Tag Archives: Williamsburg Brooklyn

Happy 3rd Birthday Super Hero Miles Storm!

September the 16th 2013 marks my Son’s 3rd Birthday, and I have mixed emotions about that. Part of me feels like he is growing up way too fast and everything is slipping by, and another part of me is so proud with the way he is growing into such a happy, considerate and caring little boy. I love being his Mum so much!

Planning his 3rd birthday ended up being a last-minute affair, which was okay as I work really well on deadlines. It was my main responsibility to organize his Birthday Party as my husband, being so busy with work has limited time for domestic duties. In retrospect, this is probably for the better, otherwise we probably would’ve argued over the finer points.

When Miles Storm woke up he had a cake and we sang Happy Birthday to him, yes on this one special day of the year it was Cake for Brekkie. Continuing on at his morning school group he had cupcakes, a BIG Happy Birthday sign and his class sang the traditional song! Later in the afternoon he had his official birthday party! Fortunately, the building we live in has a Children’s play room, which served us well as the venue for his Rockin’ birthday party. He had so much fun and it was a huge success. A lot of his friends came, with Mummies and Nannies alike.

Thankfully, we did have some help from different people who really helped make this a good time all around. The party might not have been so exciting without them!!

The local Williamsburg Brooklyn Children’s indoor play facility Klub 4 Kidz generously offered Miles a free face painter, with Miles choosing to be Batman for the occasion. Klub 4 Kidz is an awesome facility that has an Indoor Rock Climbing Wall, Toddlers Room, a 3-tier playground, as well as a disco room. They offer many special events as well as amazing birthday parties. Thank-you Tina for that!

One of our friends and up and coming celebrity photographer, Brock Fetch, came and took the photos of Miles Storm’s birthday party. So grateful for that, as now we have physical keepsakes (not just Iphone photos) to remember this day always. Miles and Brock have a very special relationship having quickly bonded over a short amount of time together, which is very interesting to watch!

Also, want to give a HUGE thank-you to the Bedford Baking Studio for making the most amazing vegan, gluten-free birthday cake and cupcakes. All the cupcakes went so fast, and the cake was not too far behind. Who says you need dairy products in cakes? I remember going into Bedford Baking Studio for Miles Storm’s 2nd Birthday last year to ask if they did Gluten Free or Vegan products and the answer was a definite No. A year later, the same bakery offers many many options in these categories. Surely a sign of the times. If you are in Williamsburg Brooklyn and need a cake I highly recommend a visit to the owner Tolga, he is so accommodating and willing to work with you to create something amazing.

Happy 3rd Birthday Super Hero Miles Storm!

Thanks for reading my BLOG!

PS – In case you are wondering who did the awesome artwork on the blackboard, it was me! Ha.

**All photos Copyright Brock Fetch Photography

We Love Klub 4 Kidz!

Being a Stay-At-Home-Mum in New York City is not always easy, especially during the colder weather. It is definitely not like the environment where I grew up in Australia where my Mother told me and my brother and sisters to go outside and play every day; you just do not have that choice here as a parent.

Thankfully, there are options. The indoor play spaces are a rapidly growing trend which are a godsend to young city-based families. Not just because they are indoors, but also because they are safe and friendly venues specifically targeted towards our Little Ones.

Here in Williamsburg Brooklyn where I live, there are a few options, with one of my top preferences being Klub 4 Kidz, which is located off Bedford Avenue on North 4th Street.

On Halloween 2010 K4K was officially opened by mother herself, Tina Klideris, who had dreamed about opening something-of-the-like for over 10 years; see dreams really can come true!

For the older children, 2 years to 10 years of age, there is a 18 foot rock climbing wall, and 4 tier state-of-the-art playground which includes zip line, crawl tubes, mazes, and slides. Pretty amazing right!

THE NEW TODDLER ROOM

For the younger children, like Miles Storm, K4K recently introduced a “Toddler Room” which we had the opportunity to check out last week. My Son loved it, we were there for 2+ hours and he actually started crying when we had to leave. Now he constantly asks if he can go back to the “Kub 4 Kidz” -  really cute!

The Toddler Room is specifically for newborns to children 2 years of age, which is reassuring because it means Little Ones will not be scared or knocked-about by the bigger children in the playground. There is a soft mat on the floor with plenty of toys and books to explore.

Klub 4 Kidz also has a café which offers, wait for it, gluten-free and organic food choices, not to mention coffee! They offer a variety of Pop-In classes like my favorite Eco friendly Pop Art. There is also Pre-school Klub, Music Class, PeeWee Pop Art and a Science Class which are held on Tuesday and Thursday. You can find more information about that HERE.

Another awesome offering from K4K is $10 Tuesday, which is exactly as it says only $10 for unlimited Open Play ALL day. This definitely has to be one of the best deals in the local “Willy B” area, $10 is such a relief compared to some of the prices of other activities available! At the end of the week K4K holds Funtastic Friday which is from 3PM – 6PM and includes free rock wall and face painting. Additionally, the party room is open with board games and WII music and dancing. Woo Hoo!

If you are in “Willy B” I definitely suggest you stop by. And, if you are visiting Williamsburg Brooklyn feel free to check it out, I know your children will Love It, like my Little Boy does.

Thanks for reading my Blog!

Miles Storm enjoying the Toddler Room at Klub for Kidz

Glass Slippers are back in on Broadway & let’s meet The Moms!

Glass Slippers are back in on Broadway, but let’s be honest with the Kate-Moss-Wearing Stuart Weitzman designing them, of course they are! — Willy B Mum.

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Why I perservered with starting a Brooklyn Chapter of the Holistic Moms Network

Without getting into too much detail, when Miles Storm was first born, it took a huge toll on my husband and my relationship. While family and friends were worried about me developing postnatal depression, it was actually my husband who took our Son’s arrival the hardest. As a result, during the majority of the first year I spent a lot of time upstate NY in Rhinebeck (at our weekend house) with our 2 dogs and our newborn Son. My husband works in New York City, so we would see him on the weekends. It was rough for me for sure, although I hate admitting that. I saw a therapist on a weekly basis and tried my best to navigate through all the changes.

What also helped me was the discovery of the Holistic Moms Network Dutchess County Chapter which is based here in Rhinebeck. There are other Mothers groups in the area, but for me being “Green Inspired” this was a God Send. I found support, encouragement and answers to many questions that I had as a first time Mother. On top of that, there was acceptance and interest in some of my “wacky” ideas. And, I say “wacky” tongue-in-cheek as to me it is normal, however in comparison to traditional parenting, it could be considered so. “Wacky” ideas may include bringing a child up vegetarian and not vaccinating your child. Or maybe, you are considering a water or home birth, not to mention hypnobirthing (now that is really wacky – ha).

At the Holistic Moms Network, our mission is to generate national awareness, education, and support for holistic parenting and green living by providing nurturing, open-minded, and respectful local community networks that encourage families to share these ideals and learn from each other. — Holistic Moms Network

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Say NO to plastic in your Home too! Help make a difference

Did you know, that some conservationists estimate that at least ONE MILLION animals die in the United States annually from plastic related issues? Just let that number sink in – ONE MILLION animals die because of plastic. While, apparently the fish that are killed in the wild each year is a lot higher. Let’s take it a step further and say, that around 500 billion plastic bags go into circulation each year. Sit there and consider that for a moment! I mean, it literally just breaks my heart.

According to the EPA – In 2010, the United States generated almost 14 million tons of plastics as containers and packaging, almost 11 million tons as durable goods, such as appliances, and almost 7 million tons as non-durable goods, for example plates and cups. Only 8 percent of the total plastic waste generated in 2010 was recovered for recycling.

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Miles Storm’s first day at school – What a day

So, straight off the plane from an amazingly wonderful 4 week family holiday to Croatia, Montenegro and the United Kingdom I am back full-swing into being a Stay-At-Home-Mummy. And, what a whirlwind it is. I am juggling insane jetlag, finally pulling together the Open House of the Brooklyn Chapter of the Holistic Moms Network, planning a 10 city marketing campaign through my boutique agency Honey Bee MGMT, organizing Miles Storm’s 2nd birthday, writing this Blog post, finding time to exercise and today deal with my little boy’s first day at school! I mean, there is just not enough hours in the day is there?

Miles is enrolled in a special program specifically designed for 2 – 3 years old through the revolutionary FasTracKids program. The name kind of sums it up, but to be more specific it is an Early Childhood Enrichment Program which started in 1998 and is gaining popularity at speed all around the World. The program is not intending to replace early education but more so to enhance it, as well as encouraging natural development in our Little Ones. The classes are very small at a maximum of 8 students, with 2 teachers and costs $4500 for 10 month’s tuition.

FasTracKids is a proven innovator in international early childhood education. Using programs designed for children 6 months to 8 years old, FasTracKids provides an educational advantage by encouraging children to discover a love of learning in a fun and interactive setting. FasTracKids utilizes revolutionary technology to reinforce a child’s communication, creativity, confidence, critical thinking and collaboration skills that will carry over into the home and school settings (FasTracKids website)

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Let’s visit the Prospect Park Wonderland in Brooklyn!

Last week, I decided to take Miles Storm on a day trip to Prospect Park, which is in Brooklyn about 4 miles from where we live in Williamsburg. It was a pleasant day, he’d slept in late (amazing as therefore so did I) and as a result we had missed his morning art-class meaning that I had to come up with another activity to keep him entertained. I have lived in NYC for 10 years, and Prospect Park has been one of the places I have always wanted to visit however it never happened – the same with The Intrepid and the American Museum of Natural History. Now that Miles Storm is here it looks like all that will finally manifest, as goodness knows I have tried to convince my husband to tag along with me for years to no avail!

The 585 acre Prospect Park is a wonderful wonderful space which was designed by the same revolutionary who designed Central Park (as well as many other parks) from the mid 1800′s onwards – Frederick Law Olmsted. Frederick, known as the founder of landscape architecture is one man I would love to go back in time and meet to say thank-you! The contrast of being able to step off a crazy busy city Street into a nature wonderland is magical – there is a Zoo, a Carousel, the old-time Lefferts farm-house, library, so many beautiful old trees and the gorgeous Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. And, this is only in vicinity of where we were, there is so much more to see! New York City is truly blessed to have such a place to visit.

We started at the Zoo, where we visited the Sea Lions, Toucans, Dingoes, Red Pandas and Turtles. The Zoo is quite quaint being able to see it all in about 2 hours. There is a nice grassed area to sit down for a picnic and eat your own food, unless you want to buy snacks from the vending machines on site. I wish I had known this beforehand as I was expecting at least a café of some sort.

Next up, we went for a ride on the Merry-Go-Around. Yay, I love Merry-Go-Arounds! The Carousel is as vintage as can-be having this month having celebrated 100 years in operation. It boasts a dragon drawn chariot, a lion and 53 magnificently designed horses. Can you imagine the hundreds of thousands of children that have ridden on it over the years? Word of Warning – The ride gets really fast at one point, the wind was whipping through our hair at speed and we really had to hold on for dear life. And, how we laughed, what is it about carousels that just make you laugh? Good times!

By this stage, Miles Storm was getting sleepy with all the excitement, and there was still so much to do. We crossed the road to visit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, which is $10 admission, and totally worth every cent. Miles Storm played in a child friendly area which had a water table and a dirt pit where he looked for worms…. he was covered from head to toe in dirt. Then just like that, he was in his pram and fast asleep. Wake up Miles Storm Wake Up! I mean, we only were able to see such a small part of the Botanical Gardens. However, before we left I was able to sit down, take a deep breath and eat a top-notch kale/arugula salad at the outdoor café, and I am fussy so be assured it was delicious!

I wish we could have stayed all day, and I cannot wait to visit the Park again soon.

Miles Storm on the 100-year-old Carousel in Prospect Park, Brooklyn NY

Aqua Beba, we’re so glad we found you

As we have a swimming pool and a lake on the family property upstate NY it was a priority for my husband and I to start our Son Swimming lessons as soon as possible. I knew about the Williamsburg/Greenpoint located Aqua Beba Swim School and wanted to check out their vibe and do a drop-in lesson before we committed. Fair enough I thought? However, when I first called to inquire it was politely explained to me that it was a matter of privacy towards the participating families and as each group progressed together it was not fair to bring in curious-not-sure parents to observe a class. Well, the way it was explained left me no choice and on Word-Of-Mouth recommendations I agreed to sign Miles Storm up for his first semester of lessons. And, I am happy to write that we were so not disappointed.

I took our 20-month-old Son 2 weeks ago to his first lesson and by the end of it he was jumping from the side of the pool into my arms (in the pool) and Kick-Kicking his way across to the other side (with me holding him). But wait, by his second lesson (as the photo below shows) he is comfortably being submersioned and swimming under water without a worry in the world. This is a true story and not a word of a lie! I am just so upset I only found about the classes now, as Aqua Beba starts infants as young as 4 months of age in the water.

Aqua Beba is the brainchild of Serbian born Danilo Krvavac and his wife Heidi. Danilo is kind of like a Swim God as Cesar Milan is to Dog Whispering (in my opinion). He has a gift, and people in the neighborhood rave about him.

Heidi told me that when she met Danilo she could barely swim having been intimidated, since she was little, about being in the water. One day Danilo took her to the pool and taught her to swim in 15 minutes. That is amazing! When their first daughter, Penelope, was born Danilo had her in the water as soon as possible thus realizing that there were no heated pools in the area to swim with her in, and that there appeared to be a need for an infant swim school. Presto thankfully Aqua Beba was born!

In her own words – Danilo worked with children in Europe in the past and wanted to develop a unique program that really catered to every child’s need. He has blended so many techniques and styles to make it his own. If a child is nervous or afraid to go in the water we never force them. We work with them at their own pace until they are comfortable. The reason we ask parents to come in the water is so that each child is swimming the entire class verses sitting on the side of the pool while an instructor works with one child at a time. Also we realized that we will not be with you on vacations so parents needed to be involved. We try and keep it fun but we are really more targeted towards getting everyone swimming and safe in the water.

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My organic MiYim Eco-Plush toy obsession

When I was pregnant I did a lot of reading – I had recently been let go from my job as a Director of Events at Night Agency in Soho, (where I had been for 6 years), so I had plenty of free time on my hands which I really did not know what to do with?

Being Holistic Minded, and while putting together my baby shower gift registry I realized all toys are not created equal. My interest in soft-toys was specific as that is what my baby would be playing with, more so than harder ones, when he was born. I also knew that the soft-toys were going to be spending a lot of time in my Little One’s mouth once he started teething!

I had never really thought about it before but when I saw the local Brooklyn based MiYim toy brand advertised as organic I was excited and curious? I soon became a huge fan, and as a result most of my Son’s baby toy gifts were MiYim, with the exception of his European born Lana the Organic Donkey! I actually became quite neurotic about the fact that all of Miles Storm’s baby toys had to be organic or they just couldn’t be anywhere near him. Yeah, I know welcome to being a first time Mummy!

In this day and age, it is not surprising that plastic toys have chemicals in them, but it is frightening to know that our precious babies are also exposed to toxins which are used to dye the fabrics in their teddy-bears, not to mention the pesticides used to grow the cotton. As if there is not enough going on!

According to the MiYim website – “One third of the world’s pesticides are used on cotton crops alone. These chemicals are absorbed into the cotton plant, the air, the soil, the water and eventually, our bodies. These harmful toxins also make their way back into our food chain – the cotton seeds are used to feed the cattle we get our milk and beef from, and also used to make cotton seed oil, a cornerstone of the processed foods most families eat every day; and it’s just not bad for the planet; 20,000 deaths occur each year from pesticide poisoning in developing countries, many of these from cotton farming, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)”.

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“Willy B” – Let’s Run a 5KM for the charity *Girls On the Run*

I have run, for exercise, close to 15 years now. I enjoy running. With this in mind, today I decided to do something I have always wanted to do on a professional level, and that is properly train to run a 5KM. I am very excited about it, especially as the 5KM is for children’s charity – Girls On The Run. It also helps that I can take my Son with me to the preparation workouts each week.

As a charity, Girls On The Run encourages positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development. The 5k Run is the “bees knees” of this program, where girls learn to stretch themselves — physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. This particular race is for 18+ women Only, unless you are parent/legal guardian of one of 300 girls from the ages of 8 – 13 years participating in the event. GO ESTROGEN!

Jody Cammara (who heads the local Williamsburg/Greenpoint Baby Boot Camp Group) is training local Mummies for the race which is being executed at Ashphalt Green on the UES on Sunday June the 10th at 8.30AM!!!! Starting next week, the 6 week training is in McCarren Park every Tuesday and/or Sunday morning at 11AM with a flat cost of $75. There is an extra $25 charge to register and take part in the race.

Jody says – “As a postpartum mom, you are more susceptible to injury due to the dramatic physical and hormonal changes you have been through, regardless of the age of your child. Your joints (hips and knees) are most susceptible, both of which endure significant impact and possible injury. By incorporating walking intervals, this training program helps you build to your goal while also preventing injury”.

Besides being under the guidance of an expert who has designed the program specifically for Mummies, this is also a great opportunity to meet other like-minded souls in the area (and, of course, to get out of the apartment).

Are you a local Williamsburg/Greenpoint Mum? Are you interested in signing up too? If so you can email jody.camarra@babybootcamp.com for more information.