Quick Getaway to Stamford, CT – Yes, Stamford.

Living in the city can get you down. Living in the city with no Hamptons house, no ski lodge, no upstate cottage, no car… Man, this town can REALLY get you down. In the summer you had better just stay off Instagram as it’s just a constant reminder of who’s living their best life (i.e. not YOUR life) road-tripping it out of town. Well I’m here to say no more. Turn off social media and do your own thing, my friends.  For years we have done little weekend adventures that give us great joy, and I’m going to make it a project now to write them all down and share them. There is so much fun to be had within a short distance of NYC, and this weekend was honestly one of our best spur of the moment get out of town times.

We hit Metro-North and headed for Stamford, CT. I think everyone else had different plans as we had the whole train car to ourselves. That’s like a vacation in and of itself!

empty car

Honestly little kids and trains are a perfect match and Jack far prefers this method of travel to renting a car. Good thing as the train ride was $48 round trip for the three of us as opposed to a car which would have been $300+  Good job Jack.

train watching

I know Stamford, CT sounds a little not vacation-y, I mean didn’t you have to go to a business meeting there last week?  Alas, finding ourselves faced with a summer weekend empty of plans and priced out of any halfway decent beach hotel we needed to think outside the box. Could we just find a hotel with an outdoor pool? It’s roughly 5 million degrees outside with rainforest like humidity. I just wanted a pool. Can Metro-North get me to a pool. Why yes, yes it can.

Marriott Pool

I used Expedia to search by amenity “pool” and found a couple options. We went for the Marriott closest to the train station. A cheap Uber ride and I get points for staying there. Plus it was dirt cheap compared to the beach hotels. BOOK IT. The Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa was fantastic to us. Everyone on staff that we encountered was so friendly. They gave us a super late check-out on Sunday so Jack could have a few more hours in the pool and sunshine, and I do mean HOURS. We had to pull this kid out of the pool kicking and screaming. They have stacks of huge pool towels on hand, btw – no schlepping towels. It’s an indoor/outdoor pool so I’m filing this one away for winter too.


While sitting by the pool Roger and I had googled “Water front dining Stamford” and came up with The Crab Shell. My lobster roll was awesome so I’m saying you should go. There was live music and outdoor seating and cold beer and boats docked at the marina. I felt like I was on a real vacation and not somewhere we just googled while sitting around the pool at the Marriott. Jack said it was beautiful as we watched the sunset and there was a kids menu. A+ all around.

crab shell

The hotel shuttle drove us to dinner and would have picked us up too, but we felt like Jack was fading fast and so we grabbed an Uber that was already dropping someone off. A shame because the hotel driver was so NICE. Did I mention that everyone was nice???

I have to also mention the late lunch we had at Bobby V’s. If your kid is a sports fanatic and the World Cup just happens to be going on…let’s just say he was happy. I have never seen televisions so large.  (be aware that there is a betting lounge upstairs so there are signs about wagering on horses everywhere – doesn’t bother us, heck we’ve even taken our kid to the track! but fyi just in case it would be an issue for your family)

bobby vs

Bobby V’s is a short walk from the hotel. While walking to lunch we passed some of the Seward Johnson statues that are gracing Stamford this summer. Jack particularly loved “Out to Lunch”.


We’d have loved to have seen the Marilyn Monroe statue (26 feet tall!), but it was 98 degrees and we just couldn’t make it. When this heat wave breaks we might go back because honestly, there was a lot more we could have done! Namely the afternoon schooner sail that was sold out our weekend. We’re coming back, Stamford, next time with a plan!

If you’ve been to Stamford, CT and have some fun ideas for us please leave a comment below or message me! We’re totally going back.

Let Beyoncé Do Beyoncé…

In case you live under a rock, Beyoncé dropped her first picture with the twins on Instagram last night and everyone lost. their. freakin’. minds.

Sir Carter and Rumi 1 month today. 🙏🏽❤️👨🏽👩🏽👧🏽👶🏾👶🏾

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Go on Facebook or Twitter for half a second now and look at all the snark. “Belly too flat”, “she looks well rested” “well when *I* had twins”… Ladies, LADIES. Can we stop it with the smack talk now?

Look, I don’t even like Beyoncé, but I’ve had about ENOUGH of people getting all snippy over her picture with her twins. Every mother on Earth knows that’s not real life – and who gives a flying eff??? If you needed to a put a picture out that you knew would be scrutinized, dissected, torn apart within a millisecond of release…you want to tell me you wouldn’t stage some next level shit for that? Hmmmm?

Let me tell you a little story: the station my husband works at wanted a picture of us all right after Jack was born to share with the viewers and you best believe I got out of bed, took a shower, put on make-up, and TRIED to make my hair presentable. If I could have afforded a make-up/hair artist (and giant floral arch) to come over and make me look like a goddess at NY Presbyterian Hospital…you best believe I would have had one up in there. Possibly three. I mean if people want to see a happy family, you give them a happy family. Nobody wants to see video of me screaming at Roger that he better bring me a decent cup of coffee because this baby doesn’t sleep and so help me GOD the hospital coffee is crap, utter crap.

I still hate what we used:


What was I thinking??? Can someone photoshop this crap?

If I ever have another kid, I’m hiring a stylist. Beyoncé has it right with her flowing chiffon whatever that thing is she’s wearing. I wore a thrift store robe I stole from the theater company wardrobe (sorry about that guys – it was COMFORTABLE). That is not a look worth sharing and I think we all know it.

So listen up, ladies. Knock off the hate and the mother judging. ENOUGH already. If that woman wants to show her babies off to the world dressed up as Mother Mary, you let her. Some of y’all dress your babies up like peapods and nobody posts, “not real life!” on your Facebook status, do they? ( I mean I assume under that swaddle, your baby does not look like a peapod at all…) You fluff your hair and pose all sweet with the kids snuggled up in bed with you for your newborn pics a week after coming home from the hospital (like THAT’S real life???) and everyone comments “So precious!”. Right?  I mean, that’s a thing. You book the photographer a week out because the baby is still sleepy and you can get all sorts of silly shots that in no way represent the sheer exhaustion of it all. Also you do not get a blow-out and full make-up every morning. Nor do you wear anything other than yoga pants for a solid three months, who are you kidding with those jeans! But I digress… ahem.

Why is it ok for all of us to do these things, but not Beyoncé?

I waited 4 months to get a decent professional picture with my kid because I COULDN’T FUCKING WALK…  And I deeply appreciate every one of you who was sweet enough, polite enough, decent enough to comment, “cute photo!” and leave it at that.

A woman just wants ONE damn decent picture with her kids, ok?

You do you, and you let Beyoncé do Beyoncé. However the hell she wants to.

A Classic Kids Holiday Photo Miracle

It’s December you guys!

Time to get your holiday card stress on! Bribe the kids to dress up, smile like you mean it and burn the midnight oil crafting the perfect layout!

Except I’m not. Not this year. I’m not stressing one tiny bit. This year Lindsay at Classic Kids right here in NYC worked her magic for us. When I say magic, I am not exaggerating in the slightest. The day of our photo shoot Jack decided that wearing anything other than his beloved Jets jersey and sweatpants would be the death of him. We are talking full on temper tantrum complete with tears. “THIS IS THE WORST DAY EVER!!!!”. I bribed him with the promise of a chocolate bar and packed nice clothes to change into, praying that somehow we’d get a smile out of him.  

Upon arrival at the studio, Lindsay gave me a hug, complemented Jack on his awesome Jets shirt and got him laughing and goofing off in less than 30 seconds. 

In order to save his precious Jets shirt from harm Lindsay recommended he change into the spare clothes Mom brought. He fell for it. This woman works magic!

Jack loved holding the Christmas wreath and giggled the entire time. He was genuinely having a blast. Lindsay and her assistant had him cracking up for a solid 30 minutes. Monkey faces, magic tricks, and tickle fights had him rolling on the floor. I had mentioned that we also celebrate Hanukkah and had never managed to get a photo capturing both sides of our family traditions. A menorah appeared with Jack insisting we use all the candles. 

Can we get one of the whole family? Oh yes we can. 

In roughly 30 minutes we were done. One mini session had managed to capture my boy in his beloved shirt, too many fabulous choices for our holiday cards, and a family photo we hadn’t managed to take in over two years. It was way more than I had dared to hope for. 

A few days later I went in to view our proofs – actual proofs that I could hold in my hands, not just images on a computer screen. I had such a hard time deciding, but narrowed it down to several choices. I can’t wait to see my prints when they arrive!

Want in on the action? Give Classic Kids UES a call between now and December 10th, mention my blog and you can book your own Winter Wonderland Mini session for only $300 (Sessions at the studio normally start at $500 during the week and $600 for weekends) which includes a rush on the proofs getting back to the studio in two days for quick holiday ordering!  They will upload your holiday card choices straight to Minted.com so you can go home and kick back with a hot cocoa and order up some gorgeousness. Stress free. A holiday miracle!


Classic Kids is located at 1182 Lexington Avenue (at 81st Street). 212-396-1160

Thanks to Classic Kids for gifting our family with a mini session in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own – and are 100% genuine . 

Back to School Essentials (plus a GIVEAWAY!)

This might seem a little late in the game for a back to school post, but it’s September 7th and NYC kids still haven’t gone back to school yet. The highest of the holy days, the first day of school, happens tomorrow. A mere 8 days into September. This is New York, we do stuff on our own schedule. There are some preschools that don’t get going for another two weeks here!

So this one goes out to all the moms and dads who prepare like I do. Night before, rumaging through drawers looking for a clean shirt that won’t look too bad in first day photos. A quick trip to Target because you can’t find last year’s water bottle…  It’s down to the wire, you just need the essentials, people. (and stay tuned to the very end for a fun giveaway!

back to school essentials nycjenny

A backpack is a must. This year we have no uniforms to contend with and the idea of a new outfit for school seemed to bore my son to tears. “DO I HAAAAVE TO???” No, you don’t have to wear special new clothes, but you have to have a backpack so it might as well be fun. We fell in love with all the cute designs by Bixbee. I met them at Blogger Bash and Jack adores their cute “Rocketflyer” model that they were nice enough to give us. I love that for every one of their backpacks they sell, they donate a schoolbag and supplies to a kid in need through their One Here. One There.® program.

bixbee rocketflyer backpack

Inside the backpack you’ll most likely need to pack a lunch and/or snack at some point. Another product with a charitable bent landed on our desk this year. This time it’s from Yoobi.

youbi lunchbox nycjenny

For every Yoobi item you purchase, another is donated to a classroom in need in the United States. Beyond making it easy for us to help out, we loved the design of the lunchbox – it’s like a mini backpack! This design their “I am Other” is meant to be colored in so even if another child is carrying the same one? YOURS will be unique to you.

Inside we’ll be packing a Contigo bottle because seriously I’ve never found anything as leak-proof as these. Have you ever had to clean out spilled milk that sat all day in a lunchbox? I have. It’s not easy. Avoid that situation by not messing around – buy a quality bottle to pack. Jack’s a big fan of the autospout versions and steals mine all the time if he can’t find his. We HATE leaky bottles. Contigo has our back. (Plus the designs are just too cute)

contigo kids water bottle nycjenny

You could put your sandwiches and crackers into baggies, but by now we all know there’s a better solution for the environment and your kid. I guarantee if my kid’s lunch showed up all squished he wouldn’t eat it. Best protect it in a Sistema container.

sistema sandwich box nycjenny

Another Blogger Bash find, we’re now officially fans of Sistema containers. Phthalate & BPA Free and super easy to clean. I love this lunch cube that holds a sandwich (or bagel, this is NYC after all) and fruits, crackers, a whole applesauce pouch… on the other. The divider inside keeps things neat and tidy and the clips are easy enough for my 5 year old to open and shut himself. I’m looking forward to stocking up on more from this company!

Last, but not least you need some labels. I know they aren’t an essential, essential – a Sharpie will do in a pinch. BUT hear me out. These Mabel’s Labels “Write Away Labels” are awesome.

mabels labels write away nycjenny

I have used the preprinted ones, but still keep a packet of these “emergency” labels around. I think they make my kid’s name really stand out so our items keep coming home. 8 weeks of summer camp and he never once lost a water bottle. Last day of camp you should have seen the massive pile of lost water bottles. Not us. Plus these labels even had room to write his group number on them so if it did go missing, we’d have had a greater chance of it finding us. I’m a huge fan of thse things!

School shopping wasn’t so daunting, was it? The list that might have come home from school might have caused some panic, but I would never ask you to buy 50 glue sticks. Never.

Now I promised you a giveaway, yes? We’re giving away a Bixbee “Rocketflyer” backpack just like the one Jack is wearing above!  This giveaway is open to US residents ages 18 and over. Enter to win in the Rafflecopter box below. GOOD LUCK!!!! The giveaway will end on Thursday, September 15 at 12:00AM EST. The winners will be randomly selected, e-mailed on the 16th and given 24 hours to respond before we select a new winner. Keep an eye on your spam folder!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Why YOU Should Go to a Blogging Conference – My Blogger Bash Recap!

Conferences have existed since time began. Philosophers used to get together in the town square and talk shop over whatever appetizer was popular in ancient Greece. That was a conference, they just didn’t have really cool name tags.


My mother goes to Board of Elections Conferences, my dad went to sales conferences, I have been to embroidery and knitting conferences – it’s always a pleasure to sit with like-minded people for a bit, isn’t it? The exchange of ideas and the chance to learn from the experts in your field is invaluable. Why should blogging be any different? Whether it’s a business or a hobby for you (or a mix of both), I highly recommend seeking out a conference at least once. Give it a go.

I went to a blogging conference this summer (specifically Blogger Bash) and I had a fantastic time time. Wait. A blogging conference? That was the standard response in the days leading up to this when I mentioned I had plans, sourced a babysitter and dug out my dusty box of business cards. What the heck is a blogging conference? Why would you do that? That sounds…fun? Worse was the conversation I heard among many blogging groups online – there are those who say they get nothing out of the more popular conferences and so they won’t go. Look, that’s your opinion and you are welcome to it, but the problem I think is that newer bloggers read those comments and decide to stay home, and really that’s a shame because you’re missing out!

Allow me to try and convince you with a few of my favorite reasons Blogger Bash was so great this year.

Learning: This year Blogger Bash brought in the Blogging Concentrated team to lead an entire afternoon’s worth of instruction for attendees. I wasn’t able to attend the entire session and that might have been a mistake. What I heard lit a fire under my butt and I hope to put my notes in action soon. Which leads me to…

Inspiration: I swear just standing in a group of bloggers leads to inspiration. Conversation starts flowing and sooner or later, “You should write a post on that!” gets said. What better place to bounce ideas off colleagues and friends? Who else would understand the struggle to write great content, find your next great Instagram or clever Tweet? The bloggers you’re sharing lunch with at this conference certainly do! So what to do if you’re too much of an introvert to speak up at lunchtime? Head to the Expo Hall and check out all the new products companies want you to see:

New Products/Ideas: Blogger Bash has previously mainly had a huge toy focus, and they still do, but this year the “New Products Expo” knocked it out of the park. I barely had time to see everything! One of my favorites? This combo humidifier and air purifier from Oreck. Talk about a space saver in our tiny NYC homes! My family is so full of allergy/asthma/always having a cold woes that this would SAVE ME SO MUCH SPACE. Not going to spam you with a bunch of info, but I found a ton of great new products to write about.

On the kid front, I am love with these I Am Elemental Action Figures. In. LOVE. Two moms who were frustrated by what they DIDN’T see in the toy market set out to change the conversation. Their website says, “Give a girl a different toy and she will tell a different story.” I love that the figures have a more realistic breast to hip ratio and are purely character driven – i.e. not tied to any show or movie so they encourage imaginative play.


And another thing: THERE IS HARRY POTTER CLUE!?

Harry Potter Clue

Inevitably the moment will come when your feet hurt, your head is about to burst with new information and your tote bag is weighed down with business cards, flyers and samples. It’s time for the closing party! Time to…

Party!: What great conference doesn’t end with a party, I ask? This year’s Blogger Bash ended with a harbor cruise around NYC. Being a local I felt like I was cheating because there were all my best blogger friends! On a boat! With drinks! What an absolute treat. I swapped cards with a lot of new friends on that boat too because what’s the point in attending a conference if not to widen your circle? Widen your knowledge base, make new friends!

boat view

If you’ve been on the fence about attending a conference, I’d heartily encourage you to go. Step outside your comfort zone and try something new. For every scary story you hear in the blogger groups, you find a hundred good ones to contradict it. I can’t wait for my next one!

The Great Big NYC Mother’s Day Giveaway!

Mother’s Day is upon us, and to celebrate the fabulous Heather over at US Japan Fam has put together an amazing Mother’s Day giveaway for us NYC moms! I’m so excited to be taking part in this – Heather has put together an amazing  prize package full of  products and services just for moms in New York City. Read about the prizes (valued over $1,100!!!) below and enter to win at the bottom! Good luck!!!

Mothers Day Giveaway

Photoshoot with Christina Marotto
Christina Marotto is a fabulous high-end lifestyle photographer in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn offering everything from boudoir to maternity to newborn and children sessions. Our grand prize winner will receive Christina’s “Beauty Session” package, including full hair and makeup by Exclusive Stylist Danielle Paquette, a 60-minute photo shoot, 2 signature 11×14 prints with web copies, and 15% off any additional prints with digitals. What’s more? Your kids can enjoy playing at indoor play gym Play Days and Parties during the shoot (Christina’s studio is in the back)! A $700 value!

$150 Gift Certificate to Garden Acupuncture
Garden Acupuncture, located in the heart of Park Slope, is owned by Alex Goldberg & Lisa Metgzer – they’re not only partners in business but also in life, sharing two beautiful daughters. Named one of the top 5 places to get acupuncture in Brooklyn, Garden Acupuncture offers Traditional Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture, herbs and nutritional counseling. Their team has over 50 years of combined clinical experience and unique training, allowing them to offer specialized services for Women’s Health, Pain Conditions and Pediatric Care. Enjoy the one-on-one care and personalized service while you zen out in their tranquil space. Our grand prize winner will receive a Gift Certificate to Garden Acupuncture for Initial Consult, Examination & Treatment ($150 Value Gift Certificate expires 1 year from date of issue and is not transferable; does not cover herbs or supplements and fertility consult/services).

$25 Gift Certificate to The Coop
The Coop is the latest and greatest cafe to come to “Ba(b)y Ridge”. Located just off the R-line’s Bay Ridge / 95th Street Station (at 9504 4th Ave), this oh-so kid-friendly restaurant and coffee bar features a kid’s indoor/outdoor play area (or “coop”), allowing parents and caregivers to enjoy their coffee, brunch, or beer/wine (alcohol license pending) while their littles have fun! At this family-run eatery you’ll find plenty of organic grub, as well as the only “draft latte” and “draft cold brew” in all of Bay Ridge! Our grand prize winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to The Coop, to be enjoyed with or without her kiddos in tow!(The Coop will be opening literally any day now – check their Facebook page to stay up to date!)

In-Home Haircut by Laura Dyer
Freelance hairstylist and Brooklyn mom, Laura Dyer, brings 10 years of licensed experience right to your living room, offering in-home haircuts for children and adults! Our grand prize winner will receive one complimentary adult hair cut in the comfort of her own home ($75 value; travel fee may apply if outside of the Greater Bay Ridge area).

Custom 10″ Cake by Gigi’s Sweet Revenge
Whether you have an upcoming baby shower, birthday party, smash cake photo session, or just like devouring sweets that are almost too pretty to eat, Gigi’s Sweet Revenge has got your cake needs covered! Our grand prize winner will receive credit for one 10″ custom-design cake of her choice, which serves about 20 people. ($60 value; delivery fee may apply  beyond the Greater Bay Ridge area).

It Works Body Wrap
You’ve seen those “crazy wrap” photos, but now is your chance to try one! Our grand prize winner will receive one It Works Ultimate Body Applicator ($59 value), a cloth wrap infused with a botanically-based formula to tighten, tone, and firm your skin in just 45 minutes, with progressive results over 72 hours.

$50 Gift Certificate to Dashing Diva
More than a nail salon, Dashing Diva is a destination! Featuring their own line of nail lacquer, they take sanitation seriously with each customer having their own personal manicure or pedicure kit and no whirlpools foot baths, razors, or reusable foot files. Our grand prize winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to the Brooklyn Heights location (130 Montague Street), courtesy of Allaya ofBabydroppings.

3 Month Birchbox Subscription
Birchbox offers monthly deliveries of deluxe beauty, grooming, and lifestyle samples, tailored to your profile. Try cult brands, up-and-coming lines, and everything in between. Shay of Bebe To Bee will be contributing one 3-month Birchbox subscription to our grand prize winner, a $30 value.

Posh to Meet You Set by Perfectly Posh
Perfectly Posh carries naturally-based products to pamper your hands and feet, body, hair, face and lips, and even your man! Our grand prize winner will receive the Posh to Meet You Set ($19 value) which includes Good Vibes (hand crème), Strawberry Fields Forever (soap), and Santa Monica Smooth (lip balm).

dōTERRA Essential Oils
dōTERRA essential oils can be used for a wide array of emotional and physical wellness applications. For example, they can be diffused for calming effect, applied topically to reduce skin imperfections, or ingested as dietary supplements! Our grand prize winner will receive a 5mL bottle of Wild Orange for energizing and revitalizing, as well as samples of trio,blends trio, On Guard natural whitening toothpaste, and deep blue rub ($14 value).

There you have it! The giveaway is open to US residents over age 18 and will run through 11:59 PM EST on Monday, May 2. The grand prize winner will be chosen randomly and e-mailed on Tuesday, May 3. The winner will have 24 hours to respond before another winner will be chosen. Should the grand prize winner pass on any of the prizes, another winner will be chosen for those select prizes, so there’s a possibility to have more than one winner! OK, ready… set… GO!!! (enter in the Rafflecopter box below).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Lucky Shoes – French Sole For The Win!

I used to wear high heels. My darling mother drilled it into me at a young age that formal occasions and formal wear of any sort demands heels. (It was the South, cut me some slack – we love a good formal wear occasion down South) Now, does anyone remember last year when we found out I had torn my left meniscus? Farewell my high heels…farewell, you were a danger to my comfort. Now right around the time I dropped off a giant bag of beloved heels at my local thrift shop, my husband’s show was nominated for an Emmy. I found myself with a fabulous dress, but a severe lack of fabulous shoes. The occasion called for fabulous – what’s a strictly flats wearing girl to do?! The week before the big event I was invited to a preview of the latest collection at French Sole. I mentioned my dilemma and the ladies in the shop rose to the challenge and gifted me with these gorgeous flats:

emmy french sole nycjenny

French Sole Belle 2 Sport Glitter flats with an Emmy on the side.

Spoiler alert – my husband’s show won that Emmy. Then we went out dancing until roughly 3am.  My shoes stayed on the whole time and I was so comfortable. Take that, torn meniscus! One of the ladies in our party ended up barefoot in Times Square because her “fabulous” heels gave her such pain. Barefoot in Times Square? No thanks.

Since that Emmy winning night on the town, I’ve gone on to wear these French Sole glitter flats to many a date night, girls night out, my 40th (!) birthday party and get this, to my husband’s SECOND EMMY WIN. It’s official these are my lucky shoes. They’re actually the only pair of shoes in my closet that are kept in their original shoe box swaddled in tissue when not worn. I treasure them and the memories I’m collecting in them.

I’ve gone on to collect two more pairs of French Soles. I think they’re becoming a small addiction of mine. They’re comfortable, super cute and go with everything from jeans to formal wear. So comfortable I recommend them to anyone who will listen, and I know I’m not the only one! I’ve overheard women in the store discussing how they buy several new pairs every time they’re in town!

Two weeks ago I was back in the shop for a sneak preview of the upcoming Fall collection and I found lots to love – including some heels for those of you who can’t live without! There were new evening looks and several daytime options that had me drooling. Here’s a little selection of what caught my eye:

French Sole Fall 2016 NYCJENNY

Clockwise from left: Terrazzo, Sara and Sweet

French Sole Fall 2016 Collection NYCJenny

Clockwise from left: Jigsaw (velvet!), Tangent, Talent and Tumble

French Sole shoes are easy to find online and if you’re here in NYC you should absolutely stop by their shops on Lexington Avenue. The outlet especially should not be missed if you’re a lover of a good bargain (and who isn’t?).

Ballet flats have been all the rage for quite a while now, and I’m hoping they stay that way. I adore them. I’m not out to convert everyone to all flats all the time, but I’m happy the option exists. Flats don’t have to be just for daytime looks – me and my lucky French Soles will stay out dancing all night, thank you very much!

A Very Merry Star Wars Christmas With Hallmark!

When last we spoke of Christmas decorations, I was deep into pulling out the twinkling lights, evergreen swags, and Santa Clauses. I love, love, LOVE traditional Christmas decorations! I also love watching my child’s excitement at decorating. He was so thrilled to see the lights go up in our window! Direct quote? “I missed those pretty lights!” While searching for a few new things to add to our Christmas decoration collection we came across the Star Wars itty bittys. How cute are these guys all dressed up for Christmas?!hallmark star wars itty bittys

Jack’s enthusiasm for them won me over. Never in a million year would I have guessed I’d decorate with Star Wars characters, but there you go. My kid is in heaven! AND not only are they super adorable, but right now for each Star Wars holiday itty bittys you purchase, Hallmark will donate $1 to Toys for Tots. So get on over to your local Hallmark before these cute little guys disappear – help spread cheer this holiday for all your Star Wars fans big and small!

I allowed Jack to pick one to bring home for our tree, and immediately snuck back for more the next day. Hid one in our advent calendar. Tucked one into the evergreens for a surprise. I TRIED to save one for his stocking, but then found R2-D2 in the sweetest place…

Do you have a little Star Wars fan in your life? RUN to Hallmark – these little guys are age appropriate, cuddly and did I mention super cute? Where would you hide one of these itty bittys for your little Star Wars fan?

Small Space Decorating For the Holidays With Hallmark

In case you haven’t heard, New York City apartments are small. Very small. It normally doesn’t bother me in the slightest – it’s cozy, keeps us close and there is less to clean! At least once a year though I really wish I had a bit more space – during the holidays. I wish we could put up a huge tree. I wish I had a fireplace with an antique mantel to decorate – oh the things I could do! But necessity is the mother of invention and I’ve come up with many ways to squeeze holiday cheer into a small space. Like window sills – if you’re lucky you have a very deep one and can decorate it up! This year I’m working with Hallmark and some of their new super cute Christmas decorations to brighten up our little home.

Hallmark Christmas Decorations NYCJenny

I love going to Hallmark at Christmas time. I look forward to exploring their new holiday items each year and taking the time to pick out my annual ornament. I’ve been collecting Hallmark Keepsake ornaments since 1996 when I had a summer job in a Hallmark store in North Carolina. So let’s just say I jumped at the opportunity to work with them on this story! Can you spy the lantern in the photo above?  That’s their Flickering Lantern Decoration new this year. It was the first thing I saw when I walked into my local store and I LOVE it.

Hallmark flickering lantern

Here’s a video I made with all the details of how I put that look together and secured it to the window sill (we have a cat and a 4 year old – need to keep it secure!). Plus a little surprise I tucked into it for our little boy. What’s Christmas without a few surprises after all!

Kick Flipper Review

Disclosure: We were given a Kick Flipper in order to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own – as always!

My 4-year-old is an equal opportunity sports nut. If there’s a sport out there – he wants to try it, and we encourage it. When he started asking for a skateboard though…yeah no. Not yet, Buddy. Mama can’t stomach that one yet. Then this summer while at Blogger Bash the folks at PlaSmart Toys introduced me to the Kick Flipper and I was instantly intrigued. When they offered to send Jack one to try out? I KNEW he would flip for it (pun completely and totally intended).

Kick Flipper NYCjenny

It’s basically a skateboard with no wheels. You can use it on the grass, sand, or even carpet. Beginners can learn skateboarding tricks safely! It’s recommended for ages 5+, but as you can see in this little video, my 4 year old had no problem hopping right on and learning some tricks.

So sorry I cut off his cute little, “Did you see that?” at the end. He was so proud of himself.

It’s really lightweight, so it’s easy for him to carry to the park. I also really love letting him use it at home. We have a super long hallway in our apartment building that is fully carpeted, and we had fun taking running jumps onto the Kick Flipper to slide down the hall. I wish I had a bigger living room to play in with this thing! I think it’ll be a great toy to help burn off some energy inside on crazy cold winter days.

The Kick Flipper website has lots of images and tips of tricks to learn on your Kick Flipper. It’s available on Amazon as I write this for $19.99. A great toy that keeps my kid moving, gives him the ability to pretend he’s one of the big guys out skateboarding, and doesn’t break the bank. Plus it’s small, lightweight and easy to store. Always a bonus for us in our tiny city apartment!

Major thumbs up on this one – put it on the Christmas list for the sports crazy kids in your life!