Bring the Beach Inside

minagraphyI’m sad that summer is over (especially since it is actually very hot right now in NYC), but I’ve a brought bit of the beach indoors with this gorgeous new Coney Island Throw Pillow by photographer Mina Teslaru, from the Etsy shop Minagraphy. It perfectly matches other beachy and aqua/turquoise colored decor in my apartment. In addition to offering her beach photography as throw pillows, Mina also sells her photography as large-scale wall art (like the kind you might find on One Kings Lane, but at more affordable prices). This polyester poplin throw pillow (16″ square, insert not included but it’s a standard size) costs $38 and adds just the right “pop” of summer to any living room, den, or bedroom.  Browse Minagraphy at Etsy.

I received a discount on my purchase at Minagraphy. I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are, as always, entirely my own.

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Rosh Hashanah Photo Cards

rosh-hashanah-photo-cardsEach year, I send out a Rosh Hashanah photo greeting card.  There aren’t too many options out there, but Tiny Prints consistenly has one of the best selections.  This year, I chose Tov Typography, designed by Robyn Miller.  The 5 x 7 cards can be customized with different edges, fonts, envelope colors, etc., but if you go with the basic options, they cost as low as $1.29 per card.  Browse all of the Rosh Hashanah Photo Cards at Tiny Prints.

Now through Friday, September 5th, enjoy $25 off a $50 order at Tiny Prints with code “TPSAVE25″.



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Spring 2015 Kids Fashion Preview: ENK Children’s Club

Editor’s Note:  I’ll be taking the rest of the week off for some medical appointments for my kids, including a tonsillectomy for 11-year-old R.  I’ll resume posting next Tuesday, September 2nd (in the meantime you can find me on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest). Have a great week!

A few weeks ago, I attended the ENK Children’s Show at Pier 94, featuring Spring 2015 kids’ clothing collections. I know, it sounds so far away, doesn’t it? Let’s hope next winter is mercifully short.  Here are some of my favorite finds from various U.S., U.K., and Australian designers.  Most of these items are not yet available to purchase yet online, but keep checking their individual websites.

1) Big Apple-themed layette and hand-sewn subway pillows by Tane Organics. I love Tane Organic’s baby clothing and accessories–all made from organic cotton and natural fibers. And these would make excellent baby gifts for new New Yorkers.


2) Twirl Raincoat ($95, available in berry or navy right now; aqua available in Spring ’15) by Oil and Water Rainwear.  I introduced Oil and Water Rainwear to you a few months ago–this designer truly makes the most beautiful rain jackets and coats for girls that I’ve ever seen.


3) Little Crazy Fleurty dress (available now in pink, on sale for $87, originally $145; will be available in white for Spring ’15) by Lisa Perry Girls.  I’ve always admired the bright, clean, Pop-art inspired graphics of Lisa Perry’s shift dresses for girls and grown-ups.  I also found out they go all the way up to size 14, so my daughter can still wear these…hooray!


4) Pink and metallic party dress by Cupcakes and Pastries.  I had a great conversation with the Cupcakes & Pastries designer about how tough it is to find dressy clothing for ‘tween girls that is age-appropriate.  Cupcakes & Pastries hits the right note every time–girls will love how stylish and trendy these dresses are, while moms will appreciate they’re not overly revealing or “grown-up”.


5) Patterned girls jeans by Havoc Denim.  This jean company hails from Melbourne, Australia and has trendy denim looks for girls of all ages, including patterned ankle-length jeans and Bermuda-length jean shorts.


6) Girls’ formal dresses by Kleinfeld Bridal. The legendary bridal house (of “Say Yes to the Dress” fame) has introduced a gorgeous line of formal dresses appropriate not only for flower girls, but also for other special black-tie occasions.


7) New toddler size dresses by Hudson Threads.  I introduced Hudson Threads to you 5 years ago, admiring its retro-inspired, modern swing dresses for girls.  Now, they’ve added sizes for their littlest fans, while still continuing big girl sizes.


8) Soldier-printed “babygro” by Rachel Riley. By now, you may know the name Rachel Riley as the British children’s clothing designer whose threads have been spotted on a certain royal baby. This proper-but-sweet one-piece is sure to be a top seller for Spring ’15.


9) Unisex hand-knit, eco-friendly clothing by U.K. designer Tootsa MacGinty. Besides its fun name, this company boasts gorgeous knitwear that has fun animal appliques and details, plus is machine washable, to boot.


10) Vinca, while not a clothing designer, obviously, is an accessory company I must share with you.  Vinca makes adorable laser-cut jewelry here in the U.S.A. and has so many fun categories–I’m partial to the “science/nerd” motifs here.  These are really geared towards tweens and teens, but frankly I’d wear them myself.


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What to Wear to Middle School: Tea Collection

Tea-Fall2014My daughter, a tall 11-year-old who now wears a size 12, is in her very last days of wearing kids’ clothes by some of my favorite brands like Tea Collection.  Waaah. So I was glad when she chose some new clothes for herself from Tea’s new Germany-inspired arrivals.  Above, she is wearing the Clotilde Chambray Quilted Vest ($45) over the Anni Garden Graphic Henley ($26.50), paired with her favorite dotted Gap Kids jeans.  It’s a fun, age-appropriate look (I am so glad she doesn’t want to dress like a teenager just yet), and since she actually wears a uniform to school, I’m sure that this particular ensemble will get plenty of mileage on her weekends off.

Many items from Tea’s New Germany-Inspired Arrivals are already on sale; you can get up to 25% off new arrivals at Tea’s Cool School Event now through August 24th (no code needed).

p.s. Not to be forgotten, 8-year-old S. got some new Tea threads, too.  Look for those in another post.

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20% off Eco-Friendly Kids Gifts at Wild Dill

wild-dillOur affiliate Wild Dill is closing out the summer with a 20% off coupon(“AUGUST”) that you can use sitewide.  Wild Dill features a superb selection of organic, natural, and fair trade products for babies and kids.  Here are some of my top picks:

1) Owl and Bird Personalized Framed Embroidery ($59).  So pretty!  This embroidered piece of art arrives matted and framed in a 11 x 14″ white wood frame.  Other designs/themes available, too.


2) Maxomorra Organic Race Car Winter Bodysuit ($28, sizes 3-6mos or 9-12mos).  I wasn’t familiar with the brand Maxomorra before, but I love it.  Designed in Sweden, Maxomorra’s one-piece is made of 96% organic cotton and features a retro race car print.


3) Maple Landmark Wooden Shape Stacker (Color or Natural) ($22).  Maple Landmark makes the best natural wooden toys, and this classic shape stacker is a winner for kids ages 2 and up.  Handmade in Vermont from local, sustainably harvested solid hardwood maple and stained with non-toxic inks.   Winner of the NY International Gift Fair Sustainability Award



Enjoy 20% off your order at Wild Dill with code “AUGUST” this month only.

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Bargain Alert: 50% off Kiwi Crate Subscriptions


Kiwi Crate

Here’s a great deal that I’m personally going to take advantage of from one of our newest affiliates, Kiwi Crate.  You’re probably familiar with Kiwi Crate as the award-winning “subscription box” activity kits for kids–inside each crate includes all the materials and inspiration for 2-3 enrichment activities focusing on a specific theme–such as Music, Color, Robots, or Safari.  There’s even a very clever “sibling add-on” that gives you extra materials each month so that there are no sibling fights!

This month only, Kiwi Crate is offering a Back to School with Kiwi Crate promotional offer where new subscribers can save 50% on a new subscription with code BACKTOSCHOOL10.  This is good all of their popular subscriptions like Monthly Subscriptions ($20 before, $10 with coupon), 6 Month Subscriptions ($110 before, $55 with coupon), and 12 Month Subscriptions ($205 before, $102.50 with coupon)–the longer the subscription you purchase, the more money you save.

I don’t know about you, but my kids love receiving surprise “crates” in the mail–and now that school is starting school, they’ll welcome some “fun” activities even more.

Here’s the deal!  Go Back to School with Kiwi Crate and save 50% on any new subscription PLUS receive a bonus welcome kit with code BACKTOSCHOOL10.


Posted in accessories, back to school, books/magazines, coupon codes, favorite gifts, sibling gifts, toddlers, toys | Tagged | 8 Comments

A Gift for Me on my Daughter’s Birthday

bling-stud-earringsWhile my 11-year-old daughter enjoys her birthday gifts today (some incredible Lego sets…more on them another time), I am enjoying a surprise gift from the proud Grandma–my own mom.  She brought me those beautiful faux jade Bling Stud Earrings ($28) from C. Wonder. They come in a bunch of colors to match about any item in your wardrobe–this color is called “spearmint” and happens to match my current aqua Essie “Turquoise and Caicos” nail polish perfectly. Buy them at C. Wonder. And thanks, Mom!

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Happy Anniversary to NYC & Me: 20 Years of Bliss

I moved into my first apartment in NYC twenty years ago tomorrow–August 18, 1994.  I was 21 years old, had just graduated Harvard, and was working at my first job at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Twenty years ago I would not have believed that I would still be a city dweller at age 41.  At that time, I assumed that, like many of my peers, I would move to the burbs at some point.  Now, I couldn’t picture that happening.  Don’t get me wrong…there are many things I envy about suburban life (like backyards and full-size washer/dryers).  But the way things have panned out for me over the past 20 years, I can’t think of anywhere better for me and my kids than New York City, which are lucky to continue to call home.   I love our home, my kids’ schools, my work, and the family and friends we are blessed to have nearby.

When you live in New York City long enough, it becomes the backdrop to all the different acts and scenes in your life.  Over the past 20 years, I’ve lived here as a recent college grad, a single 20something, a young newlywed, a new mom, and as a divorced mom of two.  I’ve logged 3 different careers and 7 different jobs.  I’ve lived in 3 apartments.  I’ve gone to two graduate schools.  I’ve had one husband and four long-term boyfriends (my relationship with New York City has outlasted them all).  Best of all, of course, I’ve given birth to and raised two great kids who now–at ages 8 and 11–are bona-fide native New Yorkers themselves.

Sometimes when I’m on a long subway ride or taxi ride that covers many miles of Manhattan, it’s like watching “This is Your Life” unfold. Next stop: Madison Avenue! (my first job). Chrysler Building! (an awful short-lived job). Mulberry Street! (my engagement). 77th and Lex! (my babies’ births). Thomas Street! (divorce court). Some people say it’s tough to live your whole life in one place because there are reminders everywhere of past hurts. . . a street corner where you cried into a payphone because you thought you might get fired, or a restaurant where your boyfriend almost broke up with you, or an alley where you tripped on your Manolos while you carried your own cake home from your 35th birthday dinner that no one showed up too (oh wait, that’s Carrie Bradshaw). And, of course, for all New Yorkers who lived through 9/11, there’s that location, that memory, and all the memories of that horrible day and the days after, even the stench of burnt flesh and fuel in the air.  But, no, these reminders don’t scare me away.  Rather, they remind me of the very “rich” tapestry of experiences (both good and bad) that have shaped the 41-year-old woman I’ve become.  I’ve been through just about every emotion during my New York City life, but, like the city itself, I always rebound and find myself marveling once again at all the choices available to me.

New York is a great place for optimists like me.  Every day, there is a new opportunity around the corner–sometimes quite literally.  It sounds cliche, but this is where dreams happen. After all, I wouldn’t be here if my own German immigrant grandparents hadn’t started their lives over here when they escaped Nazi Germany over 70 years ago.  My grandfather lived just three blocks from my current address.  Passing by his old tenement apartment building always make me smile.   Other locations, too, have been full of inspiration and promise for me.  The Whitney Museum–where I started my career and made lifelong friends.  Central Park–where my babies went on their first rides on swings.  The views from the Empire State Building, or the Brooklyn Bridge, where I went on romantic second–and third–dates.  The neighborhoods, mom-and-pop stores, and tiny restaurants I’ve discovered on my own, just by turning a corner or taking a different route home.  New York City never gets smaller–you just find more and more places to discover wonderful new things, and people.

Finally, on this anniversary I’m thinking a lot about New York then (1994) and now (2014).  It flew by, but, wow, it is TWENTY YEARS.  So much has changed in the city.  Allow me to share some examples– Some are personal to me, others will ring a bell with fellow New Yorkers–both past and present.

1994: Metal cutout subway tokens.
2014: Metrocards.

1994: 2nd Avenue Subway?  Never gonna happen. . .
2014: 2nd Avenue Subway?  Never gonna be finished.

1994: I lived next door to a middle school.
2014: My daughter is starting middle school.

1994: Guiliani.
2014: DeBlasio.

1994: Gridlock when First Lady Hillary Clinton visits.
2014: Gridlock when (presidential candidate?) Hillary Clinton visits.

1994: You can call any restaurant to have food delivered.

1994: American Gladiator.
2014: Gladiator sandals.

1994: Needle Park.
2014: Gentrification.

1994: Loving Time Warner Cable.
2014: Complaining about FiOS.

1994: Robyn Bird
2014: Robin Thicke

1994: Third Avenue Bazaar housewares store.
2014: Three banks in a row on Third Avenue.

1994: Going out at 11:30 pm.
2014: Going to bed at 11:30pm.

1994: Huge bagels.
2014: Tiny macarons.

1994: Waiting for brunch at EJs.
2014: Waiting for a cronut.

1994: No cash? No cab.
2014: Uber.

1994: The sound of my dial-up moden echoing in my 1-bedroom apartment.
2014: My 11-year-old daughter fixing our wireless connection.

1994: Male jogger in leotard and fishnet stockings, Upper East Side.
2014:  Disgruntled Elmos in Times Square.

1994: Madonna sightings.
2014: Suri Cruise sightings.

1994: New York Magazine Strictly Personals.
2014: Dating apps.

1994: Meatpacking District is actually, well, meat.
2014: The Highline.

What are your favorite NYC memories, if you ever lived here (or still do?)  Please leave them in the comments!  

New York Is My Boyfriend pouch by Pamela Barsky.

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