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The Ultimate Gift Guide For Foodies Of All Ages, Thanks To Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store

Looking for a gift for the foodie in your house? Our friend Ann Cantrell of Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store in Brooklyn has rounded up the absolute ULTIMATE in foodie gifts for all ages, even babies.

The Ultimate #Gift Guide for #Foodies of All Ages, care of Annies Blue Ribbon General Store and brunchwithmybaby.com

Foodie Gifts For Dad
1. Mason Shaker: $34
4. Brooklyn Slate Cutting Board: small 7″x12″ $26 or large 10″x14″ $30 

The Ultimate #Gift Guide for #Foodies of All Ages, care of Annies Blue Ribbon General Store and brunchwithmybaby.com
Foodie Gifts For Mom
1. Edible Brooklyn: $18.95
2. Produce Bags: $11.50
3. Edible Food Wheel: $7.50
4. Easy as Pie Tea Towel: $25
5. Falcon Pie Set: $75

The Ultimate #Gift Guide for #Foodies of All Ages, care of Annies Blue Ribbon General Store and brunchwithmybaby.com

Foodie Gifts For Older Kids
1. I Cookie Cutter: $16

The Ultimate #Gift Guide for #Foodies of All Ages, care of Annies Blue Ribbon General Store and brunchwithmybaby.com

Foodie Gifts For Toddler

The Ultimate #Gift Guide for #Foodies of All Ages, care of Annies Blue Ribbon General Store and brunchwithmybaby.com

Foodie Gifts For Baby
Wooden Animal Face Plates (1. Rabbit or 2. Monkey): $18

The Ultimate #Gift #Guide For Foodies Of All Ages care of Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store and Brunchwithmybaby.com

The Foodie Gift For Everyone
Cheese Socks: $12

If you’re in Brooklyn, drop by the storefront in Park Slope (be warned, you won’t be able to leave empty handed!

Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store
232 5th Ave (Between President and Carroll),
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Phone:(718) 522 9848

Ann Cantrell - Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store
Ann Cantrell, owner of Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store.

Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store : a modern general store for a well lived life. We have something for everyone on your list! 

Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving 2013

A very happy Thanksgiving this year, surrounded by loved ones and friends, old and new. Thanks to our friends Dan and Sue for hosting and inviting us to their amazing expat Thanksgiving feast.

This year I am very thankful to our community of friends,  for my family, and for how lucky I really am. I like to whine and complain a lot about things that aren’t perfect, but the reality is I’m so lucky. A supportive, loving husband, a healthy, beautiful little girl, living in New York City, and really enjoying an amazing life. So many blessings, so very thankful.

#Thanksgiving 2013

#Thanksgiving

#Thanksgiving

After lunch was some dancing. Cheese really loves dancing lately and was loving it.


What’s Thanksgiving without pie?!

#Thanksgiving

 

 

Your Latest Squeeze: aden + anais musy mate Giveaway

#adenandanais #musymate #giveaway brunchwithmybaby.com

It was a spin out moment when I realised that most of my friends are having second babies this year! Really? Already? I feel like I just emerged from the trenches. Or on second thought, I’m still in them.

I recently visited this five-week-old snuggly boy, who has a new best friend to help him cope with the tough life of a newborn — an aden + anais jungle jam musy mate lovey.

The musy mate collection from aden + anais features lovies made from cotton muslin, just like the swaddles I used two years ago, and LOVED when Cheese was a tiny baby. I wish they’d been around then! I would have felt much more comfortable with her snuggling up to one of these than with the other lovies we considered, and eventually passed on. Other lovies on the market tend to be made out of non-breathable materials. But since these are made with breathable muslin, you can rest a little easier when placing them beside your newborn, or when buying them as a baby shower gift.

Since there are no sewn-on eyes on musy mates, they are fine to be left with a little one while they’re awake. However, aden + anais recommend removing all stuffed animals/loose blankets from the crib before your baby falls asleep.

Musy mates are not only super soft and cuddly, they’re also machine washable just like the swaddle blankets (yay!), so no need to worry about getting spit up all over them.

#adenandanais #musymate #giveaway brunchwithmybaby.com

@adenandanais #musymate #giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

GIVEAWAY
aden + anais is giving Brunch With My Baby readers the chance to win their own musy mate to cuddle or to gift, valued at $24.95. (Adorable baby not included.)

Giveaway is open Wed November 27 to 11:59pm Tues Dec 10 2013 EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Entry open to US mailing addresses only.

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

 

Four Thanksgiving Treats That Aren't Pie

Stand out at your Thanksgiving gathering (and fight off the hordes of hungry masses) by bringing a dessert that’s not a pie. You might want to buy extra — these Thanksgiving treats are so delicious they may not make it all the way to your party.

#Thanksgiving treats via brunchwithmybaby.com

Georgetown cupcakes
The cupcake masters always have something special for the holidays. Order these babies online or stroll in and grab one for an afternoon (or morning!) snack. The Thanksgiving dozen includes three Pumpkin Spice cupcakes, three Caramel Apple cupcakes, three Chocolate Hazelnut cupcakes, and and Maple cupcakes. $29 a dozen or $2.75 each.
Georgetown Cupcakes: 111 Mercer Street (between Spring and Prince) New York

#Thanksgiving treats via brunchwithmybaby.com

Jacques Torres
It’s always the right time of year for chocolate! Move over, Easter Bunny, because you can now get a chocolate Thanksgiving turkey from Jacques Torres, in various sizes from the Giant Turkey (a five pound beast made from dark or milk chocolate and hand decorated with feather accents,$98), to the Small Turkey (molded in milk or dark chocolate, $4 each). Searching for an even more unique gift for your host? Try the Turkey Puzzle, made from milk and dark chocolate ($8.50).
Jacques Torres: various locations

#thanksgiving #treats in #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Betty Bakery
Drop by this Brooklyn bakery to pick up hand iced and decorated cookies in the shape of turkeys, owls and pumpkins ($5.25 each). They also have Thanksgiving-themed cupcakes decorated with autumn leaf sprinkles ($2.95 each), and assorted small cookies in flavors and shapes like chocolate-almond leaves ($21/pound).
Betty Bakery: 448 Atlantic Ave (between Bond St and Nevins St), Boerum Hill

#Thanksgiving treats via brunchwithmybaby.com#Thanksgiving treats via brunchwithmybaby.com

Treat House
Inspired by a charitable school bake sale, Treat House is a gourmet rice crispie emporium. Their Thanksgiving flavors are Pumpkin Spice, Maple Pecan, Caramel Sea Salt and Cranberry Orange ($2.25 per treat; $24 for 12 pack). And you can feel good about yourself while you’re chomping down on your treat: ten cents of every treat purchased is donated to the Food Bank for New York City.
Treat House: 452 Amsterdam Ave, New York

Happy Thanksgiving. Gobble gobble (all that chocolate)!!!

These Boots Are Made For Running: The High Line With Stride Rite + Giveaway

#StrideRite Medallion review and #giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

Cheese is one active kid. She loves to run, jump and climb, and her favourite thing in the world is a playground. Because she’s so active, I’m really picky when it comes to choosing her shoes. I tend to go for practical first, and then style, because I want quality shoes that will fit her feet properly as they’re growing, and support her little feet in their athletic endeavours. Because of this, Stride Rite remains one of my top brands when buying shoes. They’re designed with the utmost care to fit tiny feet properly. They’re durable, made from top materials, and rigorously tested to ensure a high quality shoe.
#StrideRite Medallion review and #giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

This winter, I wanted a good pair of boots for Cheese, that would keep her feet warm and enable her to keep playing and running outside without hinderance. The Stride Rite Medallion Collection Roslin is the perfect boot for my busy little Cheese.

#StrideRite Medallion review and #giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

We took Cheese and her new boots for a spin on the High Line. The boots are great for an active toddler. Padded for comfort, strong but comfortable leather for long-term wear, and easy to get on and off. These boots are made for running, not walking! They get the Cheese’s tick of approval (ie she didn’t whine and yell “off, off!!”).

#StrideRite Medallion review and #giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

The High Line is a favourite place of ours to let the Cheese run wild. It’s pretty contained and in a long, straight line, so we can let her loose without worrying about her running into traffic or hurting herself in general. It’s lined with plants as well, which change during the seasons and provide Cheese with amazing leaves and flowers to discover on her eye level, that she can actually touch (we’re looking at you here, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens …). She really enjoyed the different levels on the High Line, with ramps, steps and viewing platforms, and loves peeking over the edge at the buildings, people and fire trucks down below.

#StrideRite Medallion review and #giveaway via brunchwithmybaby.com

There are actually multiple sections to the High Line, but we generally just enter it randomly when we get the urge (“Hey, there’s the High Line, let’s go up!”), and exit when we realise we’re kinda hungry/cold/tired/cranky (this may or may not be the toddler). That’s the best thing about it — it’s like a get-on-get-off bus ride through Chelsea, perfect for entertaining a crazy active toddler as well as yourself.

GIVEAWAY!
The generous people at Stride Rite are offering one lucky Brunch With My Baby reader the chance to win their own pair of Stride Rite shoes of their choice.

Giveaway open from Nov 20th 2013 to 11:59pm EST Tues 26th, 2013.

Open to US mailing addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Clark's Restaurant: Kid-Friendly Diners, Brooklyn Heights, NY

Clark's #Restaurant: #Kid-Friendly Restaurants, #Brooklyn Heights, #NYC

I know, I know, diners, right? Not exactly a foodie destination, but as any parent to a child under five knows, it is integral to survival. Ok, maybe I won’t go that far, but I can safely say that it is comforting to have a low-key neighborhood place to go with the kids when you need to get out of the house and you want a fail-safe restaurant solution.

We have a standing breakfast date at Clark’s Restaurant with our dear friends (pictured), now that the kids’ schedules are not compatible for afternoon play dates. Even though it’s called a “restaurant”, Clark’s is really a diner, and it’s a super popular destination in Brooklyn Heights for families to enjoy breakfast. When we arrive at 8:30am, it’s already busy with plenty of kids and tired-looking parents.

In the past we’ve ordered the kids their own food, but since they almost always take a tentative bite and then forgot about it, on this visit we decided they could eat off our plates instead. Good move, since that day, both of the kids were only interested in eating toast, after slathering it with butter and Smuckers Grape Jelly.

The high chairs are the clip-on kind plus the normal ones. I love the clip-ons in the booths since they really fence the kids in so they can’t wiggle out and escape.  We both always bring umbrella strollers and don’t bother to fold them because there is room at the front of the restaurant to park them, or you can bring them to the table. (My friend often brings her pretty large Bugaboo and parks it at the end of the table and no one complains). The staff couldn’t be friendlier or more welcoming. Everything, including the strollers, which are absolutely in the way, is “no problem”.

Clark's #Restaurant: #Kid-Friendly Restaurants, #Brooklyn Heights, #NYC

Clark's #Restaurant: #Kid-Friendly Restaurants, #Brooklyn Heights, #NYC

We order eggs with bacon and cheese on an English muffin ($9.25) and the Greek Omelet (with feta and tomato, $9.25) with home fries. The staff always gives us shots of complimentary orange juice, which I think were meant for the kids, but since we don’t give the girls juice, we drank it ourselves. They also give us small plastic cups for the kids with water in it. Cheese dumped hers all over herself on this particular day, so I guess we’re going to have to work on this at home before attempting it in public again.

Clark's #Restaurant: #Kid-Friendly Restaurants, #Brooklyn Heights, #NYC

Clark's #Restaurant: #Kid-Friendly Restaurants, #Brooklyn Heights, #NYC

The service is a little chaotic if you need attention, which we often do with two squirmy toddlers. When we need things like extra cutlery or napkins, it’s much faster and easier to get up and grab it yourself instead of flagging down busy staff and then hoping they remember to bring it back.

When the kids were about a year old, we liked going to Clark’s because it was a great place to take kids when we wanted to eat out but when a fancier restaurant wouldn’t have been ideal. It’s a great place to take your (high-spirited?) child to breakfast or lunch because even if they’re being the crankiest crank, and it doesn’t matter, because at Clark’s, no one cares.

As always, as we strapped our kids into their respective strollers and tried to wipe off some remaining crumbs from their clothes, the staff bid us all a cheerful adieu and we were already looking forward to our next breakfast together at Clark’s.

Last Bite: A classic diner with a huge menu, plenty of basic breakfast items, and delightfully friendly staff makes this a staple morning hot spot for families in Brooklyn Heights.

Highchairs: No.
Stroller storage: No.
Easy access: No. There are a few steep steps to get in.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Clark’s Restaurant
80 Clark St (between Henry St & Hicks St)

Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: (718) 855-5484
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-9pm, Sun 7am-3:30pm

Ballerina Swan: Anyone Can Dance

With the weather turning to bitter cold again, I was so excited to have the opportunity to check out another kids theatre show with Cheese. After our success with Wanda’s Monster, I was really eager to take her to another show. This time, the show was called Ballerina Swan, produced by Making Books Sing (who also produced Wanda’s Monster).

#ballerinaswan

The theatre/dance performance was based on a book, also called Ballerina Swan, by Allegra Kent – a former NYC Ballet ballerina of 30 years. So yes, she is certainly qualified to be writing ballet books. We were privileged to meet Ms Kent before the performance. While her performing days are over, she still bears the look and poise of a life of ballet.

I love ballet. Love, love, love ballet, since I was about age three, according to my parents. Story goes I begged for lessons for two years until they gave in. I’m thankful for that, as it’s been a life-long love of mine, and one that I am now beyond thrilled to be able to share with Cheese. Lately she’s been asking to go to dance class, and has been mimicking the little ballet dancers she sees going into class at NY Kids Club. With this in mind, I thought this was the perfect show for us to be seeing.

Ballerina Swan tells the story of Sophie, a swan who wants to be a ballerina. She watches dancers in class and tried to join in, only to be derided and chased away by the teacher. Once another, more liberal-minded, teacher takes over the class, Sophie is welcomed with open arms (or wings?) by the children, who admire her for her strengths (great neck movements), and help her with the areas that need more work (it’s hard to accomplish turn out with webbed feet!).

Becoming a dancer is hard work, and Sophie gets frustrated with her slow progress. Her fellow dancers urge her to keep trying and practicing, reminding her that it takes dedication to become a dancer. A good lesson for kids, by the way, since it’s a life lesson for anything they will want to attempt.

Sophie works hard and, over time, becomes the dancer she dreams of being. The dual messages of hard work paying off and of accepting those who are different to us are woven into the beautiful scenes of talented ballet dancers.

The show will appeal mostly to girls (there were a few boys who were protesting having to watch a ballet show), who love all things tulle and tutu. Yes there were a few little girls actually attending the show in tutus … At 50 minutes it was a good length – the story flew (sorry, couldn’t help myself) along quickly, with no lagging moments – critical for keeping the attention of small children. The show is also interactive. There is a really fun moment where the dancers ask the audience to dance. I thought Cheese might be too young, but no, she hopped up and copied the dancers’ port de bras, turns and tendus. It literally brought a tear to my eye to see her first actual dance moves.

#ballerinaswan

Cheese insisted on sitting solo during the show (she also enjoyed folding herself up into the seat over and over and over again …).

#ballerinaswan

Ballerina Swan via akissgoodnight.co

Ballerina Swan - via akissgoodnight.co

#ballerinaswan

After the show we met the cast. Despite looking quite sour in this picture, Cheese actually was brave enough to give Sophie a pat and was excited to meet her.

Ballerina Swan runs from November 9 – 24th, 2013.
Wed-Fri 10:30am, Sat & Sun 11am & 2pm
Tickets $25
Best for ages 3-8
Buy tickets by calling 646-250-1178 or online at makingbookssing.org.
Save 10% on tickets by using the code “POSTCARD
After every weekend performance, stick around for a 20-minute meet-and-greet with the cast.

Images of the show by Carol Rosegg

I was not compensated for this post. I was given preview tickets for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Brunch Special: Brianne Manz, Stroller In The City

Today’s Brunch Special is courtesy of Brianne Manz, the writer/blogger behind Stroller In The City. She’s mom to three kids (Ryder, 5, Siella, 2, and Gemma, 7 months), and lives in Battery City with her husband, Jason. 

An Interview with #Brianne Manz from #strollerinthecity - brunchwithmybaby.com

Tell us a bit about your pre-baby career.
I was once a fashion showroom owner for women’s apparel. The showroom was based in NYC and represented about 10 designers. We sold the brands to stores all over country. When my son was born I wanted to focus on being a mom and sold my company.

How did you make the transition to writer/blogger?
The whole process happened organically. I started this little blog at the time to write about the adventures I was having while being out about being a mom. I was also determined to find clothing for my son that wasn’t baby blue. Now, five years later, things have changed dramatically in the fashion world for kids.

How has life changed with three kids?
It has changed 100%. Three has definitely been a game changer for sure! You just do not have enough hands. Plus I also did it the opposite way of most by having my second and third pretty close in age (21 mos). My middle daughter is full into her terrible twos, so I pretty much have my hands full. Not to mention the sleeping for all has been extremely hard for us because now the baby (7 mos) is teething.

Fashion-wise — you used to work in fashion, and always look amazing on your site. What do your readers NOT see?
Why thank you! I would say my readers do not see me sitting behind my computer catching up on work in my pj’s; which consist of non matching leggings, sweats, or tanks.

An Interview with #Brianne Manz from #strollerinthecity - brunchwithmybaby.com

How hard is it to pull together a look now that you have three kids? What do you always make time for, what parts of your beauty and styling routine have you dropped?
I have a big archive in my closet from working in fashion for so many years, so putting an outfit together for me is easy, like second nature. Asking me to pick out furniture, is a whole other ballgame. Interior design is so hard for me.

As for beauty — this is so bad I know, but the one thing I really try to do for myself once a week is get a blow out. I was never able to blow out my own hair, and this is a little “me” thing that makes my life easier when I literally have 5 minutes to shower. I did however drop most of my beauty regimens, like facials or night time masks which I should totally make time for.

An Interview with #Brianne Manz from #strollerinthecity - brunchwithmybaby.com

What are your key ways to dress stylishly when you’re with the kids — how do you put together an outfit that’s kid-friendly but still looks fantastic? 
I think comfort is key especially when with the kids all day long. I am usually wearing comfy shoes or boots with little or no heel because pushing a stroller can take a huge toll on your feet. Summertime I live in long dresses and thong sandals; it’s easy yet chic.

Tell us a bit about your neighborhood: A few of your fave places to go with the kids.
We live in Battery Park. It’s like suburbia of NYC. We have so many amazing playgrounds here, it’s pretty easy to change up the scene. Some of our favorite parks include: West Thames Park, Pier 25 on the Hudson, and Washington Market.

We have so many restaurants down here now, and pretty soon even more will be opening. Although I do like to cook, some days its too much. The kids will usually choose Inatesso Pizza or Shake Shack.

Brianne Manz is a fashion shownroom owner turned mom and blogger/writer. She lives in NYC with her husband and three children. Her blog Stroller In The City boasts about city living, kids fashion and all things that are mommy. Follow Brianne on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Halloween in New York 2013

This year was the first year that Cheese was old enough to kind of “get” Halloween. She didn’t understand dressing up as someone or something, so I was still able to choose her outfit (yay!). A friend knew that Cheese was into Mickey and Minnie Mouse and passed on a Minnie Mouse dress that they didn’t need for their toddler.

It fit Cheese PERFECTLY. I definitely wouldn’t have thought of it as a costume idea myself (I’m more into a bit of a DIY/thrown-together-kinda-thing), so it was great for Cheese to try something really new. She’s not a “girlie” girl and happiest when unencumbered to run and climb, so it was so my great surprise that she LOVED the frilly Minnie Mouse dress.

She wore it for three days straight (with me washing it in between because she got it filthy every time she wore it), and every time she put the dress on she turned into a different kid. One who twirled and fluffed out her taffeta skirt. It. was. adorable. And, she’s been asking to wear dresses ever since.

It’s always tough to decide what to do for Halloween in Brooklyn as there are so many options. I decided on the DUMBO Under The Archway event because it looked to be a bit less crazy than some of the other options considering I was taking a little toddler. We stroller on down to DUMBO, stopping to collect candy from the stores on the way (kinda of a lazy-ass version of trick-or-treating …) and ended up under the Archway to join the festivities.

My personal fave was the Boothify photo booth. Cheese enjoyed running through it, photobombing everyone else. They also had music playing and a little fake Brooklyn bridge set up that the toddlers enjoyed dancing and running all over, and a free art station with Creatively Wild. We ran into some friends and Alec came home early to join us, making it a super fun afternoon for the toddlers AND for us.

Cheese had the best afternoon possibly of her life, without even eating any candy (oh, alright, she did get in a few licks of a lollypop). Can’t wait to do it all again next year!