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April 2021


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

Steps to Take If You Think Your Child Might Be Autistic The Best Fitness Apps for Moms

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April 2021


pg. 10

pg. 30 pg. 20

pg. 28x

FEATURES 14 | Resources for NYC Moms Resources from a resume template to mom groups that support 20 | Parties 15 Exciting new ideas for celebrating a birthday during a pandemic 24 | Get Organized Expert advice on how to spring clean your pantry in five steps 28 | Liz Teich - The Warrior of Westchester The New York Stylist, on her pandemic pregnancy, suburban life, and tips on how to shop sustainably 30 | Baby The New York Milk Bank distributes donor breast milk to local families in need

Stories & columns 4 | Editor’s Note Spring-ing Forward

pg. 18

Directories 12 | Special Needs Directory

6 | Mom Hacks The Best Fitness Apps for NYC moms 10 | Special Needs Steps to take if you think your child may be autistic 18 | Gear 10 strollers for NYC moms 26 | Camps Camps are back!

on the Cover Photo: Yumi Matsuo | yumimatsuostudio.com Hair & Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | buffysaintmarie.com Produced by: Donna Duarte-Ladd Written by: Cris Pearlstein | crispearlstein.com

April 2021 | Queens Family


Editor’s Note

NewYorkFamily.com 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 26) what they are looking forward to for the upcoming summer season. For parents searching for some guidance on if their child may be autistic, we have a helpful article on page 10. As a parent with a little one on the ASD spectrum, I find these

expert tips super helpful. If you are looking for a stroller, we have 10 Strollers for City Parents (page 18) 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 28), her new home in New Rochelle, Westchester, giving birth during the height of a pandemic and living sustainably.

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

Contact Information

ADVERTISING: (718) 260-4554 Advertising@NewYorkFamily.com Circulation: (718) 260-8336 Tina@NewYorkFamily.com

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Donna and New York Family Media President: Victoria Schneps-Yunis CEO: Joshua Schneps Group Publisher: Clifford Luster

Special note: Stop Asian Hate. At New York Family Media, we stand with our Asian community. Here are a few sites and IGs that help support and give to the Asian community. • Caav.org • Stopaapihate.org • @aaajalc • @apen4ej

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New York Family is published monthly by Queens Family Media, LLC.

get in touch Share your feedback and ideas about family life in the city! Email us at editorial@newyorkfamily.com and tag us at #newyorkfamily


NewYorkFamily.com | April 2021

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Advantage Day Camp—best day camp in NYC! • Every kind of fun imaginable, for campers 4 to 14 • Art, gym & field sports, enrichment, STEAM programs, chess & tennis • Starting 6/14, East Side only

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• Customized by age & ability, for campers 5 to 8 • Friendly atmosphere, specialized instruction • Half days, starting 6/14 East Side, 6/14 on the West Side • Rigorous safety measures at all locations – temperature checks & more • Flexibility – chose your week or individual days with a 10, 20 or 30-pack • Convenience – early drop off & late pickup at no extra charge!

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Sign up today at advantagecamps.net *To earn Camp credits, refer a child who is new to Advantage Camps and enrolls. No time limit on referrals.

April 2021 | Queens 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 onepeloton.com

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-


NewYorkFamily.com | 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 melissawoodhealth.com

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-

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mom hacks

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 thesculptsociety.com

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


NewYorkFamily.com | 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 theclass.com

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.

Located in South Jamaica, Queens! 156-10 Baisley Boulevard Jamaica, NY 11434




Our Mission:



Through an advisory structure we ensure a strong connection between the school community and families.

Our mission is to cultivate a STEAM learning environment

Our mission is to cultivate a STEAM strengthened by social-emotional and academic supports that learning environment strengthened byRespect, incorporate our core values of P.R.I.D.E: Perseverance, Integrity, Discipline, & Excellence to promote lifelong learning. social-emotional and academic supports that incorporate our core values of VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE DATES P.R.I.D.E: Perseverance, Respect, Saturday, February 27 at 10:00 a.m. Integrity, Discipline, & Excellence to Friday, March 5 at 5:00 p.m. promote lifelong Saturday, March 13 atlearning. 10:00 a.m.

We offer scholar supports that foster life skills beyond graduation; by way of courses focused in College & Career Readiness, Entrepreneurship, Health & Wellness. Our grade level school counselors loop with scholars from 9TH grade through 12TH grade and a social worker designated to lower house (9TH & 10TH grade) and upper house (11TH - 12TH grade).





Along with sports we also have programs such as My Sisters Keeper, Masters of Excellence, Helping Hands, Gay Straight Alliance. These programs are designed to promote scholar voice and acknowledge diversity.

/;A"OR[WaaW]\a.QVO`bS`\SedWaW]\a]`U]`QOZZ%&# # " Find us online! www.newvisions.org/applyAMS4 newvisionsams4 Find us online! www.newvisions.org/applyAMs4 newvisionsams4

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• After School Program for all students, Dismissal to 6:30 pm. • Title I Services and IEP students approved for SETTS, Speech and Occupational Therapy.

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• Traditional academic subjects plus Music, Art, Phys. Ed., Computer Science, Library and Band.

718-639-9020 www.sjaschoolny.org

35-27 82nd Street Jackson Heights, NY 11372

In the spirit of our youthful patron, St. Joan of Arc, our mission is to educate exceptionally, serve endlessly, and dare dreams of the impossible in our welcoming Catholic school community so we manifest God in today’s world.

• School Choir • SMARTBoard, and Interactive White Board Technology, IPads, wireless laptops and Technology Room. • PDHP (Program for the Development of Human Potential) Guidance Counselor. • Full Time Nurse. • Active Parent Association. • Scholarships Available through the Diocese of Brooklyn; Futures In Education; Children’s Scholarship Fund.

April 2021 | Queens 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


NewYorkFamily.com | April 2021

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 (eblcoaching.com), 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.





(718) 939-0306 www.Familyspeechcenter.com Familyspeechcenter@verizon.net We accept most insurance plans


Follow us @newyorkfamily on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and tag us #newyorkfamily in your NYC adventures!

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STEPPINGSTONE DAY SCHOOL, INC. A Preschool Program for Children With and Without Disabilities Not for Profit — Established in 1983


Preschool Programs - CPSE Evaluations Speech/Language, Occupational, Physical Therapy & Counseling Services Family Support Services • Preschool self-contained and integrated classrooms; Pre-K for All in Queens site • Nurturing, child-friendly learning environments • Ongoing communication between parents and professionals • Meeting the needs of the families through concrete and social work services

To find out more about SteppingStone Day School For the Queens Location, call Nancy Rybacki 718-591-9093 • For the Bronx location, call Brooke Abrams 718-554-2025 www.steppingstonedayschool.com SteppingStone Day School’s Preschool Program is Funded and Regulated By The New York State Department of Education, The New York City Department of Education and Licensed by The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Bureau of Daycare

April 2021 | Queens Family


special needs Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

Advantage Care Health Centers Long Island – Nassau County 189 Wheatley Road, Brookville, NY 11545 230 Hanse Avenue, Freeport, NY 11520 516-686-4400 advantagecaredtc.org We are now offering TeleHealth services to all new and current patients through our secure online platform visit: https://advantagecare. doxy.me to see how it works. Tele-Health Services for Children and Adults include the Following: Primary Care, Psychotherapy, Psychiatry. Advantage Care is taking proper measures to keep our patients, community and staff safe during these uncertain times. Advantage Care Health Centers are Long Island’s premier Federally Qualified Health Centers. We accept Medicaid, Medicaid Managed Care Plans, Medicare. Together we provide quality medical, dental and mental/behavioral

health services to all members of the community. The mission of our centers is to provide the highest quality comprehensive primary, dental, mental and behavioral health care services. We offer these services to all members of the community with a commitment to those who might otherwise be excluded from the health care system, while still remaining cost-effective and efficient. The health center specializes in providing services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Autism Behavioral Consulting Services Karen Bottalico, SAS, SDA 516- 851-8330 kbottalico2002@yahoo.com An Educational Consultant serving Queens and Long Island and the NY Metro area. Working directly with families, services include: Evaluating placement and service options;

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Accompanying parents throughout the entire CPSE or CSE process which includes meetings, screenings, observations and extensive education history reviews. Other services include Staff Training, School -Based Consultation, FBA Assessment and BIP Implementation, ABA and Verbal Behavior Training Techniques, Behavior Management Strategies, Home/School Intensive Behavior Intervention Services, Crisis Intervention and Prevention, HomeBased Services and Parent Education Training. Call for more information.

Family Speech Center Several locations in Astoria and Flushing 718-939-0306 familyspeechcenter.com familyspeechcenter@verizon. net Their certified speechlanguage pathologists are trained professionals who evaluate and diagnose adults and children to identify specific speech, language or swallowing difficulties. Services include speechlanguage evaluations and treatment for individuals with articulation and stuttering problems. Assessment procedures depend on the age of the client; very small children are assessed in an informal play-based environment. Medical plans and Dept. of Ed IEPs are accepted for both preschool and school age children. Operated by Niki Stagias-Coulianidis, MA, CCC-SLP and Errika Nathenas-Dimitrakis, MS, CCC-SLP, speech language pathologists.

Long Island Center for Speech

Want to reach engaged parents across New York City? Collaborate with the New York Family Media team to spread the word about your launches, promotions and news. Reach us by emailing info@newyorkfamily.com or calling 718.260.4554


NewYorkFamily.com | April 2021

Locations across Suffolk and Nassau Counties 1-844-5-SPEECH lispeech.com Specializing in the treatment and correction

of language disorders, memory and auditory processing difficulties, fluency, voice disorders, motor planning disorders, deviate swallowing, tongue thrust, feeding problems/ aversions, thumb sucking, articulation disorders and oral facial muscle weakness. Janine Stein, speechlanguage pathologist, is the owner and operator of the Suffolk Center for Speech and Myofunctional Therapy. Along with her exceptional group of therapists, she supports families and children across Long Island and Queens. There are seven affiliated offices across Long Island, all participating with most major health insurance companies and offering flexible hours and scheduling, including evenings and Saturdays.

SteppingStone Day School, Inc. 7740 Vleigh Pl., Flushing, NY 718-591-9093 steppingstonedayschool.com Established in 1983, as a private, not for profit, infant and preschool program for children with/without special needs for children ages 3-5. Their mission is to provide collaborative evaluation, education, therapy, and family support services so children can develop to their full potential and become members of the community. They are able to provide services to children with varying degrees and severity of disability. They’ve been in the forefront in providing integrated classrooms since the early 1990’s. Licensed/ certified special educators, therapists, social workers, and psychologists are part of a multidisciplinary team dedicated to their philosophy that all children are entitled to an education that is safe, nurturing and in an enriched environment. They are fully licensed.

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Autism/Behavioral Consulting Services • Staff Training • School-Based Consultation • FBA Assessment and BIP Implementation • ABA and Verbal Behavior Training Techniques • Behavior Management Strategies • Home/School Intensive Behavior Intervention Services • Crisis Intervention and Prevention • Home-Based Services and Parent Education Training • CPSE/CSE Advocacy & Meeting Attendance

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Karen Bottalico, SAS, SDA —NYS Certified School Psychologist—

(516) 851-8330

Advantage Care Health Centers are state-of-the-art centers that provide: • Primary & Preventive Medical Care For Children And Adults • Comprehensive & Preventative Dental Care For Children And Adults • Social Skills Therapy Groups • Psychotherapy • Psychiatry • Podiatry • Women’s Health

The health center specializes in providing services to children and adults with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and the general public. We accept Medicaid, Medicare, and Managed Care Plans

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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 ONE.org 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 ONE.org. 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 LeanIn.org 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


NewYorkFamily.com | 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 foodbanknyc.org/get-help/ 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 | Queens 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 nyc.gov/ 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


NewYorkFamily.com | April 2021

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

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

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

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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, hicolugo.com. 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, shopdoona.com.


NewYorkFamily.com | 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, hellomockingbird.com. 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, bedbathandbeyond.com

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, chiccousa.com. 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, amazon.com 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, costway.com.

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, nordstrom.com 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, target.com 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, amazon.com

Check out all 50 of The Best Strollers of 2021 at newyorkfamily.com

April 2021 | Queens Family


Party on! 15 exciting new ideas for celebrating a birthday for kids amid a pandemic

By Jana Beauchamp


hile the CDC recently announced that small gatherings could happen if everyone is vaccinated, when kids can be vaccinated is still a work in progress. But no need to fret! If you are looking for new and exciting ideas for a COVID-friendly birthday celebration until the pandemic restriction is lifted, we have birthday celebrations that are creative and fun thanks to local NYC institutions and birthday businesses making pandemic shifts to innovate and deliver pure joy and happiness to NYC kids! We found amazing options for open-air and outdoor celebrations, small, in-person socially distanced parties, and virtual birthday bashes, so no matter how you celebrate your little loved one’s birthday, it will be better than ever. Bring on the birthday magic this spring with these favorite party options that are sure to make the birthday extra memorable! And we added a few of our favorite birthday extras, too! The Great Outdoors of Birthdays

Watermark watermarkny.com

Celebrate your little loved one’s birthday in a “Winter Wonderland” at the Watermark at Pier 15. Travel through the 30-foot custombuilt light tunnel with over 50,000 individual lights and marvel at the 40 freshly installed 15-foot trees which magically light up the sky. Guests can enjoy their favorite classic movies on the jumbo screen and experience a spontaneous “snow show” with their dazzling snow machine. Once inside, guests will be seated in private, enclosed, and heated “glass houses” with a feast for the eyes with stunning water views and feast for the belly with a full menu, including a winter favorite, Build Your Own S’mores! Keeping guests’ safety in mind, each Glass House is sanitized in between each seating, there’s an air purification system, and staff and guests


NewYorkFamily.com | April 2021

are required to wear a mask while not in their seats. Be sure to soak in the picturesque panorama and snap a birthday photo worth 1000 words of the East River background with a view of Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges.

magnificent Light Year projections on the first Thursday of every month.

Skyline Drive-In NYC skylinedriveinnyc.com

Have the ultimate birthday sleepover with Teepee in the City! They developed special sleepover packages like Sibling Camp Out and My Bestie and Me to make birthdays and other celebrations small, safe, and extra special. At Teepee in the City, they follow a stringent cleaning protocol and setup includes your choice of theme (think mermaid, sweet dreams, rainbows and unicorns, and TikTok, to name a few!) and corresponding teepees and décor. The sleepover settings are sure to make birthday dreams come true with the superb style, fun experience, creative themes, and additional activities like arts and crafts.

Have a monumental birthday movie night in Brooklyn by parking the party at the Skyline Drive-In NYC, a unique, drive-in cinema experience situated on the East River with serene views of the Manhattan Skyline. It will be a blast from the past. No car? Have no fear; they have walk-in and bicycle seating so everyone can enjoy this fun and socially distant movie experience. Buy tickets online, ensure a contactless check-in, and enjoy the full concession stand with drinks and treats for the birthday celebration. 230 Fifth 230-fifth.com/reservations

Cozy up in a birthday igloo at 230 Fifth and enjoy breathtaking views of the city in their famous heated igloo! Bring your family or your pod for a family movie night birthday celebration and enjoy a beverage, entree, and of course, popcorn! Movie Night Igloo Reservations are accepted Sunday - Friday weekly for groups of 4 - 6 guests at 4:30 pm or 7:30 pm. Then relax and enjoy one of their 15 blockbuster movies to choose from onsite!

Keeping it Small and Special Indoors Teepee in the City teepeeinthecity.com

Museum of Ice Cream museumoficecream.com/new-york-city

Kids love birthdays and ice cream, so why not celebrate at the Museum of Ice Cream! MOIC has a birthday experience and retail package that makes the celebration extra sweet. Your sweet birthday privileges package includes a sprinkle crown to wear throughout the experience, a birthday sundae and song, and a gift bag to take home with a retail value of $40!

The Archway dumbo.is/hometo/the-archway

Floral Escape thefloralescape.com/

Head to the Archway in DUMBO for a birthday picnic this season. The Archway under the Manhattan Bridge is a spectacular plaza and one of New York City’s most unique public spaces. It’s 45’ high, the cathedral-like Archway inspires and makes a beautiful birthday backdrop. The Archway is definitely a good option for outdoor birthday celebrations since it’s covered and has picnic tables. And you have the bonus of

Take a trip to the Floral Escape Studio for an immersive birthday experience. The private studio is located in Floral Park and includes access to three lavish floral installations for all to enjoy. Guests are offered 1-hour time slots for their private session and receive 21 digital photos edited by their professional photographer. A total of 6-8 guests are permitted to purchase an hourly time slot at the studio.

Virtual Birthday Fun Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum intrepidmuseum.org

Celebrate your child’s next birthday party at home with the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum! An educator will take your group on a virtual tour of the Intrepid Museum, where children will learn about the history of the ship and the crew who served from 1943-1974. All programs are adjusted to be age-appropriate and will vary according to the age of the group. To reserve your group, please email groupsales@intrepidmuseum. org or call 646-381-5010. Brooklyn Robot Foundry brooklynrobotfoundry.com/

Give your child the awesome party they deserve: building robots with their friends

with the Brooklyn Robot Foundry! These online parties are unique, creative, memorable, and fun! What makes Robot Foundry parties so special is that each child gets to build their very own moving robot and then get creative, customizing it however they desire. During the robot-building, they work with the children in tiny groups so they get plenty of guidance and support. Then it’s back to the main party room for more socializing and celebrating! They make sure this is super engaging for kids and super easy for parents. All parents have to do is provide the Museum with contact information for all the guests, and they’ll send them the materials, login information, and whatever else you choose. They even have an option to send everyone a small cake to enjoy at the end of the party.

Guggenheim guggenheim.org

Let your little artist paint the town on their birthday with the Guggenheim! Sign up for a private tour or art-making workshop, and let them design an art experience online for your special celebration. For this 60-minute program, one of the experienced museum educators will work directly with you to choose a unique theme, artwork, or artist of focus from the Guggenheim’s collection — just for you! Themes can include anything art-related, from “abstraction” to “ziggurat”! They will create a digital space for real-life connection through conversation, and if you like, they can facilitate hands-on art-making using materials you already have at home. This program is a great way to celebrate a special event. For more information, contact April 2021 | Queens Family


Emily Rivlin-Nadler, Manager for Family Programs, at erivlin-nadler@guggenheim.org. MoMath momath.org

MoMath is currently hosting virtual birthday parties for people worldwide to enjoy, and they are now offering an origami option! Looking to host a one-of-a-kind online birthday party full of fabulous folding fun? You and your guests can explore the wondrous art of paper folding with an origami expert. With your choice of customized activities, parties can be personalized for all ages of birthday boys and girls — from children through adults, from simple to complicated paper art. Each 75-minute online origami party includes a 60-minute lesson led by an origami expert, with your choice of folding projects. MoMath’s origami experts have extensive experience working with folders of all ages and experience levels. From birds, butterflies, or boxes to fully customized creations, MoMath wants to make your folding wishes come true. In addition to origami-themed birthday parties, other exciting online birthday options are available as well. To schedule a MoMath virtual birthday party, email birthdays@momath.org. — DO, Cookie Dough Confections cookiedonyc.com/

– Thanks to DO, Cookie Dough Confections, children get to enjoy one of their favorite treats worry-free, too! Join the Cookie – AcaDOmy taught by CEO and Founder Kristen Tomlan to learn how to make safe-to-eat cookie dough! Each kiddo will learn the secrets and steps to making their best-selling signature cookie dough! Each baker will receive a package with ingredients, a recipe sheet, and information regarding any additional ingredients and required equipment. A stand mixer or hand mixer is required for all classes. The Icing on the Birthday Party Looking for a few extras to make sure that this unusual birthday has an extra wow factor? Check out these extraordinary extras to make your birthday child smile inside and out: Dylan’s Candy Bar Bash Cake dylanscandybar.com/products/dylanscandy-bar-bashcake

Searching for a unique and crazy fun cake? Have the ultimate chocolate cake experience


NewYorkFamily.com | April 2021

with Dylan’s Candy Bar Bash Cake! It is oh so much fun! It is a tabletop, cake-shaped piñata made of milk chocolate, filled with mini milk chocolate-covered pretzels. It comes decorated in a decorative ribbon and includes a mallet to bash your way through the hollow chocolate to the sweet and savory treat inside. It definitely makes for a delicious and tasty centerpiece. Plus, it has a shelf life of nine months! Balloon Saloon balloonsaloon.com

Balloon Saloon can give your birthday kiddo the royal treatment, bringing fun to any and every occasion with their joyful balloons. Balloon Saloon’s beautiful and celebratory creations will make a big day extra special. They can personalize every arrangement with balloon names, clusters, age numerals, organic columns, or giant confetti-filled balloons. Balloon Saloon has been bringing joy throughout NYC, and now with a COVID business pivot, they are offering curbside delivery as well as delivery service to the outer boroughs and suburbs like Long Island

and the Hamptons. You can even arrange a socially distant pick-up by having Uber pickup and deliver your bunch of balloons. Jars By Dani jarsbydani.com

Jars By Dani, delicious handcrafted cake jars look amazing and taste even better! Jars By Dani are especially perfect for quarantine celebrations because they are individually packaged already, so there are no worries about cutting a cake and everyone touching things since you have your own. The most popular flavor for kids and adults alike is the cake batter, but all of the varieties are delicious. We also love that most flavors are nut-free, and there are gluten-free and vegan options as well. The sky is the limit with customization of the lids to have writing, names, photos, or whatever you wish. Jar By Dani makes variety packs so party people can pick and choose their flavors and customization. They also ship nationwide for special occasions or any ordinary day to bring someone a smile and decadent treat.

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April 2021 | Queens 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


NewYorkFamily.com | April 2021

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 www.urbanorganyze.com, or follow @ urbanorganyze. April 2021 | Queens 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


NewYorkFamily.com | 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 | Queens 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 postlabor, 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. If you don’t know Teich from that fist-inthe-air 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 be greener when it comes to their beauty and getting-dressed routines (see sidebar). She is very passionate about sustainability, both in her personal life and when it comes to the


NewYorkFamily.com | April 2021

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. 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 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! 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 Calma-Mama drops. 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 ethicallymade 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.

Photo by Yumi Matsuo

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 | Queens 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.


NewYorkFamily.com | April 2021

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 ordermilk@nymilkbank.org 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!


Camp Concierge Helping families find great summer camps for their children.

Let NY Family use their 30 years of knowledge working with camps and families and the American Camp Association - NY & NJ, the foremost accreditation organization in the US, use their expertise to find your child a great option for this summer.

Go to NewYorkFamily.com/CampConcierge and fill out a few questions Or call our Camp Concierge Hotline at 718-260-8310 Give us 24 hours and our camp experts will match you with the best camps for your child. For any additional questions, please email us at campconcierge@newyorkfamily.com

Oasis Summer Camp at Fort Totten (Bayside)



A Premier Camp, Uniquely Affordable Pristine Grounds with A Rich History

Carnival, Dress-up days, Color War

Beautiful Suburban Location on the LI Sound

Daily Travel Program for Teens Ages 11-13

Specialized Programs That Are Age Appropriate (3-15)

New Playground for Our Campers

Instructional and Recreational Swim in a FullSize Outdoor Pool

Lots of Open Field Space, Including Soccer and Baseball Fields

Busing Available 5 Free T-shirts and a Backpack Included Flexible Enrollment 2-8 Weeks Hot Lunch Option Available Large Indoor Space



Discover The Difference at Oasis Oasis Bayside @ Fort Totten, Queens 516.415.1269



Profile for Schneps Media Digital Editions

Queens Family - April 2021  

Queens Family - April 2021