Category Archives: Play

Fall Reading Selections

Fall Reading Selections

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By now, you have your summer books picked out or even finished.  I’m still working on mine, picking up new things each day and finishing them not as quickly as usual.  But, I received this list with some interesting titles and wanted to share it.  I can’t vouch for them personally, as they are not even released yet– but I liked these trending topics!   The titles below will be released in August, September and October.

The Technology Tail, by Julia Cook (September 2017). The newest book from the award-winning author, The Technology Tail delivers a timeless message to a new generation just learning how to navigate the fast-changing digital age. Written for children in grades 1-6, this storybook uses rhymes and colorful illustrations to grab their attention. There are also tips for parents and teachers who want to reinforce online safety, kindness and respect in a digital world.

 Lou Knows What to Do: Supermarket by Kimberly Tice and Venita Livack (August 2017) The first title in a series of “social stories”  written to show children how an intriguing character such as Lou can be comfortable and successful in any situation that could be a challenge. Each Lou Knows What to Do title is written for students in grades K-6 including those with a variety of developmental levels and learning styles. Lou Knows What to Do is an excellent read for students living with an autism spectrum disorder.

 Mindset Matters by Bryan Smith – part of the Without Limits series. (September 2017) teaches children how to see problems and dilemmas as opportunities to learn and grow, and reveals why failing doesn’t make them failures. Written for readers in grades K-5, this storybook also includes tips to help parents and teachers foster a healthy “gonna get it done” mindset in every child.

 Hey Goose! What’s Your Excuse? By Lisa Griffin. (September 2017) A heartwarming tale about spreading your wings and finding yourself, teaching readers that stepping out of your comfort zone can lead you to exciting and unexpected places.

Freddie the Fly: Motormouth by Kimberly Delude. (October 2017) A humorous take on the problem of never opening your ears while always flapping your yap. Appropriate for readers in pre-k to third-grade, this colorful storybook teaches kids how to control their conversations and be excited about listening to, and learning from, others.   

Verizon Fios Network Extender

Verizon Fios Network Extender

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(Sponsored Post)

Korben has had the X-Box gaming system for a few years, however it was only recently that we allowed him to activate Xbox Live and play in a private community with his friends over the summer.  He was thrilled!  Though that excitement quickly turned into frustration as our Wi-Fi connection was not the best where we set-up his X-Box (all the way in the basement) which is the furthest from our home office where our internet router is located.  Luckily Verizon Fios has a solution with their Fios Network Extender.  As their website says, “range is everything when it comes to Wi-Fi, and the Fios Network Extender is the best way to get it.  It receives the signal from your current router and throws it farther, so you get Wi-Fi almost everywhere you need it and around your home or office.”

Last week, I ordered the Fios Network Extender online and Korben and I picked it up the same day at a local Verizon store.  When we got home, Korben (with a little help from me) was able to easily set-up the Network Extender device in less than 10-minutes.  We re-booted our system and when Korben signed in to X-Box, his entire face lit up when he saw five bars. 

Additional Gaming Tips from Verizon Fios…

Wi-Fi vs. Ethernet: Which is better for online gaming?  If you’re looking for the best online gaming experience, then Ethernet cables are the safer bet. Sure, Wi-Fi might be more convenient but being hard-wired offers advantages such as faster speeds, lower latency (less lag) and no wireless interference problems. With Fios Internet, you know you have our fastest and most reliable internet service, which means virtually no lag, no packet loss and faster ping rates.  Get a fast and reliable internet service, such as Fios Internet, which means less lag and packet loss. Faster ping rates, faster refresh rates and a low number of server hops can also provide serious gamers an advantage where timing is a factor. Don’t let lag kill your kill ratio.  Speed is a critical factor in game play, and if your internet connection slows you down, you’re at a huge disadvantage.”

SPONSORED POST

Get Your Glam On at BLVD in Scarsdale

Get Your Glam On at BLVD in Scarsdale

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(Sponsored Post)

Scarsdale is now home to a new “beauty playground” called BLVD , a multi-brand salon delivering a variety of services under one roof.   BLVD is the ultimate beauty destination where you can experience anything and everything related to beauty from the best in the business – blowouts, nail art, lash extensions, makeup application, laser hair removal, brow shaping, and everything in between!    It’s one easy phone call to schedule your brows, a blowout and your nails– or a simple visit to the website to use their online scheduling feature.  I actually prefer this over calling, so I can see all of the time slot options without having to ask!   https://yourbeautyblvd.com/

BLVD is inviting one lucky Emma Westchester reader to experience a “Day of Beauty” and see what it’s all about!    

A Day of Beauty includes:  a blowout from DreamDry, a gel manicure with nail art from Valley, a peelLAB service from Spruce & Bond and a makeup application from Pucker.   If you’re interested in a day of beauty simply email us  (subject line: BLVD) at info@emmawestchester.com between 7/28 and 8/4.  The winner will be announced on Saturday 8/5, via newsletter and our Facebook Page!  

   In addition, BLVD is offering 20% off beauty services to our readers!  Just mention “Emma Westchester” when you call to book!   Get your girls out for an afternoon of beauty and take advantage of this offer.  🙂   



Shawna and I attended an event there last week and received some of their services.  I do have a great hairdresser (whom I feel like I am bothering when I want a blowout, on a busy Saturday, when she is at her busiest) and I have a nail salon that I love as well, but I think for nails, it’s easy to bounce around.   I love the convenience of having a place where I can get both hair and nails done back to back without having to bounce from place to place (or worse parking meter to parking meter!)   And brows!  I absolutely LOVED my brow shaping (done by Vicki– who reverse commutes from NYC to Scarsdale–highly recommend her) and plan on going back for some other services soon.  Braids for my daughter is probably next– or the hair conditioning treatments for dry summer hair.

Here are the 4 brands that share this amazing space.

  • VALLEY – Valley has offered fashion-forward New Yorkers must-have nail designs created by talented manicurists since 2006.
  • SPRUCE & BOND – Spruce & Bond is your go-to for results-driven beauty treatments including Laser Hair Removal, Wax, Brow Shaping, & Peels. We offer the latest technology, the most highly trained specialists, and chic, spotless facilities that will make you feel at home. With over a million treatments and counting, you will receive the results you are looking for. 
  • DREAMDRY – DreamDry, co-founded by Rachel Zoe, is your ultimate style solution – for blowouts, braids, and beyond.The entire hair experience has been redefined and elevated with a curated style menu, sophisticated decor, best in class retail offerings, excellence in training and more.
  • PUCKER – Pucker is the new face of beauty. We are a chic and sophisticated destination with hand picked professional artists who are committed to designing the look and style that best fits your face from makeup to eyelash extensions. We invite you to experience our services and the beauty products deemed essential by top industry experts around the world. 

BLVD is located at 12 Chase Road in Scarsdale.

 

Meet Laurie Gelman, Author of Class Mom

Meet Laurie Gelman, Author of Class Mom

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I’ll keep this short and sweet. This book is coming out on Aug 1st.  You can get a copy and meet the author Laurie Gelman at Athleta in Scarsdale on Aug 3rd.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Class-Mom-Novel-Laurie-Gelman/dp/1250124697

Laurie Gelman’s clever debut novel about a year in the life of a kindergarten class mom―a brilliant send-up of the petty and surprisingly cutthroat terrain of parent politics.

Jen Dixon is not your typical Kansas City kindergarten class mom―or mom in general. Jen already has two college-age daughters by two different (probably) musicians, and it’s her second time around the class mom block with five-year-old Max―this time with a husband and father by her side. Though her best friend and PTA President sees her as the “wisest” candidate for the job (or oldest), not all of the other parents agree.

From recording parents’ response times to her emails about helping in the classroom, to requesting contributions of “special” brownies for curriculum night, not all of Jen’s methods win approval from the other moms. Throw in an old flame from Jen’s past, a hyper-sensitive “allergy mom,” a surprisingly sexy kindergarten teacher, and an impossible-to-please Real Housewife-wannabe, causing problems at every turn, and the job really becomes much more than she signed up for.

Relatable, irreverent, and hilarious in the spirit of Maria Semple, Class Mom is a fresh, welcome voice in fiction―the kind of novel that real moms clamor for, and a vicarious thrill-read for all mothers, who will be laughing as they are liberated by Gelman’s acerbic truths.

You’re welcome.

Athleta’s Fall Collection will be out– Healthy treats–  Autographed books…..and more!

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Andrea Worthington

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Andrea Worthington

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Happy Wednesday!   Today’s Westchester Woman Wednesday feature is all about Andrea Worthington, of “Baby Got Chat” aka www.babygotchat.com  

Here’s her story:

I came to Westchester from NYC in 2014, as a soon-to-be new mom in my second trimester. I expected to buy a house near the train and use it as a crash pad while I continued doing everything I loved in the city. What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with the lifestyle this county offers: suburban perks with an urban mindset. I also didn’t expect to fall in love with being a parent to the point where I left my job as an art director at a media/publishing company to raise my daughter and newborn son. My passion for discovering everything Westchester has to offer our children has led me to BabyGotChat. My aim is to try everything so you don’t have to, and report back with direct and honest reviews and recommendations. 

Interestingly, I connected with Andrea via a Facebook moms group and we realized we kind of do the same thing, only hers is for kids 0-5 and mine is mostly for kids 5 and up.  She keeps an awesome calendar and reviews just about anything that moms would like to try, reporting back to her readers.  We both like to write for moms, connect with moms and we share a love of Westchester County; I am a Westchester native and I love when newcomers feel at home. Andrea recently posted this article on her site, The Cheap Moms Guide to Westchester, which I loved.    I also really loved her solo Momcation story this spring.   So here are links to both:

http://www.babygotchat.com/featured/2017/7/9/the-cheap-moms-guide-to-westchester 

http://www.babygotchat.com/featured/2017/5/8/time-for-a-momcation?rq=cruise

Over lunch recently, I had to ask her where her favorite places to eat, shop and play were.  With zero hesitation she answered:  Emma’s Ale House in White Plains, Ridge Hill in Yonkers and Lifetime Fitness in White Plains.   🙂      Here’s how you can follow Andrea’s blog Baby Got Chat and social media outlets:

www.babygotchat.com

Instagram: babygotchat

Facebook: babygotchat

Twitter: babygotchat

 

Yoga Hike, Book Club, Food Trucks, Art Show and Teen Classes!

Yoga Hike, Book Club, Food Trucks, Art Show and Teen Classes!

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We don’t keep a proper calendar of events but from time to time we post an article with some things that we think you might want to know about!    Here are our top eat/shop/play suggestions for the coming months.

August 26th, Hike + Yoga + Meditation 

Start your day with a heart pumping hike over the rolling hills of Rockefeller State Park to the historic Rockwood Hall situated on the banks of the mighty Hudson River. Here we will practice an invigorating yoga flow followed by a guided meditation. Next, it’s time for lunch and free time to explore, journal, and take photos. After that we will practice a walking meditation as we hike it back to home base. Once the retreat is complete leave time to explore the area! The nearby Rivertowns (Tarrytown, Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, and Hastings on Hudson) have a wide array of shops and restaurants, many with stunning views of the Hudson River. And the world renowned Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is just down the road from the preserve!

For more info and to sign up: https://www.mindbodyfitnessny.com/yogahikes

 

September 10th, Food Truck Mash Up at Empire City in Yonkers.  

https://tickets.lohud.com/e/food-truck-mash-up/ 

NJ vs. NY FOOD TRUCKS!

Vote for your favorite truck!

The best food trucks facing off for one day only!

Full beer and drink bar, live music, kids carnival games AND MORE!

September 15th,   Emma Westchester’s Friday Night Shopping Party at Athleta Scarsdale.  For those who have attended our Athleta Events in the past, you know they’re not something you want to miss.  You can get styled for fall!   Will have some great vendors and information booths as always.   (Am in the process of lining up some this week and will share as they’re confirmed! )

September 21st, Meet Author Gabrielle Nevin at Barnes & Noble in Eastchester.   Bring your whole book club!    Her book Young Jane Young doesn’t come out until Aug 22nd, so plan ahead, pre-order here and pencil in 9/21 for your meeting.  I’ve gone to the author events at the store and they do a great job!

 

Save the Date:  September 23 and 24.   Armonk Outdoor Art Show.   More info to follow.   A great event, this year with some added activities for the kids!   http://www.armonkoutdoorartshow.org/

Here are some things for the kids, tweens and teens:  

365 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale, NY 10583

(914) 449-4411 | 

The perfect class for athletic or inactive teenagers, CP Teen aims to build healthy habits in young participants. Build self esteem, strong muscles, and coordination in a body that is changing and growing. Club Pilates is a fun, safe environment where proper movement and body alignment is learned using the Reformer, springboard, TRX and more.

Common Sense Media:  Helping Families Make Good Media Choices

Common Sense Media: Helping Families Make Good Media Choices

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School’s out for the summer which means Korben will be seeing a lot more moves, TV shows and spending time on his X-BOX with his friends.  Its hard to not want to “over” parent him, but summer should be a time that we slow down and ease up on his schedule and let him be a kid.  That being said, it doesn’t mean that we check-out of still being a parent.  I wouldn’t let Korben eat ice cream and cookies all day every day nor would I let him watch relentless amounts of TV or allow him to be on his iPhone watching YouTube gamers and playing his games all day ever day.  But, we are trying to allow him more independence and teach him to make the right choices.  We’re still working on him to chose to eat more fruits and vegetables, but hopefully we are instilling in him to make good choices when it comes to what he watches and plays on TV, his iPhone or X-Box with the help of one of my favorite parenting websites & APPs called Common Sense Media.

I use the APP version regularly when choosing a movie that is age appropriate for Korben, but recently have been checking out the website to review the “Best Of” Lists  to get age-appropriate ideas for movies, games, Apps, websites, TV and so much more.  They offer recommendations for all ages from preschoolers to teenagers.  Common Sense Media is for Moms, Dads, + teachers navigating media/tech issues so their kids can thrive in our 24/7 digital world. Media ratings/reviews, tech/device advice available on their website, Instagram, Facebook Page

Having difficulty finding TV shows for your 8-12 year-olds? Check out this list of eight tween-friendly picks by Common Sense Media.

Is Wonder Woman okay for kids? Find out what Common Sense says about safety, violence, scariness, sexy stuff, language and positive messages.

Common Sense is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. We empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.

Media and technology are at the very center of all our lives today — especially our children’s.  Kids today spend over 50 hours of screen time every week. The media content they consume and create has a profound impact on their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.  Learning how to use media and technology wisely is an essential skill for life and learning in the 21st century. But parents, teachers, and policymakers struggle to keep up with the rapidly changing digital world in which our children live and learn.  Now more than ever, they need a trusted guide to help them navigate a world where change is the only constant.

  • Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. We offer the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, books, and music.  Our Parent Concerns and Parent Blog help families understand and navigate the problems and possibilities of raising children in the digital age.
  • Common Sense Education provides high-quality digital literacy and citizenship programs to educators and school communities. Together, we work to empower students to harness technology for learning and life. Our free resources include ratings and reviews of digital tools, a comprehensive K–12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum, ready-made lesson plans, videos, webinars, and more.
  • Common Sense Kids Action works with policy makers, business leaders, and other advocates across the nation to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed. Kids Action works to drive policies at the state and national levels that ensure all kids 0-5 have access to vital education and health resources; that all children have high-quality digital learning experiences; that their online data and privacy is protected; and that child poverty is reduced in America. With millions of Common Sense parents and educators, and potential advocates in homes and schools across the nation, Common Sense’s advocacy platform is building a movement dedicated to making kids our nation’s top priority.

We believe in sanity, not censorship:  Achieving a healthy approach to media and technology can make a big difference in kids’ lives today.  Kids who learn to use digital media wisely can accomplish amazing things — learn new skills, explore new worlds, build new ideas, and change the world. Yet every kid has different needs. As parents and educators, we know our kids best.  Common Sense is here to help.  We can steer you away from things that are developmentally inappropriate, and help you find the hidden gems that are right for your family and your kids. Learn more about our Ten Beliefs here.

We tell it like it is:  We think the media and technology industries should put kids’ needs first when they create and market their products and services. Since that is all too often not the case, we believe there should be clear policies and regulations to hold these industries accountable. We advocate on behalf of kids on a wide range of issues, including the educational impact of technology, protecting kids’ privacy online, and improving the impact of media on child health and development.

Get involved:  Help us raise a generation of kids who think critically, act responsibly, and interact positively in the digital world. We hope you’ll get involved.  Use our ratings to make smart media choices. Learn how to harness digital media to help your child thrive. Get your school connected to Common Sense. Join us and help make media and technology a positive and powerful force in all children’s lives.

Gardening 101:  Thursdays in July

Gardening 101: Thursdays in July

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Summertime is a great time to expose kids to some things that are new and different.  School is out, most activities are over and many of us are looking for fun and educational opportunities for our kids.   I worked with my Girl Scouts and the Food Bank this spring on some volunteer projects and was happy to see this one being offered this summer.   It’s located right here in Westchester (Valhalla) with afternoon sessions to accommodate kids who go to day camp.

I love working with the Food Bank for many reasons but mainly because of the need that exists in Westchester.   Westchester Magazine ran this article in 2016 and it stuck with me.  1 in 5 residents go hungry in this suburban, affluent county in which we live.   This shocking statistic gave me the push I needed to get my daughter and her friends involved with the Food Bank.   This spring, the girls packed bags of groceries for families of preschool children in need, made sandwiches for the hungry in NYC and served local residents at a soup kitchen in White Plains.

Follow 10,000 PB&J’s to learn more about this program. https://www.facebook.com/10000PBandJs/
Packing up healthy grocery bags for families in need. (Food Bank) #FB4W

 

You can learn more about the gardening classes and other programs by following the link below or contacting Madeline at

madeline.sulla@foodbankforwestchester.org

http://www.foodbankforwestchester.org/events/gardening101

If You Don’t Strava, It Didn’t Happen

If You Don’t Strava, It Didn’t Happen

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Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and to get motivated you need to try out the fitness tracking app called STRAVA.

I only recently learned of STRAVA when Korben was showing me on Frank’s phone how many miles he had recently rode one Sunday afternoon.  I asked him what we were looking at and he just shook his head and said, “Oh Mommy, don’t you know STRAVA is like Facebook for Dads that work-out”.  So cute, right?  Actually, I learned that STRAVA is a fitness app that Frank has been using for a few years to track his progress mountain biking and more recently road riding.

In Frank’s opinion, STRAVA is the Gold standard for cycling, there are other apps out there, but any serious cyclist is using STRAVA and so are all of his/her friends.  If you don’t “STRAVA” the ride, it didn’t happen.

Without having to carry another device while riding, STRAVA through Frank’s iPhone tracks, records his altitude and provides a hill profile and map with his GPS coordinates after every work out, so you see precisely where he went riding. Calories burned are recorded, but they can be a bit misleading, since they are calculated for road riding and mountain biking burns more calories (climbing and descending).

What Frank likes most about this app is that he’s able to view his analytics and compete with others that he follows; whether they are friends or professional athletes.  For example, Frank’s following Lance Armstrong.  Yes, he’s controversial and what he did is unforgivable in the world of cycling, but Lance is still an amazing cyclist.  By following his friends and professional athletes, Frank is able to compare his stats with theirs which he says motivates him to push harder.

Like other social media platforms, you can comment, give kudos, and interact.  Everything is divided up into sections and Frank checks out the King of Mountain (KOM) and Personal Records (PR).  KOM is the designation given when someone in a particular section (area ride) has the fastest ride.  In the PR section, one can dig deeper into the stats and see who holds the KOM in each section and what one’s PR is compared to others. 

Funny enough, Frank learned about STRAVA from one of his Swedish friends (Marcus) who was training for a triathlon and thought that the name was made up but it actually does means “to strive”.   This fitness app is most used by runners and cyclists, but STRAVA can actually be helpful to track your progress and stay motivated with many outdoor activities.

Strava is the Swedish word for “strive,” which epitomizes who we are and what we do: If you’re striving to improve, no matter your goals or ability, you’re one of us.  Strava is the social network for athletes. We’re a global community of millions of runners, cyclists and triathletes, united by the camaraderie of sport. Our website and mobile apps bring athletes together from all walks of life and inspire them to unlock their potential – both as individuals and as communities. From Olympians to weekend warriors, we’re out there on the road and trail, all over the world, day after day.

Host an Art Partay

Host an Art Partay

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In recent years, I’ve organized a lot of art parties.  A couple of years ago my daughter decided that she wanted a duct tape themed birthday party. After searching all over Westchester for this kind of party, I hired Gina Zohar Fine Art to come and make duct tape wallets and jewelry with them.  In Girl Scouts, I’ve worked with a number of artists on drawing/sketching, painting and art appreciation badges.  Teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there, but teaching kids (or adults for that matter) to draw or paint has to be the most challenging task.

A few months ago, I was looking for someone to do a Paint Night Party for my daughter and friends at the end of the school year and thanks to Instagram, I found Carey at Art Partay. Before graduating from our neighborhood elementary school,12 girls and their moms got together to paint a canvas painting of their school.  Carey made up a sample and created another alongside the girls, instructing them every step of the way.   Carey had a wonderful way with the girls and each one was able to complete their own version of the school they’ve grown up in over the past 4 years.

What I liked most about working with Art Partay was that it was customized and we had a choice of locations.  We went with Tequila Sunrise (a Mexican restaurant) for the music, energy and menu.   We selected the day and time that we wanted and most importantly, the painting was our choice.  Carey works out of her locations or will come to your home.

If you’re interested in hosting your own art party, you can find these artists/teachers online by following the links below:

https://www.facebook.com/GinaZoharFineArt/

http://www.artpartay.com/Art_Partay/Painting_Parties.html

 

Regents Review Classes in June

Regents Review Classes in June

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So often, people ask me:  “Do you know someone who tutors?”  My answer is, “Sure!”   Plenty of people I know tutor.  Then they tell me it’s for a high school subject, like Math or Science and I’ve got no one.   Now I have a go-to team of high school teachers/tutors for all of our kids!   With the new state standards being what they are, the Common Core math curriculum being our current reality, I’d only trust Evolve Exam Prep and Tutoring to help my teen.   These are teachers who are teaching these subjects on a daily basis and can quickly identify where our kids need help in time for the big test.   Right now, kids are in crunch mode, a month before an exam and need an intensive program to sharpen up a years worth of material.

https://www.evolveexamprep.com/

As a local resident and teacher with 20 years of teaching and tutoring experience, I am a strong supporter for education and advocate of my community. I was concerned with hearing my students criticize some of the test prep companies in the local area. With my years of experience, I knew that I could create a better program – and so I established Evolve Exam Prep & Tutoring, LLC.

One of the complaints that I heard most often was the other test prep companies were using unqualified tutors and college students to tutor and teach their courses.  I have seen many brilliant people fail as teachers because there is so much more to teaching than just knowing the material. A good teacher will convey the material to the student and differentiate teaching strategies to fit each student’s individual needs.

At Evolve we use only hand-picked, highly effective NYS Certified teachers who have multiple years of teaching experience and training.

Another major complaint that I heard was that other test prep companies had class sizes that were too big. Research shows, and any good teacher will tell you, that class size has a huge impact on how a student learns.

This is why at Evolve our class sizes are capped at 18 students. At Evolve, we also offer private tutoring for individuals and small groups of 2-5 students. These small class sizes help us to maximize our contact and attention for each individual.

Please visit www.evolveexamprep.com or email me at evolveexamprep@gmail.com to learn more about our Regents Review classes at Iona College, SAT and ACT prep classes, and our tutoring programs.

Sincerely,

David Crino

Evolve Exam Prep and Tutoring

Our teachers will prepare you for the Regents exams in a small, comfortable classroom setting! 

Small Class Size

(All classes capped at 18)

NYS Certified Teachers

Take-home materials with practice problems

 

Register today! Classes start soon!

Register for classes in:

Visit www.evolveexamprep.com for all class schedules.

Call us at 914-522-6270 or email us at Evolveexamprep@gmail.com if you have any questions.

 

If a classroom setting does not suit your needs then contact us about individual and small group tutoring and test prep sessions in your home.  Email us to schedule a session. 

Evolveexamprep@gmail.com

iPic Dobbs Ferry

iPic Dobbs Ferry

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We go to  A LOT of movies throughout the year and our go-to theater of choice used to be the AMC Palisades Theater.  Yep, we would drive the 20+ minutes and cross the Tappan Zee Bridge just so we could have a nice movie going experience seating in reclining reserved seats.  Recently, the new iPic Theater opened in Dobbs Ferry and we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy last Friday.  WOW – WOW – WOW  no more driving across the bridge.  We have found our new Date Night and Family Movie Theater right here in Westchester.

iPic Theaters indulges moviegoers in a new standard of affordable luxury unlike any other movie theater; deftly combining the highest levels of comfort, hospitality, and amenities that turn an ordinary experience into a unique and extraordinary movie-going escape. Whether you opt for our oversized, plush leather seats or custom Chaise Lounges in the Premium section, or treat yourself to the luxe comfort of our reclining seats and personal PODs in the Premium Plus section (complete with a personal pillow and blanket and complimentary popcorn), every seat is first-class with impeccable views of the big screen. Tempt all of your senses with next-level in-cinema dining. Premium seats are fitted with tables, perfect for housing selections carried in from iPic Express; or have it all delivered in the Premium Plus seats featuring a table to accommodate seat-side service, direct to your chair at the touch of a call-button by ninja-like servers throughout the movie.

Here’s a few tips on purchasing tickets:

There are multiple pricing options (starting from $15 – depending on the day of the week, time of movie and seat selection so check out the website or download the IPIC app to confirm pricing).  Fundamentally there are two seating options – Premium (green seats) and Premium Plus (orange seats) .  The main difference is whether you want to recline and/or have food and beverage service throughout the showing of your movie which is an additional VIP fee added per ticket.

Premium Seat Category (1st Row) of Chaise Lounges which are for only parties of two.  Single seats are not available in this section.  These seats do not recline and they do not include food or beverage service via servers, however purchases can be made at that iPic Express counter.

Premium Seating (2nd Row) do not recline nor do the have food and beverage service via servers, however purchases can be made at the iPic Express counter.

Premium Plus Seating (available in the remaining theater) that has an additional $15 VIP Fee added to the ticket price which includes a personal pillow and blanket and complimentary popcorn.  The seats fully recline and servers are on hand throughout the showing by simply touching the call-button and your server will quietly take your food and/or beverage order throughout the movie.

The Need for Speed

The Need for Speed

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Verizon Fios has just rolled out their Gigabit Connection “Revolutionary speed at a revolutionary price” which is absolutely perfect for my family that is aways connected and solves for the dilemna of not having enough internet bandwidth for work and play.

Bandwidth is described, by Techterms, “as the maxium data transfer rate of a network or Internet connection.  It measures how much data can be sent over a specific connection in a given amount of time.”  In my household where I”m able to work from home, its critical that I have enough bandwidth to work without interruption from my internet service provider especially in the afternoon and early evening when my son gets home and he starts playing X-Box live and my husband is catching up on international news by streaming live shows.

Take your own diagnostic at home with this easy speed test to see how much bandwidth you are getting on downloads and uploads and just think what you can do if you had up to 940 Mbps download an 880  Mbps upload.

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LEGOLAND Beach Retreat is OPEN!

LEGOLAND Beach Retreat is OPEN!

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My son James turned 7 a few weeks ago.   Days before his birthday, I had nothing in mind for him.  He has every single LEGO set available and rarely asks for things.  I was scrolling through my inbox and when I saw LEGOLAND in a subject line, I assumed it was from the location in Ridge Hill.   I looked again and it said “Beach Retreat” so I opened it and realized that this location was now open!   Birthday present dilemma solved– We’re taking James to LEGOLAND Beach Retreat (brand new, opened earlier this month) for a stay in a LEGO mini-house or bungalow.  

LEGOLAND Florida is located midway between Tampa and Orlando, about 45 min from either airport.  The (original) LEGOLAND Hotel is not quite 2 years old and the LEGOLAND theme park is filled with activities, rides and attractions for kids to enjoy.

 

Designed to look like larger-than-life LEGO sets, 83 bungalows offer 166 separate rooms that sleep up to five, including a cozy area just for kids with a bunk bed, trundle bed and privacy curtain. They’re an ideal solution for families and groups traveling together, or for those seeking a fun new way to vacation at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. Each cove has its own outdoor play area within view of the bungalows’ shaded patios, where mom and dad can relax while kids romp and run.

Opening less than two years after the debut of the popular 152-room LEGOLAND Hotel, and with its own unique, outdoor-themed amenities, LEGOLAND Beach Retreat more than doubles accommodations at the Florida vacation destination. Along with picturesque lake views and a giant LEGO lighthouse featuring a real rotating beacon, highlights also include:

  • A giant swimming pool next to The Lighthouse, with an adjacent sandy area perfect for building sandcastles and the resort’s biggest outdoor play structure for kids.
  • Sandy’s Castle Restaurant, featuring a bountiful menu of entrees, sides and desserts designed to please the palates of kids and grownups alike. A delicious breakfast buffet is included with each night’s stay.
  • Bricks Beach Bar, offering an eclectic menu of made-to-order food, drinks and creative cocktails served both poolside and indoors.
  • Palm Tree Traders, a large retail shop stocked with LEGO building sets and Minifigures, apparel, toys, swimwear, snacks and sundries.
  • A hands-on LEGO building station where kids can contribute their original creations to a giant sandcastle made out of thousands of LEGO bricks.
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the site.
  • Complimentary transportation to the theme park entrance, as well as complimentary parking in LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s main parking lot for guests who choose to drive.
  • Early access to the LEGOLAND Florida theme park, with exclusive use of some of the most popular attractions, including the all-new LEGO NINJAGO® World and LEGO NINJAGO The Ride.

I will be posting pics and comments next month from LEGOLAND Beach Retreat.

Mamaroneck’s Food Truck Makers & Market –  April 30th

Mamaroneck’s Food Truck Makers & Market – April 30th

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Kicking off Small Business Week, join the Village of Mamaroneck in bringing together an eclectic mix of local food, artists & artisans in the Industrial Area of Mamaroneck, NY with special highlight on the area’s small businesses.

EVENT:
Sunday, April 30, 2017
(Rain Date To Be Announced)
Noon – 5PM
Mamaroneck, NY
Location Fayette Avenue between Fenimore Rd & Ogden Ave., near the Mamaroneck MetroNorth Station (Entrance Between Majestic Kitchens & Bath & Vincent Service Station, Inc. (Mamaroneck, NY)

LOCAL BUSINESSES:
The Bott Shoppe – Art Gallery & Gift Store (Mamaroneck, NY)
Chatsworth Antiques & Consignments LLC Lounge (Mamaroneck, NY)
MADE: my art + design experience (Mamaroneck, NY)
Bullseye Glass Resource Center New York (Mamaroneck, NY)
Breadcrumbs Mag (New Rochelle, NY)
Mamaroneck Self Storage (Mamaroneck, NY)
Chocolations (Mamaroneck, NY)

PERFORMANCES BY:
School of Rock Mamaroneck (Mamaroneck, NY)
Artistree Performing Arts (Mamaroneck, NY)

FOOD TRUCKS:
Walter’s Hot Dogs (Mamaroneck, NY)
Longford’s Own-Made Ice Cream – Rye, NY
Boxcar Cantina – TexMex (Greenwich, CT)
HAPA Food Truck – Asian Fusion / Vegeterian (Stamford, CT)
The Souvlaki Truck – Greek (Yonkers, NY)
Dough Girls – Fire Oven Pizza (Greenwich, CT)

ART ACTIVITIES:
Mesh Print Studio – Mobile Print Station (Mamaroneck/New Rochelle, NY)
A Party With A Plan – Glitter Tattoos & Face Painting (Hartsdale, NY)
Henna Tattoo by Naty (Queens) – Henna art
Yard Games & More!

ARTISTS & ARTISANS:
GK Designs Jewelry – Handstamped Metal & Crystal Crfeations (New Rochelle, NY)
Soapz Unlimited – Handmade Soaps (Yorktown Heights, NY)
Three Peas Jewelry – Upcycled Accessories (White Plains, NY)
Cynthia Wyffels – Handkit & Adorned Accessories (New Rochelle)
Yapa Artisanal Collections, LLC – Charity Collective (White Plains)
Spook Bunny Deliriums – Art Prints (Dobbs Ferry)
Hillary Short Photography (Rye, NY)
Dennis Dempsey Illustration – Paintings & Prints (Mamaroneck/New Rochelle, NY)
Half Pak designs – Bow Ties for Men & Kids (Rye, NY)
Grass & Clovers _ Upcycled Home Goods & Clothing (Hartsdale, NY)
Dennis Cucinella – Handmade wooden bowls and furtniture (Mamaroneck, NY)
Arts ThreeSixty – Laser Etched Products (NYC)
Jewelry from Washingtonville Housing Alliance‘s Women’s Artisan Collective (Mamaroneck, NY)

LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS:
Community Resource Center (Mamaroneck, NY)
LMCTV Public Access Television (Larchmont/Mamaroneck, NY)
Relay for Life of Mamaroneck/Larchmont
American Cancer Society – Relay For Life
Village of Mamaroneck Committee for the Environment
Save the Sound (Mamaroneck, NY)
Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute (Irvington, NY)
YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities Network (Mamaroneck, NY)
Artisan NR (New Rochelle, NY)
Mamaroneck High School Impressions Magazine

GETTING HERE:
MetroNorth Mamaroneck station, walk, skate, bike.
Directions> https://goo.gl/maps/nQJL7isLdRk

PARKING:
Limited parking. Check signs for EVENT PARKING, street parking also available in the area including at MetroNorth station. Please check the signs to avoid a ticket.

RSVP:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mamaroneck-food-truck-makers-market-spring-tickets-32676634694

VENDORS:
Our line up is set but if you want to be a considered a vendor for future events? Submit your info on the vendor form here:
https://goo.gl/forms/AxJRsP2lV49Ap42Q2

WITH ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM:
Village of Mamaroneck, New York
Village of Mamaroneck, New York – Mayor Norman S. Rosenblum News
— Village of Mamaroneck Industrial Area Steering Committee
Village of Mamaroneck Recreation Department
Mamaroneck Chamber of Commerce
Village of Mamaroneck Arts Council
CityBurb Magazine

Kids Cooking Co. Hosts July Mini-Camp

Kids Cooking Co. Hosts July Mini-Camp

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The Kids Cooking Co. was founded on the belief that when we teach our children the fundamentals of cooking and give them the time and space to prepare a meal from whole ingredients, we are gifting them something special.  In this fast-paced world we live in, all too often meal time is an after-thought resulting in prepackaged and processed foods on the run.  The Kids Cooking Co. aims to help instill in our young people, a life-long love of learning about what and how they eat.  And we do this in a fun and exciting atmosphere.

The Kids Cooking Co. serves the lower Westchester County NY area offering classes for our school aged children at our Bronxville location.  These classes take place in a commercial kitchen.  For our younger clients, the Kids Cooking co. will come to your preschool and extend the day with cooking enrichment.

 

Teacher Appreciation Day Ideas

Teacher Appreciation Day Ideas

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Teacher Appreciation Day is one of my favorite days of the year.   There’s no one I appreciate more than my kids’ teachers.  Having spent 11 years in the classroom, I know that teachers do not need this day to feel appreciated, because most feel appreciated every day in the work they do with their kids.  The simple gestures and interactions are the rewards that parents will never even know took place.  But, I like this day because it’s an opportunity for kids to see others show their teachers just how much they are respected and it gives teachers a special day for themselves.

This year, it falls on Tuesday, May 9th, during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 8-12.  Some schools choose to observe the week, the day or not at all.   In some places, PTA’s will organize breakfast or lunch for their entire staff.   I’m lucky to live in a district where families find it to be a meaningful day.  Over the years, I have seen posts/comments where someone comments that they didn’t know this day even existed.  This is why I wanted to get this post out there early, so you can think of fun ways to celebrate the teachers in your kids’ lives.

NATIONAL TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY – Tuesday of the first full week in May

Over the years, I’ve come up with different ideas and projects.  Some years, I was the class mom, and chose to organize a group gift from the class.  Our PTA stresses that the gift should be thoughtful and meaningful and the cost should be minimal.   On years that I was not the class mom, I chose to do small things each day during teacher appreciation week, sending in a small, $5 or less item each day of the week….Monday, nice fine tip markers…..Tuesday, post it notes…..Wednesday, a $5 Starbucks gift card…..etc.

Two of my favorite ideas though, were when I involved the class.   When my daughter was in kindergarten, I sent out this email to the parents of her classmates:

Dear Parents,

Next Wednesday, 4/25 is the day that ABC School PTA has decided to celebrate their teachers, by having a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon.  

While the teachers will enjoy this day with their colleagues, we felt that it would be nice to involve the children in this celebration.   Having the children participate and be involved in this day, helps them to understand the meaning of the word “appreciation.”   Our children learn this by the example that we, as parents, model for them.

With that said, we are asking all of the children to do the following:

  1.   Select an 8×10 sheet of paper of any type. (Printer or construction paper.  Color of their choice.)
  2.   Using the letter that they are assigned (see below) they will make a block letter on their paper.   The paper will be in the portrait/vertical position.  The block letter will be capitalized and will fill the paper.
  3.   The children will color in their letter or decorate their letter in any way they choose: with stripes, with polka dots, in a solid color, with collaging materials, elbow macaroni, etc.  It is their choice.   
  4. Children will bring this paper/letter to school on Wednesday 4/25 (not in their folder, but loose in their backpack.)  Teachers collect the folders as part of their their morning procedures.   This is a surprise! 
  5. At 11am, upon returning from library the children will get their letters out of their backpack and line up in the following order (see below) and it will spell out the message:  Happy Teacher Appreciation Day.    It will appear bright and colorful and the children will love surprising their teachers!  🙂 

I know….this sounds like a LOT of work but amazing when the kids pulled it off.  I assigned each kid in the class a letter starting with H, then A, then P….and so on.   I arranged for the teacher to let me come in at 11am that day so I could give her the gift from the class.   They pulled it off perfectly.  I’d share the pic of each child holding up their letter, but for privacy reasons, I won’t.   The teacher loved it so much that she hung it up in the hallway outside the classroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another year, I sent an email out to the parents asking them to look at the sample Wordle (or word cloud) that my Girl Scouts had made for me.  I asked each parent to simply reply to the email with three words that described their teacher.   I made her a Wordle, framed it and found a printer paper that served as an iron on and ironed it onto a tee shirt for her.    The cute thing about the wordle is that the words that are used most often are larger than the others.  By looking at this Wordle, it shows how many kids called her kind, fun, smart, helpful, etc.    Once finished you can change the font, the color, the size, etc.   I picked colors that I thought she would like.   This one took less time and planning and was managed from my computer.   When they gave her the shirt, I had them sign the back of the shirt with fabric markers.

 

 

 

 

You can follow this link to use WordItOut to make a word cloud:

Word cloud made with WordItOut

Other Gift Ideas: 

Teacher Appreciation Gift Printable Free

10 Things To Do in April

10 Things To Do in April

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We don’t keep a calendar of events.   We considered it and realized that every other site has one and that’s where people go for “things to do.”  However, the other sites usually list things for the kids– Not the moms.  So we’ve decided to publish things for the moms to do, alone or with kids.  Each month, we get so many requests to post events, so here’s your “end of the month” blog post: 10 things you might want to do in April.

  1.  Shop the Booked Marketplace Pop-Up on 4/20.  Its being held at LIFE The Place to Be in Ardsley.  Guest will enjoy a unique shopping experience, lite bites, mini-massages and more.   Tickets are $20 per shopper and can be purchased via this link.      https://www.eventbrite.com/o/booked-parties-13201894868

2. Visit the Pleasantville Farmer’s Market.

It’s now outdoors, on Saturdays starting April 1st from 8:30am to 1pm.

56 vendors will provide the community with the highest quality regionally grown foods including seasonal vegetables (with 3 Certified Organic producers), humanely raised meat, fresh fruit and berries, prepared foods created with ingredients from regional farms, allergen-free baked goods, flowers, wine, and many other offerings.

Responding to shoppers’ requests, the Market is adding a hot breakfast and a new lunch option this summer, to complement the popular Aba’s Falafel. The Pleasantville Farmers Market attracts an average of over 3000 visitors every Saturday and has become a major regional destination. “Our research shows shoppers come from all over the county for the quality and diversity of vendors present at the Market, as well as the engaging weekly Culinary, Kids and Music programming held throughout the season,” says Steven Bates, Executive Director of Market Operations, Foodchester, Inc, the non-profit operator of the Pleasantville Farmers Market. “Another draw is that the Market is in the center of a walkable Village, close to restaurants, shops and the Burns theater.”   The location is at Memorial Plaza, right at the Pleasantville Train Station.  For more info, visit pleasantvillefarmersmarket.com

3.  Enjoy a Jazz Brunch!   

Starting Sunday April 2nd at East End in Greenwich and Mediterraneo in Norwalk.  So very NYC, finally out here in the suburbs!  (Remember the GIRLS episode where they went to the jazz brunch?  I think Marnie was singing, if I remember it correctly…. )  After watching LaLa Land last week, I am more interested in checking this out.    Menus and pics below.

Guests will enjoy bottomless Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s and $1 oysters. Live Jazz music will entertain guests every Sunday in April between 12:00-4:00pm. Artists’ featured will include up-and-coming New York City Jazz musicians Margi Gianquinto and Albert Rivera. Reservations are suggested especially for large parties of 8 or more. To make reservations you may call: (203) 229-0000     

4.  Take a Calligraphy Class

Classes are on April 8th and May 6th.    I took this class a few weeks ago and loved it.    By no means am I a calligraphy master but my Crayola Markers are being taken a lot more seriously since then.  Register here:    https://www.lillianliming.com/calendar/workshop-brush-calligraphy-koi-april

5.  Mindfulness Workshop at Yoga Haven in Scarsdale- 4/28, 4/29 and 4/30.

Mindfulness Matters Training Class for Parents

6.  Hudson Edit Spring Shopping Event-  4/21 and 4/22.

THE HUDSON EDIT offers Westchester a rotating selection of carefully curated pieces by exceptional designers.

Friday, April 21 10a-3p
Saturday, April 22 10a-3p

Celebrate Spring with food, wine, and fashion! Follow The Hudson Edit on Facebook for more information on our upcoming events.

The Hudson Edit is excited to partner with Meritage restaurant for our spring event! Come browse five incredible lines while enjoying selections from Meritage’s catering menu.   Free admission.

 

7.  Westchester Children’s Museum Private Playdate- 4/26

Explore the museum and enjoy a special storytime with local author and Scattered Books Bookstore owner, Laura Scott Schaefer. Books will be available for purchase if you’d like to have a copy signed!  Tickets MUST be purchased in advance. $6 per person.  Available by following this link: https://discoverwcm.salsalabs.org/westchesterwithkidsplaydate/index.html

8.  Visit One World Trade.

Beautifully written blog post from fifi + hop.   A great day trip for over the Spring Break.

One World Observatory: Complete Visitors Guide

 

9.   Meet Bill Nye the Science Guy at Barnes & Noble in Eastchester on 4/6.   Wristbands are for sale at 9am and the event is from 7pm to 9pm.  Wristbands guarantee entry for the evening event.     http://stores.barnesandnoble.com/event/9780061855006-0  

10.  Book your ticket for Soul Camp on June 10th.

Yes, I am aware that this is not really an April event, but I’d buy now so as not to get sold out!   These events are usually on weekends, but for the first time they are on a single day in this area for NY and NJ folks.    A full day of a variety of healthy, wellness, outdoor activities.

For more info, visit https://soul.camp/ or follow Soul Camp on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/soulcamplove/