New York Family - April 2021

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April 2021 established 1986

Liz Teich The New York Stylist, on her pandemic pregnancy, suburban life, and how to shop sustainably

Top Strollers

10 picks for the NYC Mom

Mental Health Tips for Parents of Preschool Kids with Autism The Best Fitness Apps for Moms

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Discover! April 2021 | New York Family



April 2021

pg. 18

pg. 36 pg. 26

pg. 44

FEATURES 22 | Resources for NYC Moms Resources from a resume template to mom groups that support 36 | Real Estate 7 suburban towns for city dwellers 44 | Liz Teich – The Warrior of Westchester The New York Stylist, on her pandemic pregnancy, suburban life, and tips on how to shop sustainably 48 | Get Organized Expert advice on how to spring clean your pantry in five steps 50 | Baby The New York Milk Bank distributes donor breast milk to local families in need

Stories & columns 6 | Editor’s Note Spring-ing Forward

19 | Special Needs Directory 26 | Montessori Directory

10 | Mom Hacks The best fitness apps for NYC moms 16 | Special Needs Steps to take if you think your child may be autistic

on the Cover Photo: Yumi Matsuo |

18 | Special Needs Mental health tips for parents of preschool kids with autism

Hair & Makeup: Buffy Hernandez |

26 | Education Montessori then and now

Cover fashion:

32 | Gear 10 strollers for NYC moms | April 2021


8 | Family Day Out Yayoi Kusama at the New York Botanical Garden

28 | Camp Camps are back!


pg. 32

Produced by: Donna Duarte-Ladd Written by: Cris Pearlstein | On Liz: Need & Thread London dress via Tulerie (, Lauren Gabrielson earrings (, Lele Sadoughie headband ( ) On Asher: My Little Cosmo tee and pants, sold separately at ARLi ( On Andi: Louise Misha onesie sold at ARLi (, Converse sneakers (



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April 2021 | New York Family


Editor’s Note Publisher: Clifford Luster Executive Editor: Donna Duarte-Ladd Digital Editor: Katarina Avendaño Senior Adviser: Susan Weiss Digital Director: Erik Bliss Partnership Managers: Erin Brof, Mary Cassidy, Shelli Goldberg-Peck Ad Operations Manager: Rosalia Bobé Art Director: Leah Mitch Web Developer: Sylvan Migdal Graphic Designers: Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti

Nina Gallo Photography

Spring-ing Forward New York is full of hope with more people now able to get vaccinated (yay!). Spring is here; we can visit museums, stop by for ice cream and even go to the movies. A huge part of city life is preparing for the upcoming camp season, we even had a few camps share (page 28) what they are looking forward to for the upcoming summer season. For moms seeking extra support, we have a helpful resource roundup, Resources for NYC Moms (page 22). April is Autism Awareness Month, and as a parent with a little one on the ASD spectrum, I appreciate this Special Needs piece (page 18) that shares

mental health tips for parents of preschool kids with autism. If you are looking for a stroller, we have 10 Strollers for City Parents (page 32) from our popular online article, The Best 2021 Strollers. Shop away! For April’s fun cover, contributor Cris Pearlstein shares on Liz Teich of The New York Stylist (page 44), her new home in New Rochelle, Westchester, giving birth during the height of a pandemic and living sustainably.

Donna and New York Family Media

Editorial Contributors: Jana Beauchamp, Cris Pearlstein, Mia Salas Editorial Interns: Patrick Delaney, Analiese Dodd Sabrina Lee

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Yayoi Kusama Brings Her Art to Botanical Garden BY COURTNEY INGALLS & ANALIESE DODD


ew York Botanical Garden has announced the 2021 Exhibition KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature, Featuring New Work by Celebrated Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama will finally be coming this spring! After having to wait for a year due to COVID-19, the Kusama exhibit is opening for the world to see. This exhibit will be the firstever comprehensive exploration of the artist’s lifelong fascination with the natural world and takes place across the Garden’s 250 acres and in its historic buildings. Trying to find more activities to get involved with this spring? Check out NYC Spring Bucket List: 30 Family-Friendly Things to do in Spring 2021 Some of the debuts being shown are Flower Obsession, Kusama’s first obliteration greenhouse where visitors apply coral flower stickers throughout the inside; Dancing Pumpkins, a monumental 16-foothigh sculpture presented on the Haupt Conservatory Lawn; Infinity Mirrored

8 | April 2021

Room- Illusion Inside the Heart, an immersive outdoor installation responding to changing light throughout the day and seasons; and I Want to Fly to the Universe, a bright colored 13-foot-high biomorphic yellow face with polka dots. Not only will the exhibit be showing off Kusama’s new pieces, but it will also include works from throughout her career and multifaceted practice. Some of the pieces that will be shown are sketchbooks that show Kusama’s connection with the natural world from a young age, as well as her botanical sketches, paintings, biomorphic collages, and many more depictions of her famous work. The New York Botanical Gardens staff has been working hard to ensure that this exhibit will be memorable and safe for everyone who visits. Carrie Rebora Barratt, Ph.D., CEO & The William C. Steere Sr. President of The New York Botanical Garden said, “ This once-in-a-lifetime presentation will stand apart from previous exhibitions of Yayoi Kusama’s work because it is rooted in the artist’s profound and enduring exploration of

nature and its countless manifestations that evoke meanings that are both personal and universal.” Get Your Tickets Now The Kusama exhibit is opening April 10th and will be available through October 31st, which will provide the opportunity for guests and visitors to explore Kusama’s work throughout the changing seasons as new plantings, textures, and palettes are introduced! Tickets are $35 for adults, $15 for children 2-12, and free for children under 2. There are some discounts available for students and seniors that can be seen on the website here. The exhibit takes place mainly outdoors, but tickets are limited for each day to allow for social distancing. Tickets will be for a time-entry of one hour, and tickets should be purchased in advanced to ensure entry. If you purchased tickets for entry to the exhibit last year, you’ll have access to pre-sale tickets through the email you originally purchased tickets with. Tickets for the general public will go on sale starting March 16th in several phases beginning with dates through June 30th. Tickets will sell out fast, and we encourage you to get in on this incredible exhibit before it’s gone. Don’t waste another moment and get ready for a great event that will add a little more color to your spring plans!

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April 2021 | New York Family



The Best Fitness Apps for New York City moms BY HESTER ABA


n the life of a busy NYC parent, fitting in time for working out is a challenge. While we miss heading to a cool downtown studio to check out the latest fitness trend, or sweating it out at the gym, Covid has meant that most of us have transitioned to at-home workouts. There is an overwhelming number of options when it comes to fitness apps and classes offering online streaming, so I checked out some of the best New York-based fitness apps to see what I loved (and what I didn’t!) as I sweated and danced my way through four weeks of fitness fun. While I initially set out to find the “perfect” app, I’ve realized combining a few app subscriptions means I can pick and choose the best workout to suit my mood, and to deliver endless variety. And even the price of all of these app subscriptions combined is still much less than a gym membership! Peloton

Peloton is best-known for its proprietary stationary bikes and treadmills (and the long waitlist to receive your purchase once you’ve ordered!) but they also have a stand-alone fitness app that allows you to take Peloton strength, running, bootcamp, yoga, cycling and meditation classes with their coterie of charismatic instructors. Classes range in length from five to 60 minutes, and are easily searchable by type, level and even music genre. I’ve been using the Peloton app for a couple of years now, in conjunction with their bike, and to mix up my workout routine by adding in barre, pilates, and full body workouts using free weights or my own body-weight. Pre-Covid, I would use my Peloton app while traveling, as the majority of workouts just need a mat and a small space. New classes are constantly being added, and I’ve learned which instructors I love and who will motivate me to push myself. Peloton is definitely best-in-class in terms of the sophistication of its offering, but for me it’s not a complete solution, so I like to use this as my base app for four days of the week, and then add on one or two more workouts from other sources for nov-

10 | April 2021

elty! Peloton has some basic prenatal strength and cycling content, but there’s definitely room to grow this category further. What I Love About the Peloton App:

Peloton’s instructors are incredibly positive and encouraging — I feel like I have a sense of connection to their different personalities. I love working out with Cody if I’m having a hard day because he always makes me laugh, and Robin makes me feel like I can go out and kick some butt! I also love how Peloton has the rights to use famous artists’ music, so you can workout to really fun pop and hip hop playlists. Another great thing that Peloton has (which none of the other fitness apps I tried have) is that they offer rewards and badges for completing challenges, or for getting a “PR” (personal record). I find this incredibly motivating, and it’s also easy to see which workouts you’ve already completed and track your progress over time. What’s Not So Great: One of the reasons

why I started looking outside of the Peloton app was because I really missed my in-person

Pilates classes, and Peloton’s Pilates content isn’t as developed as some of their other categories. If they had a dedicated Pilates instructor and introduced more content in their category, their app might be my all-around winner. The Investment: $12.99 per month (check for current promotions to see if you get your first month free).

Melissa Wood

NYC-based mama and influencer Melissa Wood’s app contains a blend of short and longer pilates and yoga-inspired workouts and meditations. Wood’s vibe is calm, semispiritual and very targeted, with minimal cardio and a lot of focus on creating “long, lean lines” via repetitive stretching and toning movements with either just bodyweight, or one pound ankle/wrist weights, along with the occasional use of resistance bands and balls. Melissa Wood is the sole instructor on her platform, leading all of the workouts, and she proposes a weekly schedule made up of previously-filmed content and helpfully mix-

April 2021 | New York Family


ing longer and shorter classes with slightly different focuses (e.g. legs one day, abs another). What I Love About the Melissa Wood App: Melissa Wood’s workouts, especially

her ab workouts and standing series are just incredibly effective. If you follow her weekly program, within a couple of weeks you will notice a firmer core and tighter legs and booty. Her program really works, and is really great for womens’ bodies. She includes plenty of time for taking a breath and recovery within the workout, and gives guidance on how to avoid injury. Melissa Wood has both pre- and post-natal content, and has two children of her own. There’s a lot of planking and core work involved, and even eight years after having my youngest, my mid-section still has a lot of room for improvement! But since starting the Melissa Wood workouts, I can actually see a hint of abdominal muscles peeking through! Now if only I could put down the cookies… What’s Not So Great: Melissa Wood’s app

functionality is basic, without the ability to see which workouts you’ve previously completed, and as she films most of her workouts in the City, you can often hear sirens, construction and other street noise in the background, which can be a little distracting during a meditation! Melissa Wood’s workouts also do not feature any background music. I actually find this quite pleasant and it allows me to really hear her instructions, but it might not be for everyone. Investment: $99 per year or $9.99 per

month. Melissa Wood offers a 7-day free trial. The Sculpt Society

Created by former Brooklyn Nets dancer, Megan Roup, The Sculpt Society, or TSS, is a dance-based approach to fitness, which also incorporates elements of Pilates. If Melissa Wood is your calm, spiritual older sister, Megan Roup is your energetic, bouncy little sister. TSS’s app is designed as an all-in-one approach to fitness, and as Roup is currently pregnant, she has started to introduce some new instructors on the platform. TSS has a great selection of beginner content that takes newbies through some of the basics of Dance Cardio moves, which as someone with zero coordination, I really appreciated. Then to kick off, you can follow a ten-week introductory program which mixes Dance Cardio and “Sculpting” classes (more Pilatesbased) with short stretches to get you going on the platform. TSS classes quite frequently

12 | April 2021

While I initially set out to find the “perfect” app, I’ve realized combining a few app subscriptions means I can pick and choose the best workout to suit my mood, and to deliver endless variety. use props including light hand weights, ankle/wrist weights, bands and “sliders,” but I substituted towels for sliders and found these worked just as well. What I Love About the Sculpt Society App: Megan Roup’s vibe is upbeat and

infectious, and her workouts always start off with some energetic movement, so TSS classes are always a mood-booster for me. Like the Melissa Wood program, the moves are extremely effective for strengthening the lower body and abdominals, and I like the focus on being “strong” instead of mentioning physical aesthetics. I loved the introductory videos, and the content is beautifully shot and slickly produced. The sequences of movements that TSS features are very well thought-out, and there’s plenty of scope and suggestions for how to both level up your workout, or to scale it down. TSS has a special pre- and post-natal program including pelvic floor workouts. What’s Not So Great: The pace of the

workouts can be quite quick, and so I sometimes need to pause the video and rewind it to ensure I’m doing a particular sequence correctly. I also sometimes find that TSS’s core sequences strain my neck, which doesn’t happen with the Melissa Wood workouts. The TSS accompanying music is fun and lively, but seems to be generic opensource music, or at least, this old lady never recognizes any of the tunes!

much focus on the mind as the body in their sessions. No equipment is needed, only a mat, and classes range in length from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. There’s also a daily schedule so you can tune in throughout the day, or pick from their on-demand library. The music is much more alternative than Peloton’s selection, a mix of rocky guitar music and upbeat EDM. The instructor will guide you through a sequence of jumping, dancing and very repetitive, prolonged periods of focusing on particular body parts, ending with a “heart-opening” movement and brief meditation. At various times you might be encouraged to make noise or dance freely. The Class has been a life-line for its participants in quarantine as it is deeply cathartic and the instructors encourage looking inward and share inspirational thoughts. What I Loved About The Class: I loved The Class’s aesthetic, which is so minimal and pared-back and totally not focused on body image. When I took one of Soraya’s classes, she whipped her long hair back and forth in a way that felt very un-fitnessy, and I felt as though I had been transported to a primal scream class. I loved how the repetitive movements take you out of your body, requiring very little thought or focus, to allow you to have a meditative experience. I also liked how thoughtful the music selection is, and how it is used to take you on a journey, and to uplift and then relax in turn, and I liked the way even in the most intense moments, you are encouraged to stop and take a breath and return to your body.

Investment: $119 per year or $19.99 per

month. TSS offers a 14-day free trial. The Class

In-the-know New Yorkers will already be familiar with The Class by Taryn Toomey, which was forced to go virtual during 2020, and which streams their live workouts from their Manhattan studio. Like Peloton, there are a whole host of popular instructors, who mainly dress in variations on black bodysuits, with candles lit in the background. It’s a little bit Goop-y, and VERY different from the other fitness apps I reviewed, as there is as

What’s Not So Great: I think in general I

prefer for my therapy to be therapy, and my fitness to be fitness, and I found the blend of the two didn’t always hit the spot for me. If you’re working through something though, like grief, or trauma, I can see how The Class would be an amazing tool. I definitely experienced moments of transcendent emotion that I haven’t experienced through other fitness apps. It is also worth noting that The Class is by far the most expensive fitness app I reviewed. The Investment: $400 per year or $40 per month. The Class offers a 14-day free trial.

St. Joseph’s School – Yorkville 420 East 87th Street • New York, NY 10128 • 212-289-3057

COMMITTED TO FAITH, ACADEMICS, SERVICE, FAMILY • Pre-Kindergarten 3 year old – Grade 8 program • Ranking in the top 10% of all schools in NYS on the English Language Arts and Math state exams • Graduates attend competitive Archdiocesan, specialized public, and private high schools • Scholarships available for the 2021-2022 school year • Free breakfast, lunch, and after school snack available to all students • Early drop-off, after-school, and 30+ enrichment programs available • Air-conditioned classrooms, fully-equipped science labs, multimedia library, art studio, playroom, gymnasium, auditorium, cafeteria, outdoor recess • 1:1 Chromebooks in Grades K - 8, iPads, interactive whiteboards, integrated technology curriculum, coding, robotics, blended learning • Art, music, instrumental band, physical education, CYO, theater • Easily accessible via the 4 / 5 / 6 / Q trains, M86 / M31 / M15 buses; free school bus available

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April 2021 | New York Family




Accepting applications now for 9th grade students for the 2021-2022 academic year The lottery will be held on April 15, 2021 For applications, please visit our website at

You can email the application to or by mail at International Leadership Charter High School 3030 Riverdale Avenue, Bronx NY 10463 14 | April 2021



Estamos Aceptando Solicitudes para estudiantes del noveno grado para el año escolar 2021-2022 La Loteria se llevara a cabo Abril 15, 2021, para solicitudes favor de vistar la pagina web

Puede enviar su solicitud via email a Tambien Puede enviar por correo a: International Leadership Charter High School 3030 Riverdale Avenue, Bronx NY 10463 April 2021 | New York Family


special needs

Your Child & Autism Steps to take if you think your child may be autistic By Dr.Emily lEvy


any parents have that ‘a-ha’ moment when they realize their child may have a more profound challenge than previously expectant. Unlike your friend’s kid at the same age- your child has trouble maintaining friendships, struggles to communicate, or demonstrates repetitive body movements. Perhaps he has difficulty relating to the world around him and seems inflexible with his thoughts and behaviors. If you notice these characteristics, don’t ignore them. While your child could be delayed, it may be wise to seek a professional opinion and check if your child may be on the autism spectrum. Learn the milestones Many children with autism show developmental delays early on and don’t meet typical milestones. For instance, by 6-9 months, most babies can sit up without support, babble sounds, and respond to their name. By 9-12 months, babies typically grab objects and toys, crawl, and stand independently. Most children can walk independently between ages 1-3, climb stairs, jump, stack objects, speak in short sentences, and follow basic directions. Between ages 3-5, children can typically toss a ball overhand, get dressed independently, and draw a full person with all features. Children ages 6-12 generally have developed strong friendships with peers and are usually independent in completing their school work. If you notice delays or regression in any of these milestones and your instincts tell you something is off, your child may be at risk for autism. Identifying autism If you think your child has autism, take action. The sooner you identify and address autism, the better it will be for your family. Speak to your child’s doctor; he or she may inquire as to whether all developmental milestones have been met and may recommend an autism screening. This screening typically consists of a series

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of yes or no questions regarding symptoms. If your doctor suspects that your child may have autism, your child may need to have a full diagnostic evaluation by an ASD specialist. Typically, the evaluator will observe your child, ask you as the parent a series of questions, fill out questionnaires, and administer a series of tests to your child. These factors will allow the evaluator to identify whether or not your child may have autism so you can take appropriate action for a concrete diagnosis.

social skills groups, etc. Also, learn what you can do at home to help your child, such as creating a set structure and routine and rewarding good behavior. The more you can work as a team with your child’s doctors, educators, and therapists will help provide consistent support to your child. Many children with autism are kind, loving, high-achieving individuals who have countless gifts. With the right support, your child can succeed academically and thrive in life.

Your Child Receives an ASD Diagnosis — Next Step First off, don’t panic. There are many resources and a great deal of support available for children with autism, and your child is certainly not alone! However, the earlier you intervene and seek your child’s services, the more gains you will see. Once you receive the diagnosis, which typically includes a full report, read it thoroughly and review the evaluator or doctor’s recommendations. Reach out to your child’s school to let them know about the diagnosis and inquire about creating an IEP (Individualized Education Program) to map out the services your child will receive based on his needs. These services may include special education classroom placement, speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, physical therapy,

Dr. Emily Levy is the founder of EBL Coaching (, a tutoring program that specializes in one-on-one home and on-site instruction for students in grades preK-12 in NYC, NJ, and Westchester. She is also the author of Strategies for Study Success, a study skills workbooks series emphasizing test taking, note taking, reading comprehension, writing, and executive functioning strategies, and the Flags and Stars Orton Gillingham student workbook series. These books are currently used at schools nationwide. Dr. Levy studied at Brown University and later received her Masters Degree in Special Education and her Doctorate Degree in Education. She has spoken nationwide on research-based methods for teaching students with and without learning disabilities. Dr. Levy is currently the Director of EBL Coaching’s learning centers.

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April 2021 | New York Family


special needs

Parents of Children with Special Needs Have Special Needs Too Mental health tips for parents of preschool kids with autism By Sheryl FriShman, JD, lmSW Clinical Supervisor & Director of Parent and Community Outreach, aCDS Westchester


e are in unprecedented times. In addition to all of the daily worries and struggles, as parents of young children with Autism, the difficulties added with the coronavirus, being stuck at home, all the uncertainty, our children’s behavior, virtual learning, and basically just trying to keep our household in order can be extremely anxiety provoking. Feeling anxious, sad, alone and even helpless are normal feelings during this difficult time. This is not easy. Now, for just a moment, I want you to STOP reading and take a deep breath in and then breath out. Please do this several times. I promise we are going to get through this! Here are some mental health tips during this difficult time: Acceptance. Acceptance is necessary during this time. Try to accept that we will not have all the answers for the foreseeable future. Also try to accept that you are doing the best that you can at this moment. Finally, try to accept that this is a really hard. Acceptance does not mean that you are ignoring your feelings. Instead, it means holding your feelings and still being able to move forward. Limit the flow of activating information. Social media and the news inundated us with information prior to the coronavirus. Now, in particular, the flow of activating information is everywhere. For those who have anxiety or are developing anxiety this constant news cycle can be overwhelming. The more we have access to this information the more easily it is to remain in an activated state, and it can exhaust our nervous system. I recommend setting up a scheduled time to check in with news daily because of course it is wise to remain informed. However, try to only check in during your scheduled time. You may want to set up a buffer, i.e., time away from activating sources, before bed and before you attempt to spend quality time with

18 | April 2021

your family. Mindfulness. It is a huge buzz word because it works! Mindfulness does not only mean meditation. While creating a meditation practice is a worthy goal, mindfulness can also be found in smaller, attainable changes. In this context and during this difficult time mindfulness refers not to emptying the mind, but to being present in the moment. Worrying about the future is not going to help and only cause more anxiety and stress. Paying attention fully to what you are doing in the present moment with purpose and intention is something that can really help at this time. If you find your mind wandering, that is okay – noticing that IS being mindful and then gently return

you mind to what you are doing. If you feel yourself becoming activated there is a short mindful exercise that I find very helpful – Square Breathing. Take a minute and center yourself by doing this it will be helpful. Square Breathing (you can also find videos on YouTube showing this technique): 1. Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. 2. Hold your breath inside while counting slowly to four. Try not to clamp your mouth or nose shut. 3. Begin to slowly exhale for 4 seconds. 4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 at least 3 times for a total of 4.

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14Y Inclusive Youth Classes 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th Street at 1st Ave 646-395-4339 14Y’s Inclusive Youth Classes are back in-person to keep your child active and engaged after school and on weekends this spring! Youth Classes, for children ages 3 to 12, are open to all abilities including children with disabilities/special needs or children who need any additional support. Taught by professional teaching artists, youth classes give your child the opportunity to hone their skills and express their creativity in a focused, supportive setting. Current offerings include ballet, soccer, tennis, watercolor, and comic book making, and are rolling admission and prorated. Learn more and register today at YouthClassesCat Kenny, Manager of School Year Youth Programs, Contact or call 646-395-4339 for more information.

Atlas Foundation For Autism Atlas School 252 W. 29th St., 3rd Floor, New York 212-256-0846 The Atlas Foundation for Autism houses the Atlas School as well as speech, OT services, music, afterschool classes, and weekend social skills groups! Atlas is different in its approach to working within modalities that address communication, emotional and social thinking, as well as behavior and selfesteem!

Camp Huntington 56 Bruceville Road, High Falls, NY 845-687-7840 A co-ed, residential program for children and young adults with special learning and developmental needs. Their summer camp and weekend camp programs are designed to maximize a

child’s potential, locate and develop strengths and hidden abilities. Your child will enjoy the fun-filled days of summer camp while learning practical social and life skills. They offer a unique program approach of adaptive therapeutic recreation, which combines key elements that encourage progress: Structured programming, nurturing care, a positive setting, and academic instruction to meet IEP goals. Their campus is located in the beautiful hamlet of High Falls, NY, within the Catskill Mountain region.

Camp Lee Mar l 450 Rte. 590, Lackawaxen, PA 215-658-1708 Lee Mar is a private sevenweek residential summer program for campers ages 7-21 with special needs. They offer a unique curriculum incorporating a strong Academic and Speech program with traditional camp activities. Careful study is made of parent input, school (IEPs), camper interview, etc., so that the interests and needs of each child can best be determined for suitable grouping prior to the camper arriving. At Lee Mar the children find comfort and friendship with children of similar age and functioning level. They work hard at improving the daily living, social, and life skills of their campers, while giving them the happiest summer of their lives!

The IDEAL School of Manhattan 314 West 91st Street New York, NY 10024 212-769-1699 ext 10209 Experience The IDEAL Difference at a Virtual Open House. The IDEAL School of Manhattan is New York’s only K-12+ independent inclusion school. In their diverse and nurturing community and within their robust academic program, IDEAL students recognize their potential to effect change and are equipped with the tools to do so. They strive for excellence

Camp Lee Mar

Camp Lee Mar, located in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, is a coed overnight camp for children and teenagers (from 7 to 21) with mild to moderate developmental challenges.


t 6Se9ason!

2021 Dates: June 23 - August 10

Please visit our new updated website!

• Fun traditional summer camp activities • Academics • Speech and language therapy • Daily living skills • Teenage campers enjoy social dancing every week with an end-of-summer “Prom” • Optional trips during the summer • Exceptional facilities featuring air conditioned bunks and buildings • Junior Olympic heated pool • Caring Nurturing Staff • Lee Mar L.I.F.E. (Living Independently Functional Education) Program. Launched during the summer of 2015, the unique feature of our L.I.F.E. Program incorporates everyday living skills into a personalized daily program. We have a fully functional apartment specifically for this program with a large kitchen, washer and dryer, two bathrooms, a living room and bedroom.

Winter Office: Camp Lee Mar Ph: 215-658-1708 Fax: 215-658-1710 Email: Like us on Facebook Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. On YouTube you can view parents and campers talking about their experiences at Lee Mar. April 2021 | New York Family


Special Needs Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

The Westchester School • NYS approved and funded non-public school providing therapeutic and educational services to students diagnosed with AU, MD, ID, OHI, OI, ED, & PWD, ages 3 - 21, with locations in Yonkers & North Salem • Ungraded, self-contained classrooms with a student to staff ratio of 12:1:4 & 8:1:2 in SchoolAged classrooms and a ratio of 10:1:2 in Preschool classrooms. • Customized classroom instruction based on IEP goals, enhanced with SMART boards, IPads, and computers in every classroom • Counseling, Behavioral Services, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, as well as Speech and Language Therapy


• Assistance with transitioning to post academic life by providing Vocational and Job Skill opportunities • Adaptive Physical Education and a Sensory Room

Ensuring that Children and Young Adults with Autism Experience School as Joyous and Enriching

in and out of the classroom and recognize and draw out the potential for excellence in their peers. Learn more about their unique program at a spring virtual open house: Lower School (K-5), April 8, 9 AM; Upper School (6-12), April 15, 9 AM; Kindergarten, April 23, 10 AM; Next Steps (Postsecondary), May 7, 10 AM

The Keswell School 331 West 25 Street New York, NY 10001 The Keswell School is a specialized private school offering an intensive therapeutic 40 hour school week in small classrooms with a 1:1 student to teacher ratio. The day includes all aspects of learning from communication and academics to play, socialization, community and life skills. We use a multidisciplinary team approach of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Speech therapy, and Occupational therapy in which the disciplines work cooperatively to advance the student’s ability to communicate, learn, and manage behaviors. Our goal is to love our students for who they are while continuing to push them to achieve their goals toward independence. For more information contact Ivy Feldman ifeldman@

Westchester School 45 Park Avenue Yonkers, NY 10703 914-376-4300 The Westchester School is a New York State approved,

Specialized private •• Specialized privateschool school Intensive therapeutic hour school week •• Intensive therapeutic4040 hour school week Small classrooms student to teacher ratioratio •• Small classroomswith witha a1:11:1 student to teacher Integrated teaching • ABA • Communication •• Integrated teachingmodel model • ABA • Communication Academics • •Play • Community • Life skills •• Academics Play• Socialization • Socialization • Community • Life skills

The Keswell Keswell School School The • (212) 229-1715 331 West West 25 25 Street, Street, New New York, York, NY NY 10001 10001 331

20 | April 2021

non-public school that provides educational and therapeutic services to students from New York City, Westchester County, Long Island, and Connecticut. The school views all children, regardless of functioning level or handicapping condition, as children with potential for growth and development. Historically, educational programming, particularly for the severely handicapped was primarily concerned for easing the burden of those who cared for these children. Changes in legal standards and sociophilosophical perspectives made this an excessively limited and limiting approach. The rationale for program and selection of educational objectives is based upon the developmental needs of the individual child.

Yellow Bus ABA Home and Center Based Care throughout NY, NJ & CT Center in Westchester 845 327 7111 Yellow Bus ABA is a therapy group providing consultation and intervention services for individuals of all ages who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). They have drawn upon the unique strengths of their highly experienced team of behavior specialists to employ scientifically validated teaching methodology, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), to bring quality care and intervention with lasting results. Yellow Bus ABA offers home and center based care.

Check out our new site! We’ve given our New York Family website a major makeover

Visit to check it out and sign up for our weekly newsletters!





Experience The IDEAL Difference IDEAL is New York’s only K-12+ independent inclusion school, where we celebrate the tremendous social, emotional, and academic growth born of a commitment to inclusion education and differentiation.

In our diverse and inclusive community and within our robust academic program, IDEAL students recognize their potential to effect change and are equipped with the tools to do so. They strive for excellence in and out of the classroom and recognize and draw out the potential for excellence in their peers. They possess the self-awareness to advocate for themselves and the compassion to stand behind others. They not only appreciate but also seek out difference, understanding that only in community are we IDEAL. Follow IDEAL on social media to learn about a new way to afford an IDEAL education. IDEAL is currently accepting applications in select grades for 2021-22 placement 314 W 91st St • 270 W 89th St • NYC

For more information, contact us at or 212-769-1699

VIRTUAL SPRING OPEN HOUSES Lower School (Grades K-5) • April 8 Upper School (Grades 6-12) • April 15 Kindergarten • April 23 Next Steps (Postsecondary) • May 7 April 2021 | New York Family


Resources for NYC Moms

Help to get you back on track when you’re feeling stressed

By Donna LaDD


he pandemic has been brutal for working women, the group hit the hardest in the last year. Najat VallaudBelkacem, a gender equality advocate as well as France director, has said that the Covid-19 pandemic has left “women rendered invisible” and has “significantly worsened” their living conditions according to an article this past November in In their yearly workplace report, LeanIn. org stated, “Covid-19 has disrupted the workplace in ways we’ve never seen before.” For many mothers, work, aka money, helps keep the home together. In September, 865,000 working women left or lost their workplace positions within one month. By December, 140,000 more jobs were lost for women. A report from shared that due to COVID-19, two million women were considering leaving their jobs. The report also shared that “Women, in particular, have been negatively impacted, and three groups are facing distinct challenges: mothers, seniorlevel women, and Black women.” While we have a long road ahead with workplaces (hopefully) using this historic pandemic to learn how to accommodate the working mother better, let’s focus on where we are now. We know there are mothers out there who need a bit of a lifeline. Whether it is knowing of a great site to design a resume, a local state source that may help with childcare, or simply a place where you can go for some extra pantry items for the home — we have a few tools and resources that will help. Free Resume Templates: Canva Let’s be honest, so many of us haven’t sent a

22 | April 2021

resume in years while others are sending it by the hundreds. But a professional resume is key and to get them right sometimes takes money. When I had to get my resume done a bit ago, I used a free template and called in some favors. I asked one friend to do a brutal edit (she didn’t hold back, I cried and basically had to re-d0 it) and another to check that new draft. In the end, my resume only cost the few dollars it took to print it as most resumes are sent digitally, although, you should always bring a print version to your interview. For up-to-date templates, go to Canva, there are many free templates, and if you would like one of the more ‘fancy’ designs, there are paid options. I like this template — you can give that prospective employer a blast of color, along with simplicity, and a touch of creativity. Childcare: Daycare and Learning Bridges If you have seen your finances drastically cut during this pandemic and require childcare, you may want to see if you qualify for lowcost or free daycare via EarlyLearn NYC for children 6 weeks to 4 years old. Eligibility is based on your family’s income, size, and needs. Although applying for a free or lowcost daycare is not a fast process, I know mothers who applied and could get the help they needed for their families. Learning Bridges is a free resource/ program started specifically to support parents while their kids (3-K through 8th grade) were in remote learning. I, like many parents, found myself needing care for my 4-year-old on some of his remote days, which was every day. I applied and about three months later received a placement at a nearby

school that had a great academic program. While I ended up declining the spot, my son had since gone back to in-person learning. I really appreciated knowing this program exists for working or job-seeking parents right now Food Support If you need food support, there are resources available both from the state and the

community that can help. Check out our updated free food assistance program post for programs and food pantries, fridges available to help.

patrons. To find a food bank closest to you, please visit Community Fridges

Food Banks

New York has a whole system of food banks throughout the city. Since Covid, they have switched to a “grab and go” method to minimize exposure for the volunteers and

Known by several different names, free and communal fridges have popped up around the city. Run by volunteers, it is an endeavor built entirely on trust. People can take what they want or leave

what they want. Restaurants are encouraged to donate to mitigate food waste while simultaneously helping their fellow New Yorkers. Again, people are encouraged to take this food at absolutely no cost. While fridges tend to pop up randomly in neighborhoods (so keep a lookout ) please check out @thefriendlyfridge on Instagram for a current list and map of community fridges. April 2021 | New York Family


Food Delivery

Long-term meal delivery services often have eligibility requirements yet are worth applying for if you feel that you fall into their checklist of requirements for food service. Here is a list of some notable organizations. Citymeals on Wheels • One meal per day • Designed to provide 1/3 of the daily nutritional needs for the elderly • Must be 60 years or older to participate God’s Love We Deliver • Supplies lunch and dinner five days a week • Meals tailored to a person’s ailments • Requires a serious and verifiable illness for delivery

“Women, in particular, have been negatively impacted [by the pandemic], and three groups are facing distinct challenges: mothers, seniorlevel women, and Black women.”

GetFoodNYC • Two deliveries per week, and each delivery meant to last roughly three days • Feeds two people per household • Must be unable to afford food to qualify • The least stringent requirements out of these three programs • Neighborhood and Religious Associations

various Manhattan organizations dedicated to providing free food, please visit html/mancb7/downloads/pdf/UWS%20 free%20meals.pdf

Separate from the more prominent food organizations, a lot of neighborhoods and religious affiliates have banded together for small, independent programs to help people. Dozens of worthwhile and more intimate food stands exist throughout the boroughs dedicated to providing free food. Below are some links that lead to extensive lists of such places, broken up by neighborhood.

The Bronx: For a more complete list of various organizations in the Bronx dedicated to providing free food, please visit freefood. org.

Brooklyn: For a more complete list of various Brooklyn organizations dedicated to providing free food, please visit this freefood. org. Excluded from this list, but worth mentioning is: St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church Pantry Address: 157 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States Time: Tuesdays from 10:30 am - 12 pm This is a pop-up pantry. Their pick-up time is on Tuesdays. The pantry is a warm and friendly place that provides grains, protein, fruits, and veggies. They distribute food on a first-come-first-served basis and run off of donations. If you wish to donate, they prefer to receive them on weekdays 9 am - 4 pm. Manhattan: For a more complete list of

24 | April 2021

Queens: For a more complete list of various organizations in Queens dedicated to providing free food, please visit

Staten Island: For a more complete list of various Staten Island organizations dedicated to providing free food, please visit

mothers with a low income and a minority disadvantage. Mindr promotes impactful employee communities, women’s networks, Black professional alliances, working parent circles, Pride communities, and groups recognizing and celebrating many other diversity dimensions and shared experiences. I like to think of it as that source that 100 percent has your back. IG: @mindrnyc Monther Untitled - For Moms Leaning Into Family Life

Founder Neha launched Mother Untitled as a resource for mothers who step away from the work-life to focus on family life. Something that many women have decided to do during this pandemic. Neha shares her personal narrative and shared stories on the ambitious women who choose to lean into their families. This is a great site and iG to follow for parenting ideas, a family without forgetting you, the mother, and your journey. IG: @motheruntitled Mother Honestly - Working Mom Support

This site focuses on providing tools to the hard-working mother. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is that we are exhausted. Mother Honestly provides helpful resources and support. Free membership includes 50+ hours of keynotes & panels, Community Hub, other like-minded moms, job boards, live streams, digital sessions, and resources. This resource is for the working mother and the mother who is putting a pause on work-life, something many women are doing during this pandemic. @ motherhonestly Meditation – Virtual Self-Care

Mom Groups That Support YOU

Gratitude Journal: Presently App

Not Safe For Mom Group (nsfmg) – The ‘say anything’ Mom Group

If you own an Android and are looking to document what you are grateful for this year, then you may want to try Presently. This free app (and ad-free, whoo hoo) lets you record daily entries as well as jot down past gratitudes. As busy parents know, it is easy to drop off from self-care; you can set helpful daily reminders to keep your practice going. It will also nudge you to share your thoughts by presenting you with an array of questions that get the brain and heart reflecting. You can treat Presently as your personal diary and keep your entries to yourself or share them with others. The app allows you to import and export entries.

A group, unlike the usual mom meetups,Not Safe For Mom Group (nsfmg) offers support and a stigma-free digital space with a community of mothers from all over the world. This is a safe space where you can express anything on motherhood via Not Safe For Mom Group (nsfmg) popular Instagram Stories, which offers mothers the ability to do so anonymously if they choose. Mindr Global - Community, and Shared Experience

Known as the “TED talks of the parenting world,” Mindr is an amazing resource for mothers’ webinars and resources, especially

— additional reporting by Patrick Delaney

Yellow Bus ABA is a therapy group providing consultation and intervention services for individuals of all ages who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We have drawn upon the unique strengths of our highly experienced team of behavior specialists to employ scientifically validated teaching methodology, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), to bring quality care and intervention with lasting results.




Join our summer enrichment and TACHS preparation program! The program consists of 3 weeks of remote learning that will be taught by the knowledgeable, caring and energetic staff of Cardinal Spellman High School.










Montessori Then and Now How the schools' history shaped their response to the pandemic by Mia SalaS


ith Montessori schools scattered throughout the five boroughs, you’ve probably already heard about this unique approach to education. Kids get to move at their own pace in multi-age classrooms where they have the freedom and support to develop independence, accountability, confidence, and integrity. While you may know the basics about Montessori, schools across NYC this past year and now in 2021 have adapted what education looks like, both in and outside of the classroom. Montessori is at the forefront of this shift, leading in educational innovation and stellar communication. When choosing a school for your little scholar, that process now involves staying up-to-date with schools’ approaches to learning amidst a global pandemic. We’ve got the scoop on what a Montessori education looks like today so that you can be prepared

26 | April 2021

when you apply for the 2021-2022 school year. Before we dive into the present, let’s briefly throw it back to the past to understand how far Montessori has come. Most of us are familiar with the Montessori Method, but not necessarily with Montessori’s history. It all started in 1906 when Dr. Maria Montessori was invited to create a childcare center in San Lorenzo, a poor, inner-city district of Rome. Dr. Montessori observed how the students responded to hands-on learning experiences, and she designed unique learning materials for them. And get this: many of those materials can still be found in Montessori classrooms today! As word got out that Dr. Montessori’s school was thriving, she opened more schools in Italy, but there was also interest worldwide. The first Montessori school in the U.S. opened in 1911, but what many people don’t know is that the Montessori Movement fizzled out around the 1920s. It wasn’t until the Montessori Method was rediscovered in the 1950s by

an aspiring NYC teacher, Nancy McCormick Rambusch, that Montessori education kicked off again. Today there are over 5,000 Montessori schools in the U.S. alone. So now that we’re all caught up on how Montessori began, let’s check in on how it’s going. While all Montessori schools embrace the Montessori Method, many have developed programs in response to student’s needs. For example, there are now bilingual, immersivelanguage, and faith-based programs, as well as programs designed specifically for kids with special needs. Many NYC Montessori schools take advantage of their local environment, engaging with surrounding communities, and others also strive to connect students globally, encouraging cross-cultural relationships that extend beyond the city. With such a strong history and ever-developing programs, it’s no surprise that Montessori persevered as a leader in education when the global pandemic hit. Prior to 2020, there has always been a lot of emphasis on the “Montessori Classroom” as this special space full of carefullydesigned learning materials and collaborative opportunities. But when kids could no longer be in the classroom, Montessori quickly found a way to adapt their methods into “Montessori

at Home”. Providing detailed guidance for how to prep your home and encourage the Montessori Method, the Montessori education was no longer limited to a classroom. Even though many Montessori schools have transitioned back to in-person or blended learning, this adaptability that they gained will long outlast the spread of COVID-19. Now parents can easily integrate and extend the Montessori method in their little ones’ everyday lives. We also love Montessori’s focus on socialemotional well-being during these times. Students have pre-planned mask breaks, meditation/relaxation time, room walks, and social interaction without physical touch. Classroom activities were designed to reduce stress for teachers and students, and regular check-ins are scheduled with teachers to see how their students are feeling and what they are thinking about the “new normal”. During these difficult times, it is refreshing to know that Montessori cares not only about our kids’ physical health, but about their mental health and well-being too. COVID-19 has brought us a lot of uncertainty, and Montessori recognizes how

Montessori has embraced creativity and innovation so that they can create the same warm, welcoming, and empowering environments that they have for decades. challenging that can be for parents. That’s why, Montessori quickly adapted into expert communicators with video announcements, teacher-parent communication worksheets, “how to” technology tutorials, self-care playlists, and much more. Montessori even keeps parents informed with relevant info outside of the Montessori network, such as the free New York Times digital edition for high school students and teachers through Sept. 1, 2021 so that they can stay up-to-date with the ever-changing climate. Montessori consistently updates their resources page so that parents have a go-to source for COVID-19-related information that affects kids and families. Above all, it’s obvious that Montessori has embraced creativity and innovation so that they can create the same warm, welcoming, and empowering environments that they have for decades. COVID-19 has led to a collective

Montessori Directory

Special Advertising Supplement The Montessori School of New York International Sutton Place 212-223-4630 In a lovingly and thoughtfully prepared environment, children are encouraged to explore all academic dimensions at their own pace and interest level, helping them grow in self-esteem and independence. Classes are equipped with a full complement of didactic imported Montessori materials that encourage the absorption of concepts through play, leading them to become well-rounded, confident citizens of the world. Science, Music, Foreign Language, Musical Theatre, Swimming, Dance, Yoga, Sign Language and Chess are part of the program as well. Children usually do extremely well academically, and are prepared for admission to gifted and competitive programs. A unique Summer Camp, staffed by the school’s year round teachers, offers a balance of continued learning with outdoor activities, ranging from educational themebased field trips to group sports activities. This summer especially, children will continue with academics, helping to ensure that they are on track despite the pandemic. Tutoring available to prepare for admission to gifted programs, or for a head start on the upcoming year.

feeling of disconnection. And in a classroom where kids have to keep a distance from their friends, or at home where kids are in front of a computer screen for hours at a time, this feeling of disconnection impacts our little ones just as much as it does us. But what differentiates Montessori from other schools is their long history of perseverance-- of overcoming challenges, reshaping their goals, and growing as a tight-knit, supportive community. So while much has changed since last year, the Montessori Method, along with the warmth, collaboration, and self-confidence that it instills, has remained the same. If you are interested in learning more about Montessori, you can find a school near you at Many schools have virtual open houses and tours coming up soon, so sign-up to see if Montessori is the right fit for your family.

The Montessori School of New York International 347 East 55th Street (at First Avenue)

Wisdom through Knowledge Ages 2 to 14

Where Learning Comes To Life! Summer Day Camp s PartiaL anD ExtendeD DaY foR WorkinG ParentS (8am-6pm) s ExcellenT placemenT recorD foR SpecializeD HigH schools anD gifteD programs s AccelerateD TracK foR GifteD Children

Call now for a brochure/appointment

212-223-4630 | Non-profit educational, non-denominational & non-discriminatory

April 2021 | New York Family


Camps Are Back! Camps will be back virtually and in-person this Summer, and many shared what they are excited about this season!

“We are excited to be back outdoors in the wonderful sun, grass, and fresh air at Oasis in Dobbs Ferry @ Mercy College. We expect to follow all the NYS Department of Health Guidelines and more with regard to masking, social distancing, and sanitation while making sure all the kids know is fun and exciting activities with their friends. It is the kids’ summer experience and we will make sure it is a great one.

“Activities at camp are inherently playful: staff and campers alike participate in sports such as tennis, swimming, play chess, express themselves through art projects and learn new skills with our STEAM program. While health and safety precautions are undoubtedly in full force at summer camp, imagination and creativity are what we offer everyday!” — Advantage Camps

— Alla Zaydman, Vice President of Administration and Operations, Oasis Day Camps

“At Gate Hill Day Camp, we are most excited about reconnecting with our community this summer. We know that our campers and staff need camp more than ever, and we can’t wait to give them a summer that they will never forget!” — Gate Hill Day Cam

28 | April 2021

“After a year of pandemic isolation and virtual camp, I am so excited to see some normalcy — swimming and soccer, arts and crafts and the zip line. But more exciting than that — seeing and hearing kids laugh, and watching them bond with each other and make new friends — those magical moments that can only occur in-person at — 92Y Camps camp.”

“It will be nice to see the smiles on our campers’ faces again and provide them with a fun, safe, and well-deserved respite this summer. As a school, we have the unique ability to take our first-hand knowledge of teaching during a pandemic and mold that experience into a summer camp model that can meet everyone’s needs, both academically and socially.” — Jennifer Woerner & Adriana DeMartino, Summer Camp Co-Directors, The Kew-Forest School

“We are so proud of the role that New Country Day Camp plays in our campers’ abilities to mature and develop, connect with nature, and build positive relationships with their peers. We are counting down the days until we are all together once again at NCDC for a summer filled with adventure, friendship, and joy. At NCDC, we spend the majority of our day entirely outdoors, and we can’t wait to be surrounded by plenty of fresh air and sunshine. We are working closely with the Department of Health and the American Camp Association to ensure the safest possible environment this summer. Members of our camp community can expect smaller group sizes and pod-style programming, reduced bus capacities, daily health screenings, and increased cleaning of our facilities, among other health and safety protocols.” —New Country Day Camp/14th Street YWH

“We’re bringing the fun back to summer for all of our campers! Our campers will experience exciting camp themes and amazing instructors — much like they have come to expect from Launch over the past 10+ years of offering camps in Manhattan!”

“Our teachers are most excited to see their students, of course! It’s been so long, and we can’t wait to see those smiling faces! We’re also excited to show campers the new Collina content for studying vocabulary and grammar! Last but not least, we’re looking forward to having lots of fun in the sun!”

— Launch Math + Science Centers

—Collina Italiana (Mini Summer Camp at Collina Italiana)

April 2021 | New York Family


“Liberty’s new Academic Advantage Summer Science Program is being launched for students needing Summer individual tutoring and Science fun while developing creative thinking skills to enhance hands-on experiences. We invite parents to inquire about our Liberty Montessori Indoor and outdoor Summer Science Camp, where young scientists inquire and explore.”

“Having students back in the building and getting to learn and have fun while in a safe and friendly environment! ” — Cardinal Spellman High School Pilots Enrichment Program (PEP)

— Liberty Montessori Schools

“Campers can expect Swimming classes, arts & crafts, group games, intro into iMovie, and intro to coding and Robotics, and much more!” — New Settlement Summer Camp

“Throughout our program, we will be following the safety guidelines provided by the NYS Health Department in regards to maskwearing, social distancing, hand hygiene, and proper cleaning and disinfecting.” — Hudson Country Day Camp

“Our campers can expect a fun summer that will combine learning and fun. Campers will participate in daily instruction for mathematics and reading using iPad technology. Campers will have a daily robotics class as well as specials such as arts and crafts, science projects, dance, sports, and outdoor games. Through these activities, students will have the opportunity to make lasting friendships. After a year and a half pause for many students of regular activities, we will focus on the social and emotional health of our campers.” — St. Catharine Academy Camp

30 | April 2021

“Our campers will be enriched by math, English, reading coding, logic, TACHS preparation, sports, art, music appreciation.” — St. Barnabas Camp

“We are so looking forward to being back on campus for summer fun and enjoying the outdoors with our campers. — Thornton Donovan

A Fr e e E l e m e n t a r y C h a r t e r S c h o o l


Apply now online K-5th Grade

wh i n mu s i c .o rg

A free public charter school where literacy, math, science and music help your child

Una escuela elemental gratuita

grow into a leader of tomorrow. Una escuela autónoma pública gratuita donde la alfabetización, las matemáticas, la ciencia y la música ayudan a su hijo(a) a convertirse enel líder de mañana.

YOUR SUMMER. YOUR WAY. From New York City’s Upper East Side to our beautiful Rockland County campgrounds and beyond, our summer experiences provide kids and teens of all ages with unlimited opportunities to learn, grow — and have fun. Traditional day camps, summer intensives, mini-camps, for one week or the whole summer.

Sign up for Summer 2021 today! 4 0 1 We s t 1 6 4 t h , N Y, N Y 1 0 0 3 2

Stacey Rosen (she/her), Camps Concierge 212-699-7249,

April 2021 | New York Family



10 S�r�l�ers

for New York Moms Some picks from our Best of 2021 Guide BY DONNA DUARTE�LADD AND SABRINA LEE


hile many of us parents have been indoors for some time (say, a year), this has meant that a stroller has been a gear must-have. Social distancing walks and more day trips visiting nature, the stroller has been the mode of transportation for our youngest babes. And as we all slowly start making our way about the city and the subways or hop in a Lyft, a great stroller is an essential piece of gear a new or seasoned parent will need for their child’s first years. The right stroller for your family should work within your budget and, most importantly, work for your family. Does it fit in your apartment? In the car? Will you be on the subway every day? Do you live in a fifth-floor walk-up? There are many factors to consider when shopping for a stroller. This is a significant and essential purchase, and finding the right stroller is everything. Check out our picks here!

Colugo The Compact Stroller Seasoned parents know the feeling, you need to get to A to Z in seconds, and the Colugo Compact Stroller had us at “one-handed, twosecond fold.” This stroller weighs in at 16 pounds, which is do-able when folded, and although it’s compact, it comes with a large basket for all those things you pick up along the way. While with child, it can still be a bit heavy if you intend to take it on the subway, we still think it is a great city stroller with its UPF 50+ canopy extends for extra shade, roomy storage, and easy to fold and carry design. The Colugo Compact is designed for 6 months and older. $285, Doona Car Seat & Stroller The Doona Car Seat & Stroller transforms from a car seat to a stroller. You can just fold back the wheels, retract the handle, and slot it into the car seat base. There’s nothing extra to carry around with this stroller like other strollers that are taken apart to click into car seats. Also, this stroller is not just a two-in-one, but a three-in-one! It can also be used as a baby rocker. Perfect if looking for a well-made stroller to fit in your tiny space or car. $499.99,

32 | April 2021

Mockingbird Single Stroller The Mockingbird Single is a premium stroller priced at an affordable $350. Parents will appreciate the one-hand fold, especially if you are holding a wiggly toddler sibling’s hand. If more than one parent utilizes the stroller, there is an adjustable handlebar, and a large storage basket that holds up to 25 lbs. The seat reclines, and the foot-rest adjusts for maximum comfort. This stroller is also a part of a system with add-ons for all your needs, whether it be an infant seat insert, car seat adapter, or carriage. $350, Delta Children Revolve Reversible Stroller + Bassinet The Resolve Reversible Stroller has a 5-point safety harness, reversible seat for a front and rear-facing option, and can be folded with one-hand making this stroller super portable. It also features a 4-position reclining seat, an adjustable handlebar, all-wheel suspension, lockable rear wheel brakes, and spacious under-seat storage.$311.99,

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Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System This popular stroller has been recently upgraded. An affordable travel gear that includes the KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat is simply a great value buy. Upgrades include a UPF-canopy; parents will appreciate this cover on those hot sunny NYC days. The large treaded tires will help parents to stroll on those cobbly streets or windy weather we sometimes encounter in NY. With this stroller, you can click the car seat on top of the regular seat or remove the regular set to save weight. Its features also include: a heightadjustable handle, a parent tray with cup holders, and a one-hand self-standing fold. $379.99, BOB Revolution Flex 3.0 While we are still in the throes of social distancing in 2021, the jogger stroller has been a gear that helps parents get out and get going. The Revolution Flex 3.0 Stroller has a mountain bikestyle suspension ideal for the city’s sidewalks to the local park running track. The 9-position adjustable handlebar is perfect for the entire family to use. The extra-large cargo basket is extra, and a peek and chat window enables you to keep an eye on your little one. The seat can be positioned fully upright or at a near-flat recline. $499.99, Costway Folding Aluminum Infant Reversible Stroller with Diaper Bag This stroller looks like it cost in the hundreds but comes in at under $200. Designed for children from 0 months to three-years-old. The stroller can be changed to a sleeping bed for baby (0-6 months old) and then transitioned into a seat from 7 to 36 months old. It includes an adjustable handlebar and a one-step brake. Other stroller accessories include a foot cover, a mosquito net, a wrist strap, and a baby seat cushion. Big design points are the anti-shock spring on the front wheels and the one-step break. The stroller weighs 30 pounds, so if you have an elevator or can leave your stroller on the ground floor, this makes for an ideal city stroller. $189.95,

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UPPAbaby Vista V2 Stroller with Bassinet The Rolls- Royce of strollers, The Vista V2 Stroller is a convertible stroller system that is especially great for growing families. It includes an adjustable handlebar, a large under-seat basket that holds up to 30lbs, and an extendable UPF 50+ canopy. The bassinet accommodates children from birth to 20lbs and features a vented base and canopy for breathability. While this stroller is well built, keep in mind it can be a bit heavy - this is an ideal stroller if you live on the lower level in your building, have an elevator, or need a sturdy stroller for the city. If you’re looking for more conversion options, this stroller is compatible with the PiggyBack ride-along board, a second bassinet, and a second RumbleSeat toddler seat.$969.99, Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System with SafeMax Infant Car Seat A value gear purchase, this stroller is designed to be used until your little one reaches age 5 or 50 lbs, whatever comes first. The car seat base installs in one click and can also be clicked into the stroller frame rearfacing or parent-facing. The stroller folds into a compact, making it easy to throw in the trunk and for travel. Parents will appreciate the large underthe-seat basket, an ergonomic handle, and cruiser tires. $279.99, UPPAbaby MINU Stroller The MINU Stroller is a great option for families fans of the UPPAbaby brand and looking for a lightweight, portable stroller. The stroller features a one-handed action fold and a shoulder carrying strap to make it easy to take with you anywhere. The stroller also features a roomy basket and a full canopy. $399.99,

Check out all 50 of The Best Strollers of 2021 at

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ReAL eStAte

7 Suburban Towns Communities perfect for city dwellers By Donna Duarte -LaDD


n the last year, moving to the suburbs has been on the rise more than ever. While the pandemic has presented families with challenges, it also has allowed several to take stock of their families’ needs, and for many, this means relocating to ‘the burbs.’ Another result of quarantine is the once uncomfortable ask from a parent to work from home has become the only way for most people to work in the last year. Of course, parents have had huge challenges working remotely (kids, endless Zoom meetings, remote school). Yet several have also found they were just as productive working out of the office, which means the dream of moving to a larger space is more possible than ever. And to be frank, while the city is beloved to New Yorkers, the housing market has never been more do-able for families than it is now. And yes, countless parents have realized that more space, easy access to nature, and close communities do not have to be just for weekend get-aways or summertime vacations. So while you city dwellers consider making a move to greener pastures, we have the top neighborhoods to consider!

Maplewood, NJ If you have recently visited Maplewood and thought for a second that you were in Brooklyn, you’re not alone. Many New Yorkers, including Brooklynites, have moved to this New Jersey town not only for its under an hour commute (or less) but for being recognized for being widely diverse. Known for its cool millennial families mixed with long-time residents — the town is a great choice if a tight-knit community is on your new neighborhood wish list. Mark Slade of Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty shares what families can find in this close to the city neighborhood, “Maplewood’s Village, its downtown shopping district, is noted as well-maintained in the state of New Jersey that doesn’t have a stoplight and is actually not on a county or main road; you have to make a purposeful trip off a county road to make your Listing: A 4 bed, 2 bath home on .28 acres located at 6 Burnet St, Maplewood in the Golf destination for this Award Winning Island section of Maplewood Town. Maplewood also can boast that its centralized park, known as Memorial Agent: Mark Slade, Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty Park, was designed by the Olmstead brothers that designed 917-797-5059, NYC’s Central Park.”

36 | April 2021



Wes tfield

Top-Ranked Schools ★ 22 Miles from NYC ★ Top 10 Places to Live in NJ 14 Kimball Circle, Westfield, NJ • 5 Bedrooms | 5.1 Baths | $3,850,000

306 Massachusetts Street, Westfield, NJ • 5 Bedrooms | 4.1 Baths | $1,599,900

466 Channing Avenue, Westfield, NJ • 3+ Bedrooms | 2.1 Baths | $825,000

230 Virginia Street, Westfield, NJ 4 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | $565,000

Frank D. Isoldi cell 908.787.5990 twitter @HomesWestteld

April 2021 | New York Family


ReAL estAte

Montclair/ Glen ridGe, nJ Many families move to Glen Ridge and nearby Montclair for the close proximity (12 miles) from the city and the walkable neighborhoods. Locals enjoy an abundance of culture, arts, and popular restaurants in Montclair while sister town Glen Ridge is a bit more laid back. While the spacious homes here tend to not stay on the market long, meaning you got to snap your pick fast, many city dwellers love the city meets ‘burbs vibe,” making it a popular moving spot. Amy Owens, realtor and team leader of Keller Williams NJ Metro Group, shares, “Glen Ridge is a charming and friendly town of less than 8,000 on the south end of Montclair, so close to everything Montclair has to offer. Listing: Montclair Colonial with new kitchen, walnut floors and sunny rooms at 122 Gates Beautiful tree-lined streets of historic Avenue, Montclair and well-maintained homes. Top-rated schools and frequently on the lists of Agent: Amy Owens, Realtor/Team Leader Keller Williams ‘Best Places to Live in New Jersey.’ The commute to NYC is 30NJ Metro Group, 201-396-2927, 40 minutes by train or bus.”

PelhaM, nY While many city transplants chose suburb neighborhoods that also have a city feel, Pelham (only 29 minutes by train to Manhattan) is a great choice when you crave that small-town vibe. You’re cool that the parks aren’t overcrowded and that the town feels quaint — a place where the kids have an easy walk to school. But charming isn’t to be mistaken with being ‘out of touch’ as Pelham is rich with diversity and a mixing of cultures you love about city life is something you’ll find here. We asked April H. Monaco of Houlihan Lawrence to describe what she loves about this town, “The Pelhams offer not only a convenient location but it has a terrific vibe! With sidewalks, joggers, runners, walkers, and people from all walks of life – there’s something for everyone. We offer wonderful early Listing: A 4 Bedroom with fireplace and backyard home located at 46 Windsor Place, childhood nursery school options – from Pelham, NY 10803 Montessori to play-based learning – your child’s personality will shine. There are Agent: April H. Monaco, Houlihan Lawrence fantastic restaurants, fabulous schools, and community-minded 914-548-8350, initiatives!”

38 | April 2021


Coming Soon in Glen Ridge

Coming Soon in Montclair

Coming Soon in Montclair

Coming Soon in Montclair

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April 2021 | New York Family


Real estate

ScarSdale, NY A popular Westchester suburb with a diverse community, Scarsdale is always on the list of top places to live in New York. Gorgeous homes, many in Tudor style built in the 1920s, can be found in this picturesque town. An express train taken from a storybook train station will get you to the city in 30 minutes, making this another huge draw for families. The downtown has many locally-owned shops and restaurants where stores feel welcoming and friendly. Five elementary schools lead into one middle school and one high school. The Scarsdale Public Library is a state of the art facility that opened this month after a total renovation and is an amazing asset to Scarsdale! And don’t forget Bronx River Sundays, where bikers of all ages can enjoy a ride on the closed parkway each Sunday during Homes in scarsdales are spacious, near great schools making a great suburb for familes. specified months! Abby Sroka of William Raveis shared that Scarsdale “has a dynamic, social community combined with town. And of course, families also move here for the top-rated and great lifestyle choices including local shops and restaurants. Visit award-winning schools.” Agent: Abby Sroka, William Raveis Current Home, I Am More, Colonial Village Florist, DryLuxe 917-647-9818, Beauty Bar, Meritage, and Akai Sushi Lounge when you come to

WeStfield, NJ While many families felt an understandable disconnect during the last year, a town such as Westfield, NJ, is all community. Located in Union County, NJ, this unique town is perfect for families looking for an urban feel in a suburban setting. A rich downtown offers delicious dining, local shops, and arts. Families also choose Westfield to be close to the city and for its parks (there are nine!) and the many school options. Frank D. Isoldi of Coldwell Bankerlisted shared a few of his favorite things about Westfield, “We are located just 22 miles outside of Manhattan and have a train station in town and several places where you can get on the bus. Westfield Schools are consistently top-ranked in the state. We have a Kindergarten Academy where all students attend, six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one High School campus.” Agent: Frank D. Isoldi, Coldwell Banker 908-301-2038,

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Move-in-ready 5 bedroom home boasts spacious rooms, custom moldings/trims, 4.1 baths, and more. 306 Massachusetts street, Westfield.

OPENING DOORS IN SCARSDALE 2020 Chairman’s Elite Club Living in the vibrant community of Scarsdale makes selling it so natural for me.

Love where you live!

ABBY SROKA 917-647-9818

WHO YOU WORK WITH MATTERS FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA Instagram: @abbysroka Facebook: Abby Sroka Real Estate

Sisters That Sell More powerful together, working to help you find your dream home in Westchester. Call Stacey or Abby today to learn more about finding the perfect house!

April 2021 | New York Family


Real estate

Armonk, SomerS, NY nY Armonk Located in is aNorthern charmingWestchester, hamlet in Westchester Somers is a town County forwhere those that the city lovemeets the country small-town vibe.vibe At about with a40 strong milessense fromof the community. city, you are surrounded by nature but can There commute are six parks to Manhattan in town where by car or you’ll trainfind in less baseball than one fields hour. as well By as itself, tennis the courts Byram andHills plenty School of fun. District There is arereason many enough nature trails to consider in Somers raising thatyour the kids family will in love Armonk, exploring. given its extraordinary reputation The flexibility for outstanding of working academics remotely and extracurricular makes the moveactivities. to SomersWe seamless all know but that if you NYC do have parkstoare commute, one of the you things have we options. love most You about can drive the city; a fewparents miles to can Katonah meet their or Purdy’s, friendstoand catch getthe to know Metrotheir North, community. and the train In this ridehamlet, is aboutkids an hour large home with pool and tennis in gated community. easy walk to town. . Home Owners and and parents half. will not lose this sense of association takes care of the lawn and snow! 6 Birdsall Farm Drive connection, Sandra Santos-Lacey for there are three of Coldwell fantastic community Banker Realty parks shares, where “Somers you willis find playing really community-focused. fields, tennis courts, Ibasketball have courts, and playgrounds. wonderful small-town traditions. Armonk been humbled also boasts by how a town this town pool. helps If moving to spacious a suburban townnestled in nature Staceyand Sporn of William Raveis, who works, and was NY homes a tight-knit community canlives, be found in somers, surrounded those in need.There by natureisthat a strong is home parental to many city transplants is on raised in Armonk, comments, “Armonk is a youthful, vibrant and your community wish list,that then families Armonk will is instantly worth checking be out. Homes range sophisticated community of suburb living with great shops and from welcomed Colonials We Mid-Century are also surrounded with more space and land. The In the fall, there is apple-picking at thefor very Stuart’sand Fruit amazing restaurants. Many move here thelocal top schools rich charming, by nature, and walkable you will town want hub,toArmonk check out Square, The North is filled County with Farms, is amazing!” sense of which community.” Agent: Agent: Stacey SandraSporn, Santos-Lacey, William Raveis ColdwellBanker locally Hikingowned Trail. Come businesses late spring and restaurants. and summer Theyou Armonk will definitely Outdoor 914-772-2331, 914.245.3400, Art want show, to visit summer King Kone concerts which in the haspark beenand in business an annual since 5K 1953. run, are

Stamford, Ct Stamford is when you are ready for ‘the move.’ You are set to leave the city, and living nearby is important, yet you are enthusiastic about your family’s lifestyle change. Stamford is a vibrant community with gorgeous nature and world-class education choices for your kids. Catherine Richardson of William Pitt Sotheby’s elaborates, “Living in Stamford will offer you the best of all worlds, including a vibrant downtown that provides theatre, culture, worldclass dining, shopping, and live music. Just 10 minutes north, and you’re in the suburbs of Glenbrook, Springdale, Newfield, Belltown, and the Ridges, each with distinctive neighborhoods featuring their own individual charm. Head just a bit further north of the Merritt Parkway, Commanding views, balconies, open-air porticos, an in-ground, heated Gunite pool, a and you’ll find yourself among rolling separate cottage are only a few attributes to this home at 68 saddle Rock Road, stamford. hills, lots of lakes and ponds, and miles of lush greenery, which feature some of Stamford’s most elaborate and elegant larger homes. The Westover the neighborhood of Shippan, which is where Stamford was first section of Stamford is convenient to downtown yet also features settled in the 1600s. Stunning waterfront properties will wow any larger homes on a full acre. Historic districts boast beautifully visitor! “ Agent: Catherine Richardson, William Pitt Sotheby’s restored older homes, while some newer construction homes have 203-249-1512, a more contemporary feel. South of downtown will bring you to

42 | April 2021

OPENING DOORS IN ARMONK #1 Agent in Armonk 2020 Born and raised in Armonk.

Uniquely poised to find you the perfect home in my neighborhood.

STACEY SPORN 914-772-2331 Licensed in NY and CT


Sisters That Sell More powerful together, working to help you find your dream home in Westchester. Call Stacey or Abby today to learn more about finding the perfect house!

April 2021 | New York Family


The Warrior

of Westchester The New York Stylist shares details about her pandemic pregnancy, her new suburban life, and her tips on how to shop sustainably By Cris Pearlstein


couldn’t help but fall in love with Liz Teich when I saw her signature at the bottom of our first email exchange. It read like a disclaimer: “Please note that I’m a mom in a pandemic and will likely be delayed in responding to my emails. Thank you for understanding.” If these two sentences don’t capture the essence of what this past year has been—especially for moms—I don’t know what does. Of course I can relate to her sentiment, and I’m sure you can, too. What I can’t relate to though, is having a baby while in the midst of a global pandemic. But that’s exactly what Teich did—and the world took notice. An image of her immediately post-labor, breastfeeding for the first time, with her fist proudly in the air went viral, as new and soon-to-be mamas around the country were rallying lawmakers to allow them to keep their partners in the delivery rooms with them. At that point protocols were changing almost daily, but for many, just the thought of having to give birth alone was terrifying. Teich was luckily able to have her husband in the room, but he was forced to leave immediately after, as per the hospital policy. The image captured what so many women around the country were going through, and symbolized this unique moment in time. If you don’t know Teich from that fist-in-theair viral photo, then you probably know her from her gorgeously romantic-feeling, feminine blog and Instagram platform, The New York Stylist, where she doles out everything from practical fashion advice (a recent Reel teaches followers how to roll up their sleeves like a stylist. Hint: rubber bands!), to decor tips (she just moved to Westchester), to ways her readers can

44 | April 2021

be greener when it comes to their beauty and gettingdressed routines (see sidebar). She is very passionate about sustainability, both in her personal life and when it comes to the brands she works with. In fact, this past year she even vowed to only shop sustainably and so all of her clothing purchases (along with her husband’s and kids’) have been from small businesses that employ sustainable practices, or through clothing rental services. And before making any purchase she uses the Good On You app to make sure it meets her standards. She’s a woman after my own green heart. But her Instagram feed is more than just a place for her to share style solutions and decor tips. It’s become a place where she deeply connects with other moms beyond fashion. Her platform is a lifeline for her to reach other moms going through similar experiences— whether that’s giving birth during a pandemic or figuring out how to dress your body after baby—and feel less alone in the process. She thinks of herself as a cheerleader to her almost-36,000 followers, which not only helps them, but in a way forces her to be stronger, too. It’s a lifting-each-other-up community vibe that we could all use right about now. Read on to hear about her move, her pandemic pregnancy, and her mission to spread the word of sustainability. What brought you to Westchester? How do you like it compared to where you used to live? What do you miss about your Brooklyn life? We lived in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn for 12 years when we found out we were having a second baby. We thought we’d stay in Brooklyn forever and only have one kid, but when we decided to have another we realized we were quickly outgrowing our two bedroom

Fashion credits: ON LIZ: The Great dress sold at Lexie (19 E 9th St, NY, NY,, Selva Negra headband ( ), Lauren Gabrielson earrings (, Monica Rich Kossan necklace (, Alex and Ani bracelets (, Just Bead It By Rachel custom bracelet (; ON ASHER: The Great sweatshirt and sweatpants sold separately at Lexie (19 E 9th St, NY, NY,; ON ANDI: Louise Misha dress and Riley & Cru headband, sold separately at Lexie (19 E 9th st NY NY

Photo by Yumi Matsuo

April 2021 | New York Family


Liz’s 3 Ways to Shop Sustainably: 1. Support small retailers that carry multiple sustainable brands like Av Norden and The Verticale, or shop brands, like Catbird and Grey State Apparel, that have sustainability baked into their DNA. 2 When it comes to larger retailers, like Shopbop and Net-a-Porter, use the filter and sort features on their website to see only sustainable options

within the category you’re shopping. 3. Renting clothing instead of buying is a great way to lower your environmental impact. Tulerie is a NY mom owned peer to peer designer clothing rental. I’ve been a member of Rent the Runway for years, and I love Romp + Tumble for my kids. I also buy and sell pre-owned pieces for the whole family on Poshmark.

apartment. We were also noticing that our son Asher, now 4 years old, was his happiest when we would go on vacation and he had space to run and explore in nature. He always felt like a caged animal when we returned to our place. Still, I was pretty reluctant to move to the suburbs, so we settled on New Rochelle because it’s the most like living in Brooklyn—it has diversity, playgrounds, good food, it’s easy to get around, and there are lots of city transplants. And surprisingly, it’s also a quicker commute to Midtown than where we lived in Brooklyn! We love living in a house with kids, but we do miss a lot about our Brooklyn life, especially the walkability. The best part about living there was walking outside of our apartment door and having all the best bookstores, restaurants, coffee shops, clothing stores, and even the subway, all within two blocks. I loved that we would walk down the street and run into everyone we knew and have impromptu get-togethers. I miss the sense of community, but now after a visit to the city it’s a treat to drive 30-40 minutes back to our house and enjoy all the space and quiet! How has becoming a mom changed the blogging experience for you? How has the pandemic changed it? I became a blogger 10 years ago because I wanted to share my expert perspective from working in the fashion industry for years. I started my career at a high-end fashion brand, so I learned the design and production side of fashion first. I then became an art director working on advertising campaigns. My favorite part of those jobs was working on the photoshoots and seeing the concept come to life, so after my stint in advertising I decided to get back into fashion. When I became a mom, I felt caught between two worlds of fashion and mommy blogging. But when I started sharing my experiences of motherhood more and more, moms around the country began to message me with questions about dressing for their postpartum body and new life. This led to me to start offering personal styling services, which is very rewarding because I get to make my clients feel better about themselves through clothing.

46 | April 2021

The pandemic has shifted my business once again. While I’ve styled a couple of in-person shoots, I’ve been mostly focusing on virtual personal styling, as well as my blog and Instagram feed. I gave birth at the beginning of the pandemic, so it gave me a platform to voice my fears and help other moms to feel less alone. My Instagram post after giving birth went viral—I think it resonated with so many pregnant women living in fear at the time and I received so many messages about how that powerful image and my words helped give so many others strength. I always say that we really are warriors to be giving birth during this time and our pandemic babies are going to be so resilient because their mamas are! My pandemic baby (Andi, now one year old) is so tough and amazes me daily. Can you talk about the journey of having your second kid last year? How did you cope with the stress of giving birth during a pandemic? This pregnancy was planned, after suffering a miscarriage prior, and she was supposed to be my rainbow baby—but we moved when I was 8 months pregnant, and then two weeks later I found myself in the epicenter of a “containment zone” in a global pandemic. It was absolutely terrifying because all we knew about the virus at that time was that it was extremely contagious and that affected pregnant women even more. The idea of going to doctors appointments and the hospital during the initial peak of the pandemic kept me up at night. I think Instagram was my outlet for combating anxiety during that time because I was able to talk to other moms going through the same experience, which helped me feel less alone. I did a virtual reiki/energy healing session with my friend Erin The Urban Mermaid, that helped give me clarity and peace before the birth. I practiced hypnobirthing techniques and did the meditations every night before bed to release any thoughts of anxiety as well. I also loved rubbing drops of lavender essential oil on my temples, and taking Calm-a-Mama drops. How has your style changed since becoming a mom? How has it changed during the pandemic? It’s become less fussy and more effortless. I used to focus on trends and put together “outfits.” When I became a mom four years ago, I realized I needed to reevaluate how I shop and how I dress. I now focus on timeless pieces that work together easily, and I also constantly edit my closet. There’s no more agonizing over what to wear because I truly love everything I own. I love helping other moms get to that point too, through my closet cleanses and filling in the holes they are missing to round out their wardrobe. My general rule is to start with a good pair of jeans that make you feel like you can take on the world. Then add a quality sweater, button down, or even a great tee and casual blazer. These combos are easy uniforms to take you from momming to Zooming. I personally have been

loving puff-sleeve button down tops (like ones from Dôen), and feminine midi-dresses because they make me feel effortlessly put together. What was your single best pandemic purchase? The item you don’t ever want to live without? I honestly didn’t purchase much this last year because I was focused on saving money, decorating my new home, and dressing the baby—the kids now have better wardrobes than me! But the best investment has been my Allbirds slip-on sneakers that are my everyday house shoes. They’re the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn on my feet—and they’re sustainable! I also highly recommend investing in cashmere sweatpants for a luxe athleisure look. I had never worn athleisure outside the house unless I was going to work out, but I now love my polished sweats and am not ashamed to wear them.

Photo by Yumi Matsuo

Liz’s Guide to Westchester: Favorite coffee shop/cafe: The Grange (in Larchmont) Their avocado toast and cold brew coffee are my go-to! Favorite kids store: Penny & Ting (in Ossining) Favorite takeout spot: The Taco Project (in Bronxville) Favorite date-night spot: We sadly haven’t had any yet since we moved, but we’ve had family dates at La La Taqueria in Larchmont—they have outdoor igloos! Favorite outdoor kids activity: Walking around Five Islands Park (in New Rochelle) and Ward Acres Park (in New Rochelle) Favorite food market: DeCicco & Sons (in Larchmont) is comparable to any NYC food market and their tortilla chips are our addiction. Favorite gift shop: If and when I see other humans, I’ll probably pick up gifts at Village Mercantile (in Larchmont).

Let’s talk about your focus on sustainability—how important is it to you? And who do you think is getting it right in the industry? Sustainable fashion has actually been a passion of mine for a long time. Through working in fashion over the years, I saw the impact made on the environment firsthand. But it wasn’t until I styled a celebrity who requested only sustainable and ethically-made clothing a few years ago that I really did the research and learned what goes into the production of what we wear from major retailers—everything from the chemicals, to the waste, to the water consumption and even the poor labor practices. I think H&M Group (H&M, & Other Stories, and Cos) is really paving the way for major retailers to take action. The Shop Conscious collections are a good start, and they’ve forced other fast-fashion retailers, like Zara, to follow suit with their own sustainably-made collections. Also, the H&M fabric recycling program has paved the way for other popular retailers like Madewell to do something similar. Maintaining sustainability is definitely a challenge being a fashion stylist with a love for clothing, but I do hope the more we all talk about it, the more it will just become the standard. Now that there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel of this pandemic, what are you most looking forward to? Is there anything about going back to “normal” that you’re dreading? I’m looking forward to working with people in person again—one of my favorite aspects of my job is connecting with people and I miss that. I also miss going to events and seeing all of my industry friends and other mommy bloggers. It’s also been hard to not have much interaction with the outside world for the baby, and I can’t wait to have play dates, go to classes, and meet other local moms. I’m dreading that I’ll be working so much and won’t have time for my family like I have now. I’ve been trying to appreciate that while I can! April 2021 | New York Family


Get Organized! Expert advice on how to spring clean your pantry in 5 steps

By Laura KinseLLa Founder of Urban Organyze

always best to stick with good old fashioned hot, soapy water!


t’s hard to believe we’ve been pandemic living for an entire year now! There’s no doubt our kitchens have been working round the clock for our families, and it’s time to give them the TLC they deserve. Whether you’re swimming in pandemic related backstock items, or just need to hit the ole reset button to clear the clutter, I’m breaking down how to clear out and spring clean your pantry in 5 easy steps: So let’s break it down, shall we?

What you’ll need before you begin: • A vacuum/hand vac • Hot soapy water or preferred cleaning solution • Cleaning Cloths or sponge • Sharpie & Post-its • Measuring Tape • Label Maker or Paint Pen 1. Clear everything out. Yes, everything. With spring in full swing, now’s the time to dive in, and give your kitchen the deep clean it needs. Whether your pantry is a single cabinet or a full sized closet, here’s how to begin: • Pull items out one by one and place them on your counters, kitchen table, or if you’re really low on space, the floor! Don’t worry about what you’re pulling out or where it needs to go (what is that sticky stuff on that can of beans anyway?), just focus on emptying every nook and cranny of your dedicated pantry. We don’t want to get too caught up in our feelings towards an item, so it may be best to set a 15-20 minute timer or enlist your kids to get the emptying done! 2. Wipe it down • Grab your vacuum or hand vac to do

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Francesca Russell Photography

Laura Kinsella, founder of Urban Organyze some of the initial work for you. Crumbs, dust, and all kinds of debris can sit loosely on the shelves, so give it a once over first. • Depending on the type of cabinets you have, will depend on the best method to clean them. Hot, soapy water with a sponge or cleaning cloth is always a good option, but you can also utilize an all-purpose cleaner, white vinegar, or even baking soda (especially for those sticky spots!) Give your cabinets a thorough clean, and be sure to wipe them completely dry once you’re done. Pro tip: we all know how precious Clorox wipes have been, and if you’ve managed to grab a few, be sure to save those for your counters, doorknobs or high traffic zones. Although they work on all hard, non-porous surfaces, they can discolor or eat away at certain finishes or sealants. This is why it’s

3. Edit & Take Inventory It’s true that we don’t really know how much or what we have until it’s all staring us in the face. This is where you’ll need to roll up your sleeves a bit to assess what you have. • Toss anything expired, stale, or near empty (also known in my house as the triscuit box with exactly 1 1/2 crackers left - thanks family!) • Separate unused, non-expired, questionable items (if you have to think about whether you would consume it, or how you would begin to cook with it, it’s a go.) We want to make sure we are setting aside anything worthy of being donated. If there ever was a time to phone a neighbor to see if they may need something you would never use, now is it! • Take inventory of your remaining items and start to group them into broad categories of what they are and how you use them. This can be as simple as breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, or you can further categorize how you see fit: canned goods, pasta, grains, baking, kids snacks, etc. The last thing we want to do is overly categorize and complicate our systems, so aim for 10 categories or less. If you’re swimming in Costco sized quantities (15 boxes of mac & cheese), or pandemic related items (extra water or canned food), place those items in a separate category labeled “bulk” or “backstock” so that multiples aren’t cluttering those everyday zones. Pro tip: Place items that overlap categories in 1 single category that makes the most sense to you. For example, if you consider applesauce a snack and a baking staple, but more often utilize when you bake, place ALL of your applesauce in the baking category. We don’t want it in both because

Deep shelves? Try deep bins! Tricky corner? Try a lazy Susan! Sprawling drawers? Try a few drawer dividers! Have fun with it, and choose containment that elevates your style and that will work seamlessly for you and your family. I love utilizing products that are wipeable (glass, plastic, etc.), or have a machine washable lining (inside certain woven baskets) for ease of cleaning and overall upkeep. Once everything is contained, it’s time to label! I recommend utilizing a label maker, or simply hand writing labels with a paint pen. Customize the categories with language you and your family use (ie: if you refer to pasta as “noodles”, label it noodles!) Labels are essential, as they make everyone in your family accountable, from putting groceries away in their proper place, to taking inventory before a grocery shop, or simply for setting limits on what gets overly stocked. Pro tip: When organizing, consider decanting frequently used items (that you buy week after week) into air tight containers like your favorite snack or cereal. Packaging can be cumbersome and bulky, and while there is an initial time investment with this method, your pantry items will keep fresh longer, and you’ll have a clear visual when something is running low (no more near-empty boxes of triscuits or cereal!)

Francesca Russell Photography

Labels are essential, as they make everyone in your family accountable. we will inevitably forget it’s stored in multiple spots, and we’ll mistakenly keep replacing it. 4. Put it all back Once you’ve determined what’s remaining, give everything a good wipe down, and assign “homes”, or a designated spot for each category to live. Frequently used items should go in those prime real estate areas so they are within easy reach for you. Try space planning by writing down the category names on post-its, and placing them on your shelves or drawers to test the flow before anything gets put away. Don’t forget about items your kids need to access themselves (think healthier grab ’n go items lower down), as well as items you don’t wish for them to have easy access to (like that secret stash candy jar above

the fridge because moms should be allowed to snack in peace too!) 5. Contain & Label This is everyone’s favorite part (your hard work is about to pay off big time!), but it’s important to resist the urge to excitedly purchase organizational products before measuring. While categories help you determine how much containment you need, taking careful measurements is the only way to ensure what will actually fit (and maximize) your space. You may have a few organizational items on hand already, or you may wish to completely streamline and start anew. No matter how you choose to contain, don’t skip this essential step!

Remember, there is no right or wrong here when it comes to the hub of your home, as long as the solution is practical and manageable for you and your family! Laura Kinsella is the founder of Urban Organyze, a New York based home organizing company that transforms your mess into meaning and clutter into calm. Since 2015, Laura has empowered hundreds of women to gain more clarity and control, by creating homes that are efficient, elegant, and easily adapt with the demands of a growing family. As a born and bred New Yorker and mom to a growing preschooler, Laura’s mission is to support fellow moms towards their vision of a healthier, lighter, and more organized life. Laura has been featured in New York Post, New York Family, Apartment Therapy and more. For inspo, please visit, or follow @ urbanorganyze. April 2021 | New York Family



Liquid Gold The New York Milk Bank distributes donor breast milk to local families in need By Donna Duarte-LaDD


eciding to breastfeed a baby is a personal decision for all mothers. There are significant benefits to feeding a baby breast milk. The American Pregnancy Association shares that, “Breast milk has the perfect combination of proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates. There is nothing better for the health of your baby. Leukocytes are living cells that are only found in breast milk. They help fight infection. It is the antibodies, living cells, enzymes, and hormones that make breast milk ideal. These cannot be added to the formula. “ But some mothers may find themselves in a position where they are unable to breastfeed, and one solution they may want to consider is donor milk. Or, if you are a mother with a surplus of milk, donate your “liquid gold” to a milk bank. An while we are in the midst of a pandemic, this has not stopped mothers from receiving or donating breastmilk. We touched base with Executive Director Julie Bouchet-Horwitz of The New York Milk Bank to learn more about their organization and donor breastmilk. What is The New York Milk Bank, and how did it come about? The NY Milk Bank collects extra breastmilk from healthy lactating women, pasteurizes it, and distributes it to babies in need. We opened in 2016 after fundraising to open the first milk bank located in New York State. Our primary purpose is to save the lives of premature infants. With advances in medical technology, babies can be saved as early as 23 weeks gestation. These infants may weigh as little as one pound. Their mothers have not completed the pregnancy and often do not make enough breast milk. If fed anything other than human milk, they are at risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a devastating illness that has a high mortality rate and lifelong complications for survivors. But there is a solution. We can reduce the incidence of NEC by feeding these babies donor human milk.

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My interest in donor milk came about after I adopted a baby from China who was a “failure to thrive” infant. I fed her donor milk, and she thrived, and years later, when I returned to the workforce, I realized that there was no donor milk in NY state. I began a campaign to educate hospitals, nurses, and the public on the need for donor milk in NY. We fundraised, bought equipment, learned about milk banking, wrote policies and procedures, acquired our license, and opened in 2016. We have distributed over 700,000 ounces of donor milk since opening. With the COVID Pandemic, is there more of a need for donated milk? Not really. We do have a deferral period of 28 days if a mother has COVID or was exposed to COVID. But in the Spring, during the first wave of the pandemic, milk donations increased because mothers who worked and pumped were home with their babies and did not need their pumped milk. Now that women are returning to work or have settled into a new routine, milk donations are typical. But we are always looking for more donors! Is the milk safe? Yes! We screen the donors for all infectious diseases, including COVID. We need health clearance from both the mother and the baby’s providers, we test the blood of the donors, and then we pasteurize the milk. Our process re-

tains the immunological properties of the milk while killing bacteria and inactivating viruses. Then we send a random sample of the milk to an outside laboratory to test it for bacteria. So our milk is extremely safe and undergoes excellent quality control methods. How can a mother donate milk? If she has at least 150 ounces of extra breastmilk, she can call us at 212-956-6455 or email us at to begin the screening process. It starts with a 20-minute phone call, and if she passes, we send her a Complete Donor Packet that needs to be filled out. It is a lifestyle and history review. Then we need medical clearance from her and her baby’s provider. Then we send her to a lab to have her blood drawn. Are there any costs involved? No. We pay for everything, the lab test, the cooler and box to ship milk, and if she is continuing to pump, we send her bags to store her milk. How can a family receive milk? They need a prescription for donor milk and can fill out some forms on our website under Receive Milk. We provide donor milk to babies at home, adopted and foster babies, babies born through surrogacy, or in gay families. As long as we have enough milk, we can spread the liquid gold!


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