Greening Lower Manhattan! Family Fun Day!

Looking for something to do that the whole family can enjoy?  The Downtown Alliance is hosting its annual Community Planting Day!  It will be held on  May 3rd from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Wall Street Park, which is between Front and South Streets. 

 

Going Green Downtown.  Illustration courtesy of http://www.downtownny.com/GoingGreen

Going Green Downtown. Illustration courtesy of http://www.downtownny.com/GoingGreen

The best part?  All you have to do is show up, bring family, the kids and friends!  They will supply the plants and gardening tools.  Even a complimentary lunch will be served (get there fast because quantities are limited!).  A fun, free way to spend a Sunday together – and it helps us go Green!

Go to Going Green Downtown to find more information about Green Buildings, Green Businesses, and even a Green Toolkit.

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Some New Addictions…(fashion addictions, that is)

So, I have to come clean, I’ve put some new favorite links over there to the right, all fashion related – and none of them kid-related.  So, I have to explain why they are there:

1) 17 blocks from barneys:  is a blog that is created by a co-worker of mine.  I knew she was fabulous, but didn’t know HOW fabulous.  She works on the copy of our website (see below) and is just amazing and obviously has  a wonderful eye and an amazing POV on fashion. Gotta love KK.

2) Liz Claiborne: Aforementioned co-worker and I work at Liz Claiborne, and let me tell you, this isn’t the Liz Claiborne that your mother was wearing 15 years ago.  First of all, Isaac Mizrahi is the new creative director and he has taken Liz Claiborne and brought the brand to where it should be:  in all of the fashion magazines and in all of our closets.  I have been wearing more Liz Claiborne these past 2 months than ever before, and I’ve gotten more compliments than ever!  The dresses are selling out, and the leather handbags are to die for!  Seriously.  And its not just because I work for them.

3) The Outnet:  My latest website addiction that I check out every day, whenever I can.  Amazing brands like See by Chloe, Marc Jacobs, DVF all around 60% – 80% off.  The stuff still comes out expensive (the prices of the items with the discount is the same price as O’s and S’s art classes) but, it’s still great to browse. You never know when you are going to get that deal!

Date Night: Restaurant MARC FORGIONE fka FORGE

Our last true date night (just by ourselves) was spent at a fabulous neighborhood restaurant called Forge and it was truly amazing.  Laid back yet absolutely delicious, the $68 Seasonal Tasting Menu was SO tasty – every course was a complete surprise in terms of the combination of flavors.  

The atmosphere, like I said, was laid back, yet elegant.  Our server was so friendly, yet not overbearing.  We are definitely coming back, and probably having The Hubby’s birthday here.  Plus, they are a supporter of The Taste of Tribeca, which is the benefit that ends all benefits, that supports PS 234 and PS 150 here in Tribeca.  Which makes Forge even better in my book!

p.s. Starting in May, they’ll have a family-friendly brunch menu, which will make this date night restaurant to a family-friendly restaurant on the weekends!

Things that Make My Life Easier Awards

I would just like to thank those below who have clearly made my life easier:

1. Century 21:  I live down the block from Century 21 and for quick gifts, the best deals on housewares and kids shoes, you can’t beat it. Anytime O has a birthday party, I know that Century will have something that her friends would like: From Disney, Hannah Montana, High School Musical to Melissa and Doug – they’ve got it all at great prices. If for some reason, I have a spare moment, I always do a drive-by of the shoe department, especially the downstairs European section where you can get great finds from Chloe, Marc Jacobs to LAMB.

Century 21

Century 21

2. Max Delivery For those late nights when you just realize, “I just ran out of O’s frozen pancakes” or “S has a fever and we have no Infant’s Motrin” or if you’re the only parent home and can’t get outside – Max Delivery always…delivers. Anything you order gets to your door in under an hour.

3. Diapers.com Costco’s wipes and a jumbo pack of diapers delivered to your door within 3 days. Enough said.

4. Whole Foods TriBeCa’s Delivery Service I know that the food is fresh, organic and well-edited. I don’t have to think when I walk into a Whole Foods. I can go and pick out a huge cart-full of product, take what I need for today’s lunch home with me, and the rest will get delivered to me within 4 hours.

 

Whole Foods Tribeca

Whole Foods Tribeca

 

 

5. HRPMamas.com If there is a mom out there who ISN’T a member of HRP Mamas, sign up now! HRP Mamas is a Yahoo group of over 1000 downtown moms who use the listserve for tips, questions, and as a sounding board. Topics span everything from CIO, the best family vacations to what one does for one’s nanny’s birthday. They even have playgroups set up for every age group. I’ve found some wonderful mamas out there through HRP Mamas. I don’t know what I would do without it!

 

HRP Mamas

HRP Mamas

 

6. Barnes and Noble / Bed, Bath & Beyond / Whole Foods The fact that all three are within one block just takes one-stop-shopping to the next level!

I am sure there are more, but those are the top things that make living downtown easy!

Summer Camp II – The City or The Country??

In hemming and hawing and figuring out which camp to do, I had just found out that Downtown Day Camp now has a waiting list! We have narrowed it down to two camps: New Country Day and Downtown Day Camp, keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll still let campers in. Only in New York City would a camp have a waiting list!

The reason that we’ve narrowed it down to those two, and decided to let Little Red go off the list is because of the time and money cost factors.  The Hubby and I both work full-time, and for some reason, camps here in new york city think that we are all Europeans and take the month of august off so we can spend it at our beach house.  Well, I’m neither European nor have a beach house.  Most camps end in July which leaves the working parents left high and dry.  Plus, we’d like to stay downtown-ish and it needs to be reasonably priced.  The other factors that need to come into play are:  my daughter needs to have friends at the camp, for me, there needs to be air conditioned facilities (the summers in nyc are brutal!!), and there needs to be swimming facilities (she MUST learn how to swim!)

Little Red goes from the end of june through the end of july and runs about $2940.  It still leaves me with the month of august with nothing for my 5 3/4 year old.  The indoor facilities are air conditioned and they have access to a ton of playgrounds and go swimming at the 14th street y’s heated pool.  They get there via an air conditioned bus.

New Country Day is actually in “the country”.  ok, its in staten island, but there are trees, and a lake and most of the activities take place outdoors on the grass. New Country Day has a “full summer” session which goes from the end of june through august 21st which is perfect for us.  For the full summer?  It’s $3700 for a non Y member.  The only bad thing is its good thing:  it’s in “the country”.  

All activities take place outside.  _13_thumb2  _18_thumb1 What if its brutally hot?  What will O do?  What about water?  She’s not much of a swimmer, but they do go swimming twice a day, which will hopefully get her swimming, but NO air conditioning at all?  the hubby feels that this will be good for her:  to get her out in nature and doing things that she wouldn’t normally do, like make a teepee out of twigs and make s’mores over a fireplace.  I’m torn.  

Downtown Day Camp is in the city.  And its near our apartment.  It, too, has a full summer session for $3745.  Again, very competitive with the others.  The good thing about it is its downfall:  it is too familiar (we think) for O.  Is familiarity a good thing or a bad thing for an almost-6 year old? Or should we get her out experiencing new environments?  It does have air conditioning, they have access to a pool, and its near our apartment.  And another thing it has: a waiting list.  

only in new york, folks.

….to be continued!

Summer Camp?!?

It’s March, and for those who don’t have children, now is usually the time to get those summer houses in the Hamptons or Jersey Shore all buttoned up and paid for: making sure you get the right people in the house, and figuring out what weekends you are signed up for.

For those of us with kids, it’s not about Amagansett, East Hampton or Spring Lake.  Its whether or not we should be doing Downtown Day Camp, New Country Day Camp or Little Red.  I have got to get going on this, figuring out the pros and cons, cost analysis, and the bigger question:  WHO of her friends will be going to which camp – which in the mind of a 5 3/4 year old – is the biggest factor.   It’s a big commitment, and one that I just can’t do in the next 10 minutes.  Bigger project, which means I’ll probably have to save it for Sunday night at 8:15 p.m….when the girls are in bed.   More to come on what I’m thinking!

Quality vs. Quantity

My first entry, so there’s a ton of pressure for it to be a good one. but the thing that is looming over my mind right now, is that this will be the THIRD straight weekend that my husband and I haven’t spent together. Two weekends ago I had to fly out to california for my grandmother’s funeral and help my mom with organizing my grandmother’s items. Last weekend, my husband visited his family for his dad’s 70th birthday. and this weekend, well, I have a business trip. I told my oldest daughter, O, that i was going to go away for “two sleeps” and she replied emphatically, “Again?!?”.

No matter how many business trips I go on, it never will get easy. the pangs of guilt will always be there. other working mommys and I always commiserate and tell ourselves that its quality not quantity that counts. I know, I know, but when you come home at 6:15 and your little one goes to sleep at 7, and the older one goes to bed at 8, there leaves little wiggle room for the quantity portion. So the quality rules here. I try to come home, get myself out of work clothes, and dive right in with kisses and hugs, questions about the day, asking how ballet/art/music/tumbling class was, what they had for dinner, and some stories before getting down to the night-night routine. It’s tough, and I question if its enough every night. Sometimes the grass is always greener on the SAHM side, but at this point in time, that’s not an option. I actually like working, and it keeps me balanced. so, the bottom line is – quality will just have to work…and there’s always next weekend!