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.


Ice Cream, You Scream... & Fun Music for Kids, too! #Giveaway

Earlier this summer, the girls & I were introduced to The Pop Ups, a Grammy-nominated children's musical duo based in Brooklyn. Now, every time I'm at my computer (and I'm only slightly exaggerating here), they ask to watch their videos. Led by Jason Rabinowitz & Jacob Stein, The Pops Ups are all about catchy tunes & clever, fun videos. And needless to say, their creative collaborations are a welcome break from Old MacDonald.

I may or may not dance along to The Robot Dance on a regular basis... but let's keep that between us, shall we? Here'a a cute video of Millie dancing along to The Pop Ups at a recent concert along the Hudson River in Tribeca.

Now, moving on to another of our favorite things: ICE CREAM! The Pop Ups have teamed up with Ample Hills Creamery to spread the love about their sweet treats & new cook book! The creamery, which originated in Brooklyn, now has locations in Queens & Manhattan, too. See addresses & more info here, and by all means, get yourself to one of their shops for something cold & delicious STAT.

Flipping through the pages of this cookbook, I am so excited to bust out our ice cream maker! And you can be, too. Here's why: I'm helping spread the word about this collaboration with The Pop Ups & Ample Hills Creamery through a giveaway!

2 lucky winners -- that's right, TWO -- are going to win a copy of this cookbook in addition to a Pop Ups t-shirt & tote bag. Woohoo! Check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below, and while you're at it, find a few tunes for your kid (& you!) to listen to on The Pop Ups' YouTube page (and hey, might as well subscribe while you're there!). I'll pick a winner on Friday, August 28th. Still plenty of time to celebrate the dog days of summer...

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


A Bronx Tale: Orchard Beach & City Island Day Trip

To me, summer is synonymous with the beach. And sad as it may seem, with all the craziness of finding a new apartment, packing up, the actual move to Inwood (more on that in a future post), and now, UNpacking (ugh), we just hadn't gotten there yet. The girls were missing out, so in researching area beaches, we decided to try out Orchard Beach, part of Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. 

A short 20-minute drive away from upper Manhattan (& accessible by subway/bus), we ventured out to the former "Bronx Riviera" for a gorgeous day in the sun.

Ready for some fun in the sun! With tons of SPF, obvs.

First, the pluses. A bay-side beach means calm waters for kiddos. There was nary a crashing wave in sight, which meant a lot more fun for the girls. There are showers alongside the boardwalk for washing off afterwards, along with affordable umbrella rentals ($10) for the day. I also like the fact that there are playgrounds right by the beach, in case the kids need to burn off a bit more steam before heading home.

Downside: not the cleanest beach ever. I made the girls keep their shoes on the whole time because I found a few pieces of glass in the sand. Major bummer. I really hate littering, so this was disappointing. Otherwise, it's a beautiful park, and there were tons of people taking advantage of a this ideal summer day. 

Trying to own my "mom-bod." Gulp.

Afterwards, we headed to nearby City Island. This area of the Bronx has always been on my radar, but I'd never gotten a chance to pay a visit before. So glad we did! We stopped for lunch at Seafood City (basically the perfect spot for the post-beach crowd... casual, arcades, cash-only, FYI), then ice cream at Lickety Split's. Such a cute spot! We walked a bit of City Island Avenue (their "Main Street") and I was so impressed. Look forward to making a return trip...

Bridgehampton or the Bronx?

Any other suggestions for local beaches we should try before summer comes to a close?


SoCozy Partners in a "Give Back" Back-to-School Campaign

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of SoCozy
All opinions are my own & not edited by the sponsor. Thanks for supporting BMC!

August is almost here, and it's at this point of the summer that we try & squeeze in all those quintessential summer activities before back-to-school time is upon us. A trip to Coney Island, the Catskills, a beach day, outdoor concerts in Central Park... that sort of thing. Because as we all know, the first day of school will be here before we know it (& Mama's not sure how to feel about that at the moment...)

SoCozy, the line of non-toxic hair & skin products for kids (& the brainchild of Cozy Friedman, owner of Cozy's Cuts for Kids in NYC), has some exciting "give back" news for back-to-school time. They've partnered with two very cool philanthropic companies who are giving back to students in need all over the country -- and they're doing it in style. The kind of style I only WISH I'd had when I was in school... but that's another story altogether!

Millie's loving her new backpack. The color combo is so fun,
& I love that the bag is just the right size without being TOO big.
STATE Bags is an American made "one for one" company that donates a bag for each bag sold to American kids in situations of need. A key part of this collaboration is the actual act of the bag donation. STATE Bags works with nonprofit organizations, public and charter schools across the country in executing their signature bag drop rallies for thousands of kids. You can see how they’ve taken the act of the donation to another level here. Awesome!

If you'd like a SoCozy-branded STATE Bag, simply go HERE to order. For each backpack purchased, they'll hand deliver one backpack filled with school supplies to a child in need. 

Now, did somebody say school supplies? I don't know why, but I always found buying new folders, notebooks, etc. so much fun to purchase. Well, Yoobi has taken this to a whole other level. Pronounced "you-be," meaning "one for you, one for me," their concept is simple: for every Yoobi item purchased, a Yoobi item is donated to a classroom in need, right here in the U.S. This colorful, vibrant line of products will be filled in each SoCozy-branded STATE Bag & sent off to deserving children, starting their school year off right. And while I may have mixed feelings about sending my kids back-to-school this September, this is an initiative I can totally get behind. 

Here's to giving back!

Disclosure: I received products to review and compensation from SoCozy for this post. My opinion is my own & not edited by SoCozy, & you are welcome to read my Disclosure Policy.


MOMA's Little Member Film Festival

Last week, we were invited to attend an outdoor movie screening of Madeline, as part of the Little Member Film Festival at the Museum of Modern Art. Such fun! The weather was that kind of breezy, non-muggy summer night that's perfect for being outdoors, and MoMA's sculpture garden couldn't have been a more beautiful spot for the evening.

The Festival, an exclusive offering to those with Family memberships, features fun, educational activities before sunset, followed by a screening of child-friendly classic films from their exclusive collection. Currently in its inaugural season and running on Wednesdays during the month of July, I'm quite sure it will only grow in popularity in the coming years. And quick side note: there's a cute beverage/snack cart available in the back of the garden (hello Prosecco!), but you can also bring food with you, too.

I didn't know a whole lot about MoMA's Family membership, and was surprised to learn its many benefits. A few highlights:
  • Unlimited free admission for two adults and children to MoMA and MoMA PS1
  • Members-only programs like weekend Little Member Mornings, the popular MoMA Family Festival, and for the first time ever the Little Member Film Festival in the Sculpture Garden
  • Personalized membership cards for children (a beloved benefit!)
  • $5 tickets for grown-up guests on every visit 
  • Member Previews for all major exhibitions
  • Discounts in our MoMA Stores and restaurants

Now that the girls are getting a bit older, I'm excited to share my love of art with them, especially in a museum-rich home like New York City. We're so lucky to have incredible access to some of the most amazing works of art in the world! Of the many hopes & dreams that I have for my children (and that list is LONG), I hope they'll grow up with an appreciation of great art in all its forms. And I love that MoMA is on board with that plan, too.
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