Getting Stronger – Why I am Still Running

4th October 2015


Ok, so maybe you didn’t grow up in PA and a Rocky junkie like me, but that song and these steps have always been a motivating movie moment in my life. Living in Pittsburgh, I’ve had the chance to run these steps a few times, but today, it was more important to me. I realized that I have the opportunity and the strength to still run up these with momentum. Even after running six miles along the boathouse trail. It may not seem like much in marathon miles, but the fact that six miles comes easy, and I was able to get up and do it at 8am on Sunday morning while on a work trip, well that’s dedication. Did I mention that I am a mom? Bonus points.

I realize that it’s not the distance and it’s not the pace, it’s the guts, the glory and the drive to push yourself to do it. So many times we get up and we go about our days and we make excuses, I’m guilty myself. Wether it’s not to go running, or not to care what we eat, or just just say F it where’s the ice cream (been there too!), it’s the determination and the high after you know you can do it. 

I admit that I actually hate running. I do, I am just not a runner, but I have been putting goals and fun into to make it worthwhile. How? Well, here’s a little sneak peek: 

The Adventure


Running is always more fun when you run to new places. I learned I was bored running around my neighborhood, so I jumped on the train and I ran Central Park. Then I ran and went hiking upstate New York.

FullSizeRenderThen I ran the Rocky Steps and the boathouse trail on a work trip in Philly. I take my iPod, my phone for snapping some photos and some cash and ID just incase I see something worth checking out along the way. When you make it an adventure, not a chore, it changes the whole dynamic. So, jump on the train, jump in the car and just run a new park, or always throw in some running shoes when you travel. You never know what you’ll find. 

The Cause


There is no better way to encourage yourself to get out and do it than when you’re running for someone else or a cause. Last weekend I did a 5K for St. Jude and #ShowYourGold. Listen, if children with cancer can get up and face their lives everyday and still smile, you can get up from your Saturday night hangover and walk/run over the Brooklyn Bridge. 

 The Friendship

{{Insert photo from marathon coming soon! Check back to see if I make it!}}

Like I said, I hate running. But living in NYC has really disconnected me from some of my best friends in the world. Yes, we still keep in touch, but being a mom and a few hours away means we aren’t able to catch up over drinks every weekend like we used to. After spending a lot of time in “da burgh” this summer, I realized I don’t want to let these friendships go, and want to make the effort to see them when I can. And so, that means stepping up my game to join them in Baltimore in 14 days to run a 1/2 marathon side by side. 

I can’t tell you what it will take you to find your drive, but it’s there if you listen. Realizing that you as a person is hard and we usually push that voice down and hide it. But when you can find it and you figure out what’s important to you (and YOU should be important)…you’ll see how much easier things can be. #letitgo

So, 14 days and counting…let’s see if I make it to the finish line!

How to Shop for a Tailgate Like a Pro

29th September 2015


It’s football season if you haven’t noticed. Players on my fantasy team have been dropping left and right, Big Ben is injured for a few weeks, and that crisp fall air makes you want to cancel your FlyWheel spinning class and just eat carbs on the couch. 

The trick to this is like any true mom sport – finding balance and time for both. I like to think of my shopping outing as exercise and a true football experience in itself. Living in New York City, dodging shopping carts and shoppers in the Walmart aisles requires some bob an weave tactics just like Jerome The Bus Bettis. Personally, I love Walmart because it’s a one-stop, affordable store where you can pick up all your tailgating needs (and the last thing I want to do is have to drive around to multiple stores and keep buckling and unbuckling a toddler), but just like any good coach, you need to go in with a game plan.

3 Tips for Tailgating Shopping like a Pro

1. Have a strategy.

Shopping is fun, we get it – but sometimes you need to have a game plan that gets you in and out. We’re moms. We have a million things to do and grocery shopping can’t take the leisurely pace of our grandmothers. Have a route to take: shop the fresh foods first to fill up the cart, then grab the dry good/processed essentials, avoid the home decor and kitchen supply aisle at all costs. Ok, it’s football season, you don’t have to deprive yourself THAT much. Check out what cute football themed items you don’t already have – especially if they’re black and gold.

2. Meal Planning.

It’s an age-old rule to never shop on an empty stomach, and to try and prep your meals in advance. This way you have an idea of what you need, and don’t end up spending money on food that will be wasted, or impulse buying. Luckily for us tailgaters, King’s Hawaiian comes in all shapes and sizes at Walmart: sweet, butter, mini, small, hamburger, hot dog and even hoagie size rolls. Always plan your tailgate parties to have finger foods – even with adults, it’s better to pick and eat smaller sizes than let large sandwiches go to waste if they can’t eat it all, or (gasp!) if they don’t like it. 

The Great Tailgate Must-Have List

Kings Hawaiian buns (variety, people!)
– Buffalo sauce (it’s a Pittsburgh tradition! Frank’s Red Hot and butter over, well, anything!)
– Mini meats, sliders of your choice (chicken, beef, pulled pork, or veggie patties all work great!)
– Finger foods, live a little (it’s okay if you’re always eating healthy, football always counts as a cheat day go go ahead and pick up a bag of Doritos).
– Finger foods, healthy (okay, so people might judge you, but I happen to LOVE carrots and celery with my hot sauce!)
– Beverages (you just can’t serve water at a tailgate, sorry. Again, football days are meant for cheating so grab some sodas, beers, and juice for the kids). 

3. Have a backup plan (your Hail Mary).

So you get to Walmart and GAH! there are no more mini King’s Hawaiian sweet sliders! Oh the humanity!  This is where defense has to kick in and win the game. Great tailgaters and moms are good at swallowing their fears and wiping the anxiety off their foreheads in a single swipe. Learning to improvise in the game is a talent – learn to polish yours here. Don’t freak out, instead grab the long hoagie buns and cut them into threes. They work just as well for bite-size treats. 

Stay tuned to see what recipes and food ideas I layout and an upcoming Steelers game in October for more detailed ideas on tailgating at home (or the game!)

This blog post was sponsored by KING’S HAWAIIAN but the opinions are my own. 

Join Me: Give Steelers Moms a Private Breastfeeding Pumping Area at Heinz Field

20th September 2015

UPDATE: We’re almost to 2,000 signatures!

#412 reppin hard in the #212 today  #yinzers loose in #nyc #growingupmaximo

If you haven’t heard my story yet, here’s a quick run down. Even though I was now a mom, and Max was 3 months old, I wasn’t going to change my routine of traveling to Pittsburgh every season to catch a Steelers game. Plus, we already had tickets! I made plans with my family to watch Max while I went down, but I also brought my trusty Medela breast pump. When you’re breastfeeding, you either have to pump or feed every 2-3 hours. Yes, that even means during the night AND if you’re at a football game.

You should also know if you’re a fan, that football games are 3 hours long. That means, I was going to have to pump somewhere – a bar, out in the parking lots tailgating or the restroom in the stadium. Either way, none of it was fun when you have drunk Yinzers running around everywhere. 

So, I started a petition to get the Steelers to make us a private area. I’m not asking for the world here – but let’s see the facts:

– The Steelers have the LARGEST female fan base out of any other team – so I’m going to go on a limb here and say that’s a lot of moms.

– We’re raising the future football players and fans of the world. Without out, the team and the game just wouldn’t exist. 

– Is it really too much to ask for a private area? I’m not asking for world peace here (although let’s never rule that out), I’m asking for a private clean area to pull out my boobs and stick into a contraption where others don’t have to watch. 

– Many other stadiums have already gone ahead and provided family rooms – including the Nationals complete with recliners and televisions so you don’t miss the game.

– The Allegheny Health Department is pushing for more moms to breastfeed, and for employers to accommodate them. So it only makes sense that other Pittsburgh companies jump on board to encourage our moms and fan base.

Even the Pittsburgh Post Gazette picked up the story.

And before you go off on me – yes I have to pump. And yes, I deserve to go to the game just as much as you do, I’m not being a bad mom dragging a 3-month old to a game, but I will remain a fan. And just because I am now a mom doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to still come out and support my team. I’ve seen some backlash and it’s pretty comical actually – telling me to stay home and be a mom. How about all the guys saying that instead stay home and watch the game and be a dad so I can have a day off and enjoy the game as well? I’m not a feminist, trust me, just a Yinzer who loves the game as much as you do. 

So, sign the petition, spread the word and let’s see something positive and great in football this season instead of the usual negativity that surrounds the sport. 

Sign the Petition here!

crisp apple season

Crisp Apple Season – Where to Pick, What to Bake

20th September 2015

It’s that time of year again – the air gets chilly, you pull out leggings, Uggs, decorate your house with leaves and eat/drink everything pumpkin. Or apple. It’s prime time crisp apple season, y’all! Growing up on the farm, picking fruit off trees and bushes was a daily task. If you saw blackberries growing along the side of the road as you were walking, you best be sure you were stopping to eat them, and take some home for gram! So, now we’ve made it tradition to go apple picking up north of NYC every season with the kids to let them get a taste of how mom grew up. 

crisp apple season

Not only are you getting the BEST flavors of the season by picking apples right when they’re in their prime, it’s a fun experience for the kids (just make sure you don’t drop any apples on their heads!).

Tips for picking apples:

crisp apple season

– NEVER collect the apples on the ground. They’ve already fallen so they can be damaged, rotten, or have bugs that caused them to fall.

– Just like they say, go for the highest fruit. You want the ones that are the most colorful and firm.

– Twist don’t pull the apples off the trees if possible.

Favorite Apple Picking Locations outside NYC:

crisp apple season

Most apple picking costs around $25/bag (pretty big bag – seriously, get your bake on). If you go during the weekend, expect larger crowds and maybe even parking fees. Here are our favorite four farms upstate (all within an hour drive outside of NYC), and we know the farmer’s personally, so try and go up on a week day to say hi – they’re really friendly and might even show you around!

1. Fishkill Farms – 9 Fishkill Farm Road, Hopewell JCT, NY 12533

2. Outhouse Orchards – 139 Hardscrable Rd, Croton Falls, NY 10519

3. Stuart’s Fruit Farm – 62 Granite Springs Road, Granite Springs NY, 10527

4. Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard – 130 Hardscrabble Rd., North Salem NY, 10560

Favorite Apple Recipes:

crisp apple season

My gram taught me that baking is your best friend. I’ve been teaching my neighbor and it really is an art – from making the dough, to rolling the dough, to somehow getting that dough in the pie pan before it breaks – art.  Here are my three favorite apple recipes from gram you can find on my site:

1. Cider Caramel Apple Pie

2. Homemade Applesauce

3. Mini Apple/Brie Pies with honey and almonds (I originally created this myself with peaches, but it works well with apples too!)

13 Miles in 31 Days

17th September 2015


As you get older, ideas and things change. I know, shocker. But Jay-Z said it best in his 30-something song – the way you look at life just evolves. Such as, in my twenties I was bartending and out till 4am every night, and now I am a mom who wants to run a marathon. At 34, I’m pretty much in the best shape I’ve been in since I was dancer in high school. Which is strange, because you don’t really seem to worry about your health as much until your thirties or you become a mom. Or at least I didn’t – but now I actually want to stick around for a while. Running everyday might not help, but at least I know I’m being proactive for myself and that keeps my mind strong as well. So Yes, I’ll be running 13 miles in 31 days.

Here’s the way I see it – I already walk an average of 10 miles everyday just getting around the city – SERIOUSLY. Get a FitBit and see how much YOU walk everyday – Max and I love to people watch so we enjoy walking more than anything, and when you live in a tiny apartment in the city, it’s great to just be outside. So – if I can already WALK 10 miles, what is 3 more? Oh, and let’s throw a little running in there on the side. I already know I’ll finish, but my goal now is – how fast.

 Marathon Training 101: GET FITTED

Thankfully I have friends who are pros at this or I would just show up in my old Nikes from high school. Don’t do that. And don’t just drop in Nike to buy a pair. Find a real running store (I went to Jackrabbit Sports in NYC – the BEST!) and get assessed. They’re going to have you try on a ton of shoes and watch how you run on the treadmill to figure out just what kind of runner you are –

 Do you roll your ankles? Do you have past injuries? Do you need more or less support for less pain?

 Who knew so much work went into all this? Well, all I know is I don’t want my toenails to fall off – I enjoy my bi-weekly pedicures. So fitting it was.

There are tons of brands – so go with the one you feel comfortable with – and make sure there’s a little space at that top for your toe – NOT TOO TIGHT. And make sure they don’t slip off your heel when you run.

Here are the favorites:

 Janna and Regina: Mizuno

Me: going with ASICS GT 2000 3. I’ll let you know how they work out.

#Back2Stews – The Original Farm to Table

12th September 2015


Growing up on a dairy farm myself, I can appreciate the hard work and perseverance that Stew Leonard’s has shown over the years. When Stew Sr. moved to CT and started delivering milk on his own in 1921 with his farm Clover Farms Dairy, he didn’t realize it would turn into one of the world’s favorite farm-to-take grocery stores. And for good reason – cause even today, it’s a little like hand-holding for moms, especially when it comes to back-to-school.

FullSizeRenderGet ready – Back-to-School just took over my life (and Max is only 3!). So a lot of upcoming posts are going to all about this life-changing event – starting with grocery shopping for lunches.

The biggest thing stressing me out about back-to-school for Maximo’s first year is lunch. Ugh, I know – how first world problem of me! But eating (and healthy!) and making it every single day is a new routine I’ve been dreading. I am no where near those creative lunch types, even though we all wish we could be. So, I’ve been doing some crowd sourcing with other moms, and checking in with some of my favorite local stores on tips and ideas. One of my absolute favorites? Stew Leonards. 

I never knew about Stew’s until I was visiting a friend in Riverdale (aka the Bronx for those non-New Yorkers) and she introduced me to this amazing venue that’s just a few minutes outside the city. I felt like I was back at home near the farm – there were so many fun barnyard references and items, I now shop here anytime I am in the area.

Since I’m a stickler (aka try as much as possible) for natural, organic food Stew’s is the original farm-to-table, so I knew they would be a perfect place to start for planning easy, affordable and healthy back to school lunches.

4 Healthy Go-Tos for Back-to-School Lunches

You don’t have to go out of control when it comes to making food and lunches – start with the basics.

1. Stew’s Naked line contains no antibiotics, added hormones or preservatives, and are raised and harvested humanely according to the rigorous quality and safety standards promised by their farmers. Stew Leonard’s has a great relationship with their ranchers, who run family businesses and raise some of the finest beef you‘ll find anywhere. Stew and his butchers personally visit the ranchers regularly to ensure there is a continued offer of only the finest, high-quality beef in the Stew Leonard stores. 

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2. Pre-made recipes and food items really cut down on time in the morning. Stew’s is also known for their delicious homemade items – including our favorites, Lobster salad, pre-packged deli meats and cheeses together (including the New York favorite Pastrami!), and homemade soups like Clam Chowder and Italian Wedding. They also have smaller, frozen pizzas that are great for throwing in toaster oven and having pizza on Fridays! 

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I also love to get in on the action! Being an active part and having fun is what life is all about – learn to kiss a few fish :)

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3. In-season fruits and veggies. With one week of school under my belt – I’ve learned some important insider information – kids are more likely to EAT things you wouldn’t think they would in school. Apparently being around other kids and working up an appetite is good for the palate. I’ve been using some simple veggie cutters ($5 on Amazon here) that create cute shapes into simple veggies like cucumbers and zuchinni and he EATS them. Who knew? In-season produce is more abundant, and that means CHEAPER, so pick some up and test drive them in the lunch. If anything, you can always can them and have throughout the winter, too!

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4. Eat the cookie. Stop trying to be perfect all the time – take time to enjoy life, and when someone offers you warm, fresh baked cookies – eat them. It’s okay if you throw some cookies in your child’s lunch here and there, or don’t have time to make everything from scratch. We all live busy lives, and the most important part of motherhood is learning to figure out your priorities. Great locally-owned stores like Stew’s are here to make your life easier – so take advantage. You’ll thank me later!

About Stew Leonards

Stew’s in currently located in Norwalk, Newington, and Danbury, CT and Yonkers, NY (only 20 minute drive outside the city!), and is also coming to Long Island in 2016! One of the original farm to table grocery stores, we still love how Stew’s sticks to their original concept of superior customer service, top quality, non-GMO and non-antibiotic food options and more. Visit their website for more details. 

Thank you to Stew Leonard’s for inviting us up to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the facilities with Stew himself. 

Join Me at The Mom Con 2015

31st August 2015

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Looks like I’ll be a returning speaker this year at The Mom Con! Why am I so excited? If you missed it last year, you can get a quick read on how I started to build a #virtualvillage of support for moms – a way for us to empower each other. This year, I’ll be teaching a workshop on social media.

I’ve been in the social media realm for a long time – way before your Twitter handle was cool – and I’ve seen that it can make or break someone in mere moments. You can go from nobody to somebody and back in less than 24 hours. You can make friends with mere strangers without ever really meeting them, have virtual dates, follow a new movement to change the world, or just share those cute little photos of your kid or fur kid.

So, what’s the big hype with social media, anyways?

Let me tell you why you should care and why you matter.

1. You might land a job. Seriously.

Remember that story about a friend of a friend of a sister’s cousin who tweeted and then was hired by Disney to ride rides all day long? It really happens.

True Story - I got noticed by brands just by tweeting – I was mad there weren’t any men’s changing tables in NYC and took it to Twitter. Now I am the NY Editor of that national parenting magazine,Mommy Nearest. The brands are watching and listening.

2. Virtual is the new reality


It’s funny to think that virtual connections can lead to something so meaningful in life, but in a world of technology, not enough hours, and Pinterest parties to plan – what mom really has time to stop off at happy hour after work anymore? She can however chat and check in with her Facebook group while she’s waiting for her train on her commute home. Remember all those TV shows from the 50’s when moms would call up other moms on the phone? Well, we’re that new generation of moms chatting each other up with Facebook notifications.

True Story - I started a Facebook group just for moms (ask me if you want to join!) that has just grown and grown in size in just it’s first year. And it’s awesome – there is actually some pretty intimate stuff in there, and we’re raw, honest, and real.

3. You’ll find connections you didn’t know exist

I was lost in NYC as a mom. I only had a few friends who were single and definitely weren’t planning to have kids anytime soon when I became pregnant. I still love them and chat with them, but I needed others like me who were close and could understand what I was going through.

True Story - I met some of my best mom friends in the middle of the night when I was tweeting and looking for ways to stop Max from crying. And yes, I have gone on “mom dates” with other moms I met through Instagram. We’re still really good friends and meet up from time to time!

4. It’s a place to vent where you might actually get validation

Ever tried a product and it was totally awesome? Maybe it wasn’t so awesome. Well, now you have the entire world in your fingertips. Where our parents never had that opportunity, you have everyone right in front of you. Literally. And they’re listening. Trust me. At this point, almost ANY brand I tweet or Instagram/Facebook responds to me – and fast. They are really trying to make their consumers happy, and if you’re not – you might just get it actually fixed this time. Or they might send you a little something special for being a fan.

True Story - One time a certain hummus brand was giving out samples near a subway stop and all the sample cups of uneaten hummus were ending up on the steps trashing up the area. A friend of mine tweeted about it and said they were bigger fans of Wholly Guacamole. Well Wholly Guacamole saw that tweet and not only sent them a treat, but enough treats for my friends office and a thank you just for being such a great fan. (Don’t you all go and tweet away at Wholly now trying to get free sh** – remember, social is meant to be REAL and in the moment!)

5. Okay, maybe you might even change the world – or at least change someone’s life

True Story - A friend of mine in Pittsburgh recently parted ways with his fiance days before the wedding. Instead of sulking and just eating the $10,000 he already invested in the wedding venue, he decided to make it a public event for charity. Read the story here. He sold tickets and gave 100% of the proceeds to a local nonprofit – Surgicorps International, who provide surgeries and medical care for needy children mostly in developing countries. The story went wild, viral and global. He was in the News from France to Korea to Pittsburgh. That’s right – one man right from the little awesome city of Pittsburgh. Changing the world thanks to social media.

The Mom Con – Empowering Moms Like You


So what is The Mom Con? It’s a conference for moms just like you and me to come together and be a community. We are stronger in numbers, and we feel safer, too. Remember when they said it takes a village? They didn’t just make that up.

So if you like how “real” I talk – maybe you’ll wanna come hear me speak in person at The Mom Con. I hope I can inspire you to be something amazing, too. Even if that means just being the mom you’ve always wanted to be.

Sometimes while being real is hard; finding a community that you can be authentic in, is even harder. Read more on how The Mom Con is building community, here. 

This is why we are bringing you The Mom Con. 

Join Me at The Mon Con – For Free!


Enter here to win a ticket to join me at the conference in Pittsburgh, November 7th. I might even take a selfie with you if you ask :)

Leave a comment below saying why you’d love to join me! xoxo

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Add a 2nd Layer of Protection this Football Season with 2nd Skull

29th August 2015


Next to the holidays, it’s the second craziest time of year: back-to-school and fall. That means football is in the air – on television, in tailgating and in our kids sports. If you don’t happen to follow my blog (you’re missing out!), it’s pretty obvious by the title that football plays a huge part in our lives. And having a son, I know it’s only a matter of time before he too will take the field. 

I’ve been doing my research.

I’ve gone to NFL football training camps to see just how safe and dangerous these sports can be. I’ve looked into the stats on concussions and dehydration.

I’ve looked at the way football players can be role models. 

And I’ve come up with the conclusion that yes, my son will still play football (if he wants to). 

So, with that, now I’m looking into the best possible ways to keep him safe. From knowing my coach is USAfootball certified, to checking his helmets and shoulder pads, to adding some extra 2nd Skull protection, I feel pretty confident that my son will be able to enjoy the sport safely. Look I get it, I cannot prevent a concussion, but I can’t prevent a car accident either. That doesn’t mean I don’t drive anywhere – I just make sure the vehicle and car seat are the best possible options. 

2nd Skull Protection


No product can prevent a concussion, but 2nd Skull products do add additional impact protection. 2nd Skull helps protect an athlete by providing a thin layer of material designed to absorb repeated, sustained impact at a high strain rate. This additional protection is crucial for defense against traumatic brain injury,* an affliction found to be more and more prevalent among American athletes.

Youth football participation continues to decline. “According to an Associated Press-GfK poll, nearly half of parents said they’re not comfortable letting their child play football,” says Federico Olivares, CEO of 2nd Skull, LLC. “We are transparent about our claims and know that no helmet or headgear can eliminate or reduce head injuries including concussions. Based on research from the Cleveland Clinic, we know that even non-concussive head injuries can also lead to long term health issues. This is where 2ND SKULL® wants to play. We need to do everything that we can as parents and coaches to protect athletes”.

Bottom line: These caps are proven to add up to 35% more impact protection to a standard sports helmet.

Best Sports for use:

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You can use 2nd Skull with any sport – in fact, Max has been wearing it under his bike and scooter helmet. He also just rocks it during soccer practice, because, they even look cool on a three-year-old on its own without a helmet. 

They also make headbands (even in pink!) that are good for wearing during volleyball, or even snowboarding/skiing like we love to do in the winter. 

Key Features

  • Absorbs more than 90% of energy when impacted at high strain rates
  • Breathable, contouring and lightweight for a comfortable wear
  • Microban® antimicrobial protection to defend against odors and stains – and they’re washable!

Where To Find Them 

You can currently purchase 2nd Skull at select Dicks Sporting Goods stores, Sports Authority and for $49.99.

Try One For Yourself

 See the technology for yourself – enter here to win one skull cap AND one headband to sleep better at night knowing your child (and you!) have a 2nd layer of protection. 

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This is a sponsored post. Thank you for supporting Football Food and Motherhood.

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Back-to-School with 25% off Carter’s

27th August 2015

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Carter’s. I received a complimentary gift card to facilitate my review and thank me for my participation.

IMG_0327Get this look, here.

Maximo still doesn’t start school for the first time for two more weeks and I’m already over it. No wonder moms start prepping middle of summer because it’s a LOT of work – or is it really? Do we overdo back-to-school just like we do birthday parties? I remember running into Hills department store with my grandma for new dresses, and Anne Frank trapper keeper and popcorn. What happened to the good old days? 

But still, back-to-school shopping can be fun – letting our kids express their individual personalities (or is it still moms?) through fun colors and styles. And of course, who do I always turn to first? This fall season we’re loving their button-down collection mixed with vintage tees and colored jeans for boys. Favorites? Mustard yellow and buckskin tan, and gray with dark reds and blues. 

Save 25% off with Carters until September 7

IMG_0342Get this look, here.

We have always been big fans of the Carter’s boys line season through season, and once again, they’ve provided a cute, modern look for an affordable price. These tees and pants are great for looking New York chic and yet, I won’t get upset if he ruins a tee for $6 in art class.



We love Carter’s for quality and value, so get set for fall and visit for great fall fashion and even greater deals! Now through September 7, you can use this coupon to save 25% off your $40 order or more!


If you shop now: Count Me In Preschool Sale (Up to 50% Off): 8/5 – 8/31:

  • Doorbuster 2 or more: $6 leggings, long sleeve tees, boys terry pants & slogans (Entire Event)
  • Single Doorbuster: $8 fleece pants, $10 moto jegging, $12 boys hoodies (Ends 8/17)

Labor Day Weekend 50% off Entire Store or More: 9/1 – 9/7:

  • Doorbuster $12 5-pack bodysuit, $9 2 pack pants, $10 turn me around sets (9/3 -9/7 only)

Learning to SwimToday with Asphalt Green

21st August 2015


Swimming. Is it something we take for granted? We consider lake and beach trips vacations, love to spend time and money on luxury items like boating, fishing and even our own backyard pools. Being surrounded by water is something we just play into our daily lives (I mean, we DO live on an island!). 

But the trends are speaking. Did you know that currently, almost 10 people drown every day in the United States (non-boating related)? And with the rise of more and more accessible backyard pools, parents are starting their children younger and younger in the water

Don’t Be Scared: SwimToday

We had the rare opportunity this summer to participate in the highly esteemed water sprites class at Asphalt Green through SwimToday. We also had the pleasure of working with one of the best teachers on staff, Christian. Seriously, my son still asks for him everyday (unfortunately Christian is also a NYC school teacher come fall). I have to admit, after watching my son participate in this class week after week, I agree that swimming just might be the #funnestsport. Here’s why:

Learning to love the water in a non-confrontational, safe way was something I didn’t learn as a child. I was lied to and told to jump in and wasn’t caught, plummeting underwater. I might still remember and still be a little pissed off, but at least it worked, right? Well, I might be a tough parent, but I still don’t want to just “throw” my toddler into the deep end. Luckily, Christian had a better approach in their 30-minute class. 

Week One – Meet the water


Learning the water. The first few classes parents are asked to come dressed in full swim gear and get in to coax their little ones in and to take on the shallow pool themselves. (This modern pool actually moves up and down in-depth, while you’re in it – it also comes up to a flat surface when you finish so no one accidentally falls in, and also to clean/drain the pool). One of the first things toddlers learn is safety – how to roll onto their bellies to get into the pool, and to sit “criss-cross applesauce” so they are safely seated at the pools edge.

Week Two – Kicking

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 It may seem minuscule, but kicking is a huge component of swimming – and toddlers love to make a big splash. From holding on to the pools edge to floating around on giant pastel animal cutouts, Maximo happily kicked himself in a solid nap after each class. 

Week Three – Separation


One of the main goals of water sprites is to teach children to swim alone. They need to learn to separate from their parents, and to be independent swimmers. As the classes progressed, us parents moved father and farther away – from inside the pool, to the edge of the pool to sitting on benches away from the pool. Next time? We don’t even go inside the facilities! 

Week Four – Bubbles


My son is still blowing bubbles. In his hand in the air, in the bathtub, on the beach, in the pool….you name it. One of his favorite things to do is still put his face in the water and blow. I love that he’s been so easily open to loving water and not being afraid.

Week Five – Windmills


After legs comes arms.  The cutest, I know. But you have to remember that all these components are leading to building strong, lifetime swimmers. Asphalt Green’s approach is noninvasive, un-forceful and exciting – making the tots want to come back for more each week. 


– As a parent, I realized how important swimming is for kids. It teaches life saving lessons, structure, independence, exercise and self-esteem when the learn they can do it on their own!

– Asphalt Green is probably one of the best non-profit institutions I’ve encountered in NYC. Their facilities are clean, safe, and modernized. Their staff is friendly and helpful. Our swimming teacher, Christian, honestly loved working with the kids and what he was doing – it wasn’t just a pay check. That commitment as a parent is rare and highly regarded. 

– As I mentioned, my son still loves to blow bubbles everywhere, and climbs into the pool by rolling over onto his belly first. The lessons he learned were fun, ingrained and we both can’t wait to continue into another class.

About SwimToday

SwimToday is a first-of-its-kind marketing collaboration within the swimming industry. It is a joint, industry effort created to promote and grow participation in the sport of swimming. The campaign is led by USA Swimming, Arena USA, Speedo USA and TYR Sport, with additional support from the following aquatic organizations: American Swimming Coaches Association, National Swimming Pool Foundation, U.S. Masters Swimming, Colorado Time Systems, Swimming World magazine, TeamUnify, Counsilman-Hunsaker and USA Swimming Foundation. 

To join the fun online, visit the SwimToday Facebook and Twitter pages and view original content including videos, blog posts and celebrity Q&A’s on

About Asphalt Green

Asphalt Green has two locations in NYC – Yorkville and Battery Park City. Families from all over the city travel there, including us, for their highly rated youth sports and after school programs. From swimming (more than 30,000 kids have learned how to swim here!) to summer day camps and mommy and me fitness classes, this massive venue offers something for every age. (They also have on-site babysitting—a huge plus!) Since Asphalt Green is a nonprofit, many of their community programs are either free or low-cost. 

We were provided complimentary swimming classes at Asphalt Green by MomTrends and SwimToday. Thank you for supporting FFM.