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. ​

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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

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Summer in Saltwater Sandals

Summer in Saltwater Sandals


As a mommy of southern California girls I am always on the lookout for the best summer shoes… with the hope of avoiding burnt feet. 

This summer we took a family vacation to New York City. I wanted to get my girls a couple of pairs of durable shoes that could withstand getting wet and wouldn’t cause blisters… 

AND
looked nothing like Crocs. Sorry. Not sorry. 😁
I picked up a pair of name-brand tennis shoes, figuring we would do a ton of walking, and a pair of Saltwater Sandals from my favorite children’s boutique: Kissui – Redlands, CA, recommended by a fellow mommy on the go. 

I presented my girls with their new sandals upon arriving to NYC. (I got my 3-yer-old niece a pair too.πŸ’•) Thrilled! They immediately put them on and we headed to a park. They ran, jumped, climbed, played hard… didn’t complain once about their feet. We walked a total of 8 miles on our first day there!

Each morning, I would announce that it was, “Time to get our shoes on.” And both girls obliged by strapping on their Saltwater Sandals. By the fourth day I was recommending switching to their name brand tennis shoes, to give the sandals a break, and my six-year-old responded with tears! “But Mommy, I just love these.” — Holding up her sandals. 


I chose not to argue & allowed her to wear what was most comfortable. After two weeks in New York City, wearing the same pair of sandals, I was happy to see that they were still firmly intact, not rusted or discolored after the numerous times playing in water & in the city heat. My girls had NOT complained of one blister or one sore foot for that matter. I am so impressed by these sandals. Honestly, they wore them EVERY DAY of our trip!


I recommend that everyone go out and buy a pair of Saltwater Sandals! The sizes range from the tiniest baby foot all the way up to Adult. Yes, ADULT! Both of my girls have told me that they would love, “These same sandals in other colors…” 

πŸ”ΉThey run big so I would suggest going down a size. 

πŸ”ΉPRODUCT INFORMATION:

* Water-friendly leather upper since 1940!

* Breathable leather lining and footbed.

* Ankle strap with buckle closure ensures a secure fit.

* Hand stitched construction.

* Brass buckles won’t rust if you get them wet.

* Vulcanized rubber outsole.

* Measurements:

    * Weight: 6 oz

My CarseatDancers are always DANCING in Car Seats … from now on, I would be surprised if they weren’t also dancing in Saltwater Sandals.

 
❀️ Jen
Just so you know, I was not paid for this post. I was not given any sandals for free. Although, I’d LOVE some. I am writing this purely on factual occurrences that I HAD to share. 😍You’re welcome! πŸ˜‰ I have never been more impressed by a shoe! 

Christmas Wishlist for Girls >> Gift Guide

Every little girl has sugar plum dreams about the goods on her list for Santa. Is the little girl in your life a girly-girl, crafter, sporty, bookworm or misfit… maybe? The “Christmas Wishlist for Girls” that my CarseatDancers and I have put together has something that every type of little girl would adore. Here’s our list of Christmas Must-Haves for girls from 5 to 12.
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1. Book: The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name
A personalized gift is something that will be cherished forever. The creativity in this collection of books is phenomenal. Each story is different, as the main character searches for the letters to spell the name of the child who receives it.

2. Globe – Elenco 5″ Political Globe:
Kids who dream about adventure and love to explore will be filled with excitement with the World at their fingertips.

3. American Girl Doll:
“American Girl’s mission is to celebrate girls. We embrace who they are today and look forward to who they will become tomorrow.”
Since 1986, American Girl has inspired girls of ALL walks of life. Online & in store you will find an amazing selection of dolls, books, clothes, toys, and accessories. My CarseatDancers LOVE American Girl. ❀️
Here’s my sweet AKA7 with Grace. Grace is 2015’s Doll of the Year.
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4. Penny Board
These cute little skateboards are the newest trend. We are absolutely loving that they have made these a little bit more girly but still PERFECT for the sporty girl in your life. Remember to pick up elbow & knee pads and a helmet if you decide to grab or customize one of these boards.

5. Seedling‘s – My Mini Masterpiece
“Our Kits + Your Imagination = Endless Play”
Painting is one of our favorite indoor craft activities. With this sweet little ARTIST kit your sweetie will create a masterpiece perfect for any wall.
KIT INCLUDES:
Wooden Easel
Canvas
Artist Quality Acrylic Paints
Paint Brush
Instructions

6. Hammond’s Candy Cane
Since 1920, Hammond’s has been creating the best Christmas treats. This JUMBO candy cane is a must-have stocking stuffer!

7. LEGO – Disney Princess – Rapunzel’s Tower
Your little one will build this cool Lego tower as Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, & Pascal the chameleon watch.

8. Justice- Fashions
The perfect Christmas outfit for my little firecracker came from Justice. They have a lovely selection of fashions for the girl in your life.
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Happy Shopping & Merry Christmas!
β€οΈπŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ»
Jen & my Carseat Dancers

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. πŸ˜‰}

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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2015 // New Year // New Resolutions

Just before the new year I read something about “investing in yourself.” I took this mantra to heart when coming up with my New Year’s resolutions. 20150106-002700-1620912.jpg
Laugh More
Not that I don’t. Laugh, that is. LOL! I just felt like I could spend less time being frustrated with the normal “mom life” things & “busy teacher” things and laugh, more. 20150106-004129-2489974.jpg
Hike
I am literally surrounded by breathtaking valley and mountain views {in every direction} with room to roam. I rarely take advantage of going outside to exercise, for FREE! This year, I vow to take regular hikes with my family. I’m a tad sore from yesterday’s hike… but I feel fantastic! 20150106-005022-3022044.jpg
Organize
I started with my closet, then my daughters’. We’ve already given away the bags of goods. 😊 Next, the girls’ toys. We will donate what’s purged. This works perfectly just after Christmas. I even think they’ve forgotten about some of their “old toys.” Out with the old & in with the new. They are totally fighting over, I mean loving Addison’s Merida Archery Set. 20150106-005656-3416833.jpg
I was laughing {more} when Delaney, 5, asked, “Mommy, who’s A-N-D-Y & why did they write on Jessie‘s boot?!”
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Conquer A Fear
Not sure what this is yet. All I know is that it will have NOTHING to do with snakes or skydiving! Really.

Take An Important Risk
So, I purchased all of the necessary materials to get my real estate license. Why not? I’ll certainly let you know how that risk goes come summer. {I’m excited but need time to focus on this venture.} Heck! People have always told me that I can sell anything. Did you know that I once sold the shirt off my back?

Cheers to 2015 & your Resolutions!
Remember: “Invest in yourself.”
❀️ Jen
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Sweet Dreams // Bedtime Conversation #7,112,014

Bedtime conversation with my preschooler…

Me: Good night. Sweet dreams. ❀️

DEA4: “But mommy, I will probably have bad wishes, while I sweep, wike last night.” πŸ˜•

Me: Dream about happiness, unicorns and princesses… 😊

DEA4: “Hmmm… But, ‘You get what you get and you don’t fro a fit,’ Mommy.”

Me: πŸ’‹ Sweet Dreams beautiful girl.
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MLK Holiday // Via Preschoolers

Another reminder that innocence is bliss.

AKA5: “What are we doing after the party today?”
Me: “Who’s party?”
AKA: “Delaney said said we were going to our new friend’s birthday instead of school.”
Me: “There isn’t a party.”
DEA4: “Wemember Mommy… {said: wide-eyed & annoyed} Marty’s birfday!?!”
Me: LOL! Marty? “Oh, you mean Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
Both Girls: “YES!” {long pause…}
Me: “Uhh, maybe we’ll go to Target.” {smiling – big & fake}
DEA: “Do you fink we could get an Icee to celebrate?”
Me: {SMH & chuckling.} “Okay. That sounds good.”
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Cheers to Eloquent Epilogues!
❀Jen