Make sure you always have a bathing suit packed.



We had a lot of fun at the Museum of Natural History. (That’s where they have all of the dinosaur bones.) They have a price posted her ticket but are willing to take a lesser amount as a “donation” which is a nice perk. 

Chinatown is filled with decadent foods and fun little places to shop. It’s really fascinating to see the difference between all of the boroughs and areas throughout this amazing city. 

You can find a number of fun places to eat in Time Square. It’s worth it to go in the early evening so you can see all of the flashing lights. The last time we went it was super crowded, but the kids were intrigued. 

New York City is known for its number of delicious foods. I highly recommend visiting Doughnut Planet. They have the best donut I have ever eaten. Try a few. 

Governors Island was once a full-service military base for the US Army and Coast Guard. You take a ferry from the mainland across to the island, it’s free. Once there you can explore a number of military ruins… a citadel, view artifacts- like cannons, lounge in hammocks on a gorgeous greenbelt and see a clear view of the city. There are often little snack shops set up in the picnic area. 

The Subway is fun! I can take you to wherever you need to go. Make sure to get a map. Some stations have cool break dancers to watch. 

The World Trade Center Memorial is a somber place. Beautiful yet heartbreakingly sad. Seeing so many names on the memorial is an eye-opening experience. 


Enjoy NYC!

❤️ Jen

Tips & Tricks to Show Your DisneySide @ Home

Our family adores everything Disney and as a Disneyland Passport holder we are regularly displaying our Disney Side there. But why should you have to leave your Disney Side at the parks? Our celebration, as shown here, can easily be duplicated with just a few tips , tricks & Disney Magic.

When I heard that I could host a Disney Side @Home Celebration for family and friends my girls and I squealed with glee! Disney is more than just a place, it’s a magical feeling… one that you can share, at home. 20150222-100202-36122433.jpg
I received an exclusive Disney Side Princess Party Kit filled with all of the necessary party planning tools needed to spread our Disney magic, at home. And with just a pinch of Pixie Dust and imagination our Valentine’s Day Disney Side Princess Party was a ROYAL success.

Photo Tip: Squat down at your child’s level for a better shot.

My girls were eager to open the box, get started with the guest list and create handmade invitations for their fellow princess friends.

Tip: Allow your kids to help decorate the invitation. I made a prototype that my five-year-old could easily copy.
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Let’s Party!
Valentine’s Day 2015
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10 little Princess were invited to join in the festivities. We had sweet plans for our Princess Brunch. 20150309-192128-69688425.jpg Our dining table was covered with an array of princess decorations. We had Sophia the First snack bowls, napkins, placemats, cups and plates on the cutest Sophia the First tablecloth. The centerpieces were delightful… surrounding them, we placed our collection of princess toys.

Decorating Trick: It’s fun to incorporate the toys that you already have.

In the mix we displayed the prizes and party favors. Each girl went home with a little something special. Our Disney Side @Home Celebration Kit came chalk full of goods for the At-Home-Princess.
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The Palace Pets were a huge hit!
20150309-182912-66552952.jpg & Lucky us, the owner of Pegatopia sent over some of her adorable, hand painted, peg Princess dolls as prizes too. Check out her adorable Etsy shop! 20150309-183304-66784254.jpg
Our takeaway favors included a plastic princess cup (I bought the cups for $1 at Target.) overflowing with goodies! Complete with a lipgloss, nail polish & nail file, stickers, tiny Disney Princess themed heart-shaped-candy box, tiara, pencil and wand.

Party Favor Tip: Place take away items in something that guests can look at and remember over and over when used. i.e. Cup
20150309-183437-66877163.jpg We served breakfast treats for even the most picky of princesses.
On the Menu:
❤️ Pastries
❤️ Olaf Noses (Mini Carrots)
❤️ Fresh Fruit
❤️ Princess Punch
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💛 Twinings Tea for the moms. My fave was “Nightly Clam.” Shhh… I had a second helping when the party was over. One lucky mom went home with a box of teas.

Guest Tip: Moms of partygoers love a little attention too!
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Let the games begin!
With a slight amount of preparation, all of our guest princesses had a ball playing these games:
💛 PinThe Smile on Mickey
💛 Disney Parks BINGO
💛 Fortune Tellers
💛 FROZEN Bowling
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Our day came to a close after a stroll through the wildflowers.

Trick: Add an element of the outdoors to your party and create a carefree full-circle ending to their magical day. 20150309-191947-69587373.jpg 20150309-191946-69586979.jpg Lastly, an Ode to the fabulous Sleeping Beauty. Clearly, my preschooler had a dreamy day. 20150309-192407-69847678.jpg
Cheers to celebrating your Disney Side @Home!
❤️ Jen
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Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate a Disney Side @Home Celebration, with the expectation that I would share this experience with my readers. All expressed opinions are strictly mine.

Earning Kudos // Children

Receiving kudos can be extremely powerful especially when you are a child. 20150118-104928.jpg
Our daughters are five and six, one is in kindergarten and the other in preschool, TK. I was thinking about the value of earning kudos and which quick ways to earn them, are important to teach children. This thought popped into my mind after my five-year-old ran into my bedroom, handed me her bowl of cereal and proceeded to skip to the bathroom. For a second I totally thought that I was getting breakfast in bed. Wishful thinking. 20150118-105116.jpg
Then, I started to think even more about this concept, the concept of giving kudos. Even at preschool age, this list will come in handy. {Not only for the child but for you, the parent, as well.}

Teach your children these five {easy} tasks:
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1. Allow mommy and daddy to sleep in on a weekend day.
We keep very few toys in our daughters’ bedrooms. {We have a playroom downstairs for toys.} At an early age we taught our girls to wake-up-&-play-quietly with the few specialty toys that are kept in their room. The adorable peg dolls shown here can be ordered from: Pegatopia … Be sure to browse the vast array of adorable peg dolls, hand made, for girls & boys — Of every age. {I ordered a Star Wars – Princess Leia one for my friend Liz. Swoon.} 20150119-094741.jpg
2. Bring mommy and daddy breakfast in bed.
This is the perfect opportunity to teach your child how to read a digital clock. After the clock reads 9:00, your little darling can bring up a bowl of dry cereal, banana or an apple. It’s the little things. {See cereal pic above. 😉}

3. Making your bed and tidying up your room without being asked to do so by mommy & daddy.
This task is simple and my girls find it fun. Teach your sweetie to straighten up the comforter and display their decorative pillows to their liking. 20150119-094621.jpg
4. Giving someone a compliment.
I have taught my daughters to use kind words and to complement others. When I hear them demonstrate what I’ve taught them I go out of my way to praise them and give kudos. Something as simple as, “You’re funny.” Or “That’s a beautiful necklace.” A complement can go along way.

5. Getting along with your sister {Or brother in some cases.}
It warms my heart to hear our girls getting along and playing nicely together. Being sisters can be tough sometimes. Being a year apart can be even tougher. When I hear them using kind words and playing gently with one another I am sure to give them kudos.
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Do you have any parenting tips regarding giving kudos?

Please share them in the comments below.
Cheers!
❤ Jen
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Fashionable Girls // Matilda Jane Clothing // Gift Card Giveaway

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It seems that every time we leave the house I receive compliments on my daughters’ sense of fashion. Hearing, “Your girls are the most stylish kids I know.” makes this Mommy smile.
Matilda Jane Kids Fashion
One brand that has me and EVERYBODY swooning is Matilda Jane. Their versatile patterns are made to mix-n-match with other Matilda Jane Clothing & items already in your closet, allowing even the youngest in my brood to style herself so sweetly. Their *Paint by Numbers* line is filled with bold colors that are just perfect to coordinate with myself and the whole family for that matter.

{Styling Tip: When leaving your home, plan ahead for family photo opportunities by coordinating colors with each family member. I even have my wonderful husband “trained” to consult with me prior to dressing.}
Matilda Jane Kids FashionAddison’s selection features: Turtledove Knot Top {her absolute fave}, Gallery Leggings & oh so soft Stippling Tee. {The moccasins are my own, from Freshly Picked.} Matilda Jane Kids Fashion Matilda Jane’s fabrics allow my girls to look amazing while whirling, jumping and playing make believe. Their looks are über fashionable… from everyday play to the perfect birthday party look. My sweeties wear Matilda Jane here, there & everywhere.
“It’s all about keeping a little girl…a little girl. Keeping her youthful. Keeping her spinning and twirling and carefree. And most importantly, bringing her happiness.”
– Denise DeMarchis, designer and founder.
Matilda Jane Kids Fashion Thanks to the generous folks at Matilda Jane, my Carseat Dancers & I have a $50 Matilda Jane Clothing gift card to give away to one lucky Dancing in Carseats reader!

Cheers to Style!
❤️Jen

Please enter via this –> Rafflecopter link. <– Good luck!

Crazy Morning // 5 Home Safety Tips

Our now 4-year-old, unknown to her, had me panicked & on a wild goose chase this morning. At home, we’ve discussed {with both girls} the importance of following rules to stay safe. I’m a constant rule enforcer and tend to be a bit over-protective. Probably because I grew up with a swimming pool and had one for much of their early years. They’re well trained, right? They have NEVER decided to wander outdoors. Nothing to worry about. Until today.

My husband and 5-year-old left the house early to take my in-laws to the airport. This was a change to our routine; daddy normally drops both kids off at school. I got up about twenty minutes after they left and started to get ready. Walked into DEA’s room to awaken her and found that she was GONE. I ran to her sister’s room, no luck & continued searching upstairs. Yelling her name. Panicked!

Running down the hallway I heard a faint crying {downstairs maybe?} No luck! Tears…

I ran to the door leading into the garage and, to my dismay, found the door & security screen open. The door leading out & it’s security screen was open too! I ran out, forgetting that I was only partly clothed, to find her sobbing, then whaling… snot draining out with the tears. Hugging her tightly, I reassured her that I was there. Reminded her that we love her. Mid sob, she explained, “I fought my daddy weft me.” I held her tighter. Kissed her. 20131104-225159.jpg

Quickly realizing that we, neither my husband nor me, had mentioned — Mommy was going to take her to school. — had me thinking. We should have alerted her about the upcoming change in her routine. Our morning fiasco led to my recording these tips.

5 Home Safety Tips:
– Make locking all deadbolts a habit.
– Install a home security system.
– Have a security chime turned on even when you’re home.
– Constantly remind small children to only go outside with an adult.
– ALWAYS share upcoming changes in routine with your young children.

Thankful for a healthy set of lungs & a fully-gated yard.

Cheers to Home Safety!
❤Jen