Friday, January 31, 2014

Feeling SUPER!

These will never ever stop blowing my mind.
Hooray for Friday!!! This morning, while working on besting my "hit the snooze" personal record, I remembered that Sunday is the Super Bowl and I was like "yay! finger foods!" and then I promptly fell back asleep. Thankfully(?) I am fully awake now, and I am ready to share some goodness of the Super Bowl variety. First, please tell me you've seen this non-Super Bowl, Super Bowl commercial:

Anna Kendrick you are the shizz (and well done Newcastle)

Next, let's talk about food. Food, Glorious Food! 
(hey just because I love football doesn't mean I can't also make musical theater references!)

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs - YES PLEASE!
Pin it HERE, Full recipe HERE.

One Pot (you know I love these) Cheeseburger Casserole.
Pin it HERE, Full recipe HERE.

* If "ultra-classy, sporty chic" is your Super Bowl style, than click HERE for perfect party tips*
* Here's some insider info about the commercials you'll be seeing * 

Want to watch something adorable, get teary-eyed and remember what sports is really all about!? 
(Hint: Entertainment and joy for fans of all ages.)

These football-inspired "treat cones" are super easy to make and adorable to snack from!
Pin it HERE, Full instructions HERE.

It doesn't get any easier to be sporty than this!! Take your guac, place it in a rectangular serving dish and use sour cream in a zip lock bag (with the corner snipped off) to draw your football field!) 
Click HERE for other football shaped inspiration.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Simply Charming.

The Paperman (an Oscar nominated short from Disney)
I've had this Disney short bookmarked for months... today seems like a perfect day to share. 
Click HERE to watch. 6 minutes spent and a smile guaranteed. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hump Day Distractions

Helllllllo hump day! This week has been a beast of the best possible variety (late dinners out, sporting events galore, snow, snow and a little more snow:) but even the best beasts must be conquered so I'm looking forward to getting over the hump! Enjoy these delightful distractions and I will see you on the other side.

* These polar bear pics are just absolutely stunning. (via exPress-O)
* Everything you never knew you didn't know about Titantic (never let go!)
* If you live in San Fran, THIS is not to be missed.
* This is simultaneously the saddest and funniest thing you will read all day.
* In case you were wondering how I'll be conquering the Disney Princess Half Marathon... THIS is how I'll be conquering the Disney Princess Half Marathon (along with a mermaid sister!) 
* So this is pretty much my ultimate party decor. Now who wants to throw me my ultimate party!? (30 is fast approaching, wink wink!)
* Always good to get some new hair styling hacks.
* For my fellow Soul Cycle obsessed... food for thought :(
* Holy crap that's CRAZY!
* Where does one buy the Twister sheets!? Seriously.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Love is in the air...

With February just around the corner (thank GOODNESS, I don't know how much longer I can survive these winter temps, we need to get a move on here!) I couldn't resist the urge to start sharing some inspiration of the lovey, dovey, Valentines variety. As I've mentioned before, (HERE, HERE, or HERE!) I love love and I believe that Valentine's Day is 100% NOT only for romantic love, but love of friends, family and your partner. So in celebration of loving love, over the next few weeks I will be sharing all sorts of Valentine's inspiration, from the adorable way your kid can have the best cards at school, to the easiest ways to incorporate hearts into everything about February 14th. Happy loving:)

So easy and charming, these pomegranate ice cubes require only 3 supplies (seeds, chocolate or ice molds and water) and 1 step! Sippin on something "lovely" has never been so simple. Pin it HERE, full directions HERE.

Want your kid to be the coolest in his/her class!? Well then these "wild about you" Valentines should do the trick! Admittedly a bit pricier than something you'd buy at CVS, a trip to the dollar store or Target should produce inexpensive toy animals and then all you need to do is attach them to a paper square with your "wild" message and a signature (or even easier, slip the card and animal into small clear cellophane bags like THESE and tie them shut with a red ribbon!) Pin it HERE, more inspiration HERE and HERE.

Adorable to look at, easy to make and tasty to eat - my perfect sweet treat combination! I think the only difficult thing about preparing these chocolate dipped pretzels will be selecting which seasonal sprinkle you want to use (hearts? red and pink traditional sprinkles!?) Pin it HERE, step by step HERE.

Monday, January 27, 2014


The original #Hashtag. hehe.
Recently I realized that "hashtagging" has crept pretty far into my life. For those of you not deeply addicted to social media like myself, a hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the hash symbol (#) and it's typically used on social media to lump posts together (e.g., if you tweet #ILoveCheese, your tweet becomes part of the "ILoveCheese" search result (current #ILoveCheese Twitter example HERE!)) But more than a functional purpose (last night during the Grammy's, searching #Grammys would have allowed you to be part of a real time conversation with fellow tweet-ers about the show) people often use hashtags as their own personal slogan or funny tagline... and this is where I've seen the creeping... my friends and I have started using hashtags in emails and text messages, when there is no purpose other than to say something ridiculous as a summary to how you're feeling.

For example:
* after a text message about a wild night out with the girls, one might say: #Iwokeupwithabagofpretzelsinmybed
* in an email about loving vacation: #vacationrulesworkdrools
* when texting about having to go bathing suit shopping #dressingroomfluorescentlightsmakemecry

As you can see, this can easily get out of hand, and I just can't decide what I think about the proliferation of hashtagging in my life. On the one hand, hashtags can be pretty hysterical (#Ilovewittyoneliners), but on the other hand, what the hell are we doing!? (#selfproclaimedcomedicgenius). I guess we'll just have to wait and see if hashtagging is here to stay or if it will eventually fade into internet trend history (#Istillmissaolinstantmessenger).

I'm not the only one who is giving hashtagging a whole lot of thought!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Happy Friday

Happy Friday!
Here's wishing you a weekend that gives you something to smile about! xox

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Peace out purse!

Bag lady be gone!!
Ladies... Do you ever go out without your purse? Yesterday I went to the gym with nothing but a "reduced wallet" (ID, cash, 1 credit card and a Metrocard), my cell and keys (because that's all I needed for the short outing) and a few hours later, when I was leaving for a basketball game with Sis, I decided there was no need for anything more and boldly stepped out the door with nothing but the essential supplies in my coat pockets. Well let me tell you something... It was freaking GREAT! How liberating to walk down the street without a bag in my hand or on my shoulder, to sit down at the arena and not have to worry about my purse on the floor or cumbersomely sitting in my lap the entire time. Going purse-free was pretty much the best thing since the invention of cellphone cameras as mirrors to check yourself out!!!

Now sure I overlooked "almost essentials" like my travel sized Purell and lip gloss, and I was woefully unprepared for "just in case" moments like when you need a band-aid (though I did shove a sleeve of gum and my small moisturizer into my pocket as well!), but you know what? I survived!!! I was a two-hands available, non-shoulder aching liberated woman and it was awesome. Especially in these winter months when we're all wearing big coats with big pockets, I strongly urge all you ladies to leave the luggage at home and like centuries of men before us, stroll down the street with nothing but fully stocked pockets and a smile on your face.

ps - I know that ladies of the Mommy persuasion are carrying an arsenal of additional items that make traveling sans purse almost impossible, but if ya can swing it on your next kid free trip out, I promise you won't regret it!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hump Day Distractions

A winter weather hello and happy hump day to you my friends! NYC is a snowy wonderland again and though it makes getting around a bit tougher and slower, I have to say... I love it. If it's going to be cold, might as well have snow (says the girl with no driveway to shovel or car to skid around!) I'm trying my best to enjoy the sparkling white before it all turns muddy grey. For those of you relaxing at home as well as the tortured ones who had to schlep to work, here are some distractions to get you over the hump!

* What a brilliant idea for all those broken Forever 21 purchases that I can't seem to throw away!
* Ever wonder what the best (aka, most popular) movie to be filmed in your state is?
* I've always loved American Eagle undies (and jeans, and accessories!) but THIS gives me another reason to be a fan.
* This baby has excellent musical taste (worth waiting through the pre-roll!)
* Some tips for staying fit when you work 10+ hours days.
* I am a HUGE sucker for J Crew's color palate (jane green! bright blue! popping pink!) so  I found THIS video about their color creation process super fascinating.
* If you love Disney World even half as much as I do, you've gotta check out these secret factoids!
* Oh men.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's snowing again...!

Let it snow!
...which means of course, that all I'm thinking about it eating (also, sweatpants). Cozy soups, piping hot mac and cheese, perhaps some chili or maybe something over quinoa or rice!? Here to keep you warm while the weather outside is frightful are some winter weather recipes sure to delight. Stay safe everybody!

Love me some one-pot goodness! This "Spinach Artichoke Wonderpot" from Budget Bytes is looking like an awesome dinner option for tonight. And maybe add some sauteed chicken or shrimp for a little extra protein? Pin it HERE, full recipe HERE.

Oh man... any recipe with the word "lazy" in it is going to earn a try from me! These simple Egg Pita Pizzas look delicious as suggested and you could really choose your own adventure with additional toppings and seasoning if you're feeling bold. Pita as pizza, so easy and brilliant!! Pin it HERE, full recipe from Everybody Likes Sandwiches HERE.

The perfect way to use my new Le Creuset Mini Cocottes (thanks Dr. H!) I cannot wait to try out this gooey spinach mac at home (and it's obviously healthy, because hey!! Spinach!!) Pin it HERE, full recipe from Donna Hay HERE.

And if sweet treats are more your winter weather style, don't forget about ms. (parent)thetically speaking's ultimate Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies! Click HERE to get the recipe!!

ps- took that panoramic beauty about 48 hours ago... however NYC's white snow is really an excellent way to show off my sun tan (#silverlining).

Friday, January 17, 2014

Slow Down. Relax & Enjoy.

Breathe it in. Enjoy your day.
This morning I got down to the subway platform just as both the Local and Express trains were entering the station. The Express train, my usual preference, skips 14th and 23rd streets and gets me to work in just 3 stops while the Local hits those in-the-middle stations, taking a few extra minutes (or more if there's "train traffic ahead"). I immediately went on auto-pilot for the speediest train, but noticed out of the corner of my eye that the Local was nearly empty and offered plenty of seats as compared to the Express which was the picture of "how do NYC'ers do that each day?" sardines in a can awful. I paused and thought of the good book in my purse (Beautiful Ruins, I'm 40 pages from done and it's great!) and with a smug "I'm doing this for ME" sort of smile, strolled on to the Local, took out my book and snuggled into a seat for 9 glorious minutes of self-indulgence. Here's wishing you a long weekend filled with tiny treats, relaxation and time to slow down and enjoy!!

Also, in case you're wondering what to whip up for the 2 awesome football games on tap for Sunday (old guard and new guard, Manning vs. Brady, young QB showdown!!) here is the triumphant (and very overdue) return of the Feed Your Football Face Recipe of the Week (x3 because I think I owe ya!!)

Jimmy Fallon's Crock Pot Chili
Jimmy Fallon does a lot of awesome things. I'm going to assume making chili is one of them. 
Pin it HERE, full recipe HERE.

Crispy Ravioli
This is gonna be so easy and SO good. Turn store-bought ravioli into a bite sized treat!
Pin it HERE, full recipe HERE.

Brownie Batter Dip! YUUUUUUM.
I am a big fan of dessert dips and this one is likely to be no exception. Basic ingredients and easy prep too!
Pin it HERE, full recipe HERE.

Be sure to check out all the previous "Feed Your Face" posts HERE.

And finally, sending mountains of well wishes to SeektobeMerry's Birthday Girl, Ms. (parent)thetically speaking. May this be the dawn of your brightest decade yet!! xox

Thursday, January 16, 2014

On Becoming 30

Even SHE knows, 30 is fabulous
This post brought to you by the fabulous 

Tomorrow's the day. And you know what, I'm forcing myself to have feelings about it. Because, really, I don't. (I mean, I'm still excited, because cake. ice cream. presents. birthday.) But I decided I needed to get some feelings about it and that I should probably talk about them, because this could be one of those situations where you're eating cake and then all of a sudden you're crying and eating cake, and crying more and then eating more cake.

So here's what I think I think (thanks Peter King) I'm not turning 30 - I'm not going to be one person on Thursday and another person on Friday. Same girl, new decade! I'm becoming 30. It's just what's next (and frankly, I'll still do some things that keep me feeling like the 90's were 10 years doing the dance to Bye Bye Bye whenever and wherever I hear it). It's organic and natural - nothing is altered about who you are. We spent our 20's figuring out "who we are", now we get to BE!

This is a milestone year for many of us, how are you feeling about it? Those who have paved the way - how did you deal? Anyone else passive on the whole thing, like me? Oh, and I'm slightly appalled at the number of 'pins' for 30th birthday cakes that are a tombstone marking the death of youth. Ugh, please, youth is in the mind of the beholder!

I do love birthdays though (not just mine!), and am totally looking forward to the celebrations that such a milestone warrants (my little girl is just old enough to understand and participate, so we're going to bake together and I'm hopeful for a little beaming-with-pride-I-brought-mommy-breakfast-in-bed deal). How do you celebrate birthdays?

ps. Public Service Announcement! I can't be the only slacker who coveted the now-sold-out Zara soft checked scarf. Well, in my desperation, I went to eBay to find it. It's going for around $100. This is unacceptable, as it was $30 for full retail. My desperation goes further...because I found a knock-off and I bought it. It took a week and a half to get here from China, but hellllo gorgeous - got it today. If you are a coveting, desperate, slacker like me, here is the eBay listing. (be sure to select the "camel" color scarf.)

For previous posts from (parent)thetically speaking, click HERE

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hump Day Distractions

Good for you man.
So it's gonna be one of thooooose days is it? One of those subway isn't running, forgot my sunglasses, run in my tights kind of Wednesdays!? Well la-di-freakin-da! With barely more than 48 hours standing between me and a long weekend getaway to Miami (bienvenido a Miami!!) it's gonna take more than an office fire drill right after arriving to throw me off my game!! Let's hump it, shall we?

* When it comes to travel, I think it's important to always have a wish list on hand.
* The French sure do know how to make things sound naughty don't they!?
* So what you're saying is I'm plus'er than plus size now eh?
* Spotting one of THESE in public would absolutely make my day.
* If only more companies were willing to go to such lengths to make work/life balance more manageable for employees.
* Do you drink wine? If so, this is EXTREMELY VITAL INFORMATION.
* "I am running away because you think I farted when I didn't. PS you are mean." and other kid brilliance.
* So what you're saying is that Brooklyn has always been an awesome place to live?
* We all need more 30-minute meals in our life.
* A few hide-and-seek fails to bring a smile to your face.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

All around excellent eats

New York City is home to over 4,000 restaurants, but somehow when I'm trying to make plans to eat out, I often feel like I have nowhere to go. Not "nowhere" in the "no options" sense, but nowhere in the "there are so many choices, I can't even think of the places I like in that neighborhood, but I kinda want to try somewhere new, but how do I even know what to consider!?!" sort of nowhere. It's overwhelming... but thankfully, there is The Smith.

The Smith describes itself as "a casual American Brasserie" and since opening its first location in the East Village (3rd btw 10th and 11th) in 2007, the restaurant has since expanded to include locations in Midtown (2nd at 51st) and Lincoln Center (Broadway at 63rd). All three establishments have a similar lively atmosphere accomplished with big black paned windows, white subway tiling and an industrial-meets-French-brasserie decor that is chic, but also inviting. I've been to The Smith for both brunch and dinner and both menus are fantastic!

The Smith's bar is always bustling with people waiting for their table or who just popped in to have a bite from the menu's many Bar Snacks and Starters. I can personally, highly recommend the deviled eggs, beer battered string beans and mac+cheese! I can also vouch for several of the house-made cocktails (Angry Apple, Tickled Pink, Dirty Jane) or go wild and combine one of the homemade sodas with your favorite liquor (I suggest Pomegranite Lime with vodka!!)

The menus at The Smith are almost impossibly diverse, with everything from chicken pot pie, to mussels, to an awesome ahi tuna salad and of course an out of this world burger (don't forget great pasta!!) If you're going for brunch, good luck deciding between sweets off the griddle, staples like steak and eggs and outrageous options like the potato waffle benedict and sicilian baked eggs. The good news is that I've never had a bad bite, no matter what I've ordered.

The Smith is perfect for large groups (most of the locations actually have private rooms if needed), a girl's night out, brunch with your in-laws or even a date because the atmosphere is lively and the tasty menu has something for everyone. Next time you have "nowhere" to go, remember The Smith!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Grown up stuff.

Ho Hum.
So now that I've spent the better part of my allotted blog-writing time perusing Golden Globes fashion photos (and deciding that I will save my own celebrity fashion post for the Oscars) I'm going to get straight to today's point... Being a grown up is hard.

You see lately, it feels like life has been throwing a fair amount of "grown up stuff" in my direction. Grown up stuff like health scares and marital struggles, professional uncertainties and the loss of older generations... the sorts of things that (if you're lucky) you remain blissfully distant from until suddenly, they seem to be everywhere, happening to you and your friends and family. And so of course you call your Mom and you ask "what's going on Mom? Why do these difficult and challenging things keep happening to me and people I love?" and Mom, in her infinite wisdom says "It sucks doesn't it? Being a grown up sucks sometimes." And there are two parts of Mom's wisdom that ring perfect and true. (1) Yes, apparently being a grown up really can suck. When age, obligations, accidents and emotions no longer exist outside your "kid bubble", adult life is challenging, draining, scary and often unfair... BUT (2) only sometimes. Because when being an adult isn't weighing you down, it's empowering you to explore and cherish what you love, however you damn well please! You want to stay up until 2am with your girlfriends and then eat frosting for breakfast? Do it. (done!) Or how about celebrating your "baby" cousin turning 21? Surreal and totally awesome. So while I've recently seen first hand how being a grown up can be very heavy at times, it can also be incredibly empowering. If you manage to fight through and carry the load when adulthood sucks, you get to spend the rest of your time pursuing whatever it is that makes you happy.

And that my friends, is some grown up stuff.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Workin for the weekend.

Peek-a-Boo Friday! There you are!!
Yaaaaaaaay!!!! We made it through the first post-holidays 5-day week and now we only have to survive one more until the great Dr. Martin Luther King delivers another holiday-day off! Wooooo!!! This time of year, with winter in its "few, if any redeeming qualities" phase (once I've had some snow and a healthy dose of Christmas decor, winter has NOTHING to offer me) anything that makes the weeks pass quickly is welcome (so don't mind me if after MLK I've got laser focus on President's Day!) Here to welcome the weekend is a little bit this and that from what to wear, the movie you might want to see and a snack you just might need to fix up for yo'self! Have a good one :)

THIS winter grey with a pop of party manicure is on my lunch break "to do" list!

Hungry Girl (my favorite healthy recipe source) has THIS great recipe for "Healthy Mini Sausage and Kale Pizzettes". With basic ingredients and a waistline friendly 177 calories per bite, cook up these lil guys this weekend as a test run for your Super Bowl batch!! (ps- I really like fat free ricotta with just a little kosher salt for added flavor and swapping that for the low fat/light cheese the recipe calls for would make this snack even healthier!)

I love me some "Awards season" movies and though (as usual) I'm not fully prepared for the Golden Globes (give me until the Oscars to screen all the good ones!) my early favorite is American Hustle by FAR! If you're looking to catch a flick this weekend (and be "in with the in crowd" come Sunday's Golden Globes) I highly recommend American Hustle (way better than Wolf of Wall Street (which I also liked, but not as much!)).

How cozy casual chic is this winter weather look!? Cream cable sweaters are very much "in" this winter so you can find one anywhere (mine is from Forever 21 and is so soft that I default to it at least once per weekend lately!) Pair it with jeans and some classic winter colored plaid (and a floppy hat if you're feeling bold) and you have a winter weekend outfit that's equal parts stylish and comfy.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pack MY lunch!

The creative parents of the world have won my heart once again. Like Dinovember before it, today's post is dedicated to David LaFerrier, the awesome Dad who in 2008 began packaging his sons' lunches in the most adorably creative way.

Now David has somewhat of an unfair advantage over other parents/lunch packers in that his graphic design background clearly translates to some serious creative and artistic talent, but it's his dedication to seeing magic in the ordinary that really blows me away....

David says “The sandwich bags are something that my boys and I share together, but the comments people leave about a parent doing something similar really touches me, because there are other parents that love their kids just as much. And they love them enough to leave a little note, a little whatever it may be… that’s just something that brightens their day when they get to their lunch.” How amazing is this guy!?

David's work has been featured on Sharpie's website and he receives messages from other parents who are inspired by his work on a regular basis. Click HERE for more about his awesome bag-drawing endeavors or HERE to visit his Flickr.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hump Day Distractions

The rewrite.
I had to read that pic twice, but once I got it, I could not stop laughing. "Everything". Hehe. Annnnyways, how we doing friends? Are you managing to stay warm!? As if the first full work week post holidays wasn't torture enough, Mother Nature threw in a little polar vortex to keep things interesting. Lordy it is COLD!! Here to help you endure (the week and the temperatures) are some goodies from around the web. Enjoy!

* The cold has never looked so beautiful.
* Fellow cheese lovers, brace yourselves... Cheesepocalypse is near.
* 8 little tricks to help you beat the blues (via exPress-o)
* This week is apparently actually designated as one of the most depressing of the year (yikes!) so HERE are some silly somethings to lift your spirits. (that hedgehog! I die!)
* Dinner tomorrow. It's gonna be Quinoa-tastic!
* Because dragging yo ass outta bed to exercise before work is even more awful in the winter, here are some tips for making sure it actually happens.
* P&G is back to make sure you cry during the Olympics again.
* Poor ducky!!! (thanks sis!)
* Spotted on Pinterest (in case Dr. H asks you what I want for Valentine's Day :)
* THESE parents are insane (in the best possible way!)
* Do you watch SYTYCD? If so, you must watch THIS.
* I work in an office and this list is 100% accurate.

PS- according to my Mom (who is an expert in such things), today is National Bubble Bath Day! I suggest we all celebrate!! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Annus Mirabilis

Tis the time of year for New Year's resolutions and perhaps you may have noticed that unlike last January, this year I've been a bit silent on the issue... You see, the reason I haven't mentioned any resolutions yet is because I was not the most successful resolver in 2013... I am still trying to raise the last $2,000 for my build-a-school in Africa project, I only maintained a weight under my "problem number" for a few weeks, my career growth fell short of personal expectations and that Rosetta Stone Spanish box remains sealed. Yikes! And while I should be focused on my primary 2013 resolution to "Be Happy(er)", (a unique challenge which I think I accomplished with great success!), I can't seem to let the fact that I didn't achieve my tangible goals go. How do you look forward when you didn't accomplish what you'd intended in the past?

In thinking about the year ahead and wanting to embrace my successful "Happy(er)" state of mind, I can't decide whether I'll feel best by adopting the same resolutions in 2014 (if at first you don't succeed...) or by moving on to new goals (upwards and onwards!!) The idea of abandoning a goal simply because I didn't achieve it feels super lame, but facing a new year with the same expectations as the year prior seems even lamer. I mean, I am not stuck!!! 

In the end, I think the reality is that my 2013 resolutions, like many goals, are targets I need to keep in front of me, even when they seem difficult, unrealistic or even impossible. In 2014 I resolve simply to keep moving forward towards the things I hope to accomplish... because if we don't want for things, we'll never put ourselves on the path to having them (amIright!?). I remain hopeful that this will be my annus mirabilis, that this time next year I'll finally be a spanish-speaking, fit and trim, school building, professional rock star... at the very least I must resolve to try.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Polar Opposite Perfection

Awesome NYC.
This past weekend Dr. H and I went adventuring in New York City to two could-not-be-more-different activities. Since both were absolute Manhattan perfection, I figured I'd let you all in on the secrets!! 

The adventuring began on Friday night, when Dr. H and I went to see Queen of the Night, an immersive theater experience which was honestly, beyond explanation. When I heard that Randy Weiner, the unique genius behind The Box and Sleep No More (an in-an-"abandoned hotel" interactive production of Macbeth which I saw/loved several years ago) was at it again, I was quick to scoop up tickets to the first of Queen of the Night's 6 week limited run

The show, hosted in the recently renovated (and truly stunning) Diamond Horseshoe theater beneath the Paramount Hotel in midtown is loosely based on Mozart's Magic Flute, but is best described as "an immersive-cirque-dinner-theater-orgy experience". Moments after checking my coat, I was snatched away from Dr. H by a costumed gentleman who (completely in character) required that I imagine I was being snuck into the party (I was. We raced through the hotel lobby and down a back stairwell where he introduced himself as "Master Q" and led me past a series of characters and finally into the main supper club/theater space where I eventually found Dr. H). The space itself is dark and sexy, the  inventive cocktails (included in your ticket price) flow freely and people are invited to touch, look and explore before being escorted to various large tables for the main performance which is a wild combination of acrobatics, dance, acting and feasting (mid-show massive trays of beef ribs, suckling pigs on spickets and bird cages over-flowing with lobster are brought out and you are invited to feast on what's placed on your table or anything else you wish to walk around and procure). The show evokes your curiosity and an open-minded sense of adventure is absolutely required (nudity, slow dancing with strangers, hugging and being spoon fed dessert by a cast-member are all part of the gig!) but the circus-meets-theater-meets-dinner format is wildly exciting and not to be missed! (NY Times review HERE, Wall St Journal HERE).

For a complete change of pace, on Saturday, Dr. H and I had our most adorable niece and nephew come visit (their periodic sleepovers are a favorite treat for all 4 of us!) and we adventured over to CMA, the Children's Museum of the Arts to check it out. The hands-on museum amazed me and at ages 6 and 8, my kiddos were perfectly able to participate in the wide variety of activities from learning how to do stop-motion animation to painting chinese new year dragons and creating "musical Van Gogh" with old cassette tapes!

Ball Pond up top, entrance/galleries down below
And one of the nicest things about the museum is that each activity station is fully staffed with (impossibly patient!) artist employees who explain everything the kids need to know and assist them as they engage with the project at hand. Parents (or aunts and uncles!) can relax a bit and rest assured that the kiddos are getting a fully entertaining, educational and creative experience. And though going berserk in the Ball Pond (a room stuffed with various size/color yoga balls) was probably the kids' favorite part of the day, I think the animation, clay, painting and art-making made an impression too:) For a great kids activity in NYC, be sure to check out CMA.