Glimpses of December

City Strolling
Street Dancing
Tree Farm Visiting

Ornament Hanging

Ginger Bread House Building

 Story Reading
Masquerading
 Street Fairing
Train Show Gazing

 

Rock-staring
Fudge Making
Toy Testing

Autograph Receiving

 

 Fun Having
Holiday Dressing

 

 

Santa Kissing
 Card Stuffing
Grandparent Loving
 Cousin Kissing
Gift Giving
Gingerbread Smashing

Blessings Counting

 

Special Thank you to lovely sponsors LeapFrog, Minted and Tiny Prints.  Also enjoyed were The Big Toy Book’s Biggest Day of Holiday Play, Mamarazzi’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid Event with Jeff Kinney and Robert Capron, and Santa Claus with French Goutier at Catimini.
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Angelina Ballerina – The Very Merry Holiday Musical {Review}

New York City is truly transformed into a magical wonderland during the Holiday season and enjoying family theater has become a fun component of our pre-Christmas experience.  We kicked off our Holiday excitement this year with a family trip to see Vital Theatre Company’s Angelina Ballerina, The Very Merry Holiday Musical.

Lucia (almost 5!) was bursting with excitement from the moment she learned of our plans.  Like Angelina, she has high hopes of becoming a prima ballerina and girl can choreograph some pretty astounding living room dance performances.   She also enjoys her Angelina Ballerina books, and I couldn’t wait to see her reaction of this live production.  Adrian (age 2.5) can also bust a move pretty well and recently took his first dance class.  Since he greatly enjoyed his previous live theater experience, I was so happy that he too was invited to attend. 

In this performance, Angelina and her mousy friends decide to debut a holiday dance pageant as a gift to the special people in their lives.  During performance preparations, a shipping mishap sends the wrong costumes, so Angelina and crew must collectively problem solve to save their dear pageant. Polly (Angelina’s little sister) steps up and creatively leads the way to the most magnificent performance in all of mouseland.  The heart-warming storyline reminds audience members that spreading Holiday cheer is what matters most. 

Photo credit: Sun Productions, Inc.

The fun melodies, humor and variety of dance genres won over audience members of all ages.  The energetic cast is skilled at capturing and holding the attention of young children.  Lucia smiled and bopped around in her seat the entire time, and Adrian watched intently and applauded at every appropriate interval.

Photo credit: Sun Productions, Inc. 

I think that Lucia was most excited about being invited on stage with the rest of the children to dance with cast members upon show completion.  The children also had a chance to receive cast member autographs and pose for photographs with their mousy friends.  Adrian had a moment of shyness but his big sister gladly showed off her best pirouettes.  

There is still time to enjoy this fantastic show, as production runs until January 13th, 2013!

Presented by Vital Theatre Company and HIT Entertainment at the Vital Theatre, 2162 Broadway, NYC.  Nov. 18th 2012 through Jan. 13th 2013; Sat. and Sun., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m; special school holiday performances on Dec. 24 – 27; Dec. 31 and Jan 1; (212) 579-0528 or www.vitaltheatre.org.   

My family and I received press passes free of charge.  No other compensation was received.  The above opinions are mine alone. 

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petite PARADE – Kids Fashion Week NYC with Vogue bambini

I recently had the chance to view pint sized loveliness in the form of children’s fashion at petite PARADE – NYC kids fashion week in collaboration with Vogue bambini.  The two day event at Industria Superstudio called upon all that is warm and bright as leading domestic and international children’s fashion designers presented their Spring/Summer 2013 collections.

I was invited to attend on behalf of Stride Rite, a favorite shoe brand for my own bambinos.  The event included a stunning SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS showcase and I was thrilled to learn that the Swarovski Sparkling Craft Workshop benefited Only Make Believe, a non-profit (that we have previously supported) that brings interactive theater to children in hospitals and care facilities.  Featured designers included Baby CZ, Bonnie Young, Caramel Baby & Child, Halabaloo, Inca Girls Swimwear, Joe’s Jeans Kids, Lamantine Paris, Lilly Pulitzer, Mischka Aoki, Miss Blumarine, Ooh! La, La! Couture and T-shirt T-shops.  Other participating designers included Imoga, Pale Cloud, Aston Martin, Monnalisa, Hitch-Hiker, Ki6, La Piccola Danza, Sarabanda, Silvian Heach, Floatimini, iNTAKT, Kissy Kissy, Liv & Lily, Mali kids, Millions of Colors, Olivia Rose, Pimalinda, Snopea, Stella Cove, Umi Shoes, and Zutano.  Top children’s wear design graduates from Parsons the New School for Design curated a fashion show as well – I had a chance to view this collection and it was inspiring!

I love the look of delicate flowers and light bolero by Monnalisa, paired with eye catching Stride Rite sandals.

Photo via Getty Images.

Miss Bluemarine’s textured whites and pops of neon with bright Stride Rite sandals was one of my favorite looks.

Photo via Getty Images.

I also really liked the pairing of Stride Rite’s classic Keds with this lovely combination by Monnalisa.

Photo via Getty Images.

Although I am usually more drawn to the girls collections, I was blown away by the phenomenal fashion choices for boys.  I would love to see my little man in this rocking look by Aston Martin and Sperry Top-Siders by Stride Rite.

Photo via Getty Images.

My plans to attend solo changed when my husband and son got stuck in traffic – so I had a mini sidekick to accompany me.

Let’s just say that someone worked fashion week like only a four-year-old can:

Thank you Jeffrey Clark Grossman for this image.

I was not compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.

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#SandyVolunteer

The sorts of things that I have scheduled to share in this space all feel so petty in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  The enormity of the devastation and desperation is truly mind-blowing, and now, the threat of a nor’easter is on the way.  So many people have generously come together to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy, but there is still more work to be done.  Solid up to date information is coming out of the Occupy Sandy Relief effort website (also on twitter @OccupySandy and on facebook), and under the twitter hashtags #SandyVolunteer, #OWS, and #NotAnotherKatrina).  Necessary items can even be purchased via the Occupy Sandy’s wedding registry on Amazon.  I’m not sharing this to make folks feel like their efforts are not enough, I’m simply encouraging involvement.  It is greatly needed.

Toy Houses lined up amidst burnt down houses and debris, Breezy Point, NY.  Photo via friend Brain Isaacs.

In Gratitude,
Monica

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In Gratitude

With hearts full of gratitude, we slow down the pace and return to a simpler life.  We build block castles and blanket forts. We enjoy tea parties and tell stories.

Most importantly, we count our blessing and name them one by one.

Our present thoughts are with all those devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

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My Boy In The City

My mama attention is frequently divided.  Conversations are often dominated by the plethora of questions from my very inquisitive four-year-old girl.  On Thursday, I had ears only for my littlest, and he is quite the budding conversationalist.  “Look mama – a big TV – isn’t that silly”?!  I most certainly agree that a humongous flat-screen mounted on a building is indeed silly.

Through my little boy’s eyes my perspective is broadened.  Making me aware of things that I would never have noticed – shapes in buildings, a stranger’s laugh, a soccer ball suspended in mid-air.  In the middle of massive sensory overload – he brings my attention to a pattern of clouds in the sky.  Little adventures through various neighborhoods are so exciting for him- as they are for me, still. 
 

So many of the steps we took on our little trek called upon memories built in this incredible city.   We walked past our first Manhattan apartment, the hospital where I birthed Lucia, and the office of the most gratifying job that I ever had.  Our plans took us past the institution where I earned my masters degree at night, while working full-time by day.  As I walked, my mind reeled back to Bob, and thoughts of the family we formed together – well before reciting vows and having babies.

On our day together, I soaked up my tiny narrator’s joy.  A joy that shone so brightly while riding the subway, watching street performers, collecting sticks in Central Park and riding the carousel with his uncle.

I feel asleep that night with my ears echoing that sweet little voice repeating “look mama!”, and a full heart reflecting two-year old excitement over simple pleasures.

What a lovely day it was.

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