Holiday Proper

This is a sponsored post. Thank you for supporting SITC. 
 

When I was a child, every holiday season, I remember my mom taking my sister and I shopping for our holiday dresses. Our special dress was worn on several occasions, like meeting Santa, for our holiday photo card taken on my grandparents fireplace mantel, and, of course, for Christmas day. Year after year, we chose the same Santa red, or version of a typical red plaid dress. But, there is one year that comes to mind, when I was six years old. It especially sticks in my head, because it was just before Thanksgiving, a special Thanksgiving, because it was the first year with a new baby brother. We were shopping, and stumbled upon these blue fringe boots, and yes, that 6 year old girl had to have them! So we searched endlessly, and finally found a perfect dress that matched for these powder blue boots my sister and I swooned over. Our blue boots made the Christmas card that year, and were my most coveted pair for quite some time!

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The holidays are certainly magical, but with all of our obligations, it can get a bit hectic. With Thanksgiving, multiple visits to Santa(s), the tree lighting in our neighborhood, holiday cards, and of course, Christmas Eve and Christmas day, its a quite busy, to say the least. It’s definitely way more intense than when I was growing up, but its also much more fun. Living in NYC, there is always an event or party, and the kids are exposed to so much more.

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Old Navy has always been a great source for finding the perfect outfit for the each one of my kids. This year, I took my little fashionista Siella with me to do some holiday shopping and help out picking out clothes for her sister and brother as well. Siella was in her glory picking up everything in the store exclaiming how beautiful everything was. Our special shopping day brought me back to my childhood and I’m sure by next year, Gemma will be coming along with us just like I would do with my mom and sister.

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Siella & Gemma: Bow Sweater & Star Skirt // Siella’s Shoes // Gemma’s Shoes
Ryder’s Skull Sweater & Grey Cords 
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What I love about Old Navy so much is that they offer the best of everything when it comes to trendy fashion, and with affordable pricing, it doesn’t limit my family to just one holiday look throughout the holiday season. As soon as you walk into their stores, the seasonal decor and holiday music will immediately get you into the holiday spirit. Beautiful threads with lots of reds, plaids, and metallics filled the racks, and you can even find some cool toys on the shelves as well.

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It’s super helpful that I am able to shop for all three of my kids on one floor, and each collection pairs with one another, making it easy for sibling coordinations. The fits all run true to size, and I can even pick up cute shoes to match the outfits. This season, I’ve realized they do not need to wear that “Christmas red” in every single picture, so I’ve embraced a metallic pattern but couldn’t help scooping up some traditional items as well.

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Siella and Gemma are in matching star tulle skirts, with white bow sweaters. And to stick with his edgy style, for Ryder I chose a maroon skull sweater with charcoal grey cords. The kids were pretty smitten with their outfits, I mean look at them posing!  All of course were hand picked by little miss Siella herself. And I think we will make these their Christmas Eve outfits!

 

Thank you Old Navy for sponsored this post. 

A Week At Sea

My family and I just returned from a week long cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Gem. We sailed down the eastern seaboard of the Atlantic for 7 whole days, stopping in ports in Florida and the Bahamas. I have to say, initially I was a bit skeptical about idea cruising as visions of the Titanic movie riddled my brain, but having witnessed so many cruise ships packed with cheering families leave the harbor from my living room window, I thought it would be a fun adventure for all of us.

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Starting our vacation after a cab ride only a few blocks from our apartment was a refreshing alternative to the hours spent on security lines at airports, before lengthy flights with fussy children. On board, our family of 5 had plenty of space in two adjoining rooms, making ship life a bit more manageable considering most ship cabins are on the small side, compared to a regular hotel on land. Not to mention, it helped with Gemma’s naps.

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Sure, there were plenty of memorable experiences while on board. Each port brought a new adventure, with beaches and activites that we had never experienced, and I feel that the kids grew up a little bit over the week, with the freedoms of pouring their own soft serve ice cream cones, and paying for juice with individual personalized key card. But one thing that I was completely intrigued with was the super hard working staff on the ship. They run a very “tight ship,: which is saying that now holds way more meaning with me. Each employee had their specific job assignments, from waiters, to porters, to the staff who stand in the doorways holding hand sanitizer for the guests to wash their hands.

I was surprised at the way some of the staff lit up when they saw Gemma wobbling down the corridors. What I soon learned was that the employees, from countries all over the world, are contracted the a ship for 8 to 10 months at a time. In that stretch, they work seven days a week, and then fly back homes for only about 2 months, prior to setting out on their next tour. There were plenty more stories of them leaving their three month old and coming home when they are over a year old. While telling their tails and holding my baby in their arms, it would sometimes bring tears to their eyes.

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Ryder took a huge liking to steward, Owen, and he spent plenty of mornings and evenings chatting it up in the hallways and cabin. Each night we would come back from dinner, and we were greeted by fun animals and creatures made from towels, with chocolate mint garnishes. Ryder kept his chocolate stash the entire week, and some even made it into his bag to bring home.

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By no means was the staff complaining about their jobs; they merely sharing just how much they missed their own children and families. They were all extemely grateful for their jobs, and they did everything possible to make my family feel comfortable. The extended time away from their families makes the 3 short weeks that Jason was away for seem like a cake walk.

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I definitely can’t close without talking about our port destinations. Some of the highlights from the week came in the form of warm Caribbean air and turquoise waters of the Bahamas. In Freeport, we made our way to a beautiful beach called Paradise Cove Deadmans Reef, where we gathered lovely seashells, while snorkeling in the glass like water. The next day, I was super excited to visit Nassau, home of Atlantis, which has been on my bucket list for quite sometime. Even with lackluster weather, we still experienced the famed Dig and the Aquarium which blew the kids’ minds.

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This trip was definitely an adventure. It was a nice break before heading into the hectic holiday season, and a treat to sneak in a few days of warmer weather, before we welcome 20 degrees in NYC. Jason and I really enjoyed spending the week with our kids, because watching them experience new things for the first time is something we live for.

A huge THANK YOU to The Moms for inviting us on this trip and for Norwegian Cruise Line for hotel and accommodations. 

Holiday Keepsakes

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This is post is sponsored. Thank you for supporting SITC.  In our small NYC apartment, there is half of a closet dedicated to only Christmas decorations. Since I am so sentimental, I still have ornaments from my childhood, and each year, I buy a new one for each child, which symbolizes what they were into over… Read more »

SITC 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Jammies

For Babies by Gemma –   Bla Bla Doll @ Piccolini //Little Giraffe Owl // Ella Lou Wanderlust City Mat Andy Wardol Book // Eric Carle Caterpillar // Piccolini Retro Leg Warmers Aden & Anais Twinkle Holiday Set // Skip Hop Hedgehog Accordion // Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug For Girls by Siella – Disney Frozen Toddler Elsa Doll // Honest Fairy… Read more »

Sunday Swoon: Alex and Alexa

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I discovered the website Alex and Alexa just before I got pregnant with Ryder. They are the “Net A Porter” of childrens-wear and a global style destination just for kids. They offer over 200 coveted international fashion, sportswear and toy brands, from traditional to cutting-edge. Whenever I was in need of that high-end type outfit… Read more »

Past Life & Reformations

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This is a sponsored post. Thank you for supporting SITC.  In all of our pasts, there is probably a select thing or three that we wouldn’t want to admit to our children. Something that I tend to forget is that I use to be a smoker. Naturally, smoking was a habit that I am not proud of, and… Read more »

Family Retreat

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Jason’s traveling for work eventually takes a toll on our entire family. The kids miss their Dad, and although they may not express it, some of their mischievous or defiant behaviors are a result of their missing him. As for me, I am usually running on empty, especially when it comes to the early wake… Read more »

Giving Back During The Holidays

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This post is sponsored. Thank you for supporting SITC.  Both Jason and I have pretty large extended families, but we make it a point to see everyone during the holiday season, which means, our holiday gifting list runs pretty long. When shopping for our friends and family, I try to find meaningful gifts that I know they… Read more »