Friday Favs

Friday Favs- a spot where I share my favorite products, apps, sites, articles, and moments from the week.

I hope you enjoy!

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I know I’m late to the game with this but I swiped my daughter’s S’well (that she HAD to have and now never uses) and it really is AMAZING! I’m not a big water drinker so my goal has been to fill it in the morning and finish it by dinner. I’ve actually had to refill more often because I’m drinking so much.

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This moment from a new class. What’s sweeter that babies holding hands?!

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I’ve spent way too much time on this FB group this week- you could say I’m slightly obsessed. If you have a child 15 or up, check it out- you won’t be disappointed!

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I’ve loved this free app for a few years but had forgotten about it. Bring that my current workout routine is non-existent, I decided to bring it back it my daily rotation. You can choose which type of workout and set the time and do it anywhere. I started with full body for 10 minutes (no laughing) and I’ve done it everyday while the baby plays next to me 🎉👍🏼🎊

And lastly, tips for dealing with toddler tantrums.

Wishing you all a great weekend 😘

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Want to give the PERFECT baby gift? You can’t go wrong with these ideas!

Favorite Baby Gifts To Give (and GET!)

First and foremost, if we are talking about a first time mom, I am all about buying things off of the registry. Most moms spend countless hours researching baby items and have a good idea what they need/want. I tend to pick a theme- sleep, play time, feeding, bath time- and buy many things related and put them together in a cute basket or an actual item you are purchasing (for example, putting many bath time items in a baby bathtub).

However sometimes, whether you’re feeling creative, it’s a second time mom who doesn’t need as much, or a good friend or family member, you may be looking for out-of-the-box ideas. If that’s the case, here are a few of my favorites!

A Basket of Books

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This is great, especially if YOU have kids. I like to have my entire family pick out their favorite books and each write a message to the new baby. Put all the books together in a beautiful basket and you have a personal, practical gift that both the new mom and baby are sure to treasure for years to come.

Monthly Onesies

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This one is relatively new since the trend of taking monthly pictures has taken off all over social media. There is pretty much a style for everyone. Go to Etsy, type in “monthly onesies” and start your search.

Here are some precious ones for a little girl

Anything Personalized

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Whether it’s clothes, a name puzzle, a book, or pretty much anything else you can think of, moms are over the moon for anything with their child’s name.

How cute is this personalized onesie from an Etsy shop? (Bonus- it’s $12!)

Love this personalized name puzzle that can also be used as a stool

Check out all the awesome stories that you can personalize!

Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair

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Moms love this for the amazing photo ops and the baby will love it right around their first birthday. Bonus that it has a slipcover so it comes off for easy cleaning.

There are so many styles to choose from so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect!

Other Ideas

  • Spring for a cleaning service or a few hours of help from postpartum doula (mine was a lifesaver!)
  • Gift certificate towards newborn pictures
  • Drop off a delicious dinner from their favorite restaurant that they won’t be able to get to in the foreseeable future (don’t ask if she wants it, she’s sure to tell you it’s unnecessary- just tell her when and DO IT)

Do you have any creative gifts you love to give or maybe something incredible you received? Let us know!

 

 

 

 

Making Life Easier The First Year- The Baby Items You Won’t Want To Live Without

Since it had been 12 years since having a baby, I was so excited to buy every last baby item I could get my hands on. I mean, what is more fun than shopping for baby stuff?!

B and I were just discussing what were the good purchases and what we could have done without. The Bugaboo that I was dying to have? Sure, it is beautiful and I very much enjoyed taking her for walks the first few months but when we were actually leaving the house on a daily basis the fact that it is two pieces and heavy as hell became a real annoyance (hello, Baby Jogger City Mini GT!). The Pack N’ Play? Well, it served the purpose of having a place to put her downstairs but I would never attempt to travel with it because it is so heavy and a real pain to take down and put up (enter the Lotus Travel Crib, which I adore). The items below are certainly not must-haves like a crib and car seat but these are must-haves for making your life a tab bit simpler with an infant.

 

 

 

Book Review- The Price of Privilege

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The Price of Privilege

I’m blessed.

Or lucky.

Or however you choose to look at it.

I was born in a great country to parents who wanted me and loved me. I’ve always had enough. I’ve never known hunger; I’ve never feared for my safety. I didn’t deal with any of the heartbreaking issues children must contend with daily all over the world.

However, I did know a bit of struggle. I did not get everything I asked for. I had to wait for a birthday or holiday for a big ticket item and then it was a huge deal. We didn’t take a vacation every year. Going out to dinner was a treat. When I was 14, although I got the new pair of sneakers everyone was wearing at the beginning of the school year, by December, I wanted another pair so I got a job and I bought them myself. I can still remember how badly I wanted them and the pride I felt when I went to the mall and bought them with the money that I had earned. Without a doubt, I feel these experiences shaped me into the hard working, responsible, grateful person I am today.

Fast forward to the life my kids are living. Dinner at restaurants many adults dream of going to. Multiple vacations a year. Sporting events, concerts- all with amazing seats. They will not have to take out loans in order to go to college. I am blessed to give them this life and they are certainly blessed to be living it.

But can having too much actually hurt your kids? That is the big question that this book sets out to answer and the short answer is a resounding YES.

“In spite of their economic and social advantages, affluent and well educated families experience the highest rates of depression, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, somatic complaints and unhappiness of any group of children in the country”

Wow. Intuitively I knew that too much of anything is never good but that statement took my breath away.

Some other interesting thoughts/findings the author discusses—

“Many affluent women have active social lives but few real friends; they have marriages with too little intimacy”

“Affluent moms tend to pour all of their unrealized ambition into their kids”

“Affluent parents as a group underestimate the impact of our absences and overestimate the degree of closeness our children feel toward us”

It’s a lot to take in.

It’s a lot to contemplate.

But they’re all ideas that are worthwhile to at least examine.

While reading, I found myself wishing there were more strategies to combat the negative side of affluence. I also found the book to be a a bit repetitive at times but overall, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Let me know if you do and what you think!

Southampton

Many moons ago, in what seems like an entirely different life, a girlfriend invited me to spend a weekend in the Hamptons. I was conflicted- how could I hop on a plane for an indulgent weekend away? This isn’t what single mothers do! But then I thought, when will I ever get another opportunity to go to the Hamptons? That was all the convincing I needed. Bags were packed and the rest, as they say, is history! (For those that don’t know, that was where my husband and I began our relationship)

When I pictured, “The Hamptons” I pictured Puff Daddy, glamorous parties and ultra-luxe clubs. I was confused as we pulled into the town and a family of deer ran across the road. We were in the middle of nowhere!

I quickly learned what the Hamptons is really all about- relaxation. For the hurried souls who call NYC home, a reprieve is needed where they can decompress. Yes, there are fabulous parties, amazing restaurants and clubs, and I’m sure P Diddy is there often but all of this is contained in quaint towns with corner grocery stores and lots of trees.

The Hamptons are a group of villages and hamlets in the townships of Southampton and East Hampton. I just spent a week in Southampton and thought I’d share some of my favorite places.

Friday evening we ate at Tutto Il Giorno, owned by Gabby Karen, Donna Karen’s daughter. That may be the draw for some but the food holds its own. The risotto was the taste of summer and, paired with a glass of Whispering Angel Rose, sitting outside under the stars, I felt myself exhale.

The next day was mainly spent on a float in the pool. We dragged ourselves inside for a nap and awoke just in time for dinner. Georgica, an East Hampton staple, is as hot as ever. The restaurant turns into a club around 11:30 so make a late reservation if that’s all that’s on your agenda for the evening. We wanted to check out Nammos, formerly Nellos, so we left when the party was just beginning.

I had heard great things about the food at Nammos, but the lounge wasn’t too exciting the night we were there. It was a bummer for a Saturday night.

Sunday’s plans got moved to Monday due to the rain. We took the ferry over to Shelter Island to eat at Sunset Beach (you can stay there too!). Great food and an amazing experience. Maybe I like it because it reminds me of St. Tropez; it’s filled with beautiful people, cool lounge music is playing in the background, and the sunset is really unbelievable.

The last restaurant we visited was Osteria Salino in Bridgehampton. This place was the find of the trip! Everything was fresh and oh, so good!

Here’s a few more of my favorite spots…

Book Review- French Kids Eat Everything

Have a picky eater? Or are you a picky eater? If so, you simply must check this book out! The title caught my eye in the window of a bookstore. I’m notoriously picky and, unfortunately, my youngest is taking after me. I was ready to do something about it and this book came at just the right moment.

In this book, French Kids Eat Everything, the married, mother of two, recounts her experience of living in France for a year. She has come up with ten food “rules” and goes into great detail about how she formulated them, as well as her experiences, challenges, and successes.

I happened to be smack in the middle of this book when we took a trip to St. Barth’s. Primarily a french island, I had tons of opportunities to put into practice what I was reading all about. “You don’t have to like it but you do have to taste it,” applied to all of us (I tried tuna tataki, lobster risotto, and even foie gras!). Will I be ordering any of these any time soon? Probably not, but I set a great example and my little one ended up devouring fried shrimp. I said no to quite a few snacks and look forward to implementing le goûter (a scheduled, afternoon snack) once the school year starts.

Most of the rules are common sense when you stop to think about it, but the problem is, we often don’t stop and think about our eating habits and the habits our children are forming. I know snacking isn’t good for my daughter’s dinner appetite but I didn’t connect the dots that it may be the reason she’s not open to trying new things. And I certainly didn’t realize how many times she needed to taste something before she accepted it! This book definitely opened my mind on how I eat and how I feed my family.

Bon appetit!

Tanya

Two Jam-Packed Weeks~ The Darby and Magnolia Bakery, Samsung Hope for Children Gala, and The Borgata

The first two weeks of June have been busy, busy, busy!

First up, we had B’s birthday on the 2nd. What better way to celebrate a fabulous person than to attend a fabulous affair, and the Perrier-Jouet 200th Anniversary Cocktail Party, held at Mondrian SoHo, fit the bill perfectly. There we met the absolutely stunning Susan Sarandon and sipped on one of my favorites, PJ Fleur, throughout the evening. I mean really, who looks this good at 64?! Time to stock up on the La Mer, ladies!

On Saturday evening the party continued at The Darby. This swanky restaurant is über trendy and so much fun with it’s lux decor and live music. A carrot cake from Magnolia Bakery and one more birthday wish ended the birthday festivities for another year.

Two days later, we attended the Samsung Hope For Children Gala at Cipriani Wall Street. This amazing event is geared towards raising funds to support educational and health programs for children throughout the world. A-list celebrities were everywhere! The keynote speaker was Bill Clinton but we also heard from Demi Moore, Jennifer Lopez, Jason Myraz, John Legend, Harry Connick Jr., and Tim Baxter, President of Samsung Consumer Electronics. The clips were touching and it felt great to be in a room with so many people who are making sure they are paying their good fortune forward. Below you’ll see my pictures with NASCAR driver Jimmy Johnson (taken for my dad who is a big fan) and Chris Noth, who will always be Mr. Big to me 🙂

Lastly, we spent this past weekend in Atlantic City. It was my first time visiting the city and, not counting the ridiculously long drive (FIVE HOURS!!!), we had a great time. We stayed at The Borgata and enjoyed a delicious dinner on Friday night at Old Homestead. Seriously, it may have been the best chicken I’ve ever eaten and we all know I’m a chicken connoisseur 😉 On Saturday we checked out the boardwalk and did a bit of shopping. We got home relatively early on Sunday so I could spend some time with my sis who came to watch the girls for the weekend and spend a few days visiting.

xo,

Tanya

Jimmy Johnson

Susan Sarandon

Chris Noth

Memorial Day- NOLA Style

New Orleans has been on my travel list since I first saw Interview With a Vampire way back when I was in High School. Oh, how time passes! Anyway, when B and I were discussing what to do over our Memorial Day adult weekend, NOLA was suggested and quickly decided upon.
After I gathered input from a few close friends, I planned a great weekend getaway. Listed below is how we spent two days getting acquainted with the Big Easy.

We stayed at the Windsor Court in the French Quarter to be close to all the action. It was absolutely perfect. Now mind you, this is an old hotel so don’t expect perfection. If you’re looking for that, I’d suggest the W, one of my all-time favs in any city. We were looking for something more authentic and the Windsor Court was just what we were looking for.

Due to our late arrival (our cancelled flight led to six hours of touring Miami International Airport), the only thing we did on Friday was enjoy a few classic New Orleans drinks (recipes below!) at the Column Hotel in the Garden District, followed by dinner at Lilette. I heard about Lilette at the James Beard Awards a few weeks ago and was lucky enough to score a reservation on a Friday. The food was delish but the waiting 30 minutes for a cab we could have done without…

Day 2 found us wandering aimlessly down Royal Street, stopping and browsing in the many antique shops and art galleries. B picked up some cuff links and I my very first set of pearls. I guess I really am grown up! At Jackson Square, I had my palm read~ “I can see you losing twenty dollars in the very near future”~ and then it was off to Bourbon Street to Pat O’Briens to have a famous headache-inducing Hurricane. Can you say sugar overload?! We ended our night  at Tipitinas, a very hip live music venue.

Sunday morning we enjoyed a late brunch at Commander’s Palace, which I have to say is a bit overrated. We strolled down Royal Street again and managed to squeeze in a mani/pedis at the mall before our flight home. Short and sweet, it was a great introduction to a city I am looking forward to visiting again soon.