A New (Shared) Bedroom with Raymour & Flanigan

From the moment we mentioned the idea of bunk beds for their new room, the girls were SO excited. Okay, maybe Millie was slightly more excited as with first child status comes top bunk bed rights, but the feeling was overall mutual. Not only would this be a cool new way to sleep, but there are many ways to turn a bunk bed into a pirate ship & hide out. And from a slightly different perspective, mom & dad were psyched to create some extra space & storage. Win, win!

With the help of Raymour & Flanigan, we outfitted the girls new room with the aforementioned bunk beds, a nightstand & dresser. I've been so pleased with the quality of this brand's products, the service in-store & at delivery, and the way the girls have responded to their new furniture. Knowing they have a new room & furniture actually encourages them to take better care of their space. What a novel concept!

Now, I am FAR from being an interior designer, but what I can say is that (along with the girls') we've created a space where they love to play. It's well-loved (note crayon on every surface except for new furniture!), filled with natural light & organized well enough that they know where every toy or book belongs at pick up time. And in a small NYC apartment, that is KEY.

We'll get a new rug eventually, but for now a combination old play mat/small rug is doing the job... 
World map (not quite finished with stickers!) is from Children Inspire Design;
Kallax bookcase from Ikea & storage boxes I found at H&M Home (super cheap but great!)
Little Elliot wall decal from Live in A Story; Curtains from Joss & Main;
precious side table currently storing art supplies, Raymour & Flanigan
Stuffed animal storage suffering under the weight of too many toys, 3 Sprouts;
Classic white dresser, Raymour & Flanigan
Let me get back to storage for a moment. With this particular bunk bed, you can either pull out the bottom & use as a trundle bed (a twin mattress fits perfectly) or use as extra storage. We went with the latter & it has been such a lifesaver! I'm getting ready to switch out their clothes for the season & everything (& more) fits. Let all the space-starved parents say HURRAH!

Please note: drawer only pulled out halfway as it's already stuffed to the gills!
Flora & Fauna bedding by Dwell Studio, which was exactly what I was looking for - girly, not cutesy.
Loving this light blanket from Fine Foutas! Made in Tunisia from organic cotton,
it's perfect for naps or a picnic outdoors & towel at the beach.
Soft, versatile & by the way, they're having a great sale right now...
Tried my hand at the shoe rack/toy organizer I've seen on Pinterest a million times,
& guess what... it's brilliant!

I'm so happy my girls have a new room they love!

Disclosure: Thanks to Raymour & Flanigan for sponsoring this post. I received product to facilitate this review but all thoughts & opinions are my own.


A Daddy/Daughter Day with Ticketmaster

This post is sponsored by Ticketmaster. Thanks for supporting Baby Meets City!

While we love doing things together as a family (and ever so often, on our own!), the girls are really getting to the age where they value their one on one time with us. In the midst of our busy lives, a day of undivided attention is a real treat, and we enjoy it as much as they do. Husband takes each of the girls on a special day with him once a month, and while it can be something as routine as heading to Central Park or the zoo and out for ice cream, it's fun to "kick things up a notch" every now and again, too.

... and since this is New York City after all, why not a Broadway show?! Quite a few are kid-friendly, but it's easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of shows available and different ways to purchase tickets. Thank goodness for Ticketmaster, which has always been our go-to place for event tickets (not just on Broadway). They've re-vamped their website to include Minimasters, a dedicated tab just for family-friendly entertainment. What a great idea!

On the Minimasters page you'll find video show reviews from kids themselves, and for easy searching, categories like music, sports, arts & theater, family & deals (my personal favorite). Special opportunities there include 2 for 1 tickets, Me + 3 4-pack tickets and $40 & below tickets. Hurrah!

You can also order tickets from the convenience of your phone with the Ticketmaster app, which is available on Apple & Android. Ticketmaster also guarantees that the seat you buy is the seat you get with their "Verified Ticket" program, ensuring no chance of counterfeiting.

I can report back that Daddy & daughter had a great time at Aladdin, and the ease of using Minimasters was just a no brainer. Looking ahead this fall, I've already scouted out a few more activities we might like, including Disney on Ice & The Wild Kratts Live! Exposing our kids to live entertainment is such a joy, but nothing compares to that special one-on-one time with them... especially at a time in their lives when their enthusiasm for life is infectious.

Keeping things simple. Living in the moment. Making memories to last a lifetime. That's what it's all about, friends!

I was provided with compensation & a credit on Ticketmaster to purchase tickets. Please note my disclosure policy, but as always, thoughts and opinions are my own.


Big Apple Books: Story Time in Central Park

I think it goes without saying -- Central Park is one of New York City's most beautiful treasures. And at 843 acres, it's one heck of a back yard, too. So it comes as no surprise that our favorite green space makes an imaginative setting for a children's book.

See below for my latest additions to Big Apple Books:

Lizard From the Park
Written & illustrated by Mark Pett

While Millie's love affair with dinosaurs has waned a bit in recent months, who doesn't love a good baby dinosaur story? The girls were transfixed by Leonard's discovery of a dinosaur egg in Central Park, and Millie has now asked numerous times if we can go and find one ourselves. Umm.... we'll see. This sweet story of an unlikely friendship, and Leonard's decision to do what's best for Buster (even though it makes him sad) is a real lesson in growing up and doing what's right. And just magical enough to make a little girl want to go looking for dinosaur eggs this weekend.

The Central Park Tales
Written & illustrated by Marcus Meesters

What a precious book... I was reminded of Beatrix Potter's stories as I read it to the girls. I just love the classic illustrations an adventures of Striped Tail Raccoon, the Mouse family, Mother Dog & all of their forest friends. Bringing urban-living creatures to life is a bit of a past-time for Meesters, whose first book, The Vondelpark Tales, is about the inhabitants of a city park in Amsterdam. He visits London with The Hyde Park Tales, which will be completed in 2016. From tea parties, to tunnel digging and searching for pirate treasure, the animals of Central Park are quite a busy lot!


5 Observations Now That My Children are Back in School

A handful of things have become apparent now that my children are back to school (and for Vivian, full day for the first time... go Universal Pre-K!). Keep in mind this applies to my current state-of-being, AKA the working-from-home mom life. Let's get right to it, shall we?

TIME. There's a sentimental expression in reference to raising children that says, "the days are long and the years are short." Um, you know what's really short? The time your children are in school. One minute it's 8:30am and you're actually enjoying your coffee and getting down to business and the next it's 2:15 and you're scrambling to get to school for pick up. Now, if only time could have moved so fast when I was stuck behind a desk in a cold office all day, not so many years ago... 

SPEED. I honestly forgot that I can walk fast. Yes, when not responsible for young children where the typical rate of motion is akin to paint drying, I can pass for a New Yorker again. As much as I adore constantly stopping, turning around, bending down to pull pebbles out of sandals, passing out snacks and water and walking three feet and 2 steps back, moving at the normal speed of most human beings is a refreshing change of pace.

FOOD. Today I'm eating something for lunch that wouldn't be commonly referred to as "scraps." Granted, it happens to be leftovers... but still! Having children in school means a welcome break from crusty bread edges and half-eaten string cheese.

SOUND. This I'll admit. The quiet is deafening. I'm able to complete whole emails without being interrupted to dress a baby doll, watch a magic trick or break up a precious screaming match between sisters (which is AMAZING), but it's a little too quiet at the moment. Think I'll go turn on some Dora & Friends... be right back.

SCHEDULE. As much as I love those carefree days of summer (and I really do... our summer break was blissfully schedule-free for the most part), I am sort of glad to get back into some sort of routine again. I suddenly feel as if with my new found "free" time I should be moving mountains and running for president, but I think I'll settle for blogging more regularly and aggressively looking for new freelance gigs. If nothing else, it helps knowing I have this specific time frame to myself. Oh, and I have time to join even more social media platforms like Periscope (just posted my 1st one... have no idea what I'm doing) and Snapchat (which just makes me feel old).

Happy back-to-school, friends! Use your time wisely.


Back-to-School Savings Time with Carter's

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.

Where does the time go? Summer is drawing to a close and I can hardly believe it. According to Facebook, many friends from around the country have already sent their kids back to school.... which seems crazy! Millie & Viv will be headed back in early September, and I'm honestly conflicted on how I feel about it. Half of me is ready for a quiet apartment where I can get some work done, and the other half is going to miss them desperately, especially since Vivian will be in full day pre-k. Who else is going to interrupt me in the bathroom? But I digress. School is coming whether we like it or not.

Checking out the new SeaGlass Carousel at Battery Park. Wearing one of her new dresses on sale right now at Carter's.

In these last remaining days, we're savoring what's left of summer while getting a little back-to-school shopping done at the same time. Carter's, which is one of our go-to shops for easy, coordinated outfits, is having a HUGE preschool sale (up to 50% off!) between now and August 31st. I love that I can shop for both girls at the same place, and will continue to do so for the next couple of years as their clothes now go up to size 8. Hurrah! A combination of cute, colorful, durable clothes that are age appropriate and affordable is a win win all around for me.

Another cute dress from Carter's!

But more about that sale... here are a few more duds I found on our shopping trip. Hello, 2 or more $6 leggings! Aren't these outfits cute? Love that they're all coordinated, which should help the picking out clothes the night before school (my goal!) a lot easier.

And check this out -- the good people at Carter's are spreading the love around with an extra coupon for back-to-school, fall shopping. YAY! 

Here's wishing... everyone a smooth transition back-to-school. We've already started trying to get the girls to bed earlier, in hopes that their first week won't be rough on the sleepiness front. 

Here's hoping... for happy tears as we send our littles off to school, where they'll no doubt be dressed better than us! 

Until then, we'll treasure these last lazy days of summer.

Disclosure: As stated above, I received a gift card to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.


The Annual Pilgrimage to Coney Island

We made our annual pilgrimage to Coney Island last weekend, and I gotta say, summer just doesn't feel like summer until we've gotten a little boardwalk under our feet. A couple highlights from the day: Millie rode her first roller coaster and LOVED IT (much to my chagrin), & we all rode The Wonder Wheel together for the first time. I lived to tell about it. Finished the day off with a Brooklyn Cyclones game, & another Coney Island trip is in the books...

'till next summer!


Bedtime Tales with Raymour & Flanigan

When we told the girls we were going to move this summer, we broached the idea of bunk beds in their new room to help get them excited about the big change. They were pretty intrigued by the idea (particularly Millie, of course, since she knew she'd be sleeping on top!), and it helped keep them enthusiastic about all the new changes coming.

Honestly, I can hardly believe that I have children old enough to sleep in bunk beds, but I don't have a choice but to wrap my brain around it. And while I may sniffle at their growing bodies, I can't help but be excited over the space-saving aspect it provides in a small NYC apartment.

The good folks at Raymour & Flanigan invited us in to see their children's bedroom furniture, and we quickly fell in love with their Willow Point collection. It's a sturdy, classic design, and the trundle underneath can either hold another mattress or provide additional storage (we're choosing the latter). YAY for more space to store all those puffy winter coats, seasonal clothes & an increasingly large puzzle collection. There is a LOT of room under there, my friends!

As you can see, the shopping went well. Hee hee. Stay tuned for a room reveal coming soon... we're four nights in with their new bunk beds & furniture, & they're loving the new room set up!

Disclosure: While I was provided with product from Raymour & Flanigan, all opinions stated are my own.
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