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

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

Win a pair of #freshlypicked #moccasins via brunchwithmybaby.com

August 12, 2014
by Alexis Barad-Cutler
27 Comments

Look What’s In The Garden! Handmade Kids’ Moccasins From Freshly Picked {Giveaway}

freshly-picked-moccasins Squeeeee! Could there be anything cuter than a waddling toddler in moccasins? (Ok, maybe if said toddler were also attempting to play a game of badminton.) On a recent family trip to Cape Cod, we had our baby cousin Jade try on a pair of these handmade kids’ moccasins from Freshly Picked. Each moccasin is crafted in the USA with 100% genuine leather that is super soft and buttery, yet still durable enough for a child to run around the backyard in.  The soft soles also make these a great shoe for infants, too. freshly-picked-moccasins Jade’s mommy enjoyed how easy the shoes are to put on and to take off, thanks to the elastic at the opening of the shoe (no struggling with a squirmy toddler necessary). And Jade was pleased that the shoes stayed put as she went from playing a game of badminton to lounging in an Adirondack chair in the garden. There are so many delicious designs from which to choose, from Walnut, to Butterscotch, to Watermelon. There are also lots of drool-worthy “limited edition” designs, like Born in the USA, Rose Gold, or the Neon Green style that Jade sports here. Moccasins fit true to size and are available in children’s sizes 1 – 10. Prices range from $45-$60. You can order the shoes via the Freshly Picked website. freshly-picked-moccasins freshly-picked-moccasins

GIVEAWAY The kind folks at Freshly Picked are giving one lucky Brunch My Baby reader the chance to win a pair of moccasins in the style and size of their choosing. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.

Entry open to US mailing addresses only. Giveaway opens Wed August 13, 2014 to 11:59pm August 19th EST. By entering this competition you are agreeing to sign up for the Brunch With My Baby mailing list. 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sun In Bloom; #kidfriendly #cafes #Brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

August 4, 2014
by Christine Knight
0 comments

Vegan & Gluten-Free Fare: Sun In Bloom, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

Sun In Bloom; #kidfriendly #cafes #Brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com
One of the best things about New York City is the amazing variety of food you can enjoy to meet any type of dietary requirements you might have. A good friend of mine has a gluten and dairy intolerance, so we regularly eat at cafes and restaurants where her dietary needs are met — and where she has more choice than a salad or eggs.

Sun In Bloom is a gluten-free, vegan & raw food kitchen, with locations in both Brooklyn and Tribeca. We visited their Park Slope cafe for brunch to see if their pancakes measure up when they’re made without delicious gluten. All three adults in our party ordered the Gluten-Free Pancakes with Spiced Germinated Walnuts & Side of Maple Syrup ($11.50), but we each chose different combinations of fruit toppings to go with it.

The pancakes were surprisingly still yummy even without gluten, and the fruit on top was fresh and sweet. We gave Missy E a side of Sprouted Wheat Toast and Sunflower Seed Butter to try, but it was too crunchy for her and so she preferred the pancakes and fruit. At prime brunch hour there was no wait for a table, but when we were leaving the cafe it was quickly filling to capacity. The wait on some of our items was a little longer that I would have liked, particularly since Missy E was being a whiny pain that day and we were desperate to eat and leave! We all enjoyed our brunch and will be back, particularly when entertaining people with special dietary requirements.

Sun In Bloom; #kidfriendly #cafes #Brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Sun In Bloom; #kidfriendly #cafes #Brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Sun In Bloom; #kidfriendly #cafes #Brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Last Bite: A healthy brunch option that caters to the special dietary requirements of vegan, raw-food-followers and gluten-intolerant diners.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Sun In Bloom
460 Bergen St,
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Prices: $
Phone: (718) 622 4303
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-9pm Sat & Sun 10am-5pm
Get Directions

Lobster Rolls at Cape Cod via brunchwithmybaby.com

July 29, 2014
by Alexis Barad-Cutler
0 comments

A Tale of Two Lobster Rolls: Arnold’s and Sesuit Harbor Cafe, Cape Cod, MA

arnold's-lobster-capecod

On a recent family trip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, my husband and I were determined to scope out the best lobster roll around. Our cousins, who go to Cape Cod a lot, had raved to us about the lobster rolls there. Since The Cape is known for its lobsters, we knew we couldn’t go wrong wherever we got one, but the question was, which place serves up THE BEST that Cape Cod has to offer?

We tried a few places, but our two favorites ended up being at Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar in Eastham, and at Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis.

arnold's-lobster-capecod

Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar:
Arnold’s (as the locals call it), is a great place to bring the family. The adjacent Arnold’s Mini Golf (complete with fountains and waterfalls) and gourmet ice cream shop mean you can make a whole afternoon of it. The dining area is huge, and there are picnic benches outside the front of the restaurant as well as in a nice, shaded area next to the mini golf course. When you order off of the kid’s menu (fish and chips, chicken fingers, mac and cheese, pizza; ranging from $4.49 to $9.99), your meal is served on a frisbee to take home. The service is casual. You place your order at the register, and then they give you a beeper that lets you know when to pick up your food.

There are two lobster rolls on order: Arnold’s Cold Lobster Roll (chunky lobster meat lightly dressed with mayo, served cold on a bed of lettuce with Cape Cod potato chips, $15.99, shown above) and the Warm Lobster Roll (served warm with hot butter and Cape Cod Potato Chips, $16.99). We had the opportunity to go to Arnold’s three times on our trip because it was close to where we were staying, and was just so easy and accommodating to families. I tried the cold lobster roll first, which was very yummy. The type of roll they use does not have the most practical shape to sustain the amount of lobster it is supposed to hold, but if the worst thing I can say is that they serve too much lobster, then they can’t be doing such a bad job. Everyone else in our party agreed that the warm lobster roll was the way to go. There’s just something special about buttery, warm lobster paired with crispy lettuce on a sweet bun. The New England Clam Chowder ($4.79 for a bowl) was good, but not transcendent. There are also some nice salads (Greek, Summer Salad, Strawberry Spinach Salad, to name a few options) on the menu, if you’re not in a lobster mood, or if you want something a little lighter.

arnold's-lobster-capecod

arnold's-lobster-capecod

After lunch, we got a cone at the ice cream stand. Be forewarned: A small cone is four scoops of ice cream! The mint chip was delicious.

Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar
3580 Route 6, Eastham, MA 02642

sesuit-harbor-cape-cod-lobster-roll

Sesuit Harbor Cafe
Since we had to pick up my little sister from a bus stop one afternoon in the town of Dennis, MA, we decided to try Sesuit Harbor Cafe. One of the best things about this lobster shack  is the location: right on the bay, where you can watch the boats go by as you dine or gaze at the rolling dunes of the nearby beach. Like Arnold’s, the service is casual. You have to wait on line to place your food order, and then a server brings it to your table. Raw bar, drinks, and soup are on a separate line at the Raw Bar shack.

sesuit-harbor-cape-cod-lobster-roll

Little J got a little impatient while waiting for our food (he had already reached the point of the meal where he was trying to destroy the salt and pepper shakers) so I took him on a walk to look at all the boats. I love places where there are easy diversions for impatient little ones.

sesuit-harbor-cape-cod-lobster-roll

sesuit-harbor-cape-cod-lobster-roll

We started our meal off with some raw oysters (not as cold as I like them, but good) and New England Clam Chowder ($4.95). The clam chowder was the best I have ever had, with a heavy cream base, and lots of clam pieces. If you like a very rich chowder, this is the place for you. A neighboring diner told me that she goes there each week to have her usual, the Lobster Caesar salad ($18.95), so that is what I ordered. The lobster on the salad was out of this world. I don’t know exactly what made it so special — I think it was the way the lobster was shredded, and the fact that they were heavier handed with the mayo than at Arnold’s — but even though I had enjoyed a lot of lobster that week, I was still able to eat the whole plate.

sesuit-harbor-cape-cod-lobster-roll

My husband ordered the Sesuit Harbor Cafe’s World Famous Lobster Roll (cold lobster in mayo, served with fries and coleslaw, $16.95)The roll here is different than at Arnold’s — served toasted, buttered, and shaped like a cross between a sandwich slice and a hot dog bun. We loved getting the buttery flavor of the bun mixed with the cold, cool flavor of the mayo-covered lobster pieces. If you like a more lightly dressed lobster salad, then you would prefer the lobster roll at Arnold’s. But since I tend to like my lobster salad more well dressed, then between the two restaurants, Sesuit Harbor got the prize.

In addition to lobster rolls and other seafood-based sandwiches, they also serve breakfast (omelets, pancakes and the like) and dinner (grilled salmon, boiled lobster, fried scallops and clams). They also have a kids’ menu.

sesuit-harbor-cape-cod-lobster-roll

sesuit-harbor-cape-cod-lobster-roll
sesuit-harbor-cape-cod-lobster-roll

Sesuit Harbor Cafe
357 Sesuit Neck Rd., Dennis, MA 02638