Flashback Friday: Halloween Shop Report–New York Costumes

Editor’s Note:  This post was first published in October 2011.  New York Costumes is still near Union Square and is open for Halloween business.  Call ahead for store hours. 

A few weekends ago the kids and I got some early Halloween shopping done at New York Costumes, an incredible NYC Halloween mega-store that, shockingly, I had never visited in my 17 years of living here in the Big Apple. This place is amazing, and if you’re a New Yorker still in need of costumes or decorations, it’s worth braving the crowds to come here.

Here is the outside of the store. It’s just south of Union Square at 104 Fourth Avenue:

Inside, you’ll finds thousands of square feet housing everything you need for any Halloween costume or party. There’s the standard fare–infant bunting costumes, superhero costumes, classic witch garb–plus costumes you’ve never even dreamed of, and any and all accessories (we bought R. a blond wig to wear with her Princess Peach costume).

I actually bought my costume here this year. Yep, I was inspired by Pan Am. No, I won’t be showing photos here.

If your Halloween taste runs more scary than sweet (my children have reached the age where they prefer the former–the spookier, the better), this is your store. Even if you don’t buy a thing, it is a feast for the eyes–if your eyes like to see blood, guts, and freaky things, that is:

Creepy cold cuts anyone?

A two-headed baby. I think I saw something like this on the Discovery Channel.

The sign around this guy’s neck says it all.

This dummy had a revolving bloody head that the kids watched rotate about a dozen times.

The kids ate up all the theatrics (here, I believe they were petting fake furry rats):

I have never seen so many skeletons before:

And R. explained the finer points of mask-wearing to her little brother.

The “Clowns” section of the store was one of my favorites. Remember the Bethenny Ever After episode where she and Jason try on clown costumes with gigantic hands and boots? I’m pretty sure that was filmed here.

S. surveyed everything a clown might need, from rubber chickens to “bonkers” (I let him buy one…a major mistake).

Visit New York Costumes at 104 4th Ave @ 11th street in New York City. 

Posted in Halloween, NYC | Leave a comment

Zodiac Trinket Trays


I’ve noticed that zodiac-themed personalized gifts are gaining in popularity.  Whether or not the gift recipient really believes in astrology (not that there’s anything wrong with that, ahem), astrological sign gifts are a fun way to give something quasi-personalized (personally, I love Scorpio-themed gifts for myself).  Inkspot Workshop’s new lucite Skinny Clear Trinket Trays sport your sign in gold foil, on top of your birth’s sign unique color stripe.  And, of course, a few words to describe the classic personality traits of that sign (what are yours?)  And the size is perfect to use whether in your home office (for a stash of pencils) or your bedroom (a great catch-all for jewelry).  Keep these in mind for holiday gifts, too!  They cost $40 each at Inkspot Workshop.

Posted in decor, holiday gifts, hostess/housewarming, just for mom | Leave a comment

Feeling Drusy

Sonya Renee is one of my favorite websites for delicate, affordable jewelry, and right now I’m loving its this brand Drusy Bar Necklaces. Each one has a sparkly 1 1/4″ drusy bar on a 16″ gold plated chain. The drusy bar is available in your choice of white, gold, or dark silver–I love how the 3 of them look all together. Buy them at $120 at Sonya Renee (and check out the coordinating other Drusy jewelry like this Drusy Stud Earrings for $74, too).

Shopping tip: Sign up for Sonya Reene’s email list and get a 15% discount on your first purchase. Also, look for great Black Friday discounts at Sonya Renee over Thanksgiving weekend!

Posted in jewelry | Leave a comment

25% of Fall Favorites at Tea Collection

The weather is getting cooler and, if you’re like me, you’re realizing your kids don’t quite have all the clothing they need for Fall.  Plus, school photographs are coming up. Take advantage of Tea Collection’s new 25% Off Fall Favorites Sale. It’s good on selected items across all categories (baby, big kids, and women) today and tomorrow (sale ends tomorrow night, September 17th).  Visit Tea Collection (just use code “FALLFAVS” at checkout).

Posted in affiliates, back to school, clothing, coupon codes | Tagged | Leave a comment

Paper Crazy: 7 Favorite New Greeting Cards

Not only do I get to feast my eyes on all the best new greeting cards (including my favorite letterpress samples) at the National Stationery Show every year, but now I also see a daily stream of paper goodies in my Instagram feed. This is how I found most of the cards below, which are some of my current favorites, and definitely are on my “to buy” list:

That’s So Cray Cray ($5, from the “Tiny Truth” collection) by Thimblepress:

“Thank You” card ($4.50, from the “Dude Collection”) by Pistachio Press:


Madly in Love ($4) by C Design Illustration:


You Look Different in Person by Ashkahn.com:



“I Can’t Even” ($4.50) by OutLoudGreetings:


Aw Shucks Letterpess Card ($6) by Praxium Press:


I Don’t Want to Call You ($4.50 by Gramkin Studio) at Crumple and Toss:

Posted in stationery | Leave a comment

Fifty United Plates

new york state plateSeems like a good week to share this patriotic find, Fifty United Plates by Corbe Company. Handmade to order, these durable, high-fired porcelain plates are crafted in the shape of each of the 50 states. They can safely be used for cooking (they’re food, microwave, dishwasher, and oven safe up to 450 degrees), but personally I like them just as accent décor. They are generously sized (New York, above, measure about 11.5″ x 10″).  Each one costs $82; buy them at Corbe Company.

Posted in decor, favorite gifts, hostess/housewarming | Leave a comment

Hello Alyss: Designer Kids’ Clothing


Even though the designer kids’ clothing at Hello Alyss is out of my budget, I am still having fun browsing its wares, and I think you will, too. There are some American and European designers I was already familiar with (Stella McCartney, Egg by Susan Lazar, and Juicy Couture), but also some that are new names to me. Two of my top picks from these new designers are:

Hudson Suspender Shirt in Sky Blue ($52, sizes 2-8) by Vierra Rose:


Baby Plaid Dress ($49, sizes 6mos-18mos) and Knitted Cardigan with Hood ($84, sizes 6mos-18mos) by Arsene et les Pipelettes


Shopping tip:  Sign up for the newsletter at Hello Alyss and you’ll get a discount off your first purchase. 

Posted in clothing | Leave a comment

10 Favorite Baby & Child Products from NY Now

Last month, I was honored to serve again as a judge of the Baby & Child Division of NY Now, the country’s largest trade show of home, lifestyle, and gift products, held at Pier 54.  You can read which new baby & child products won top prizes; many overlap with my personal favorites shown below (in no particular order):  I’ve provided links to buy the products whenever available, but please note that some of these haven’t reached retail stores yet:

1) Cosmic UFO by Cloud B (Finalist in Best Decor).  Cloud B will soon introduce a kid and tween-friendly UFO version of its popular nightlight/music system.



2) Plan Toys Table + Chair (Winner, Best Decor).  Plan Toys, one of my favorite companies for quality wooden toys, has made a sleek kids’ table and chairs.  I love the modern bent wood design and the practicality (two compartments for storage, and a desk top that includes a chalk surface).


3) Innobaby EZ Grip Massaging Fruit Teether Set ($20.99 at Amazon.com, Winner, Best Gear).  How adorable is this set of three fruit teethers?  The unique flexible design lets babies reach all parts of their mouths for gentle massage and comfort.  Of course, these are non-toxic, plus dishwasher and freezer safe.


4) Pop-Up House Fort by Nhocci (Winner, Best Toy). This NYC company has a winner with its portable, packable, hand-embroidered play fort. It is made of 100% cotton and even hangs for easy storage.PopUpHouse


5) Nini and Pumpkin Moon Cocoon ($125, Finalist in Best Gear).  This cleverly-designed product functions throughout infancy and childhood as playmat and wearable blanket.


6) Kids Apron Set ($45) by Odette Williams (Finalist in Best Toy).  No ordinary kids’ apron set, this quality design by New Yorker Odette Williams is available in multiple patterns, fits ages 2-6, and includes apron, mitt and 3 wooden utensils.




7) Roomii by Sound of Fun.  This award-winning, versatile ride-on toy has won numerous awards already, including Red Dot, Toy Talk and IDEA awards.roomii


8) Fiona Walker England Wool Felt Animal Heads ($110 at Layla Grace, Finalist in Best Toy).  A cute, eco-friendly update on an old-fashioned decor trend, these 100% wool felt jungle animals mount flush to the wall and lend a playful accent (and definite conversation piece) to a nursery, bedroom, or playroom.  Available as zerbra, giraffe, elephant, or tiger.



9) Manhattan Toys Busy Bop ($18).   This colorful cause-and-effect toddler toy by top company Manhattan Toy is a twist on a classic–this time, you hit the mouse’s head to raise the multicolored tower of animal faces higher and higher.


10) Nursery Closet Organizers by Lucy Company (Best New Product).  These pretty closet organizers help new parents keep baby’s closet neat, dividing clothing by age and size from newborn through 2T.


Posted in baby gifts, bath and body, decor, sibling gifts, toddlers, toys, wall art | Leave a comment