#Nurse #Purse: Not Your Average #Pump #Bag, via www.brunchwithmybaby.com

August 27, 2014
by Alexis Barad-Cutler
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The Nurse Purse: Not Your Average Pump Bag

nurse-purse

Craving a martini after nine months of having been deprived? You can have one! Or at least, in a nursing bag (sorry to get you excited). This “Martini” bag from a company called Nurse Purse will give you a buzz of a different sort. It is just about the cutest nursing bag I’ve seen.

With my last baby, I was stuck carrying around the ubiquitous black breast pump bag that came with my Medela Pump in Style. I was really committed to breastfeeding my son even though I was often on-the-go a lot, so I took that polyester eyesore around with me everywhere — to the different cafes where I liked to write, to my dance classes, to lunch meetings and to doctor’s appointments. I am a proud breastfeeding mom, so I didn’t understand why I had to carry my pump in a bag that was meant to look like a lady’s work purse. Something about that black bag implied that I should be hiding the fact that I’m carrying my breast pump. It was the kind of bag that said, “I’m not fooling anyone. This ain’t no briefcase. We all know I’m hiding my milk machine in there.”

The Nurse Purse, however, says “Yes, I am breast-feeding and yes, this is my pump bag, and don’t you think it is AWESOME?”

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most women can get their pumps for free. Unfortunately (but not so unfortunately), most providers do not include the on-the-go tote when you purchase a pump through insurance. So since you would have to buy a bag anyway, why not splurge a little and get a bag that is nice to look at?

The bag is built perfectly to house all Medela pumps, but can also accommodate other brands by just removing the divider inside. The waterproof coating on the bag doesn’t have any of the kinds of icky things you wouldn’t want coming in constant contact with you or your milk, like PVC, BPA, phthalates, or lead.

nurse-purse

There is room inside for all of your pumping accessories, from extra valves, to your nursing bra, to breastmilk storage bags.

nurse-purse

There’s even a cute little compartment where you can put a photo of you and your baby to gaze at while you pump.

There are a variety of pretty styles to choose from. Check them out at www.nursepurse.com. (Bags retail for $129 each).

nurse-purse

nurse-purse

 

Brunch With My Baby received a Nurse Purse for reviewing purposes. All opinions are our own.

talenti

August 26, 2014
by Alexis Barad-Cutler
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End of Summer To Do List: Visit the Talenti Pop-Up in Bryant Park

talenti sampling line

Have you checked out the Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto Pop-Up in Bryant Park (40th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue) yet? It is open daily from 11:30 am to 8:00 pm through October 15th.

Made from farm-fresh milk, pure cane sugar (and never any high fructose sugars), Talenti gelato and sorbets have such intense and fresh flavors you might think you’re actually biting into a ripe mango or scooping up the meat of a coconut. One of the flavors I keep in my fridge all summer long is the Roman Raspberry. It is tart and sweet (but not too sweet), and lets me feel like I am indulging without really getting carried away because hey, its sorbet! Then again, I usually pair it with a square or two of dark chocolate, which kind of defeats the purpose. Oh well!

talenti

I wish I could get my toddler into this stuff, but he is still an everlasting fan of his “friend” the Ice Cream Truck. We visit the Ice Cream Truck religiously every day. On bad days, sometimes we go twice. If he sees an ice cream truck, and then it drives away, he cries, “My friend! He’s going the wrong way!” Maybe one day Talenti will open an ice cream truck, too. In the meantime, a mom can dream . . .

talenti

Additional photographs courtesy of Talenti.

#ProspectParkZoo via brunchwithmybaby.com

August 25, 2014
by Christine Knight
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A Perfect Day In Prospect Park, Brooklyn

#ProspectParkZoo via brunchwithmybaby.com

Prospect Park is an oasis of lush greenery for Brooklyn families. The park opened in 1866, and is 585-acres in size, containing Brooklyn’s only lake, a zoo (Prospect Park Zoo) and a carousel. Prospect Park makes for a great center piece to a fun family day out, and we’re here to give you the perfect itinerary.

Breakfast: Bergen Bagels
This tiny bagel shop makes fantastic bagels, fresh with a thick layer of cream cheese. Grab one to go as you’re walking up Flatbush towards the park.
Bergen Bagels: 473 Bergen St, Brooklyn

#ProspectParkZoo via brunchwithmybaby.com

Morning Activity: Prospect Park Zoo
The Prospect Park Zoo opens at 10am. Hit up the sea lions first (daily feedings at 11:30am, 2pm and 4pm), then the barnyard animals to feed some goats and sheep, and check out if there are any new baby animals. Save the nature trail for the very end to wear everyone out before lunch.
Prospect Park Zoo: 450 Flatbush Ave, New York

Quick Pre-Lunch Activity: Prospect Park Carousel
As you’re exiting the zoo, take a spin on the carousel, newly re-opened for the season. The carousel was carved in 1912, and is one of only 12 remaining carousels created by master carousel creator Charles Carmel.
Prospect Park Carousel: Willink Entrance, Prospect Park

Franny's: kid-friendly restaurants, Prospect Heights, New York, via brunchwithmybaby.com

Tomato, Basil and Buffalo Mozzarella, $16

Lunch: Franny’s
Exit the park and take a two-block walk down Flatbush to Franny’s, a pizza restaurant committed to sustainable agriculture. All of the vegetables, fruits, eggs, dairy, and fish are largely sourced from local and/or organic producers, while all the meats at franny’s are from sustainable sources, containing no hormones or antibiotics. The pizzas are absolutely delicious. Order a no-frills Tomato, Basil and Buffalo Mozzarella and either eat in, or walk back to the park and enjoy your pie while sitting in the sun.
Franny’s: 348 Flatbush Ave, New York

Afternoon Activity: Play In Prospect Park
Right inside the entrance to the park is a huge field, where on any given day you’ll find families playing ball sports and chasing small toddlers. Bring a ball to kick around or stroll around the path to enjoy the natural beauty of the park.

Ample Hills Creamery, kid-friendly places to eat, Prospect Heights, New York, via brunchwithmybaby.com

Afternoon Treat: Ample Hills Creamery
A trip to Prospect Park isn’t complete without ice cream, and it doesn’t get any better than a cone of salted caramel or sweet cream and cookies from Ample Hills. The ice cream is made in small batches, using fresh, local, all-natural milk, cream and eggs from local farms. The portions are generous and reasonably priced (kids $2.75, single $4.36). Order a single cone and choose two flavors.
Ample Hills Creamery: 623 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn

This article was first published on mommynearest.com.
stokke-carrier

August 20, 2014
by Alexis Barad-Cutler
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Stokke’s MyCarrier Cool to the Rescue on a Hot Summer Day

stokke-carrier

The first time I had to take my newborn and my toddler out ALONE (i.e. no hubby, no babysitter) was on the day of a close friend’s son’s birthday party at Jane’s Carousel. I was scared out of my mind. What if my toddler had a meltdown over which horse he wanted to ride at the precise moment my infant had a poop explosion? What if I was in the middle of nursing my infant when my toddler suddenly bolted and disappeared behind one of the boulders by the water? Also, it was one of those oppressively steamy summer days where simply walking one block feels like wading through a hot tub. Cue superhero music, because I realized I was saved when I opened my closet and pulled out my new Stokke MyCarrier Cool.

What sets this carrier apart from the others is its breathability. The carrier is made of a mesh material, similar to that used in sportswear, which helps transport moisture away from the body. It is the perfect carrier for a hot day when wearing a hot baby. I also like the way that it distributes the weight of carrying the baby across multiple areas such as my back, waist, and shoulders, (rather than just one area of the body). Another plus when dealing with a fragile newborn — it is easy to strap the baby in without any assistance. There are no buckles to reach behind your back or straps that you need someone else to pull to help tighten the carrier.

Of course, when we got to the party, my toddler didn’t waste a moment saying hi to the birthday boy. He wanted to go straight to the carousel. I dashed after him, grateful that I was wearing my baby and didn’t have to waste time wrangling him from a stroller. I had hoped to simply put my toddler on a horse and then be able to watch him from the sidelines, but my toddler had other plans. “No Mommy! Stay with me! Ride with me!” I explained that I couldn’t get onto the horse with him but that I would stand by his side. As the bell that signals the start of the ride rang, he reached one arm around my neck to make sure I wasn’t planning on going anywhere. And that’s when I realized I had placed him on one of the horses that goes up and down. And because most of these days I am propelled by guilt for having had a second baby, I didn’t release myself from his choke hold. As the horse rode up into the air, so did Baby and I. I stood on my tippy toes and clenched my teeth every time the horse reached its highest point, and took deep breaths whenever I was released back to the earth. It was a bumpy ride to say the least, but Baby was none the wiser. He snoozed through my whole ordeal, happy and cool in his carrier.

Thankfully, when the Ride From Hell was over, we ran into one of my and my son’s best friends. My son quickly lost interest in me, and couldn’t wait to ride the horses with his BFF. I got to take a little break and have a piece of birthday cake, before rejoining the kids on the carousel — this time, with a little more breathing room.

stokke-carrier

stokke-carrier

 

A few more details about the Stokke MyCarrier Cool:

  • It’s suitable from birth and up to 3 years with 2-way front and back carrying.
  • Ergonomically designed so that in the parent-facing position the child has the “Happy Hips” posture – a broad seating position with good support of back, buttocks and thighs.
  • Plenty of support under baby’s buttocks when facing outwards.
  • Optional head support, for when the child is sleeping, is available in a pocket on the back carrier.
  • The carrier features an ergonomically designed waist belt, back support and shoulder straps for parents.
  • Pockets on both sides of waist belt for storing items such as keys or cards.
  • Made using the same breathable mesh technology used for many types of sportswear, allowing better airflow for cooling and transporting moisture away from the body.
  • The mesh is water and wind resistant; perfectly suited to warmer climates and active or extended use.
  • All adjustments are within reach for the parent.

What’s included:
Main harness with integrated hip belt
Front carrier
Back carrier
Aluminum support to be placed in the main harness for back carrying support

The Stokke MyCarrier Cool is available in Cream or Black and retails for $219.99.

Brunch With My Baby received a Stokke MyCarrier Cool for reviewing purposes. All opinions are our own.

 

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

August 18, 2014
by Christine Knight
0 comments

Artisanal Chocolate & Exquisite Tea: MarieBelle Cacao Bar and Tea Parlor in SoHo, New York

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

What started as a small collection of rare and delicate chocolates and confectionary in 2000 is now a thriving high-end chocolate bar, tea parlor and retail store. MarieBelle‘s creator, Maribel, grew up around cocoa fields in Honduras, which inspired in her a passion for chocolate. Maribel is both a chef and designer — each skill on display in her beautiful tea parlor and store — from the exquisite chocolate pieces on display in the store, to the rich European-inspired styling of the salon. With glittering crystal lights, antique furnishings and deep brown and gold panelling in the parlor, a trip to MarieBelle is a delight to all the senses.

Entering from the street, we walked through the retail store to the cafe in the back for a sit-down tea service. Friendly staff greeted our party, which included one rowdy toddler (bull, meet china shop!). Our waitperson clearly liked children, and made us feel extremely welcome despite our pint-sized companion constantly wriggling in and out of her fancy chair. Luckily, we came for quick treats (rather than a tea service), and there are few things that keep my toddler sitting still like an iced chocolate drink. Chocolate is the speciality here, and when ordering a hot or ice chocolate, you can choose from various chocolate flavors.

Since I have a mild palate, I went with the classic Ice Chocolate (you can also choose flavors like Aztec or Spicy, as seen in the photo below). Alec ordered a simple tea, which arrived in a beautiful silver tea set, and we ordered a madeline for E (her favorite treat) and a caramel crème brulee to share. As you would expect from a speciality tea and chocolate cafe, everything was delicious. The ice chocolate was not too sweet, and the crème brulee was a twist on the traditional kind, with a caramel base and crème on top. Before leaving the cafe, be sure to wander through the retail store and take home a few chocolates for later. While some of the MarieBelle chocolates are sold in speciality stores elsewhere, some of the creations are only available from the store in SoHo.

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via brunchwithmybaby.com

Last Bite: Bring little chocolate-lovers for an especially sweet outing. 

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Minimal — bring an umbrella stroller or carrier.
Easy access: No. There are a few steep steps to get in.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

MarieBelle
484 Broome St.
New York, NY
Phone: (212) 925 6999
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon-Thur 11am-7pm, Fri-Sun 11am-8pm
Get Directions