LEGOLAND New York brings thrills to the Hudson Valley

My family has called the New York Hudson Valley home for nearly six years, and the longer we are here, the more we fall in love with all the wonderful treasures this area has to offer. From breathtaking views atop scenic mountain trails to delicious farm-to-table food, this region is truly a special place.

This summer, the Hudson Valley will become even more of a hot spot with the opening of LEGOLAND New York.

Conveniently located in Goshen, N.Y. — just 60 miles from NYC — LEGOLAND New York will include seven themed lands, such signature rides as “The Dragon” and “LEGO® NINJAGO® The Ride,” as well as new experiences like the global debut of LEGO® Factory Adventure ride.

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Latin-Grammy winners, 123 Andrés turn hit song “Ten Little Birds/Diez Pajaritos” into dual-language board book for young learners

Learning a new language is fun for all ages, and even really young children can benefit from exposure to languages outside their native tongue.

123 Andrés, the award-winning musical duo, has put their incredible talent for introducing youngsters to Spanish into a brand new board book, Ten Little Birds/Diez Pajaritos.

Based on the fan favorite song of the same name, Ten Little Birds/Diez Pajaritos, follows the journey of ten colorful birds, that keep flying away. Children will love the bold images and whimsical images, and guessing where the birds might have gone.

Presented in both English and Spanish, parents and guardians will love how Ten Little Birds/Diez Pajaritos can be used as a tool to teach or enhance language development. The book is also a wonderful way to foster counting, subtraction and other early math skills.

Ten Little Birds/Diez Pajaritos is available now at a variety of retailers including Amazon, Target, Barnes and Noble and more.

Ten Little Birds/Diez Pajaritos was written by husband and wife, Andrés and Christina under their band name, 123 Andrés. Andrés and Christina have performed all over the world, bringing their love of music, language and Latinx culture to families. In 2016, 123 Andrés won the Latin Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album for their album, “Arriba Abajo.”

Ten Little Birds/Diez Pajaritos is the first book from 123 Andrés and is published by Scholastic.



Purchase giving guide and support victims of gender violence

My sister Alison and I are proud of the “Generosity For Every Season” guide we made to help families foster a culture of giving. We believe the fun, easy projects, activities, beautiful printables and more can encourage all families to jump start or accelerate their philanthropic efforts.

We know generosity is an important value to pass on to our children, and if you haven’t purchased your copy of “Generosity For Every Season: A Family-Friendly Guide To Giving,” you will want to do so as soon as possible.

And, because our guide is all about promoting the values of generosity and philanthropy, we are pleased to announce a new charitable initiative.

Now through the end of May, we will be donating $5 (up to $200) from every guide purchased to Sanctuary For Families. As the first-ever nonprofit to be featured in the Blogging for Better program, it is fitting that Sanctuary For Families, be the first organization to benefit from the sales of our guide.

And to encourage the giving, we have dropped the price of “Generosity For Every Season” to just $10.

Here’s a little more about Sanctuary For Families from their website:

“Sanctuary for Families is New York’s leading service provider and
advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and related
forms of gender violence.”

This incredible organization helps victims of abuse escape from a life of pain and suffering by providing shelter, legal counsel, career training and more.

To learn more about Sanctuary for Families services, click here.

(Note if you are a New Yorker in immediate danger and need to take discreet action, Sanctuary for Families offers a secure option for you. Just click on the “Escape” button found on the web site.)

“Generosity For Every Season” is available now in the Maybe I’ll Shower Today shop. Click here to purchase your copy and support victims of gender violence today.

Dealing with my “eco” mom guilt

Like many (maybe all?) moms, I often feel guilty about my parenting choices. Do I let my kids have too much screen time? Should I force them to eat more vegetables? Do I yell too much? I am ruining the environment just by raising a family?

That last question is one I have asked myself from the moment I had my first child. Living in an apartment at the time with a communal laundry room, cloth diapering was not practical option, so I used disposables. But, not just any disposables, mind you; I had to have the most natural, sustainably made diapers your could buy (read: the most expensive).

Using the fancy “eco” diapers made me feel a bit better. Still, I was worried about all the garbage I was adding to the world. I decided to try elimination communication, or the concept of letting babies/toddlers go diaper free as much as possible. I guess I did manage to reduce my diaper use, and my oldest did potty train on the earlier side, but I am not sure all the time spent cleaning up messes was worth it in the long run. When my second child came along, I was often too distracted by other matters to really focus on teaching him to use the toilet. He was in diapers much longer than my oldest.

Over the years my guilt over my family’s impact on the environment, has evolved to include, worrying about how much packaging we’re throwing away, wondering if we are being energy-efficient enough, and thinking about how to be less car dependent.

I also constantly consider choices that are best for my family and compare them with their impact on the environment. Like my choice to use disposable diapers, often my desire to help the Earth and my family don’t always align.

A more recent example, is driving. Where my family currently lives, we need a car to get to most places safely. You may ask why someone like me, who cares about the environment would live in such a place, but again, sometimes needs don’t always align. Right now, this is the best choice for my family.

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How To Celebrate Lag B’Omer

Lag B’Omer is a lesser-known Jewish celebration, which commerorates the 33rd day of the Omer, or time between the Jews leaving Egypt and their receiving of the Torah 40 days later.

So, what’s so special about the 33rd day, and why do we honor this occasion?

The answer depends on who you ask. However, many scholars believe Lag B’Omer is observed because, according to the Talmud, during the Omer, the esteemed sage Rabbi Akiva’s students were killed by the thousands, on all the days, save for the 33rd one.

Yikes! Seems like a dark reason for a celebration, but hey, have you seen pretty much every other Jewish festival? Celebrating not getting killed is our bread and butter, or bagel and schmear, if you prefer.

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How to engage kids in chores, from a mom who despises cleaning

From extra allowance to special gifts, there are plenty of ideas for encouraging kids to help out around the house.

While those techniques may work for many families — and I encourage you to do what’s best for yours — I have found other approaches work best for my own brood.

I should mention having a picture-perfect home is far from a priority for me. I myself am the type who’s desk is often scattered with papers, and I rarely make my own bed. I am hardly an expert when it comes to “keeping a home.”

Knowing all this, and you want to bail, I understand, otherwise continue reading for some tips from a messy mom like me.

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Rich, creamy vegan roasted cauliflower soup

My husband and I have made a point to eat more healthily this year, by making vegetables a bigger part of our diet.

Our go-to veggie of choice is cauliflower. Packed with nutrients, this versatile vegetable lends itself nicely to a number of dishes.

We particularly love cauliflower when it is roasted, and this past winter have enjoyed the warm flavor of my roasted, cauliflower soup (recipe to follow).

Note, I almost never use measuring tools while cooking savory foods, so the measurements are very much an approximation. Please adjust as needed to suit your taste.

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Five ways to make the Seder a meaningful experience for your whole family

Passover is my favorite Jewish holiday, and even as a child, I loved the ritual and storytelling of the Seder.

Now, as a parent, I enjoy witnessing my own kids share in these traditions. However, I realize they (and frankly many grownups), may have trouble engaging in the Passover Seder. And, if your Seders tend to run on the longer side, they can be very overwhelming for little ones.

However, with some preparation and creativity, you can help make the Seder a wonderful experience for guests of all ages.

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New e-book makes giving a family affair

Donating to a favorite cause, volunteering in our communities, providing items for those in need, are just a few of the ways philanthropy helps our families engage in the spirit of kindness and giving back.

Generosity For Every Season: A Family-Friendly Guide To Giving is a new e-book that turns the concepts of philanthropy, charity, and generosity into tangible, kid-friendly crafts and activities for the whole family.

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Purim for kids, the PJ Library way

Costumes, treats, permission to make random noise? No wonder kids love Purim so much!

Indeed, Purim is an exciting and fun-filled holiday, and the story of Esther risking her life to save her people is an intriguing and adventurous tale, but parents of young children may worry that the more “adult” themes of the Book of Esther are too advanced for their kids.

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