5 Toddler Travel Must-Haves

28th March 2015

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As we grow, the items that entertain Maximo change as well. In honor of our first train trip to Baltimore/DC this weekend, I thought I would share the five essential items that go us through with ease – yes EASE! These can keep a curious toddler busy for hours, AND they’re compact so they travel easy when you need to pack light.

1. Tiggly

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These four little shapes pack up nicely in your travel bag, and go with your iPad (which I KNOW you didn’t leave home without.) They have a bunch of different apps and games that you can download to coordinate with them and age levels as well. Amazon price: $26.71

2. Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Pads

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These are the toys that keep on giving. This huge book full of hundreds of – you heard correctly – REUSABLE stickers – keep toddlers busy for hours. They can stick and re-stick till their hearts content and then re-stick again. There are tons of different themes available AND they’re only $5! 

3. Crayola Color Wonder

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If your child loves to color, this is the best way to allow them that freedom without getting it on everyone (and everything). Crayola’s Color Wonder was introduced to me by a mom, and I feel I have to pass on the knowledge. It’s the best thing ever, and you can find new coloring books in almost any toy store or even drugstores! AND they even make travel-totes that can hold the coloring books and markers INSIDE, while providing a hard cover to color on OUTSIDE. Oh we love you, Crayola. Amazon price: $9.70

4. Usborne Wipe-Clean Activity Books

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You’re going to look at this book and think, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Yes, it’s like a wipe-away calendar only as an activity book for kids. Did you hear that? It’s REUSABLE TOO! The kids can color and draw and connect the dots all day long, and then all you have to do is wipe it clean with water. You’ll never have to buy another activity book again! Amazon price: $5

5. Munchie Mug

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Well we know you’re not going on a trip without snacks. I’ve been in love with this thing forever and I still am. It’s light-weight and the perfect size to actually hold a substantial amount of snacks, AND it has a cloth opening – that means it holds the food in and let’s little hands grab it easily. How many times does your snack holder spill everything everywhere? Exactly. This is life changing. Trust me. Amazon price: $16.99

Looking for more tips on traveling with kids? I have you covered. Try these articles: 

1. How to Travel With a Toddler – Survival Guide

2. 5 Must-See Places in the Hudson Valley

3. Why It’s Okay to Take a Vacation Without the Kids

4. Weekend at Woodloch

Ginger Molasses Whoopie Pies

25th March 2015

IMG_7320When was the last time you really indulged? I have had a hankering for the molasses cookies I used to eat on the farm, and decided to try a new recipe. I turned a childhood favorite into something you seriously might want me to make for your next birthday party (taking orders!), or you can attempt them yourself.

The art of baking means – FROM SCRATCH. So no cheating and buying store-made icing or ingredients. All these are are sugar cookies – with 10 different forms of sugar – molasses, brown sugar, honey, powered sugar – you name it. 

Ginger Molasses Whoopie Pies
A homemade cookie that combines old country flavor with a modern twist.
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Prep Time
25 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cookies
  1. 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted real butter
  2. 1 egg
  3. ½ cup brown sugar
  4. ½ cup sugar
  5. ⅓ cup molasses
  6. 2 1/4 cups flour
  7. 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  8. 1 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger root
  9. 1 tbsp honey
  10. 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  11. 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  12. ½ tsp powdered ginger
  13. ¼ tsp ground cloves
  14. ¼ tsp nutmeg
Icing
  1. 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted real butter
  2. 3 cups powdered sugar
  3. 3 tbsp heavy cream
  4. 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  5. pinch of salt
Cookies
  1. In the bowl of your KitchenAid, whip the butter, brown sugar, and sugar at medium speed until creamy and smooth. Add the egg, molasses, honey, vanilla extract and freshly grated ginger root and continue to mix until smooth.
  2. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and whip for one more minute at medium speed.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, powdered ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-molasses mixture and mix well, scraping down the bowl several times with a rubber spatula.
  5. Refrigerate dough for one hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Scoop the cookies into one-inch balls and place onto parchment-lined sheet pans. Bake until just barely done, about 7 to 8 minutes (they'll slightly cracked on top).
Icing
  1. Wash your mixer bowl, and add all the ingredients except the powered sugar. Beat on high until creamy. Add the powdered sugar slowly while the mixer is on speed for two minutes. Once mixed, turn it on high and whip it until fluffy.
  2. Spread filling on one cookie, and smash it together with another making a sandwich. Try not to give yourself diabetes eating them all in one sitting.
football food & motherhood http://www.footballfoodandmotherhood.com/

Why We Love Carters (Coupons) for Spring

19th March 2015

carters couponsI 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.

Spring is FINALLY making an appearance, and for us city moms, that means we can FINALLY let the kids play outdoors again. The grass and trees may not be popping with color yet, but that doesn’t mean your child’s wardrobe can’t!

Our favorite time of year is when Carter’s releases their Spring line – it’s always full of bright colors, comfortable tees and reasonable prices – and the boys line is fantastic. This year is no exception. Right now Carter’s is also running an awesome tees and shorts doorbuster – only $6 each when you buy two or more! Annnd – their Easter items are all 50% off!

Carters Coupons: You can also grab an additional 25% off coupon right here!

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Here are some of my favorite looks for boys:

Tropic Thunder

Bring on the heat with these bright colors and beach- and tropic-themed pieces.

carters couponsPin this to your kids’ spring wardrobe board!

carters coupons

Beach Bum Tee // Plaid Button-Front Shirt // Cargo Shorts // Shoes

Electric Street

These bright neons add pops of color in a fun way while keeping in “boyish.”

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French Terry  Zip-Up Hoodie // Tee Shirt // Canvas Shorts

Casual Cool

Camo will never get old, especially with Yinzer blood running through your veins. 

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Shirt // Shorts

Sale runs through March 25th in-store or online. Shop here now! 

A Parent’s Guide to NYC Transportation

17th March 2015

IMG_3895City living can either be amazing or awful. Some days it’s both. But one thing that will ruin your day faster than a diaper blowout with no baby wipes in your bag is not preparing in advance for getting around the city with your little one in tow. Public transportation is here to help you navigate the city easily, though, not always effortlessly—especially when you find yourself carrying a stroller, diaper bag and baby. Here is a simple guide to New York City transportation that will make even a tourist a pro!

1. The subway

The infamous NYC subway. You don’t earn your New York City parenting badge until you’ve conquered the underground system with 50 pounds of stroller and baby—alone. The subway does have its perks: it’s fast, the rocking usually lulls babies to sleep, and it is relatively convenient. However, it’s always better to map out your trip when taking the subway to try and eliminate as many steps as possible. I personally find it easier to get off one stop early and walk a few block more above ground than to transfer trains (think tight, smelly and hot stairs) underground. Proper etiquette for entering the turnstiles: You must leave your child and stroller at the emergency exit door while you swipe through the turnstile yourself, and then proceed to open the door from the platform side and pull them through. Non-parents may look at you like you are abandoning your child, but it’s all part of the experience. Just make sure after all this effort you get on the correct train. Nothing is worse than realizing you’re heading uptown when you’re supposed to be in Battery Park City. Been there, done that.

Downside: Not all stations have elevators, so prepare to do some heavy lifting. Also accept the fact that at some point there will be a rat within a few feet of your precious cargo.

Tip: The west side trains in Manhattan are typically less crowded than the east side trains (we’re waiting for the Second Avenue line to open in 2016!).

2. The bus

The bus tends to get a bad rep, but it’s actually one of our favorites. It’s always clean, less crowded (and cooler) than the subways, and you’re above ground—meaning you still have cell phone service (hello wifi and YouTube!). The only thing that tends to be tricky is figuring out where to get on and get off. My suggestion: Download the MTA app. It has a map that shows you the bus routes, and even times of when the bus will arrive. Or check the little boxes attached to every bus stop—they list the times and stops for the bus route too.

Downside: The waiting outside. If it’s raining or snowing you’ll be enduring the weather until the bus shows up—and sometimes that can feel like forever. And you must fold up strollers. Unlike the subway, you cannot leave a child in a stroller—even if your baby is sleeping. You’ll have to wake them up to compact the carrier.

Tip: Try the crosstown buses. Everyone complains how hard it is to get from east to west in the city (since most subways run north and south), but you can always grab a bus.

3. Cabs

At some point, you will need to take a cab—it may be because you’re just too tired to wait for a bus or subway, or you’re running late. You may be asking yourself: “But taxis don’t have car seats.” You’re right, they don’t and it’s actually legal to take children in New York City cabs without car seats. (Make sure to hold them tight and, if they’re old enough, buckle them in the cab’s seat belts.) Yellow cabs are required by law to take you wherever you need to go—including the boroughs—but they sometimes give you a hard time about out-of-Manhattan trips. Green cabs are new to the city—they’re similar to yellow cabs, but are available in the outer boroughs and certain parts of Manhattan only.

Downside: Cabs can be expensive (especially if you get stuck in traffic). Also, if you’re not comfortable taking your child in a car without a car seat, reread options #1 and #2 above.

Tip: It’s easier to hail cabs on the Avenues (and during non rush hour times). If you’re on a numbered street, walk a block to your closest main intersection to hail a cab. Most Avenues are one-way, so before you start walking, make sure you are heading to the Avenue that is going your way.

4. App car service

The newest form of transportation on the block is virtual cab hailing. These services are life-changing—not only can you hail a black car from the touch of your phone in the comfort of your own home (think not having to stand on the corner waving down a cab in the rain), but they also allow you to hail a taxi. (Uber charges an additional fee to have a yellow or green cab pull up right in front of your door.) Plus, the drivers (and passengers, so be nice!) are all rated on a five-star scale, meaning they will take you wherever you need to go without argument, and even pick up your stroller and put it in the trunk for you.

Downside: If you are trying to hail a car during peak hours, it can cost you three to five times the original rate. Yes, that means an average trip from Manhattan to Astoria can run you up to $75!

Tip: Uber NYC has multiple options, such as requesting a car with car seat (additional $10 and part of the company’s uberFAMILY plan), hailing a regular taxi instead of a black car, or even asking for a large SUV (think lots of luggage if you’re heading to the airport).

5. Rental car memberships

Every time I tell my non-city friends that I have a car rental membership, they laugh. It really is, though, every city dwellers dream car situation. Instead of paying hundreds each month for parking, insurance, and gas (all in the hopes that someone won’t hit or steal your precious auto), you can have access to multiple vehicles parked and ready to drive near you. Usually these services are cheap (around $12 to 18 per hour) which also includes gas and insurance.

Downside: No car seats. That means you have to lug your own, plus a stroller and baby/toddler to the car. If I plan to rent a car on my own with baby-in-tow, I usually have to take a cab to the rental car and back. This can tack on extra costs, so try to plan to pick up the car while someone can watch the baby, or with an extra pair of hands to carry everything.

Tip: I’m a fan of Zip Car—it’s the original and best in the city. You can get a membership for only $60 per year, and we’ve personally been able to find lots of available vehicles at various times throughout the five boroughs. However, I would recommend reserving a car in advance if you plan to take one out on the weekend.

What type of NYC transportation have you used with your little one? 

 This article was originally posted on MommyNearest.com.

Safe Nights with GOODNITES* TRU-FIT*

15th March 2015

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I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for GoodNites* TRU-FIT*. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Raise your hand if you like waking up in the middle of a night to a wet bed and wet child? No one? I remember a fellow mom here in NYC telling me how this used to be common occurrence in their home, and I always wondered – how am I going to deal with that?

Parenting is always a challenge because there is no way to know in advance how your child will react or progress in certain situations – school, playing, sharing and of course, bed wetting. But of course, there are always training items to help through the hard times. Case in point, I would have recommended Goodnites* TRU-FIT* underwear to this mom had I know back then! This new products is really perfect – its real, machine washable underwear with insertable pads that can be worn at night.  

These look and feel just like real underwear (and can be without the inserts!), so kids won’t be embarrassed to wear them, whether at home or at a sleepover. And parents can be more hands off allowing the child to feel more in control of their on situation – and without the mess of wet sheets and PJs. (They come in both girls and boys colors/designs in both sizes S/M and L/XL).

Maximo is almost three, but Goodnites* TRU-FIT* are great as a child progresses in age. According to a GoodNites* brand study, it’s estimated that 1 in 6 children between the ages of 4-12 in the United States suffer from nocturnal enuresis, more commonly known as bedwetting, and the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that psychologically, children who wet the bed do not want to participate in fun activities, such as sleepovers, because of their fear and embarrassment.

This takes out all that fear and embarrassment for both child and parent. Talk about sleeping better at night!

GoodNites* TRU-FIT* Product Facts:

  • GoodNites* brand is introducing a completely new kind of bedtime protection: GoodNites* TRU-FIT* Underwear. GoodNites* TRU-FIT* is machine-washable, real underwear with disposable, absorbent inserts that help keep sheets and PJs dry all night
  • GoodNites* TRU-FIT* offers a new choice for parents and children looking for a superior bedwetting product to help have a better night, every night
  • 87% of Moms that tried the product said that TRU-FIT* will make their kids more confident
  • GoodNites* TRU-FIT* is available now at select national retailers for purchase
  • GoodNites* TRU-FIT* is available for boys and girls in sizes S/M and L/XL with colors and patterns for each size
  • GoodNites* TRU-FIT* Underwear is accompanied by a disposable, absorbent insert – designed to protect sheets and PJs all night

Want to try they out for yourself? You can order them right from the comfort of your home (even here in NYC!) off Walmart.com here:  bit.ly/18gcVGN

AND you can download a GoodNites* TRU-FIT* coupon for $2 off at http://www.goodnites.com/our-products/goodnites-trufit/

 

Goodbye Bottle! Goodbye Binkie!

12th March 2015

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It’s been sunny and beautiful the last couple of days so I’ve had a hard time convincing myself to sit down and write something -but we’ve had a major breakthrough here and I wanted to share. At the sweet age of 2 1/2, my tough little toddler has finally let go of his “ba ba.”

You don’t always get to see behind the scenes of our life, contrary to what you see day-to-day, but this kid hasn’t wanted to let go. Day after day he wakes up and cries at night before bed for his coveted “ba ba.” I was convinced at 2 years old I would just take it away, and this summer like a champ, I attempted to go cold turkey with both the “ba ba” AND the binkie. (You see, he now has teeth and has bitten into the plastic making me fearful, so when he bit into the binkie, I told him they were saying goodbye). We had no issues – the binkie was gone and he never looked for it again. The “ba ba” was a different story. I attempted to place milk in 10 different drinking items, all of which were thrown at my head across the kitchen while he let out a heart trembling battle cry for his lost soldier – “baaaaa baaaaaaaaaa! Baaaaaa baaaaaaaa!” That cry still haunts me.

I caved like any mother with sanity, and said we will revisit this when the day is ready.

Now, I’ve always been a laid back, tough love mom. I don’t easily give in, have no issues saying no, and allowing him to win this battle was tough. I hate to say it, but just like many things I’ve watched Maximo grow into – he finds when it’s his time. So, I took a step back. I said, okay, it’s not hurting anyone, he’s not in school yet (lol), and we’ll just see how this goes.

Fast forward a few months.

Maximo loves to carry his “ba ba” by the nipple with his teeth. This resorts in it being cut off or torn. When I see this, I have to immediately replace the nipple because it’s a choking hazard. We came down to the last one and I calmly but sternly looked him in the eye and said, when it’s gone, it’s gone. He took off with it like it was just an average day, but a few days later, I saw the tear. It was beadtime. I ripped off the nipple and gave it back. I said, this is it! You can have it – but there’s no top.

He looked at it, tried as hard as he could to suck out of it, and then defeatedly, handed it back to me. I asked him if he was sure? He waved no to me and turned away. Was it really going to be this easy???? I figured the morning would be the true testament. In Maximo fashion, he woke up asking for his “ba ba” as usual. I handed him the one with the cut off nipple and milk. He held it, walked around with it for a couple minutes, and then handed it back to me. This process went on for a couple days.

Now he no longer asks for his “ba ba.”

I think the lesson learned here is that it was ultimately his decision. I kept warning him, and then was very calm about when it happened, but overall, he was the one who had to say goodbye. I worry that he will mistaken that in life, sometimes you can hold on to things until you’re ready to say goodbye, and this couldn’t be farther from the truth. However, I do think he has at some level conceptualized that some things don’t last forever. So for now, we’ll just leave it at that – I mean he is only 2 1/2 for hecks sake!

Till next time….

Keeping It Casual: #disneyside

5th March 2015

Last year I went all out to plan and create a huge Disney party for all of our friends and family at Raising Astoria. Read all about that amazing party with Pinterest tutorials and everything here.

This year, I wanted it to be more intimate. There were a number of reasons, one mostly being the weather (we had to cancel once already and last year we had people get stuck in the snow!), but others being that I am getting older (sigh) and wanted to make it a more personal experience for everyone. I wanted to invite a few close friends and our children who know each other for a simple Saturday afternoon play. I even hosted it this year in my tiny NYC apartment, and guess what – it was perfect.

I’m learning that bigger isn’t always necessarily better. 

It more about the company you keep, the connections you make, and the magic that your children’s experience. Keeping it intimate let me be able to be more in the present with my son instead of running around making sure a large party was being pulled off with zero flaws. Let me elaborate:

Food

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Because food is always my favorite part! We’re trying not to go overboard with the sweets and candy since we seem to be surrounded by it all the time, so I tried to put out a few healthy snacks as well. Since our theme was Cars, we had:

Apple and grape cars, and carrot and celery dipsticks

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Popcorn cones (and donut spare tires) 

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 and then of course – Brownie Street Lights

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Games

For games we kept it simple too – just some good old-fashioned fun instead of going crazy on Pinterest to make these insane, time-consuming games and decorations that the kids won’t even acknowledge (not that I don’t do that from time to time, too!).  This year it was all about the kids – 

Fat Tuesday King Cakes

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Since I was traveling and missed Fat Tuesday and our King Cake decorating – I incorporated it into the party so everyone had a chance to make their own King Cake! Thanks to MommieDe, we have a easy recipe – just pick up plain donuts from your local Dunkin Donuts, make a quick and easy homemade icing recipe, and add sprinkles! Oh and don’t forget the baby!

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Pin the Smile on Mickey

This game is awesome. Seriously – doesn’t it take you back to your own childhood? I literally cut out smiles, wrote the names of each child on the back, wrapped a scarf around their eyes, twirled them a couple times and we saw who could get the closest for a simple prize!

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Gifts

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I am kind of over this new trend that kids coming to YOUR party go home with gifts – wasn’t it that the birthday child was the one getting gifts? We definitely got the shaft in our childhood. Anyways, since this was a Disney celebration not a birthday, Maximo helped me make homemade playdough the night before to hand out to all our guests as parting favors (in the colors of traffic lights of course). If you want to make your own playdough, you can follow my recipe here.

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And that was it this year! Simple, fun and memorable. And now we have the photos to look back one day as well. When’s the last time you invited a couple friends over just because? 

panera bread broth bowls

Panera Bread Broth Bowls {Giveaway}

28th February 2015

 

panera bread broth bowls

Ok so I have a tiny secret.

Yes I always talk about the great food that’s available in NYC – trust me, there is. But, you always have to have a reliable chain restaurant as well that you know is both delicious and offers healthy options for traveling, being that Maximo and I are always off on some adventure. My go-to has always been Panera, (as you’ve seen me talk about them before) because you can always find them when traveling in different cities and on the road. So yes, there just HAPPENS to be a Panera in Astoria (score!) and sometimes, especially in the cold like now, I love to grab their 1/2 soup and salad option on-the-go. Maximo has zero complaints about this. 

Well, Panera upped their soup game this month – offering two new broth bowls, and being the lovely food critic I am, they wanted me to taste them out.

Panera Bread Broth Bowls

panera bread broth bowls

They include two new bowls: Soba Noodle Bowl with Chicken (or Edamame for a vegetarian option) and Lentil Quinoa Bowl with Chicken or Cage-Free Egg. 

The Asian-inspired Broth Bowls combine exotic and delicious ingredients — like quinoa, kale and chicken raised without antibiotics — to create filling bowls full of global flavors and fresh greens, all steeped in umami soy-miso broth. The new Broth Bowls allow guests to awaken their appetites for adventurous eating while also enjoying familiar options.

Let me just say – my favorite and pick of this round is the Lentil Quinoa Bowl with Egg. The flavors and all the protein in this simple meal are sure to warm and fill you up – plus keep you full on less calories. Hello KALE! Seriously – I want you to go and try it – on me (well, and Panera, of course!)

{Giveaway}

Enter below to win one of two $25 gift cards to a local Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island or Long Island Panera Bread location. Simply comment below which broth bowl you want to try and why! 

Panera Bread two $25 gift cards

Simple Playdough Recipe

25th February 2015

easy playdough recipe

Ok I am about to blow your minds with this one. You can call me Susie Homemaker, but really, when did it become more convenient to NOT make your own things at home? It really takes 5 minutes to make homemade playdough and it’s safe, non-toxic, and fun to get the kids involved in the process. Plus, the colors don’t stain!

Let’s keep it simple, shall we?

Simple Playdough Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp. cream of tarter
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (coconut oil works well too)
  • food coloring, or you can use beet juice for red, orange juice for orange, spinach for green, etc. 

Directions:

easy playdough recipe

1. Literally mix them all together. Even though you don’t have to bake it, I have found it is easier to heat it over the stovetop in a pot – the mixture melts easier and stirs in the colors better, but it’s not necessary.  You should howeverstart by mixing the liquid ingredients first, and then adding the dry mixture. 

2. If you do heat it up, make sure to let it sit out for about 30 minutes to cool off in a pile before letting the little ones play, or wrapping it up for storage.

3. Storage is simple – just place in an air-tight plastic bag to enjoy over and over again!

simple playdough recipe

 easy playdough recipe

Planning a Perfect New York Moms Baby Shower with Huggies

23rd February 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MomsTrustHuggies #CollectiveBias

new york moms

I love being a NYC mom.

It has it’s challenges that’s for sure, but like they say, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. Being new york moms has it’s pros (culture, coffee on every corner, grocery delivery!) and cons (carrying strollers up and down subway steps). But you have to learn how to balance them out. Since my girlfriend was having her baby shower this weekend (and first baby coming in a few weeks!), I thought it would a great way to teach her how adjust to mom-life in the city but helping her pull together some of the essentials she would need when that little girl arrived, and how both Huggies Snug & Dry and Little Movers diapers plays a major part in our lives. Seriously – we’ve been using Huggies since day one. 

1. Know where your diapers are

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Even the most prepared of moms have had a moment when they didn’t have diapers. Myself included. The biggest challenge of city life is trying to be prepared for anything, with the least amount of items as possible. Trust me – it’s a freaking gift to pull this off, and when you do you feel unstoppable. But, like I said, sometimes your days run longer, and you’re just one diaper short of getting home. That’s when you need to rely on 1. CVS always having Huggies and 2. Knowing that Huggies will get you home with no leaks. The last thing ANYONE wants to witness is a diaper change on the subway, or a screaming, smelly baby who just blew out his pants. 

Secrets: The best gift you can get any new mom is priceless advice. Use the MommyNearest.com app to find the closest CVS. Since it’s location-based, it’s going to show you where your Huggies are closest located. There’s no time for effin around right now. Why CVS? Because they’ve never let me down. Seriously – anytime I’ve run into my local trusty CVS (Astoria on Ditmars and 31st aisle 16 to be precise), there are always shiny red packages of Huggies awaiting me. 

While you’re thinking of it – go and save this coupon for $2 off your next Huggies purchase at CVS. You’re welcome.

2. The pack light challenge

I can pack THE world’s best and lightest diaper bag in my sleep. I can even tell you how many diapers you’ll need for the amount of hours you’ll be out and about. The biggest problem new moms face is being over-prepared. It’s something you can’t avoid – and it’s always easier to be safe than sorry, but trust me, your back will thank you if you follow my steps. Get your mom-to-be ready by prepping her a light-weight diaper bag with these simple essentials:

Secrets: 

new york moms

1. The Huggies Clutch “n Clean. Brilliant. Before these came out I was using freezer bags to take only a few wipes as a time. As a city mom, you just don’t need that huge pack, and buying them individually can really add up. This grab-and-go clutch lets you take as many or little as you need (and you can buy them in bulk to save money!).

2. Powder formula. Stop lugging water everywhere – liquid is heavy. Bring powder formula that’s lighter and grab a water on any city street. Or in a restaurant. Same goes for snacks and pouches. Carry something lightweight that doesn’t crumble in a bag like apple chips. They are healthy, barely weigh anything and stand up to a few shoves under the stroller. 

3. Light strollers. I hate to break it to you, but you’re going to need more than one stroller as a mom. As that baby transitions into a tot, you need the lightest, most durable stroller out there. For us, we love our UppaBaby G-lite. It’s a mere 17 lbs and it fold up in one snap so you can either carry toddler in stroller like a Crossfit challenge, or you can throw it over your shoulder while he climbs the steps on his own.

3. Register for the essentials at your baby shower and make them fun!

new york moms

ZTA sorority sisters – we are all still good friends.

Us city moms are pros at finding storage for things in our tiny apartments, but when baby comes, it’s amazing to see how large some of these things can  be! Expert moms know that you don’t need everything at once, so when you’re registering for your baby shower, stick to the basics – diapers and wipes, sleepers, washcloths and bath products, and a bassinet. It’s fun to want those fancy high chairs, but you won’t need them for over six more months!

Secrets: Make the baby shower fun. Diapers have a bad rep – I mean, they’re used to collect human waste – so turn them into a pretty diaper cake and decor!

new york moms

Seriously it’s really NOT that hard – I made this one in less than an hour and under $50! All you need is: about 40-50 newborn size Huggies, a $10 cake plate from a craft store, ribbon, rubber bands and a paper towel roll. (Tip: those little rainbow looms that kids loves to make bracelets with are the best for wrapping diapers and are unbelievably cheap (I got a bag of 200 for 50 cents)!

new york moms

new york moms

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Other fun decor can include washcloth babies. 

new york moms

Another fun and super easy (and quick) project was this box of “baby wash cloths.” Start with a cute container, put a blanket on the bottom to prop them up, and then wrap the diapers in washcloths and  use socks or washcloths for the hats as well. Draw on the eyes with a sharpie. Boom.

What are some of the creative ways you’ve used diapers for a baby shower?  I’d love to hear about yours! Leave a comment sharing your favorite mom-tips!