Adventure, baby!

New York Life

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg

Spring finally on its way means saying au revoir to giant coats and muted hues, and bonjour to color and fun-in-the-sun again!

Our absolute favorite place to spend a sunny day in NYC is Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn. It’s really the perfect playground. There’s lots of space to run around, grass to kick a ball on, and then, of course, there is the carousel itself. For only $2 per horse, you can take a ride with your little one. It’s the best value carousel in the city, with the best view.

On this particularly perfect spring day in Brooklyn, Missy E wore Egg by designer Susan Lazar. I’ve loved dressing E in Egg since she was a little baby, because the designs are adorable and the fabric is so soft against her skin.

Egg hatched in 2003, when Lazar decided to create a lifestyle brand designed around the needs of stylish mothers and children. Egg uses natural fabrics and simple designs. Perfect for parents who love clean lines, and want clothes for their kids that are made with movement and comfort in mind. The result is fashionable yet timeless baby and kids’ clothes of the highest quality. For little ones with sensitive skin, Egg also has an organics line, featuring soft organic cotton.

The 2014 Egg spring line is inspired by the South of France, evident in the delicate floral and fruit prints for the girls line, and the cool nautical motifs for boys.

The theme of this line, like most of Lazar’s designs, is very subtle — evident in the motifs and colors, but not obvious or gimmicky. “Each season the collection starts with a theme,” she says. “For example, Spring 2014 was inspired by the South of France — the wild flowers, the sea and the chicness of France. The theme is only a starting point and I never want the collection to be too trendy of costume-y”. The end result is a line of clothing that I wish came in my size too.

Being such big fans of Egg already, I was really excited to try out three outfits from the new Egg spring line.

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg Baby via brunchwithmybaby.com

The Shift Dress in pink is made from a super soft cotton-modal blend, perfect for running around town. This dress is designed with active kiddos like mine in mind. This super comfortable dress was a hit with E — she adored putting her hands in the double front pockets, and I particularly liked the buttons on the neckline, making it easy to get on and off. The bright pink stripes make this dress fun and bright for spring, while the three-quarter sleeves are the perfect length for days that still hold a hint of chill in the air.

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg Baby via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg Baby via brunchwithmybaby.com

The Pocket Dress in green is E’s favourite of the outfits. She loves the delicate floral print, accented with tiny birds, and the floaty skirt with little pockets in which she can hide rocks or other treasures. The dress is incredibly lightweight (perfect for keeping cool in high summer), and is 70% cotton, 30% silk. It looks super chic, but is still extremely comfortable as you can see from the photos of Miss E running, jumping and, her current favorite activity, climbing rocks.

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg Baby via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg Baby via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg Baby via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg Baby via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg Baby via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg Baby via brunchwithmybaby.com

The T-shirt Dress is fun and bright, and perfect for an active toddler. The big yellow pineapple on the front is the standout feature, and is such a cute print that isn’t typically seen on clothes for little kids. This dress is made for kids who are on the go. Perfect for running, climbing and having fun — being made from a super light weight cotton blend it will last throughout the summer, too. It’s cute without being fussy, and fun without being too “little kid”. Perfect for this sassy baby Brooklynite.

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg Baby via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg Baby via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg Baby via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg Baby via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Brooklyn Love Story with Egg Baby via brunchwithmybaby.com

The Egg line is available online and in stores.

Brunch With My Baby received compensation for this post from Egg. All opinions are, as always, our own. 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

New Year’s Resolutions: Three Months In

New Year's Resolutions: Three Months In

A good friend asked me to post about how I was going with my New Year’s Resolutions a few months in. I’d like to say that it’s a roaring success and life is now perfect, but that would just be lie now, wouldn’t it?

All I can say is that I’m doing the best I can do, every day. Some days go better than others. Some days are wonderful and I feel great about myself at the end. Some are a complete disaster and I wish I could have a do-over.

The main thing is I’m really trying to be a better person. And there’s been progress!

The most obvious is how my relationship with little E has improved. I’ve been making a huge effort to be present for her during our time together, and she’s turned into a huge mummy’s girl. So many hugs and kisses, saying “you’re my best friend Mummy!” and insanely cute things like this that help me want to do even better.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Dressing Brooklyn: Appaman and the Husband and Wife Team Behind It

The Brunch With My Baby team are huge fans of Appaman, a Brooklyn clothing brand known for their stylish kids’ clothes. Lynn Husum owns the brand, along with her husband Harald. She filled us in on what it’s like running a family business and raising kids (Kaya, 9, and Elie, 7) in NYC. 

#Appaman: Interview & #Giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

We hear that Appaman was named after Harald’s childhood stuffed monkey. Is he still kicking around?
Yes Appaman (the original) is still around. He is a little floppy but he is in the office on a shelf for inspiration.

#Appaman: Interview & #Giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

Appaman is a husband and wife team — how has it been working together AND raising two girls?
We truly love to work together. We are great at the division of labor thing. I won’t lie, there are good days and bad days, but the good far outweighs the bad. We each have tasks at work and home and we don’t micromanage each other. I think trust and a sense of humor are imperative when you have a working marriage like ours. The highs are being able to be in each others lives on a consistent and regular basis, to celebrate the triumphs and laugh at the daily absurdities. The lows are that we have most of the same problems so when something goes wrong we are both stressing about it. Rather than just one party having a work issue, we both have it.

#Appaman: Interview & #Giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

Starting your own business is a brave endeavor — what were Appaman’s humble beginnings?
We started in our 659 square foot apartment in Brooklyn. We dyed clothing in our washing machine and went door-to-door selling our wares. Harald took some screen-printing classes and was printing on our kitchen table. I took a night course on marketing to the children’s wear industry on a shoestring. I was a star pupil, did everything I was told and it worked.

#Appaman: Interview & #Giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

Were there any big setbacks or disasters along the way?
Knock wood, we have not had too many disasters. The biggest one I can recall is the season very early on that we shipped pants that could not fit any human child. They were very long and incredibly thin. We had to recall them but at the time we only had a few dozen accounts so although it seemed like a big deal at the time it was pretty minor.

#Appaman: Interview & #Giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

What was the biggest “We’ve made it!” moment with Appaman so far?
One of our T-shirts was photographed on Maddox Jolie-Pitt on the day Angelina announced her pregnancy with Brad Pitt’s baby. It was like the photo that went around the world. It was a perfect shot of our t-shirt and our phones were ringing off the hook. It was an exciting moment and a great example of the power of celebrity in the day and age.

#Appaman: Interview & #Giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
We live in NYC so inspiration is everywhere you look. Walking down the street can fuel creativity any day of the week.

#Appaman: Interview & #Giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

What do your kids think of your designs? Do they wear them?
We have two girls and they are fans of Appaman but are very picky. They like to choose the styles they are into at the current moment and are very vocal about their opinions. They are both pretty proud of Appaman but do not wear it exclusively.

#Appaman: Interview & #Giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

You’re based in Brooklyn! What are your favorite places in the ‘hood to take your family?
I love Brooklyn and my family has extreme Brooklyn pride. We are big fans of Coney Island for the boardwalk, Nathan’s and the Cyclones. We spend a lot of time at Fort Tilden beach in the summer. We hit Bay Ridge regularly for eating. We love Tanoreen for Middle Eastern food. Grand Sichuan House for Chinese. My kids’ favorite is Vietnamese food. They are obsessed with Pork Pho. We always go to Gia Lam in Sunset Park. We spend a lot of time at Brooklyn Bridge Park and weekends on Governor’s Island. Brooklyn is an amazing place to raise a family. I like to refer to it as small town living in an urban setting. My kids know all of the merchants in town and we shop at small bodegas for fruits, veggies, fish and meat. It’s friendly and family oriented.

GIVEAWAY
The kind folks at Appaman are giving one lucky Brunch My Baby reader the chance to win an outfit from their fall/winter collection. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.

Entry open to US mailing addresses only. Giveaway opens Wed February 19, 2014 to 11:59pm 25 February EST. By entering this competition you are agreeing to sign up to the Brunch With My Baby mailing list. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Cold outside, cosy inside: The 7 A.M. Enfant Blanket 212 Chevron

#7amenfant @7amenfant #blanket212chevron via brunchwithmybaby.com

New York winters are brutal. Icy winds, sleet and snow, and long, gloomy days. What you need to survive the long cold days is warm things, lots and lots of them, for you and your baby. We are particularly enamoured with the new stroller bunting from 7 A.M. Enfant — the Blanket 212 Chevron. You might be freezing as you’re trudging through grey sludge, but at least your kid will be so warm and snug that you’ll want to climb in there with them.

If you haven’t heard of the 7 A.M. Enfant brand before, they are known for their innovative, high-quality line of baby and children’s products, particularly those suited to the cold. Designed by French designer Rebecca Campora, the brand is colorful, playful and stylish, using the kinds of luxurious fabrics that you wish your own bags and clothes were made out of.

#7amenfant @7amenfant #blanket212chevron via brunchwithmybaby.com

Their latest version of the popular 212 stroller bunting is called the Chevron. As well as being the most attractive and eye-catching bunting we’ve ever seen (CHEVRON!), it fits any stroller, so you can easily use it on your SUV-sized or umbrella stroller equally well. The new Chevron pattern comes in six color combinations, from bright pinks, greens and reds, to subtler blues and the black and tan one pictured.

#7amenfant @7amenfant #blanket212chevron via brunchwithmybaby.com

The exterior is a water-repellent shell, designed to withstand rain and snow, with ultra-soft premium fiber insulation (read: super, super, super warm). The interior is anti-pilling micro-fleece that is not only warm enough for extreme New York winters, but also comes out of the washing machine looking like new. They’re not lying about the anti-piling — that feature alone makes this bunting worth its cost.

Other features you’ll love:

  • 2 length extensions so it grows with your child

  • Ergonomic hood with safe buttoned elastic adjuster

  • 5-point harness openings for securing into any stroller and car seat

  • Side strap attachments to secure the footmuff

  • Anti-slip back panel

  • Large front pocket

As mother to one very squirmy child, what I also love about this bunting is the strong zip up the middle. It means that tricksy toddlers like mine can’t kick it off – they must submit to being warm.

Bottom line is, this is an investment piece. A gorgeous-looking bunting made from high-quality materials, that’s made to last. Not kidding — you will pass this bunting down from kid to kid to kid, and it will still look fantastic when toddler number three is using it.

Brunch With My Baby was provided with a sample for reviewing purposes. All opinions are our own. 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

The Dream Big Academy: Rosie Wants to be a Fireman {Book Review}

The Dream Big Academy: Rosie Wants To Be A fireman {Book Review} via brunchwithmybaby.com

If your little one is at the age where she is curious about where mommy or daddy goes all day when they head off to this mysterious place called “work”, then this new children’s book by NYC author (and mom!) Marissa Klein are for you.

After struggling to find career-related books suitable to teach her own 2.5-year-old about careers, Klein decided to write her own story, The Dream Big Academy: Rosie Wants to be a Fireman. With whimsical illustrations by the talented Brooke Hagel, Rosie Wants to be a Fireman is the first in a series of books that are based on that question that stumps us even now: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Each night when Rosie goes off to sleep, a whole new world opens up for her. In this dreamworld, Rosie can be anything she wants to be. In Rosie Wants to be a Fireman, she helps rescue a cat from a tree and decides that when she grows up, she’ll be a fireman. Tomorrow, however, who knows what Rosie will want to be — you’ll have to follow the series to find out! With gorgeous, fashion-inspired illustrations and sweet rhyming language, little girls will adore following Rosie on her adventures — and hopefully be inspired to find some new big dreams for themselves.

The stories are intended for 4-7 year olds, but 2-3 year olds can enjoy a good read with an older sibling. While this is a children’s book, the message rings true for adults as well – it gives parents an opportunity to explain to their children why they have to go to work every day and how important it is to chase your dreams.

The Dream Big Academy: Rosie Wants to be a Fireman (Rissylyn; June 2013; $12.99, paperback; $19.95, hardcover; $4.95, Kindle) is now available for purchase via Amazon and Create Space. Visit http://www.thedreambigacademy.com to learn more or to buy your copy today.

The Dream Big Academy: Rosie Wants To Be A fireman {Book Review} via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Daniel Tiger's 3-in-1 Treehouse {Review + Giveaway}

Daniel Tiger Treehouse Review + #Giveaway

We’re huge Daniel Tiger fans in this household (I MAY be guilty of using Daniel Tiger’s songs in our day-to-day lives (“Problem solved!”). So it was a very exciting day for one little toddler when the Daniel Tiger 3-in-1 Convertable Treehouse arrived. Miss E is really into pretend play and dollhouses right now, so this toy is right up her alley.

Daniel Tiger Treehouse Review + #Giveaway

The treehouse arrives set up as above, with three figures  — Daniel Tiger, O the Owl and Katerina Kittycat. Designed to encourage imaginative play, the familiar figures can play with their environment in numerous ways, (The slide! The swing! The stairs!). A rocket in the center of the tree goes up and down between levels, and Katerina Kittycat spins in her bedroom while music plays. Super cute. The pieces all detach and can be aranged however the child decides.

Daniel Tiger Treehouse Review + #Giveaway

With a few changes, the tree house is transformed into a space station (here’s where the rocket elevator is most fun).

Daniel Tiger Treehouse Review + #Giveaway
The third playspace is on the other side of the toy — the front yard. A section of the treehouse flips down for Daniel’s telescope.

What I like best about this toy is how interactive it is. There are so many ways children can engage with the treehouse and the characters within it. At $39.95 it’s not cheap, but for big fans of the show, it will entertain for hours (or at least the length of a Daniel Tiger episode), making it money well spent.

The treehouse is also solidly gender neutral. Boys will enjoy this toy just as much as girls. You can pick up your own Daniel Tiger 3-in-1 Convertable Treehouse from stores like Toys R Us.

GIVEAWAY
The kind folks at Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood are giving one lucky Brunch With My Baby reader the chance to win their own Daniel Tiger 3-in-1 Convertable Treehouse. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.

Giveaway is open Wednesday January 22 to 11:59pm Tuesday 28, 2014 EST.

Entry open to US mailing addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

The Expat Life: Where Your Heart Is Always Torn In Two

The Expat Life: Where Your Heart Is Torn In Two - akissgoodnight.co

We’ve been living in New York for almost exactly three years now. Three of the toughest, most exciting, frustrating years of my life (having a tough kid doesn’t make it any easier).

As I near my 3 year anniversary of living the expat life, I’ve been reflecting a lot on how living in this situation, for me, is like living with your heart permanently torn in two. It’s a state of constantly missing those you left behind and who are living their lives without you, and, at the same time, enjoying your new life – with the thought always floating in your head, how long will this last? How long until the good doesn’t outweigh the bad? How long until you make the move back home and settle back into your old life? Sooner? Later? Never?

Living in a constant state of flux
At least, I certainly am. When we moved here, our time estimation for how long we’d live here was one-to-two years. Every year, we say we will give it one more year. Most of our stuff is in storage in Australia, but since we can’t decide whether or not to commit to living here permanently, we don’t know what to do with it all. It’s things like a giant couch that wouldn’t fit into any NYC apartment. My photographs and negatives and books. All my memories and possessions for my life pre 2011 are packaged into small boxes and stuffed into my parent’s house. I find myself missing things. Like a hair clip I was given for my 21st birthday that I still love to wear, but didn’t make the cut for things that we needed to bring over. And having to re-buy everything (PAINFUL!) because it’s cheaper than having the old things shipped over. How long until we can commit to a life here or there? Is there a magic number of years that pass and present the answer?

It starts off really really hard, but gets easier
The first year was so tough that I didn’t think we’d make it through and wanted to fly home almost every day. I missed everything about my old life – our home, our family and friends, the warm weather, and the easiness of life when you know how everything runs and how to do everything without thinking about it. The hardest parts about adapting to life in the US were the little things. Where to buy good Greek yoghurt. Finding a new GP, dentist, seamstress, housekeeper … Working out how medical insurance worked (ok, and some not so little things).

After the two-year mark things went from tough and frustrating to finally comfortable enough to feel like I didn’t have to fight to get little things done every single day. As I near the three-year mark, life has become great. It’s no longer a daily frustration as I can’t work out the little nuances that make life here different. Some still remain (why is supermarket bread SO BAD?! Why is the cheese ORANGE?! Why does tomato ketchup have CORN SYRUP in it?!) but, in general, New York is feeling like home.

Starting your tribe from scratch
It takes a while to make a new tribe. In my case, it took over two years to accumulate a new circle of friends whom I felt comfortable with. Feeling lonely and disconnected, while seeing all my old friends having a blast together was tough. It takes a lot of effort to stay in touch with people, especially as we get older and have more time commitments. One thing that can be said is that moving countries really shows you who your friends are! The ones who reply to your emails with thoughtful messages (and send you notes spontaneously when they’re thinking of you!) are going to be a lot fewer than you think (sadness), but they will be the ones who are your friends for life (happiness).

Missing family
Family is tough no matter where you live. Near them, they can drive you so nuts you wish you lived far, far away, and then if you DO live far, far away, you miss them like crazy and wonder if you made a mistake. Add a small child into that and it’s an even more difficult situation. People talk a lot about “mother guilt” – feeling guilty about everything you do and don’t do for your child. Instead of this, I get “daughter guilt”, where I feel guilty for moving so far away from my parents with their only grand child. We Skype every week and it’s a constant reminder of how much our decision to live this life is causing pain to other people who are missing out on precious moments with their grand child.

The up side
These last three years in New York have been a wonderful experience, despite the hardships – or perhaps, even, in some ways, because of them. Without a doubt, it’s been totally worth it. I’m an introverted person, so being here has pushed me out of my comfort zone in ways that staying in Sydney wouldn’t have. As well as the amazing experiences I’ve had here (not to mention that NEW YORK IS MY HOME!! How cool is that?!), the self-reliance and resilience I’ve built up as a result of this new life have also been positive for my own personal growth.

It’s not just my life
It’s not just about me and Alec. We are constantly trying to decide what is best for E. Little Missy E is having an amazing childhood, by the way. Central Park is her backyard. The American Museum of Natural History is her playground. She has dined at some of the best restaurants in NYC, all before she could walk. Lucky kid. We try to keep her as connected as possible with family back home so she knows who she is and where she comes from. It’s a normal part of her week to Skype Nanna and Pop-pop. E gets older, she will truly reap the benefits of her dual life. As an American and Australian citizen, a world of opportunities are literally open to her.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

7 A.M. Enfant Adult WarMMuffs + Kids' WarMMuffs GIVEAWAY

Keep little and big fingers toasty warm with our giveaway this week – a set of adult and kid WarMMuffs from 7am Enfant.

WarMMuffs are insulated with heat protective fibers and have a soft fleece lining, creating a snug and cosy pretective cover for hands and replacing gloves by attaching to your stroller. Now your scooter-loving little one can keep on scooting all winter long with a pair of the brand new WarMMuffs for kids.

The new kids’ 7 A.M. Enfant WarMMuffs are basically the same as the iconic adult WarMMuffs, shrunk down to fit teeny tiny hands. They easily attach to scooters and bikes with big, adjustable velcro strips, and are available in nine colors. You’ll love them because they’re easier for little tots to use than gloves and mittens, and your kid will love them because they can stay outside for hours, no matter how low the temps get (wait a minute!).

#7AMEnfant #WarMMuffs #giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

GIVEAWAY
The generous folks at 7 A.M Enfant are giving one lucky Brunch With My Baby reader the chance to win a pair of adult AND Kids’ WarMMuffs. If you want toasty and snug hands (who doesn’t?!) enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck — and stay warm, friends!

Giveaway opens Monday January 6, 2014, to 11:59pm EST Sunday, January 12.

Entry open to US mailing addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Think Global, Act Local: Inkkas Shoes Review & Giveaway

#Inkkas Shoes Review & #Giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

One of the absolute coolest things about living in a cramped city like New York is that you’re bound to have people in your circles who are doing really cool things. I recently discovered that one of my Brooklyn neighbors is the creator of this beautiful line of shoes, called Inkkas.

#Inkkas Shoes Review & #Giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

Inkkas.com is a socially conscious clothing company founded in 2012 on the principles of fair trade, philanthropy and authenticity. All production, sourcing and manufacturing of the shoes is done South America. The shoes are handmade of authentic South American textile by South Americans. As well as being beautiful, they’re ethically made and afforable (yay!). Kids’ Inkkas are $46 and adults’ start at $65. A portion of all proceeds is donated to to help protect the Amazon rainforest.

#Inkkas Shoes Review & #Giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

I was supremely thrilled for the opportunity to try out Inkkas shoes for myself and Miss E. Sidebar: it seems a lot of people actually named their child “Cheese” last year (no judgement!), so to start the new year off, I’m changing my daughter’s online pseudoym to something a bit less . . . dairy-like. Miss E it is (and sometimes Missy E, if she’s being sassy).

Back to the shoes: my slightly more subtle (in terms of design) Inkkas are the Concrete Jungle Low Tops (also available in High Tops). I like that the pattern is funky but not so over the top that I can’t just throw them on while wearing other colors. Missy E on the other hand, adores her very brightly colored Cotton Candy Kids.

#Inkkas Shoes Review & #Giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

I took the Inkkas shoes on our trip to Mexico a few weeks back since we needed some comfortable shoes to run around in (and to search for lizards in, and to take trips through lagoons in, and to eat guacamole in). Not only did the shoes fit the aesthetic of the trip (the patterns are reminiscent of traditional Mexican textiles), they’re also really comfortable, making them the perfect shoes for both kids and adults to wear all day.

#Inkkas Shoes Review & #Giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

GIVEAWAY
The kind folks at Inkkas are giving Brunch With My Baby readers the chance to win their own pair of Inkkas shoes. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.

Entry open to US mailing addresses only.

Giveaway open Thurs Jan 2, 2014 to 11:59pm Wed Jan 8 EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Brunch With My Baby were provided with samples for reviewing purposes.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Christmas in NYC

2013 was my very first year spending Christmas away from my parents. The airfares were just so expensive for three people that we decided to go home at a different time when the prices were a lot lower and spend the holiday season in New York. New York is just beautiful over Christmas. In Australia it’s always hot over Christmas, so I was really looking forward to enjoying Christmas in true winter, with cold-weather food, clothing, decorations and traditions.

New York does everything big and bold, and Christmas is no exception. Trees and lights start to sprout all over the city following Thanksgiving. The biggest is of course the Rockefeller tree, but there are trees all over the city, with tree lightings and caroling in a lot of the small neighbourhoods in the lead up to Christmas. Santa likes to visit all the ‘hoods as well, from the famous Santa at Macy’s to the lesser-known ones that pop up in the smaller ‘hoods for breakfast with the kids.

Since Missy E is a very … inquisitive toddler, we decided to forgo a tree this year (mostly because I just didn’t want to have to put the ornaments back on it over and over and over again). Instead we chose a little felt tree from Etsy, with felt ornaments, that E could decorate herself repeatedly. It did the charm, as this year was the year she decided Christmas trees were the best thing ever. Christmas Eve we placed a few gifts around the felt tree to surprise E with in the morning.

Christmas Day - akissgoodnight.co

Our present opening in the morning was truly a high tech experience, with my parents skyping in from Sydney to enjoy the festivities with us. It was so lovely that they could still enjoy being with us from afar. It was really difficult for me being away from home this year. I really missed being with my family on Christmas Day, and we decided that next year we will save up so we can afford the airfare home for Christmas.

Doll house - akissgoodnight.co

After present opening (the biggest hits for E were the  doll house, train set and guitar), we attempted to get E to nap before lunch. After a few hours with no napping for the hyper toddler, we set off into the city, walking over the Brooklyn Bridge to get her to take a stroller nap. It was a brisk day, with a high of -5, so it’s fair to say that it was a pretty cold walk! Thankfully, E did nap, and we did make it to lunch on time.

Christmas Day - akissgoodnight.co
“Cheese!”

Christmas Day - akissgoodnight.co

Since we would be on our own this year, I made a booking at a restaurant for Christmas lunch – the Bryant Park Grill. I wanted to capture as much holiday spirit for us as I could. The Grill was a good choice. It was a bit crazy busy, but the location was fabulous. Right next to the ice rink and Christmas tree in Bryant Park. We had a really love, non-traditional meal, and then let E run around Bryant Park. She loved the tiny carousel, and watching the ice skaters. She was actually begging to go ice skating – maybe next year … The Christmas tree was the big hit for her. Unlike most of the trees, this one you can go right up underneath and touch the giant ornaments. A very gleeful toddler though this was the most fun in the world.

Bryant park Carousel - akissgoodnight.co

Bryant Park - akissgoodnight.co

And so was our very New York Christmas this year! We tried to fit in as many of the holiday activites as possible, but only managed a few, like the department store windows (Saks and their Yeti was the favourite), visiting Santa at The Plaza, and seeing the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller plaza.

Saks Yeti via akissgoodnight.co

The Plaza Hotel Christmas Tree via akissgoodnight.co
The Plaza Hotel Christmas Tree

Santa at the Plaza Hotel

Rockefeller Plaza - akissgoodnight.co
Rockefeller Plaza

I feel blessed for my little family, and blessed that our lives have been so lucky. Hoping everyone else’s Christmases were filled with love and family.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.