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.


Our 15 Minutes of Fame with Darley Newman of "Darley's Travels"

In late May, you may remember I mentioned a quick trip the girls & I made down to the eastern shores of Maryland with one of my nearest & dearest, Darley Newman. She was filming the new season of her AOL series, "Travels with Darley," and invited us to come along for the ride. Naturally, we jumped at the chance. We love Auntie Darley to bits, and Ocean City (one of the shoot locations), is Millie's favorite place to date... in her wide experience of almost 6 years on this planet.

But I digress. It was an amazing few days, and the girls got to take part in so many fun activities: glass blowing in Berlin, MD (America's "Coolest Small Town"), amusement park rides on the boardwalk in Ocean City and horse viewing & beach time at Assateague Island. We ate ice cream at Chesapeake Bay Farms, which might be my favorite place to date... and I've been around a lot longer than Millie. While the girls didn't really take much notice of all the cameras & equipment, I found the whole process fascinating. And seeing the newly released final product was pretty entertaining for all of us. That said, enjoy a few photos below, AND check out a few videos of our trip on Darley's AOL channel.

5 Reasons to Take an RV Vacation
Unusual Cow to Cone Ice Cream Farm
Top Things to Do in America's Coolest Small Town


A Family Getaway to the Poconos

Have I mentioned we're moving this summer? Yep, in about 10 days... cue hyperventilation. As such, we could only get away for a brief vacation earlier this month. Hoping to stay somewhat local to maximize our free time, yet still feel like we'd really GOTTEN AWAY, we chose the nearby Pocono Mountains. In under two hours we arrived in this peaceful green and misty area of northern Pennsylvania. Such a pretty place, and as it turns out, the perfect destination for getting away from it all... including our packing to-do list. I'm excited to share a few highlights (and photos) from our trip, and my "must-dos" for your next trip to the area... so many fun activities for the kiddos!

We stayed at Woodfield Manor (thanks to a travel club membership from my in-laws), a centrally located inn with private cottages, a nice pool & a pretty spot on July 4th fireworks show. Though if you head that way, don't let them put you in Room #13. Apparently it's haunted!

This was an old-fashioned family vacation, so we wanted to hit all the stops. Naturally, mini golf (or "Put Put" as I would say) was on the list. We found a family-friendly yet challenging course at Frontier Falls in Delaware, PA. As luck/skill would have it, Millie hit a hole-in-one on the 4th hole. Woohoo! Hello golf scholarship?!
At $9/person (no kids rate), this was a slightly pricey activity,
but the girls has a lot of fun & the course was mostly shady from the hot sun. Hurrah!
Pony rides at Paradise Riding Stables were a hit as well. The girls have never been on a horse before, but like almost all other little girls in the world, they love everything about them. And even though the ride consisted only of multiple loops around the stables, the girls were in heaven.

Living the (little girl's) dream. $15/child.
On a media pass, we visited Camelback Lodge's new indoor Aquatopia Water Park. I mention media pass not only for full disclosure, but also because day passes are not typically allowed... so keep that in mind when you are planning your trip. You would have to be staying at Camelback to visit their water parks. And after spending an entire day there... I can pretty safely say we'll be back for a longer visit next time!
The girls LOVED everything about this park, and I like how there were defined areas for every age group. Being indoors was nice, too, as you never know what the weather is going to be like (it rained that day!), and obviously during the winter it's a good excuse to pull out your bathing suit. Funnily enough, Vivi was scared of going on a slide until the very end of the day, and then when we finally got her to try it out -- she loved it!! We stayed a little longer then as a result. :) Please check out Camelback's website for lodge information, rates & to see the many activities they have to offer. And if you have a moment, check out this video we made about it on my YouTube page!

Sheer terror mixed with excitement. She did this slide about 50 times.

Loved this penguin-themed section for toddlers!

Post water park Whack-a-Mole smack down
Interspersed throughout, there was plenty of time for ice cream (obviously). We made 2 stops to the cutest ice cream/diner/movie theatre in Mt. Pocono called Casino Theatre Entertainment Center -- I loved this place! Like a step back in time, the d├ęcor was straight out of the 50s, and the girls loved the automated train that rolled around the ceiling and the indoor merry-go-round and arcade... and of course, the ice cream!

No, they had no idea what this contraption was called. We filled them in.
Ice cream faces!!
Honestly, the girls could probably have spent our entire getaway just hanging out in the pool, but we're glad we slipped in a few other activities. We'll be back, Poconos!


Summer Thus Far, With a Whole Lotta Summer to Go...

Anyone else feel like summer vacation has lasted a MONTH already? Holy moly... it's been one week & I am acting fast to get something of a timeline together for our summer activities. Not a rigorous schedule, mind you, but we need plans. I am all for puttering around at home, but too much puttering leads to crabby girls which leads to World War III at Casa Baby Meets City. Here's to ice cream saving the day:

Luckily, our Equinox membership began on July 1st, and the girls have already attended their For Kids Only play clinic and tennis lessons, which they'll go to twice a week for the rest of the summer. This is a great option for families whose kids are attending camps but may have a few off days here and there and are looking for something fun & sporty to do, or just like the flexibility of a drop-in schedule (ie, aren't crazy planners like me!). And as a result of this partnership, I've now worked out twice - which is twice more than I've done in the last year - and my body is feeling it today. But in a good way, thank God.

The girls loved their 1st tennis lesson with Gotham Tennis Academy through Equinox's "For Kids Only" program!

We're off to the Poconos tomorrow for a few days to unwind and relax, with a little Camelback Aquatopia Waterpark thrown in for good measure. More details on that soon! When we return, here are a few summer activities that are on our "to do" list:

The Alice in Wonderland exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum: Thanks to their ad campaign in every subway station in NYC, the girls & I are curious to check this one out!

The Little Member Film Festival at MOMA: Here's one more reason to buy a family membership to MOMA. They'll be showing children's films outdoors in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden on Wednesday evenings this July. So fun!

The Pops Ups at The Brooklyn Children's Museum: Have you heard of them? Their catchy, upbeat songs are perfect for kids (& adults will not want to bang their heads against a wall). They've got several shows in the city this summer, including this one on July 11th.

Our annual trip to Coney Island: Because summer in NYC wouldn't be the same without at least one trip to the boardwalk, am I right?

Brooklyn Bridge Park "Please Touch the Art" display: I can't believe we haven't gotten out to see this yet!

Visit the new location of The Whitney Museum: They have tons of programs for kids & families, & I'm curious to check out their new location in the Meatpacking District.

The Hoot Music Festival in Olivebridge, NY: Live music. Family-friendly. Camping. Catskills. We'll be channeling a PG version of Woodstock in August.


Hey NYC! How about a New 'Do from Nexxus?

This post is sponsored by Nexxus. Thank you for supporting Baby Meets City!

It's amazing what a great new hair cut can do to your self esteem & general well being. I got mine cut a few weeks ago and I feel SO much better. Falling into the every-day-pony-tail rut, it was time for a change. I left the salon feeling ten pounds lighter and hipper and less harried mom who walks out of the house with stains all over her shirt (though let's face it, that still happens). In any case, spending a little time on your hair is well worth the time and money, IMHO. I stopped by Duane Reade yesterday to pick up some new hair gel to keep this coif looking styled and not too crazy in the summer heat. What can I say, it feels a little luxurious knowing that Nexxus uses a caviar complex to replenish your hair... and I love the convenience of buying salon products at my local drug store!

On that topic, here's a little fun for my fellow New Yorkers: Nexxus is sponsoring a Salon Care Sweepstakes for shoppers of Walgreens & Duane Reade in NYC (and if you purchase 2 or more Nexxus products either today or tomorrow, you'll get 10,000 flash rewards points- woohoo!)

The lucky winner of this sweepstakes will win a salon experience with celebrity stylist Kevin Mancuso. Not too shabby, right? Entering is pretty simple, as you'll see below. Simply purchase any full-size product from Walgreens or Duane Reade, and be sure to keep your receipt! There you'll find an entry code. Then, head to nexxusNYsalonsweeps.com to submit your code between now and July 30th when the sweepstakes ends. Alternatively, snap a photo of your purchased product and text it to Nexxus@trynow.me.

This experience is valued at $1000 but will leave you feeling like a million bucks, no question. I'm entering, are you?!

Disclosure: While this post is sponsored by Lunchbox, all opinions herein are my own.


Celebrating the Almost-End-of-Diapers-Era with Pampers Easy Ups

I've partnered with Pampers for this sponsored post. Thank you for supporting Baby Meets City!
With two small children in the house, we've gone through our fair share of diapers in the last five years. And now that Vivian is in the final stages of potty training (she only wears an easy up at night), with the help of Pampers I thought it might be fun to have a little party for a few of our friends and their kids who are in varying stages of potty training. We all know the road to underpants can be a long, wet (!) and challenging one, so why not just celebrate where we are now, right?

We had so much fun! Vivi's little friends will be moving into training pants soon, so she had a good time showing them their goodie bags: new easy up training pants & a potty training book! We celebrated this milestone over muffins, popcorn & fruit (kid food staples) & the other moms & I commiserated over this "journey" that can at times seem never-ending.
Here's a couple things I've learned about Pampers & through the experience myself:
- You can't push them! When your child is ready, he/she will let you know. If you try to start before they're ready, you'll be investing in a lot of paper towels.
- Easy Ups are a great "diaper-to-underwear" transition. Their underwear-like design is encouraging to kids while keeping accidental messes off clothing, bedding, etc.
- A little bribery never hurt anyone. Vivian has definitely been encouraged to use the potty when I've told her she could have a special treat afterwards. It's all about making it a routine!
- Pampers Easy Ups has an absorbent core that holds 25% more than other leading training pants to help ensure little ones remain dry. And with 12 hours of protection, it works during the day and NIGHT, which is key for us.
- Starting the potty training process in summer is ideal: the less clothes you have to deal with, the better!

Wherever you are in the process, I wish you luck! Just remember positive reinforcement is so important. And, accidents happen. But they happen less with Pampers, fortunately! 
Disclosure: I was compensated for this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.

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